The NFL ‘Announcer Jinx’ Is Real: The Worst Incidents of the Bad Play Curse

by Josh Lanier

Anybody who’s held their breath during a field goal attempt or refused to watch a game without wearing their lucky jersey knows that jinxes are real. At least, it seems like it.

One slip-up can alter the balance of fate. And there is no more galling jinx than the announcer jinx. “It’s nice when you’ve got a kicker like that you can depend on,” the announcer preens seconds before the kicker misses his first kick in 70 attempts.

“He hasn’t dropped a pass in 10 games,” they say just before that sure-handed receiver bobbles the touchdown.

All fans know you don’t tempt fate when the game is on the line. Having an announcer blindly pull at the strings with reckless abandon is salt for the scraped soul.

No one merges into interstate traffic by loudly announcing “You know, I’ve never been in a bad accident before.” Why sports announcers feel the need to do this before every major play is infuriating. It’s the bane of every sports fans’ existence.

Some of the more notable instances of NFL announcers jinxing a player or team are included in the above YouTube video. The Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is included in about 4 separate instances. And keep in mind, Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Even his powers are useless against the might of the loudmouth announcer.

And it goes beyond a single play. Seasons have been ruined by the announcer jinx. Take Green Bay’s 2017. The team started 4-1, but in Week 6 Troy Aikman pointed out that despite their injury problems that season, the Packers always had a healthy Aaron Rodgers in the backfield. “And that’s a pretty big deal,” he said. You can guess what happened next.

The Packers finished that season 7-9. Rodgers needed surgery for his broken collarbone.

Announcer Jinx is Real, But Not Really, Say Announcers

Most announcers joke about the jinx. But it’s a statistical certainty that over the thousands of hours of games they the odds will line up for the perfect bad call. That still doesn’t make it any less infuriating for fans at home.

“The announcer jinx is the most preposterous theory in sports,” Mike Tirico said. “Invariably you get blamed and that’s fine that’s OK. I’m willing to take the blame. I didn’t snap it, I didn’t hold it, I didn’t kick it. But it’s my fault. And that’s the joy of football on TV.”

Maybe Tirico is right. Maybe it’s just fans pushing their team’s faults onto an external source. So, with that in mind, I’m glad Mike Tirico has never been fired on-air flubbing a call. Happy job hunting, Mike.