It says here, Nick Foles and the Eagles might very well stumble this week in Minnesota, but if they do, it won't have anything to do with whose image was on the cover of a magazine.
Apparently, there are people who believe, or at least pretend to believe, in the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. Foles adorns the cover this week, covered in snow during the Detroit game, an arresting visual.
Why do people think there is a cover jinx? Let's think for a minute about how you get on the cover, unless you're Kate Upton. Say, you hit .490 for the month of June, or something. Sports Illustrated puts you on the cover for that. Now, what seems likely to happen in the month of July? Odds are, you are going to hit considerably less than .490. Maybe more like .220, because you were never a .490 hitter to begin with, some balls just fell in. Jinx! Or law of averages.
The real danger here is that the Eagles were a 3-5 team that is suddenly 8-5. Are they suddenly the most talented team in the NFL? Is Foles, who has the NFL's best QB rating, really the best QB in the league? I'm going to say no to both. I'm also going to say the Birds have had some things go their way, especially some calls the past few weeks against the Cards and the Lions. Will it be Sports Illustrated's fault if the breaks start to even out this week?
If there is a problem witn making the cover of SI, that's it. By the time a phenomenon attains that status, the phenomenon has been pretty phenomenal for a while. Nobody gets on there for stuff they might be able to do someday in the future.
It's strange how the truly dominant, all-time greats seem immune to the SI cover jinx. Who has been on that cover more than anyone else, 50 times overall? Guy named Michael Jordan. As I recall, he was able to overcome this handicap and have a moderately successful career.
Back here on planet Earth, Chip Kelly talked to reporters Wednesday. No surprise, he does not believe in jinxes, cover or otherwise. He said he doesn't worry about Foles and stardom.
"I just think Nick's a great teammate. He's a very, very unselfish player," Kelly said.
Kelly talked about the surprising (to us, anyway) deep success Riley Cooper has had this season, averaging 19.3 yards per catch. Cooper, stereotyped as a big, possession-type receiver, has been a very effective deep threat.
"One of the things Riley has is a great background in baseball," Kelly said. "He does an unbelievable job tracking the ball ... that catch he made on the post route (for 44 yards Sunday), he did a great job tracking the ball ... I think that's a real skill that he has. Watching in practice, you can see him, he can adjust to the thrown ball, and it's not an easy thing ... with Riley, you can miss him a little bit, but because of his ability to adjust to the thrown ball," he can still make the catch. "This isn't a track meet," Kelly said.