Adrian Gonzalez should be worried.
But not because the Red Sox are in last place in the AL East. On Wednesday, Taco Bell released a $5 Buck Big Hitter Box with the Boston first baseman on the cover. And if history is any indication, the latest endorser for the American-adapted Mexican fast food chain could be headed for trouble.
Call it the Taco Bell curse.
Superstition and sport have gone hand in hand since the first balls were thrown, kicked or tossed through a hoop. Just about any NFL fan can rattle off a few instances of the Madden curse, where the player on the video game cover has a decline in performance or is injured. Marshall Faulk never rushed for 1,000 yards the rest of his career after appearing on the 2003 cover. Last season Peyton Hillis missed five games with a hamstring injury after gracing the Madden NFL 12 box.
Gonzalez is following in the footsteps of Taco Bell endorsers Mariano Rivera and Brian Wilson. Rivera filmed a commercial in the fall of 2010 and suffered a freak injury earlier this month shagging fly balls that ended his season and possibly his career. Wilson acted in his own Taco Bell commercial last year and recently underwent Tommy John surgery, putting a halt to his play in 2012.
The curse scenario for Gonzalez might be doubly bad as he not only acted in a commercial for Taco Bell, but his $5 Buck Big Hitter Box has a video game tie-in as well. Fans who buy the combo, which includes the new Beefy Nacho Burrito, Burrito Supreme, Crunchy Taco and a medium drink, will get the opportunity to play an exclusive Home Run Derby baseball game built from MLB The Show 2012. Anyone can play the game for free through the Taco Bell app, but those that buy the $5 Buck Big Hitter Box will get to play as Gonzalez.
There may be hope for the Boston slugger, though. Taco Bell seems to be a performance booster for at least one MLB star. Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander swears by it. Before every start he orders three crunchy taco supremes with no tomato, a cheesy gordita cunch and a Mexican pizza, also without tomato.
But baseball and curses have a long history. Gonzalez might not have been in Boston when the Bambino trade plagued the franchise for a century, but he's certainly aware.
And anyone who doesn't believe in superstitions just needs to ask a Cubs fan about the Billy Goat.
-- Adam Watson is the food czar at ThePostGame. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamKWatson.
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