The sports world is a tension-filled atmosphere where winning and losing could quite literally mean the end of the world for some. Many teams have unfortunately suffered so-called curses against them, ruining their winning streaks or preventing them from winning a game at all. Here are a couple of sports curses that are sure to leave you surprised. 

The Socceroos

Known as Australia’s national football team, the Socceroos traveled to Mozambique to play against Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in November of 1969. In an effort to win a place in the 1970 World Cup taking place in Mexico after two drawed games occurred, the Socceroos contacted a witch doctor (known as a nyunga) to place a curse against the Rhodesian team. After winning the match 3-1, it seemed like all was paying off for the Australian team until they were required to pay the nyunga a sum of one-thousand dollars. Either ignoring their request or simply unable to pay the amount, the nyunga reversed the curse and placed it upon the Socceroos themselves. For years the team suffered loss after loss until 32 years later, they finally placed into the World Cup. A second part of the initial ritual had been done by John Saffran, allegedly breaking the curse that had tainted the team for so long. 

Chicago Honey Bears 

The Chicago Honey Bears was the cheerleading squad for the Chicago Bears. After numerous performances for games, Cathy Core, the team’s training captain, was told that the squad’s contract would not be renewed after the 1985 season. The reasons for this were never publicly stated by the Bear’s team, though it’s been reported that the management team “… felt cheerleaders were not an acceptable part of the gameday experience for an NFL team“ says Bleacher Report. Though the Chicago Bears have appeared in several Super Bowls, many believe that their losing streak was a result from the squad’s departure that remains haunting their team. 

Racing Club of Avellaneda 

The Estadio Juan Domingo Perón, known also as El Cillindro de Avellaneda, is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is known to be the home of the infamous Racing Club. Located just 300 meters from Independiente, the club’s archnemesis, tensions arose between the two teams after Racing Club became Argentina’s first team to be crowned as world champions after winning both the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental titles. These wins allegedly angered the Independiente’s fanbase so much that some buried seven dead cats in The Estadio. Thus, the curse began for the Racing Club for the next 35 years, including their continuous loss in failing to reach the Copa Libertadores’ finals. 

The Andretti Family 

In 1969, Mario Andretti marked history when he won the Indy 500 — Mario’s first and only win. Since Mario’s first win, no Andretti has ever won a race again, with Mario even struggling to win his next few races between the 60s-90s. 29 failed attempts on Mario’s racing history have been recorded, plaguing the attempts of the Andretti bloodline to ever win a race to this day. An IndyStar article reported Mario’s thoughts about the curse. He said, “I will never endorse the idea of a curse. Actually, I want to put that away forever.” The Andretti Curse has lived for decades and continues to become a hassle for Mario’s son, Michael, who has unfortunately suffered losses over the years.