The Drake Curse: Will Drake be the Reason the Raptors Lose to the Bucks?


(Photo from latimes.com)

Why is Drake the reason why so many sports fans end up running through the 6ix (or their own particular town) with their woes?

Drake has come to be recognized as a highly successful musician and business person over the course of his career, yet recently he has come to be infamously renowned as something much more sinister: a sports curse.

Indeed, one could read about several instances where Drake essentially jinxed a team/player that he supported. The idea that Drake is a curse even led Italian soccer club, AS Roma, to actually ban its players from taking pictures with Drake. The Drake Curse has become so popular recently that with one google search you can read tons of articles on the topic. One topic that is always fascinating to discuss when it come to these sorts of curses is: Is the curse real?

In a poll taken for The Sports Rooster, it was found that when asked if the Drake Curse is real, 60% of voters said yes compared to 40% who said no. Of course, it is nearly impossible to really find a way to determine whether this curse is actually “real” and so answering such a question is equally as impossible. However, an interesting question still remains, one that is often not discussed that we can actually produce an answer to, that is: what function do sports curses like the Drake Curse serve for sports fans?

In a fascinating experiment conducted by Jeremy Houska, he proposed that sports curses can be used to enhance the mood of sports fans. He believed that sports fan may be in a more positive mood when they can blame a team’s failures on something exterior.

The study found that between two experimental groups, one which was exposed to material that blamed the “Curse of the Billy Goat” for the Chicago Cubs’ failure to win or play in a World Series since 1945 (at the time the study was conducted this was still true), while the other group received no information concerning the infamous curse (both were given information concerning the team’s performance during both pre-curse and post-curse periods in time) that heavily identified Cubs fans exposed to the information blaming their failure on the the curse reported a less negative mood, compared to those fans who did not receive said information.

The study concluded that this research adds further evidence to the idea that sports curses are used (at least amongst heavily identified fans) as a coping strategy, something exterior that people can look to when trying to place blame on something for a team’s failures rather than placing the blame on the team itself.

What does all this mean for Drake Curse?

Well, this study suggests that perhaps believing in this curse is just a useful way for people to enhance their mood when their teams fail, essentially using Drake as a scapegoat rather than looking to the teams themselves to answer for their own shortcomings.

It is funny to think that the guy who is notorious for getting people in their “feels” may actually serve at the same time as a means through which sports fans can get out of them.

References

Houska, J. (2015). Curse of the Billy Goat: An Adaptive Coping Strategy for Cubs Fans. The National Pastime, 81-84.

Menon, V. (2019, May 13). If Drake really cares about the Raptors, he needs to cheer on Milwaukee. The Toronto Star. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/