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Thursday, October 2, 2008
Black and Blue all over: Curse nears expiration


Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

If you believe in curses, this week is big for you. Because one of the all-time hexes in sports is about to expire.

As the Detroit News' Bob Wojnowski details in this entertaining column, the Lions are poised to emerge from a 50-year hex allegedly dispensed by quarterback Bobby Layne on the day he was traded to Pittsburgh. On Oct. 6, 1958, Layne supposedly said the Lions "would not win for 50 years."

The Lions had won the 1957 NFL championship. But since trading Layne, the franchise has made only nine playoff appearances and won only one postseason game. Wojnowski brings readers up to date on the failures, tragedies and other "unfathomable" events over that span.

The Lions will be burdened for one more game, Sunday's matchup against Chicago, before the curse is lifted. In a twist of hope available only in Detroit, Wojnowski writes:

In a few days, the Curse of Bobby Layne will be gone, too, which supposedly will lift the shroud and allow the once-proud Lions to frolic again with football's best. Laugh if you must. But if you've never believed in curses, it wouldn't hurt to start now.

Jaunting around the NFC North on a Thursday morning: