July 9, 2007

Wrestler blames "satanist" collegue over third wrestler's suicide

United States: At the end of last month, WWE wrestler Chris Benoit killed his wife and child before hanging himself. There have been sensible suggestions regarding his death, such as known effects of anabolic steroid use (a phenomenon know as "roid rage"), and one or two conspiracy theories, but fellow wrestler Johnny Angel goes further: he believes a third party was responsible for the deaths.

In series of videos on YouTube, he accuses another wrestler, Kevin Sullivan, of being a murderer. Part of his reasoning holds water - Sullivan used to be married to Benoit's wife Nancy, and the deaths happened 10 years after the date of their divorce. At the time, Sullivan had threatened to kill Benoit in front of other wrestlers. But then Angel gets interesting—this wasn't a simple revenge attack, but because Kevin Sullivan is a high-ranking member of the Satanic Church. This is, of course, according to the video, somehow relevant.

The police need to consider the possibility that these murders were carried out in order to have his revenge, which is what Satanists live for... Amongst many possibilities, this is a possibility.

The video then goes on to detail Angel's detailed and violent fantasies about what could have happened.

No doubt the forthcoming libel case will prove most interesting.

Is Kevin Sullivan The Real Benoit Killer?entertainmentwise, 9th July 2007;Was Chris Benoit Murdered by Kevin Sullivan? PART 1YouTube, 4th July 2007.

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January 8, 2007

Drastic measures to save team from drop

England: Leeds United are having another bad season, second from bottom in what us old farts would call League Division Two and facing relegation. But not to worry, Dean "Midas" Maynard has a plan to rescue the club—one that does not trouble the players with the need to play football. Instead, he plans to attend matches and beam positive vibes at the team. But don't worry, it's not magic: I'm not into witchcraft, I don't do any spells, I don't bend spoons and I'm not friends with Michael Jackson. Maynard emphasises his previous successes, and current challenge:

Dean is currently working to save League Two side Macclesfield Town, who are now unbeaten in nine matches having started the season with no wins from 21 games.

Macclesfield were beaten 6-1 by Chelsea at the weekend.

Psychic can help beat spectre of relegationYorkshire Evening Post, 8th January 2007; Chelsea 6-1 MacclesfieldBBC Sport, 6th January 2007.

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December 27, 2005

Making sectarianism a thing of the past

Scotland: Vladimir Romanov, owner of Edinburgh football club Heart of Midlothian, had an unusual festive message for his critics—the Devil is making them do it. The message appeared in the programme for the game against Falkirk, and was accompanied by a photograph of Romanov on a beach with his trousers rolled up.

In his rant, Romanov told fans: Even the most sacred of places on Earth, the places that house the remains of Christ are blighted by profiteers and money-grabbers.

“Likewise in the football world, which is sacred to those who love football,there are those who seek to ruin all that is good about the game.

“But it is the Devil that is driving them forward and they are not going to stop. All that will remain for me is to step aside and bid them farewell on their road to Hell.

Fans were reportedly bewildered by the message, one wondering if it had somehow been mistranslated from Russian. For the record, Hearts won 5-0.

VLAD GETS MADThe Daily Record, 27th December 2005.

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January 12, 2005

Bringing the Dutch into disrepute

The Netherlands: Amsterdam football club Ajax has an image problem--for some reason, they are regarded as being a Jewish club. Not that this is a problem in itself. No, the problem is the anti-semitic abuse they get from opposing fans.

After supporters of opposing teams started calling Ajax fans Jews, the fans adopted the name themselves. Ajax fans wave the Israeli flag and have banners featuring the Star of David.

I am sure our supporters have no anti-Semitic feelings, Jaakke said. However, in a tense society such as we live in today, it can stir such feelings in others.

Former Ajax board member Uri Coronel, who is Jewish, told Het Parool newspaper that Ajax fans calling themselves Jews stirred anti-Semitic reactions from supporters of rival clubs.

Many anti-Ajax chants refer to the Holocaust. Rival fans chant Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas and make hissing sounds to imitate the sound of gas flowing.

Ajax seek image change to stop anti-Semitic chants - Sydney Morning Herald (via Religion News Blog), 12th January 2005; Ajax wil meer macht in ECV (last two paragraphs) - Het Parool, 10th January 2005.

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August 3, 2004

Feng it like Beckham

England: Footballer David Beckham is having feng shui symbols sewn into his boots according to The Sun. After his shabby performance in the Euro 2004 competition, he needs all the help he can get.

The design of the boot was strongly influenced by Becks' interest in Eastern culture, especially yin and yang -- the belief that opposite influences balance life and give it harmony.
Becks begged his boot supplier, Adidas, to use the ancient Chinese beliefs to assist them in the design of his flashy new PredatorPulse footwear.
He said: I'm very proud to wear these boots because they represent the idea of yin and yang.

Of course, in the modern game, there has to be a commercial side to all this

Only 723 pairs of the boots have been made -- his squad numbers from Man Utd and Real put together.
He has been ordered to keep and wear pairs number one, seven, 23 and 723 -- with the rest being sold for increased good karma.
All the boots produced will be size nine -- Beckham's size -- and will cost nearly £500.
To help create a yin and yang harmony, the boots will come in Becks' trademark red and silver. The silver represents class, purity and value, the red power and stimulation for his heart and breathing.

Becks turns to Feng shoe-i - The Sun, 3rd August 2004.

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July 6, 2004

Balls

Peru: Eight traditional magical practitioners from all over South America have performed a ritual to bless the teams taking part in the Copa America.

Dressed in a multicolored poncho, rainbow-striped pants and a felt fedora, lead shaman Juan Osco blew mouthfuls of scented cane liquor and threw flower petals at a soccer ball bearing the teams' crests.
With flowers, good perfumes and good wishes we are asking the protective gods that no misfortune befall any player and that above all there are good matches, intoned Osco, Peru's self-proclaimed Shaman of the Andes....
...Osco and his comrades -- each wearing variations of a similar outfit -- chanted, rattled gourds and waved skulls, dolls and even a shrunken head from an Amazon tribe during the half-hour ceremony in front of Lima's Nacional Stadium.

Shamans put good-luck spell on Copa America - Sports Illustrated, 5th July 2004.

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June 29, 2004

David Beckham is a spoon

In-ger-land: Uri Gellar fears he might have been responsible for David Beckham's fluffed penalty kick, which led to England's departure from the Euro 2004 football tournament.

The fifty seven year old Israel born psychic said that while trying to transmit positive energy to the England players he may have caused the ball to bend over the bar.I'm not a miracle worker, but I do believe in the power of consciousness. I was trying to send positive energy, the Sun quoted him as saying.

Uri Gellar 'Bent it for Beckham'! - Webindia123.com, 29th June 2004.

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June 18, 2004

German Football Superstitions

Portugal: Whether this is a true case of triskaidekaphobia, racism or a more practical concern that the Bulgarians may have left a surprise behind that the cleaners haven't yet found is debatable, but the German football team for the Euro 2004 comp refuses to stay on the 13th floor.

Germany soccer team refused to stay on the 13th floor of a plush Lisbon hotel, fearing it will bring bad luck in the Euro 2004 competition.
The squad have asked the management of the five-star Corinthia Alfa hotel to allocate them different floors to the Bulgarian team, which had just checked out of the hotel.
The German team are due to come to our hotel next week and they want two floors.
We already had the Bulgarian team on the 13th and 14th floors but the Germans say it brings bad luck, said Isabel Santos, the rooms division manager.
We will change, it's not a problem. We have 24 floors so they can have any floor they want, she told Reuters.
Germany play Czech Republic in their final Group D game next Wednesday in Lisbon.

Team Won't Stay on Hotel's 13th Floor - Reuters, 17th June 2004.

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April 19, 2004

Suggestion: get the puck in the net.

Canada: The Calgary Flames have made it to the play-offs in the Stanley Cup, but have the same sort of luck as Scotland does in World Cup finals. What to do? Train hard and hone those skills that got the team this far in the first place? Candle magick? Jen Silverhorse, from the Neopgan organisation Diwan Kroaschent, has some suggestions:

One spell requires cleansing hockey sticks belonging to goalies and players with salt water, then smudging them with sage and cinnamon to charge them with positive energy for strength and accuracy.
The next step would require a replica of the Stanley Cup be decorated with a candle and incense. The candle should not stop burning until the end of the playoffs, and if it starts to burn low, it should be used to light another candle before it is blown out.
The flame needs to keep burning to keep the spirit and bring the Stanley Cup here, she says.

The Calgary Herald consulted others - witches, feng shui practitioners, Hindus and Buddhists, but in a rare moment, only the Christian pastor made sense:

We're going to win with skill and hard work, he said.
Forget the curse.

Ending Cup curse just a spell away - Calgary Herald, 19th April 2004.

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April 3, 2004

United in superstition

The Football Association has ruled that a toss of a coin will decide which team stays in which hotel for the FA Cup final. One of the two hotels used, St David's Hotel and Spa in Cardiff, has an unlucky reputation as only one winning team has stayed there. As a result, there have been arguments about who stays where.

A Feng Shui practitioner visited the five-star hotel in August, to try to lift the hotel's apparent football curse.
He scattered incense and sea salt, rang bells, chanting a Buddhist ritual and led a horse around the grounds.

The jinx does not appear to apply to rugby teams. Let us hope Manchester United lose this particular toss. Teams toss for 'lucky' FA hotel - BBC News, 3rd April 2004.

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April 2, 2004

The Shaymen's shaman

England: Halifax Town are doing even worse than usual, and have accepted the services of a psychic who got in touch after reading about the manager speculating that the club must be cursed. Psychic bids to boot out Shay curse - Halifax Courier, 2nd April 2004.

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March 14, 2004

Welsh take extreme measures

Welsh rugby is a long way from its glory days. Encouraging talented English players with a Welsh grandparent, or extra training so the team plays like a team sound like reasonable options, but Wales on Sunday has a better idea: witchcraft!

White witch Amanda Samson knocked up the magic words - and we did the rest here at Wales on Sunday HQ.

Amanda says the spell is supposed to attract success letting you acknowledge your unlimited potential and live your dreams...

...We cast the spell using a special scroll with a talisman, rose petals and success oil.

You don't have to be a witch to cast a SpellBox spell, said Amanda. Just be clear in your intent and open to the answers from the universe!

Clearly the problems of her own national side, Australia, in the World Cup final, stemmed from them not buying a SpellBox from her web site. White witch spells success for Wales - Wales on Sunday, 14th March 2004.

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October 19, 2003

Baseball news

United States: The Chicago Cubs winning the World Series is about as likely as Hibernian winning the Scottish Cup—it's a tradition or an old charter or something—and it's no surprise that some fans think their team is cursed. It also makes the actions of a Nicaraguan Florida Marlins fan rather pointless:

Your team lost because THE MARLINS PLAYED BETTER, OK? It's NOT because of some curse. The supernatural had nothing to do with it! Unless you count a Miami woman I know named Tina, who's from Nicaragua, and who revealed, after the Marlins beat the Cubs, that during the crucial eighth inning of Game 6 she performed a type of witchcraft called brujería. But that did not violate any National League rule.

THE WORLD SERIES: It's the Marlins against the world - Ledger-Enquirer, 19th October 2003.

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October 14, 2003

Keep off the grass

The Netherlands: Dutch football manager Dick Advocaat has joked that it was witchcraft that brought his team a match against Scotland in the Euro 2004 qualifiers, saying Jomanda must have been touching the balls.

White witch Jomanda is a household name in Holland and more famous there than spoon bender Uri Geller is in Britain.
She regularly hosts group healings on radio and TV and claims to receive her mystical powers from her dead father.
The 55-year-old former ballet dancer took up her healing vocation at the age of 21 after being told by another clairvoyant that she had amazing powers.
Jomanda also claims she can cure viewers at home over the TV.

But Advocaat might end up with egg on his face. After all, his once mighty team are reduced to fighting for qualification in the play-offs. SON OF A WITCH, - Daily Record, 14th October 2003.

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September 19, 2003

Balls

Kenya: The Daily Nation has a nice wee article on the history of superstion in football, with some lovely examples.

It has also been reported that a coach at the club used to direct his own bodily fluids through an anatomical organ in his nether regions onto the team goalkeeper's jersey before making the keeper wear it, wet as it was, for matches.
For years Gor Mahia FC players were under strict instructions not to shake hands with women while in training for crucial matches to protect their life-force. On other occasions players at the club were reportedly transported to the banks of a certain upcountry river to wash up before a match. In Nairobi only a Mr Ochido was allowed to handle equipment, touch and treat injured Gor players during games.

Superstition and soccer are for ever intertwined - The Daily Nation, 20th September 2003.

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August 22, 2003

Explaining where to kick the ball

Uganda: Günter Zittel, the German technical director, is organising a seminar on witchcraft for Uganda's football coaches. The move comes after the Ugandan national side blamed witchcraft for their recent defeat at the feet of Rwanda.

Zittel is currently negotiating the plan with National Council of Sports.
I realised there was need to teach coaches at all levels about tactics and soccer strategy. It is sad Cranes gave away the Nations Cup campaign to Rwanda, Zittel said, in reference to the game Uganda lost 1-0 at home against Rwanda after a fight over juju.

Express-Top Tv Nssl Soccer Match Washed Out At Nakivubo Stadium - New Vision (via allAfrica.com), 21st August 2003.

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June 8, 2003

Unknown substance abuse

A football match between Rwanda and Uganda was halted for 25 minutes after it was claimed the Rwandan goalkeeper tried to cast a spell to influence the game.

But before the goal there was serious controversy after Mossi lit an unknown substance in his goal.
Uganda's players tried to remove it, but Rwanda's refused to let them.
An ugly fight - involving both players and officials - ensued.

Rwanda eventually won 1-0, a result nearly as unlikely as Scotland's glorious draw against Germany yesterday. Controversy mars Rwanda win - BBC Sport, 7th June 2003.

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March 28, 2003

Are those Catholic evil spirits or Protestant evil spirits?

If Rangers sign up Saliou Lassissi , a defender from the Ivory Coast, the fans will have something other than the usual religious arguments. Lassissi was badly injured in a game two years ago, but his rehabilitation has been delayed because he believes that modern medicine is evil.

Italian clubs have long been at the forefront of sports injury rehabilitation but, for Lassissi, his employers came to embody the devil incarnate.
A variety of injections were included in his treatment - vitamins, cortisone, painkillers - anti-inflammatories, but, according to sources within the Roma treatment room, Lassissi refused them all.
He believed that injections carried evil spirits, that everything his Ivory Coast upbringing had taught him screamed out that great harm would befall him if he accepted the physio's treatment programme.
Roma were dumbfounded. Lassissi refused to have anything to do with bad medicine and Roma saw his rehab stretching further and further into the distance.

FOOTBALL: SPELL OF A PLAYER - The Daily Record, 28th March 2003.

March 27, 2003

Something Keegan might like to try

The president of the Romanian Football Federation has announced that he might hire a witch to hex the Danish team prior to the two countries' Euro 2004 qualifier later this week. Mircea Sandu claimed that a similar tactic had worked 14 years ago. Romanian football chiefs may hire witch to put spell on Denmark - Ananova, 26th March 2003.

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October 22, 2002

And pray for a win, too.

A Croatian football team has a vacancy for a priest able to minister to the predominantly Catholic side. The successful applicant would be a part of the team, travelling with it everywhere, and its spiritual guide. A knowledge of other faiths is important, as there are a number of non-Catholic players in the team. Dinamo Zagreb Calls in Spiritual Ghost Buster - Reuters, October 18th 2002. (Thanks, Jan).

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October 7, 2002

Why France did so well in the World Cup

A French author has claimed that Jacques Chirac spent the equivalent of over a million pounds to ensure that France won the World Cup in 1998. In her book La Sorcellerie au coeur de la République (Witchcraft at the Heart of the Republic), Sylvie Jumel says the cash went as payments to Senegalese witchdoctors. He also used them, and French witches, to secure the presidential election but obviously did not pay out to help the French football team in this year's World Cup.

The book is published by Editions Carnot, who recently published Meyssan Theirry's books claiming that no aircraft crashed into the Pentagon on September 11 2001. This Europe: Chirac hasn't lost his magic, says author - The Independent, October 3rd 2002.

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July 9, 2002

Oops - we lied

United States: The Parents' Television Council is a US-based conservative group which seeks to clean up television - a bit like MediaWatch (neé the National Viewers and Listeners Association, i.e. Mary Whitehouse's mob).

A couple of years back, they turned their sights on professional wrestling and claimed that children were killing other children because they imitated the moves they saw on the telly. In particular, they claimed that the well-publicised murder of Tiffany Eunick by Lionel Tate was influenced by his seeing professional wrestling. WWE Entertainment and an organisation called Wrestling Fans Against Censorship sued. A few days ago, the PTC issued a humiliating retraction.

we were told by a source that Lionel Tate was watching a WWE program when he assaulted Tiffany Eunick. In fact, Lionel Tate was watching the "Flintstones" and a cartoon entitled "Cow and Chicken." We were also told, by a source, that Lionel Tate killed Tiffany Eunick while executing a wrestling move unique to a WWE character called the Stone Cold Stunner.
We have since learned that this was not true, nor was there any evidence that it was true. It is now well documented that after the Tate trial concluded, the presiding Judge said it was inconceivable that Tiffany Eunick's injuries were caused by Lionel Tate mimicking wrestling moves.
Indeed, since the trial ended, Lionel Tate's new lawyers have filed court papers in which they admit that the wrestling defense was, in their words, bogus.
Given these facts, WWE was within its rights to be angry at the MRC, PTC, their spokespersons and I for contacting WWE's advertisers to go beyond complaining about WWE content but passing along accusations which we now know were false. Because I feel a simple retraction is not sufficient, I have personally extended my apology to Vince McMahon and the WWE on behalf of MRC, PTC, Dr. Tucker, Mr. Honig and me.

Bozell, PTC apologizes to WWE - The Miami Herald, 4th July 2002 (via Boing Boing).

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June 30, 2002

Tennis player faces ban for not being racist

Pakistan: Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi, a Muslim from Pakistan, and Amir Hadad, a Jew from Israel, are playing as a pair in the doubles at Wimbledon. Even though the pair won through to the third round in straight sets, officials in Pakistan are not happy with the partnership. Pakistan's Sports Board has condemned Qureshi and demanded an explanation. The player faces a ban. Israeli Jew, Pakistani Muslim Team-Up at Wimbledon - Voice of America News, 30th June 2002.

June 4, 2002

Football mad

People are getting their priorities sorted the world over. In Kenya, church attendances are down about 30% as parishoners stay at home on Sundays to watch World Cup matches instead. Provost Philip Obwogi of the Anglican Church of Kenya's Cathedral of the Good Shepherd complained:

God should come first all times. When we baptise people, we tell them to fight sin, the world, and the devil and remain faithful soldiers of Christ to the end.

He added that World Cup matches were the sort of worldly pleasure Christians should renounce. Pastor Reuben Langat of Lake View Africa Gospel Church told The Nation that a true Christian could not chose to watch the World Cup instead of going to church on Sunday. Christians Choose World Cup Over Sunday Service - The Nation, 4th June 2002 (via allAfrica.com).

Meanwhile, in England, many churches postponed their services to avoid a clash with the England-Sweden match. England puts its religion first, but still finds time for church - Sydney Morning Herald, 3rd June 2002.

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June 1, 2002

Football crazy

The Unification Church (aka the Moonies) tried to buy London football club Queens Park Rangers last year. It seems Rev. Moon shares Korea's current obsession with football - his Church owns the current Korean champions Ilhwa Chunma and a team in Brasil called New Hope. Still in Korea, Buddhist monks there are postponing the chance of enlightenment for the duration of the World Cup. World Cup Fever Reaches the Buddhist Temples - Johannesburg Mail and Guardian (via allAfrica.com), 31st May 2002.

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April 6, 2002

Important football result! (and some naughty vicars)

Naughty vicar stories abound today:
Pope accepts bishop's resignation over sex-charge priest - Ananova, 6th April 2002.
Cardinal accused of sexual abuse - Ananova, 6th April 2002.
Report: District Attorney asks for grand jury to probe allegations of sex abuse by priests - New Jersey Online, 6th April 2002.
Priest Accused of Child-Sex Abuse Commits Suicide - Fox News, 5th April 2002.

But, to me, this is the day's most important news: Man City seal promotion - BBC Sport, 6th April 2002.

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