Sport has long brought out the superstitious side in players and fans. An inherent belief that, by adhering to certain rituals and traditions, you can have a favourable influence on the outcome of a game is why so many players will, for example, consciously step onto the field of play with their left leg rather than the right.
It’s also why, for those of us on the other side of the player/supporter divide, we just have to go to that pub before a match and then insist you walk on the left side of the road as you approach the stadium rather than the right because of a vague yet prevailing memory that your team once won after you took that precise route to the game.
Here’s another superstition to put in your locker: don’t go near Drake before a big game. The Toronto rapper has earned a reputation for being something of a bad luck charm for a number of top-level sports teams and athletes in recent years, as people have noticed that whenever he associates with sportspeople or endorses certain teams they almost always end up suffering some sort of on-field misfortune soon afterwards.
Drake, it seems, just isn’t ever destined to be a lucky mascot – here’s some of the best examples of when the so-called ‘Drake Curse’ has seemingly made waves in the world of sport.
Numerous Premier League and Champions League footballers
? T H E D R A K E C U R S E
? Drake & Sancho = BVB lose
? Drake & Auba = Arsenal lose
? Drake & Aguero = City lose
? Drake & Kurzawa = PSG lose
? Drake & Man City squad… pic.twitter.com/TyQxLAJGmH
— MoPlay (@MoPlay) April 17, 2019
When you’re a top-level footballer, you’re going to want to unwind by getting VIP access to the best arena and stadium shows. You’re also probably going to want to take a picture with the star of the show when you get into the backstage after-party, too. However, if said star of the show is Drake: well, you might want to forego posting the resulting snap on social media.
Football fans began to notice a familiar trend this season after players from teams such as Arsenal, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain were on the receiving end of a series of defeats for their respective teams shortly after they were pictured with Drake during his recent Assassination Vacation tour. PSG defender Layvin Kurzawa, for instance, played during his side’s 5-1 thumping by Lille last month just two days after posting an Instagram picture with Drake, while Manchester City’s surprise defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League followed swiftly on from an evening where members of their first-team squad rubbed shoulders with the rapper at his Manchester gig.
City’s Sergio Agüero even uploaded a video of himself presenting Drake with his very own City shirt, which no doubt placed the fatal curse on his side’s chances of European glory this season. We don’t expect Drake will get an invite to the Etihad anytime soon…
The Kentucky Wildcats
why drake look like he got left alone at the mall and can’t find his mom pic.twitter.com/paE83mPsmn
— بِجال القاسم (@bxjv) April 8, 2014
Drake’s official association with the college basketball outfit goes all the way back to 2012, but the historically strong championship-winning pedigree of the university’s men’s team (they’re the most successful team in the NCAA Division I program, for one thing) went off a cliff as soon as they gained the ‘One Dance’ hitmaker as a fan. In the past seven years, the Wildcats have failed to win a national championship title. We’re sure it’s purely a coincidence… right?
The Alabama Crimson Tide college football team
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) January 3, 2019
The manager of the Alabama college football team no doubt chucked his tactics board in the bin and left work early for the day after he watched the above clip Drake posted on Instagram in January. Well, what else could he do: the “Drake curse” was inbound. And, sure enough, the Crimson Tide then went and lost their all-important 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship to the Clemson Tigers by a woeful 44-16.
The Irish MMA fighter may have shuddered slightly when he first heard that Drake was backing him in his bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov back in October, but then surely the ‘Drake Curse’ doesn’t extend to the UFC, right?
Actually, it does: after Drake proudly draped an Irish flag over his shoulders in support of McGregor at the weigh-in, the fighter then went on to lose to Khabib in the fourth round. Wonder where Drake keeps that Irish flag these days?
The Philadelphia 76ers
(?: Instagram/champagnepapi) pic.twitter.com/4Tdq1vJrk7
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) May 13, 2019
Whenever Drake’s beloved NBA team, the Toronto Raptors, have faltered in recent years, Twitter commentators have been quick to post about “THE DRAKE CURSE” being ultimately responsible for the team’s shortcomings. However, this year, things seem to be playing out slightly differently: the Raptors have continued their fine regular season with a strong run in the NBA play-offs, and over the weekend they prevailed against the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference semi-finals to clinch a berth in the seven-game division final against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Drake was quick to take to Instagram on Sunday (May 12) to show everyone how he’d played a role in the team’s decisive 92-90 victory: by wearing a pair of 76ers shorts while watching the game from home. Finally, he’s figured out how to use his evil powers for his own benefit – expect to see the rapper decked out in full Milwaukee Bucks kit for the Conference final, then.