This past weekend, the New York Giants lost 13-38 against the Green Bay Packers in an NFC Wild Card game. The Giants kept things close in the first half but eventually succumbed to the Packers and their daring quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.
Many fans were counting on Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants’ superstar receiver, to come through in the clutch. Unfortunately for them, the 24-year-old wideout — considered one of the best in the league — had a bad game.
Beckham, one of the more sure-handed receivers in the league, uncharacteristically dropped a career-high three passes.
What happened to Beckham? Lots of people are blaming his poor performance on this photo:
A week prior to their game with the Packers, Beckham and several teammates flew to Miami to party it up. Beckham and his pals were celebrating a win over their rivals, the Washington Redskins, when the now-infamous boat photo surfaced. Before the game, Beckham was criticized for partying instead of focusing on the playoff game versus Green Bay.
After the loss, criticism of Beckham mounted. Fair or unfair? Before you answer that, consider this…
… maybe something else “cursed” Beckham and the Giants. A few days before the game, Beckham was photographed wearing this lucha libre mask.
It’s not just any lucha mask. The red, white and blue Rey Mysterio Jr. mask was decorated with the logo of Cruz Azul, a Mexican soccer team.
Unfortunately for Beckham, no one told him Cruz Azul is “bad luck.” Cruz Azul haven’t won a championship in 20 years and are notorious for choking away their chances at glory.
Their reputation as chokers was cemented in 2013, when Cruz Azul played rival club América in the Liga MX Clausura final. With less than five minutes left in the second leg of the final, Cruz Azul had a two-goal advantage. Then this happened:
Defender Aquivaldo Mosquera headed in a goal to cut Cruz Azul’s lead by one.
With just a few seconds left in the match, América made a desperation move to try to score again. They called on goalkeeper Moises Muñoz to join the attack. In what was likely the last play of the match, Muñoz miraculously headed in a corner kick to tie the match.
América went on to defeat Cruz Azul in penalties. Not only did it result in a championship for América, it led to this iconic GIF of then-América coach Miguel Herrera:
Since then, the term “Cruzazulear” has become synonymous with choking away a victory.