Shelley Meyer really hopes the “Sports Illustrated cover jinx” isn’t a thing.
Ohio State star quarterback J.T. Barrett will appear on one of the regional covers of Sports Illustrated’s college football preview edition this month, and it’s obviously a huge honor for the redshirt senior.
Finding yourself on the front page of SI isn’t a bad way to kick off the college football season, and he has to be feeling pretty confident heading into his final year as a Buckeye.
One person, however, is a little worried about what Barrett’s presence on the cover means for the Ohio State football.
That person? Urban Meyer’s wife, Shelley, and she’s concerned about the infamous Sports Illustrated cover jinx.
Check it out:
Someone please tell me the whole stupid "S.I jinx thing" is NOT a thing anymore???😳😳
— Shelley Meyer (@spinnershells) August 9, 2017
But what’s the SI jinx exactly?
Basically, It’s an urban legend that states athletes/teams that appear on the cover of SI are destined to have bad luck resulting in poor performances.
Luckily for Shelley, the SI cover jinx can mostly be chalked up to a little statistical phenomenon called “regression to the mean,” according to Psychology Today.
It’s fairly simple:
There is regression in baseball and other athletic performances in that a player or team that accomplishes something exceptional most likely benefited from good luck and will regress from that exceptional performance.
What this means is that sure, it takes exceptional skill to accomplish something great, but also it takes some luck—and that luck is ultimately random. You can’t count on it to bless your teams from one season to the next, or even one play to the next.
The Buckeyes are a really good football team on both sides of the ball, and all the way up through the coaching staff. Barrett’s appearance on the cover of SI isn’t going to wipe the slate clean in terms of talent.
So fear not, Ohio State fans, the SI cover jinx is mostly hogwash.