The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



The Curse of the JACC

Dan Murphy | Monday, February 2, 2009

Welcome to the Joyce Center – where streaks come to die.

As of two weeks ago, the home to Notre Dame’s hockey and basketball teams had hosted only two Irish losses in the past nine months.

In the past nine days it has seen four.

Last Saturday, the men’s basketball team put its 45-game home winning streak on the line against the Connecticut Huskies and the curse of the JACC was born. Two days later, the Irish welcomed Marquette and the front row of the Leprechaun Legion painted their chests, “New Streak Starts Tonight.” It didn’t. Instead, Notre Dame is stuck in a five-game losing streak.

The next night on Jan. 27 the women took the court against a mediocre Rutgers squad to right the ship. Wrong.

The Lady Irish dropped their second straight and ended their own 13-game home streak. The last time they lost at home was exactly one year before against, who else, the Connecticut Huskies.

Friday night, the No. 1-ranked hockey team put its own 20-game winning streak on the line against No. 7/8 Michigan. The Irish held one of the most explosive offenses in the country to only two goals, but the curse struck again and yet another streak went up in smoke.

What happened?

There were some big hits Friday, but no glass was shattered. The Irish backcourt needed a ladder to guard 7-foot-3 Huskies center Hasheem Thabeet, but no one walked underneath it. I searched the entire campus and couldn’t find any billy goats.

After some serious detective work, I think I may have gotten to the bottom of the unlucky Irish.

The night before the evil spirits moved in, a small group of men was spotted inside the Joyce Center performing what could only be described as voodoo magic. These self-proclaimed magicians blasted their eerie whistling music while defying gravity. One of them even turned a bucket of water into confetti in mid air.

The curse was started by the Harlem Globetrotters.

The Globetrotters didn’t post their game’s results anywhere with public access, but rumor has it even the Washington Generals left the Joyce Center with an upset win – officially ending the 25,000-plus game winning streak for Harlem.

The JACC needs an exorcism. University President John Jenkins made a phone call this weekend that he thought would help.

Jenkins got in contact with an old friend from the seminary, Father Lankester Merrin. You may remember him from his role in the 1973 horror thriller “The Exorcism.”

Sadly, Merrin is a busy man. He said he would only come to cast out the evil of the JACC when Mike Brey’s head starts spinning in circles. Unfortunately, mock turtlenecks are extremely restricting when it comes to head spins.

That leaves Jenkins and the athletic office with only one option, it’s time to level the Joyce.

To be honest, it’s well overdue. The Purcell Pavilion construction is already getting started. The hockey rink has to be the worst facility in the country, at any level. But that’s a topic for a different day.

Maybe this curse isn’t so bad after all.

Read more at observersportsblog.wordpress.com