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The Curse of the Colonel
"In 1985, just after winning a National Championship, one of Nippon professional baseball's most under-performing teams was struck by an unusual curse. Test your knowledge of the "Curse of the Colonel"."
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
The accursed team, deeply and loyally beloved by fans all over the region of Kansai, was founded in 1935 and plays out of Hanshin K˘shien Stadium. Although they did not pick up a Japan Series championship until 1985, their rivalry with Tokyo's team is famous. What is the name of this unfortunate Kansai team?
Hiroshima Toyo Carp
To understand the origins of the curse, one must first grasp the level of devotion shown to the accursed team by their fans in Kansai. A good place to start is with the fact that the team's fight song is commonplace in Kansai's karaoke machines! In the song's official English version, one finds lines like, "Mighty spirit of the youth shows the victor's grace, the name that shines in glory ..." What mountain does the song refer to, in its first verse and in its title?
Even before their 1985 affliction by the Curse of the Colonel, the team had experienced a disheartening losing streak. Since the Japan Series championship was instituted in 1950, how many times had our heroes won the Series by the time the curse began?
Twice: they won in 1984 and 1985.
Three times: they won twice in the 1950s, and again in 1985.
Three times: they won twice in the 1970s, and again in 1985.
Only once: their 1985 win was their first.
If the MVP of the 1985 Japan Series hadn't been so unusual, jubilant fans would not have inadvertently provoked the curse. This first baseman, a gaijin (foreigner), played in the American Major Leagues for six years before becoming a star with the soon-to-be-accursed team. Who was this popular slugger, who went on to be elected state senator in his native Oklahoma?
The Curse of the Colonel is, unsurprisingly, blamed on a famous colonel, albeit one who was dead at the time. The colonel's spirit is supposedly angry about the undignified fate that befell a statue of him in the celebrations following the 1985 Japan Series. Who is the colonel in question?
Colonel Sanders, founder of the KFC restaurant chain
Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, leader of a 1942 bombing raid on Japan
Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager
Lieutenant Colonel Nobuhiko Jimbo, a Japanese officer in World War II
The 1985 championship team is said to have been cursed because of what its fans did to the statue of a vengeful colonel. What is it that they did?
They burned the statue as an effigy of the Japan Series MVP.
In a celebratory brawl, the statue's head was accidentally knocked off.
They dressed the statue in paper regalia, carrying it on their shoulders to honor the Japan Series MVP.
They threw the statue into a river to honor the Japan Series MVP.
Was the ill-fated statue of the Colonel replaced after the 1985 incident?
After a stellar 1985 season, the accursed team began to build up one of the worst records in the Central League. How long did it take the team to win their next Central League pennant?
The team disbanded thirteen years later without another pennant win.
The Colonel who had cursed the unfortunate baseball team became a bit of an obsession with area fans. After a much-desired 2002 victory in another sport, fans in Kobe kidnapped another statue of the Colonel and cut off his hands! What was the occasion for this act of vandalism?
The Japanese table tennis team had won their first world title.
The Japanese lacrosse team had placed second in the World Lacrosse Championships.
The Japanese soccer team had won a World Cup match against Tunisia.
For the first time in half a century, a Kobe sumo wrestler had achieved Grand Champion status.
In 2003, the Curse of the Colonel claimed its first human victim. After a win by the accursed team, its fans celebrated in a similar way to their boisterous 1985 revels, and a young man lost his life. How did he die?
He died from injuries sustained in a fight over who was the best player on the team.
A poorly controlled bonfire spread to his apartment building.
He drowned in an Osaka river after being pushed in by other fans.
He tumbled from the shoulders of parading fans and was crushed by a float.
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Compiled Jun 28 12