There were so many incidents of accidents ending sports people’s careers that Sports Illustrated conducted its own investigation into “the curse of being on their cover.” Sports Illustrated found 913 examples of jinxes in the form of a substantial misfortune or decline in performance involving athletes who were features on their cover. This was 913 out of 2,456 editions, 37.2%. Pretty impressive stats suggesting its more than a coincidence.
As an aside, I checked into jinxes and curses associated with being on the cover of Rolling Stone, since it seems everybody wants to be on it, but there doesn’t seem to be any curses associated with Rolling Stone, other than the curse of being famous.
If you don’t think fame is a curse, read some of the covers of the supermarket tabloids.