View Full Version : The Bobby Layne Curse and the Pittsburgh Steelers

10-09-2009, 01:59 AM
Seeing how this is the perfect month for spooky stories ---- tell me did you ever hear about the Curse of Bobby Layne?

Many talk about the "Curse" like it only changed the fate of one team.....but if you look closer you'll see the fate of his curse lay in the future of two teams.

A little history if you will......

Bobby Layne played in five Pro Bowls, and when he retired, he held the NFL record for passes attempted and completed, passing yards, and passing touchdowns.

In fact he's still the Lions All Time Passing Leader.

Then they traded him when Layne suffered an injury after the Lions' last championship in 1957, and Detroit thought he was through.

Layne was extremely upset about being traded, and that's when he laid the curse down. In a moment of anger, perhaps not even really meaning what he said, Layne shouted, "Detroit will not win for 50 years!" and, "I'd like to win a championship for the Steelers and for myself to shove down Detroit's throat!"

Now it's true Bobby Layne couldn't help the Steelers win a championship when he was on the playing field - however the numbers and karma surrounding his curse against Detroit and his goodwill towards the Steelers is eerie.

When Bobby Layne played his Jersey Number was 22.

The last year the Lions Played in a championship was 1957

1 + 9 + 5 + 7 = 22

Kevin Colbert was born in 1957 - and worked for the Lions until 2000. His first Super Bowl Winning Team won - in Detroit.

Bill Cowher was born in 1957 - and his first Super Bowl Winning Team won - in Detroit.

(*** In contast Matt Millen was born in 1958 - the year the Lions dumped Layne)

Coach Chuck Noll has more Super Bowl wins than any other NFL coach in history - he coached the Steelers from 1969-1991 - yep that's right 22 years.

Terry Bradshaw is 22 years older than Bobby Layne (1926 / 1948).

Terry Bradshaw was drafted by the Steelers when he was 22 years old.
Ben Roethlisberger was also 22 years old when he was drafted by the Steelers.

Bubby Brister, Neil O'Donnell, and Kordell Stewart were all older than 22 when they were drafted by the Steelers - none of them won a Super Bowl.

Dick LeBeau was a player for the Detroit Lions starting in 1959 - 22 years later he would be coaching in his first Super Bowl (1981 Bengals). He's coached in 5 Super Bowls he's only won with the Steelers - and his first Super Bowl win was in Detroit..

Bobby Layne's first season as a Lion was 1950 - 22 years later - Mike Tomlin was born.

22 years after Bobby Layne passed away the Steelers would win their most recent Super Bowl 2008-2009 Season.

The Lions traded Layne to Pittsburgh on Oct. 6, 1958 - the exact same week the Lions play the Steelers (1 year past his 50 year curse).

(This one is crazy) The Detroit Lions have had 22 different Quarterbacks lead the Lions in passing since Bobby Layne left Detroit. *Stafford will be the 23rd.

Just a few more Curse Facts for those that might be interested.

The last year of the curse (2008) the Lions went 0-16 and had the worst season in NFL history.

Matthew Stafford won the Sugar Bowl exactly 50 years (to the date) after Bobby Layne won it in 1948. If you want to get really kind of spooky -

Layne won the game with a score of 27-7
Stafford won the game with a score of 41-10

2 + 7 + 7 + 4 + 1 +1 + 0 = 22

Matthew Stafford beat Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl. Hawaii is our 50th state, now he's tackling a 50 year curse.

Bobby Layne and Matthew Stafford went to the same high school - :shock: -- seriously same state, same high school! Highland Park High School, Dallas Texas.

So who knows maybe the curse has been lifted ---- then again maybe it hasn't. All I know is that I hope Bobby is still giving the Steelers any help he can this Sunday and beyond.


D Rock
10-09-2009, 07:01 AM
"Detroit will not win IN 50 years!"

10-09-2009, 10:08 AM
The Lions will score a total of 22 points this year.

Mel Blount's G
10-09-2009, 03:41 PM
Great post Lonbull!

"Facemasks are for sissies."
Leg busted in 3 places, he looks like he's waiting
for a waitress to bring him a beer..haha.

Btw, I found this story regarding his trade on a Lions blog site:

Hours after the second game in 1958, the Lions traded Layne to Pittsburgh, a day that has been infamous in Lions history. Layne was reunited with former Coach Parker and in the trade, but still the move was puzzling to many fans since the Lions had traded their greatest and most popular star. Paul Hornung, who played for Green Bay in Layne's last game as a Lion, had some enlightening comments for Davis in regards to the trade.

"The score was tied 13-13," Hornung said recalling a sunny October 5th afternoon at City Stadium. As Hornung watched from the Packer's sideline, Layne was marching the Lions toward another one of his patented late game victories. "It was fourth-and-3 on the 11 yard line. Naturally, here comes the field goal team. Only 40 seconds were left. Jim Martin was going to kick a field goal, which was like an extra point," Hornung said considering the chipshot-like 17 yards Martin's kick would have to travel.

"Layne waved them off," a still-disbelieving Hornung said four and a half decades later. "They went for a touchdown! he went back, and it fell incomplete in the end zone. We took the ball and ran out the clock, a 13-13 tie." "On Monday, he got traded to Pittsburgh! The very next f@ckin Monday, he was gone!" Hornung exclaimed. "Do you know, there was not a thing written about it!" Hornung told Jeff Davis that many had believed that Layne was drunk when making the decision. Hornung said "Bull****! He was drunk. He was betting 15 or 20 thousand. He told me! He gave four or five points, and he had to cover. He didn't give a sh!t." When Bobby made a bet, it made the rest of the guys look like paupers. Even though Layne's credibility had been damaged Hornung said you had to love Layne, "He was a winner."

Bobby did not hide the fact that he liked to party and remarked that the way to die would be to run out of cash and air at the same time.

10-09-2009, 05:56 PM
Great post Lonbull!


Thanks for the additional information on Bobby Layne's last game as a Lion.

I don't know if I believe in Curses - but all of these numbers are correct --- makes you think.