Does a superstition surrounding the Packers have the Big Game’s fate sealed?

Zara Lantzman, Staff Writer

Are superstitions real in sports? A recent “curse” in the NFL seems to suggest that there may be some validity to superstitions.

The Aaron Rodgers-led Green Bay Packers are at the root of one of the NFL’s superstitions, which cannot be ignored with Super Bowl LV taking place between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. 

As far as the superstition goes, there tends to be heartbreak when it comes to the NFC team that beats the Packers. The NFC Championship winner goes on to not only play in the Super Bowl, but that team specifically goes on to lose to the opposing Big Game contender for that season. 

In the Aaron Rodgers era, the Packers have made the NFC Championship five times, with their record being 1-4. If history is to repeat itself, this superstition could gain another example on Sunday, depending on if the Chiefs win. 

In 2014, Green Bay played the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship. The Packers were winning 16-0 at one point and appeared to be in control of the game, yet they ended up losing to the Seahawks. In the 2014 Super Bowl, the Seahawks went on to lose to then-quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots. 

The ending of the 2014 Super Bowl would seem to suggest the cruelty of this Packers curse, as Seattle was one-yard away from winning until they called arguably the dumbest play call in all of NFL history when they opted to call a pick play over a running play with Marshawn Lynch. Instead of the wide receivers crossing each other on their routes and one ending up open for a touchdown, quarterback Russell Wilson’s pass was intercepted by an undrafted corner Malcom Butler at the one-yard line, thus resulting in a win for Brady and the Pats. 

In 2016, the Packers played the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship, where the Falcons destroyed the Packers. In the 2016 Super Bowl, the Falcons were beating Brady and the Patriots with a score of 28-3. This game is commonly known as the biggest comeback – and the biggest “choke” – in NFL history. The Falcons ended up losing 34-28, resulting in another example of the Packers’ curse. 

In the 2019 NFC Championship, the San Francisco 49ers obliterated the Packers. In the 2019 Super Bowl, the Niners played Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Although the Niners were winning 20-10 with six minutes left in the game, the Chiefs scored 21 unanswered and won the game, 31-20. 

For the current 2020-2021 season, Rodgers and the Packers painfully lost to the Buccaneers and their experienced first-year quarterback Brady, who spent the first 20 seasons of his career with the Patriots and is in his first season with the Bucs. 

With Tampa Bay beating the Packers, it begs the question: Will the superstition live on, and is the result of the Big Game completely written? NFL fans and superstition fanatics are set to find out on Sunday when Brady faces-off against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. 

History may suggest that the Chiefs are guaranteed to win based on this superstition, but Brady was in two of the previous Super Bowls in this discussion. So, does that mean Brady can be the one to break it? Or will Brady fall under the curse of the Green Bay Packers?