The Detroit News Paper Headlines as the Curse reached 50 years.  I doubt a paper would waste all that ink and paper on something they thought did not exist.
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The Detroit Paper Headlines as the Curse reached 50 years. I doubt a paper would waste all that ink and paper on something they thought did not exist.

What is a Curse

The following definition is a quote from the book The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft.

Curses are declared to be the most dreaded form of magic, often called black magic, and are believed to be universally used. The principle purposes for them to be “laid” or “thrown” are for revenge, and also for protection of homes, treasures and grave sites. Curses laid on families have been known to have plagued them for generations.

Inverted Time Period Principle

It is common for a curse to “invert” certain periods of time and space. What exactly does this mean? Lets check out the “Book of Shadows” which the Wiccans reference for their spells, under curses it says this.

TO INVERT a PERIOD that this must be used to invert a period molded on of a person, and to return the period on of this who molded it. .

Now many people will say well, nothing has really been inverted since the curse began but thats not true. Lets look at one of the most damning pieces of evidence against the curse actually existing, the fact that the Lions have had one playoff win since the curse began. Why one? Why not none? If the curse was real the Lions would not have any playoff wins, right? The answer is right in front of us, we just need to know where to look and how to look. The Lions playoff record before the curse began was 6 wins and 1 loss. Lets make this into an picture so I can illustrate this better.

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Nothing unusual yet, but if you invert this picture 180 degrees, what do you get?

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You get 1 win and 9 losses. This is exactly what the Lions playoff record is for the 50 years after the curse. Exactly. The odds against this exact combination over a 50 year period are over a MILLEN to one.

A Curse’s Energy

If you understand nothing else about this website, understand this. The following is a brief excerp from The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft.

Anyone can lay a curse on another person, but it is believed that the authority of the person who lays the curse on increases its potency and makes it more dangerous. Such persons are believed to be priests, priestesses or royalty.

Anyone who lives in Detroit knows that it treats its sports heroes as Royalty. These Heroes fall into two groups.

The first group are Heroes such as Gordie Howe, Al Kaline, Isiah Thomas that are Hall of Famers and are treated like royalty in this town. These heroes are usually not as fan accessible as other “mere mortal” players and generally move on to other positions of responsibility in their respective sport.

The second group is Heroes who the fans can identify with. These heroes generally have low egos and can often be found hanging around with the local folks. What separates these individuals is that for a moment they do something outstanding and they are immediately made royalty in Detroit. One example of this is Mickey Lolich who won 3 games in the 1968 World Series while an active member of the National Guard. You could find Mickey for years at a donut shop he owned. Another example is Darren McCarty, who’s brutal beating of Claude Lemieux changed the face of a team and was the catalyst for 3 Stanley Cups. Darren frequented many clubs in Detroit and was involved in many Detroit functions including the McCarty Foundation.

Only Bobby Layne falls into both Hero categories. Bobby is a Hall of Famer and anyone living in Michigan at the time could tell you which bars Bobby liked to frequent. Imagine the popularity of this individual in Detroit and then multiply it by the fact his team had just won the NFL Championship the year before. Imagine the outrage of the Detroit Fans when he was traded in 1958.

Rules of the Curse

The curse seems to only affects people and things directly associated with the Detroit Lions. This includes players, coaches, and management in addition to the overall team performance. The curse does not affect other Detroit sports team which can be proven by the fact that each major franchise has won several Championships over the life of the curse. It also does not affect other Detroit football teams since the Detroit Panthers also won a Championship since the curse began.

The Gypsies believe that the curse could only be stopped 2 ways. The first is that Layne himself would have to recant his statement, however since Layne died several years back it is doubtful this will happen. The second is that the fan’s and their outrage that gave the curse its tremendous energy must forgive the Lions. The Red Wing and Red Sox  curses were lifted only after they defeated greatest rivals, creating a fan euphoria in their respective towns. Perhaps if the Lions were to find and beat up Osama, the curse might end due to fan euphoria but other than that I can’t think of a rival hated enough to generate that kind of fan support.

The saying goes that “Bobby Layne never lost a game, he just ran out of time”, well the same can be said for his curse, for over 50 years the Lions have tried to defeat it with no success, it seems now that  Bobby’s curse has decided to stay past the expiration time which was  in the fall of 2008.

Recent attempts at exorcism have not worked for the Lions, since they are not possessed, only cursed. To view one such attempt click below.

Other Sport Team Curses

Red Wings and Tigers

Detroit fans do not sit back idly and let the world go by, when they see something that they don’t like they are very vocal about it. When Ernie Harwell was forced into retirement by the Detroit Tigers , the fans erupted with anger which included bumper stickers, t-shirts, and in some cases billboards. The fans even boycotted the then Tigers owner’s pizza empire (Dominos at the time this took place).

Result-The Tigers did not have a winning season for over a decade.


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It could be argued that the McCarty fight ended another notorious curse. In the 50’s the Red Wings had arguably the greatest team of all time, yet for some mysterious reason the team was broken up after winning what would be their last championship for over 40 years. Fans were outraged by this and the team floundered for decades in a similar fashion as the Lions. 2 years before McCarty’s fight the Wings made it to the Stanley Cup, they were heavily favored but lost to Claude Lemieux and the New Jersey Devils in 4 games. The year before the fight the Wings set the record for most victories in a season but again lost to a Claude Lemieux team in the playoffs.

Is it possible the McCarty/Lemieux fight caused such a good feeling in Detroit that the furor caused from the team breakup up in the 50’s was forgiven? The point here is that the fans outrage is the source of power of the curse. Legend has it that Bobby is responsible for the curse but fact of the matter is that Bobby was just the catalyst and only set up the parameters of the curse (50 years).

Other City Curses

Boston Red Sox Bambino Curse

This curse lasted over 80 years! It was started when the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920. At the time, Ruth was baseball’s greatest slugger and had helped the Red Sox win a World Series in 1918. But in 1920, the owner of the Sox, needed some money to pay for his Broadway musical, so he traded Ruth to the New York Yankees for $125,000 and the Curse of the Bambino was born. Since then, the New York Yankees have won 26 World Series titles, and the Red Sox have won none, losing in very strange ways (Remember this joke-what does Michael Jackson and Bill Buckner have in common? Both wear a glove for no apparent reason). But in 2004, the Red Sox would win the World Series (after defeating the Yankees, a key player in this curse). Please note the parallels to the Bobby Layne curse, Bobby was traded to Pittsburgh who never won a championship either, but would go on to produce what many consider the greatest team of all time. Both players were hall of famers and both had recently won championships for their respective teams.

New York Rangers Fiery Curse

In 1940, the Rangers won their third Stanley Cup. Legend has it that later that season, the Rangers finished paying off their mortgage at Madison Square Gardens and celebrated by burning the mortgage papers in the Stanley Cup. Lord Stanley must have taken offense at this because the rangers would not win their fourth cup till 1994, 54 years later. After winning in 1994, rumor has it that Mark Messier used the cup as a urinal so not surprisingly the Rangers have not won since (or probably ever again if I know my curses).

Chicago Cubs Billy Goat Curse

This curse is still alive and well. In 1945, a tavern owner named Sianis wanted to bring his pet goat with him into Wrigley Field for Game 4 of the World Series. Stadium Officials said the goat needed a bath and told Sianis he had to leave. As he was leaving, Sianis said to the team officials the infamous line, “Cubs, they not gonna win anymore”. The Cubs lost the 1945 World Series to our Tigers and haven’t made it to a World Series since.