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Did a Grand Junction Shooting Sabotage the Broncos with the ‘Curse of Colonel Sanders’?

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Do you recall when someone shot the statue of Colonel Sanders at the 12th and North Avenue location of Kentucky Fried Chicken back in the late 1970’s? Do you recall the Denver Broncos wouldn’t make it to the Conference championships for almost a decade after that? Did the Broncos suffer such a long losing streak as a result of a notorious urban legend created by the Japanese?

The “Curse of the Colonel” refers to a hex placed on the Japanese Kansai-based Hanshin Tigers baseball team by the late Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. According to legend, Colonel Sanders, or as my dad called him, Colonel Chicken, put the curse on the team when he was angered by the treatment given to one of his trademark storefront statues. Fans of the baseball team threw it into the Dotonbori River following a team victory in the championship series.

In the years following the Colonel’s curse, the team experienced an 18-year losing streak. Some fans maintained the team would never win another series until such time as the statue was recovered.

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In the late 1970’s, some dastardly individual or individuals shot the statue of Colonel Sanders in Grand Junction. Blew a hole right through it. Does it strike anyone as odd that the Broncos wouldn’t make it to the AFC Championship for almost another decade following the shooting. It would be almost 20 years before they would win a super bowl. Could it have been the “Curse of the Colonel?”

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