Over the course of the past several years, baseball fandom in Houston, Texas, has meant deep, dark, and prevailing sorrow.
The last time the Houston Astros made the playoffs was 2005, when they were swept out of their first-ever World Series by the Chicago White Sox. Not only has the team not been back to the playoffs since, but in 2013, the Astros became the second team in Major League history to lose over 105 games in three consecutive seasons.
This year was meant to be different. In late July, the Astros were on pace for a playoff berth when the team announced that the Taylor Swift concert at the team's stadium had been rescheduled to accommodate a potential playoff run. Baseball is a notoriously superstitious and curse-prone sport. Understandably, this logistical hubris made some fans a little bit nervous:
One month later, the Astros had taken over first place in the AL West and had a five-game lead on their in-state rivals, the Texas Rangers. They still held the top spot in September when Taylor Swift performed her rescheduled gig in Houston. And then came the curse.