Football: Magazine cover clips Rouge et Or

You have heard of the so-called Sports Illustrated jinx. Apparently there is a University Affairs one too: The cover story of its December print edition is on the Laval Rouge et Or.
"The Vanier Cup is being hosted by Quebec City for the first time this year, so the team could fulfill its dream of winning in front of the hometown fans. It was almost preordained.

"A colleague, Nick Taylor-Vaisey — who worked for University Affairs this past summer and was a sports reporter during his student years — agreed it was a great story when he read a first draft of it earlier this fall. But he had one little quibble: nothing is inevitable in university sports. There are several great teams, he said, and all it takes is for one of them to play one great game in the playoffs and Laval’s out.

"Well, he was prescient. This past Saturday — after a 9-1 record so far this season, winning the divisional title and beating teams by scores like 73-7, 50-0 and 63-1 — the Rouge et Or lost to the Queen’s Golden Gaels in the Mitchell Bowl in Kingston, 33-30. It was a crushing defeat for Laval, despite the close score."
The story was published Nov. 9, 12 days before the Mitchell Bowl. It was a good story and in all honesty you still have to use the present tense when talking about a Laval a dynasty. It's reminiscent of the headline in one Ottawa paper after Carleton's streak of national championships in basketball ended in 2008, "The Dynasty Dies." We know how that has turned out. Laval will be right back up there before too long. As for the

Still, it's amusing. The Sports Illustrated (kids, that's a weekly consumer magazine people used to get to read about week-old football games, but it did invent the style of sportswriting Bill Simmons takes credit for originating) cover jinx got started in 1955. The mag put the Oklahoma Sooners, who were on a record 47-game win streak (a record that is never going to be broken) on the cover with a headline, "Why Oklahoma is unbeatable." A couple days after it hit newsstands, Oklahoma lost to Notre Dame.

Incidentally, yes, The Globe & Mail's contention Queen's win was a "triumph for the smaller budget football programs" is a hyperbole. The Gaels are well-supported. If anything, their winning was a triumph for the OUA's upper echelon (Laurier, McMaster, Ottawa and Western); not for the Windsors and UBCs of the world.
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