Opinion

Did A-Rod curse the stadium?

Don’t believe in curses? Those are just childish ways of explaining bad luck, right?

Try telling that to the Boston Red Sox, who just five years ago overcame the 86-year “Curse of the Bambino.” Or take the Chicago Cubs, who have not only been hexed by a Billy Goat for over one hundred years, but may have been doubled-on after Cubs fan Steve Bartman interfered with a foul ball, possibly adding another century to the woes of the North Siders.

Some teams have been proactive in fending off bad spirits, including the New Orleans Saints who are rumored to have brought in voodoo priests to perform exorcisms on the Superdome.

I worry that our beloved baseball team might be in the infant stages of its very own curse. Not a curse cast upon us by some rogue witch doctor, but a curse from disrespecting the baseball gods.

Back in 2003, the university accepted $3.9 million from Alex Rodriguez for stadium renovations in exchange for putting his name on the park. No one can blame us back then for taking the money: A-Rod was considered the eventual heir to the all time home-run title, and $4 million is $4 million.  Despite this, there were rumblings about putting his name on the stadium.

Although he did grow up in Miami and plan on attending the university before being drafted by the Seattle Mariners, most purists saw it in bad taste to just name the stadium after the highest bidder. But as most curses are born, the masses ignored the clairvoyant few, and the hex was allowed to mature.

We could not have known that shortly before the inaugural game at Alex Rodriguez Park, Sports Illustrated reporter Selena Roberts would break the news that our newly-christened diamond was tainted. Her steroid-use allegation soon became Rodriguez’s steroid-use admittance, and we were left with a stadium full of bad karma.

But now is not the time to succumb and accept our unfortunate fate. As with any bad spirit, you must get rid of it before it gets a chance to grab hold of its victim, or at least that’s what I learned from Ghostbusters.

Unless somebody on campus has some spare gris-gris, or a relative who may or may not practice Santeria, we mere mortals must please the baseball gods again by taking A-Rod’s name off of the stadium. That may be against the rules, but we’re talking about a curse here, not a speeding ticket.

What could we name the stadium? If we wanted to honor our own great baseball players from the past, possibilities include Warren Bogle Park, Pat Burrell Park, even Ryan Braun Park. All of them actually wore a Hurricanes uniform, and none of them were romantically connected to Madonna for any stretch of time.

I don’t care if we name it after Rick Ross, Tony Montana or Jimmy Buffett (at least he already has the football stadium). Something has to be done, because I am terrified of ghosts.

August 26, 2009

Reporters

Austen Gregerson

Staff Columnist


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