The so-called “Drake Curse” may no longer be a thing thanks to the Atlanta Falcons. Not after the Grammy Award-winning artist made a rare correct, sports-related endorsement ahead of the 2022 NFL draft on Thursday, April 28.
Drake placed a bet on who would be the first wide receiver taken in the opening round. It took a while, but the Canadian rapper was rewarded when the Falcons made their first pick, the eighth-overall in this draft.
ALL the latest Falcons news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Falcons newsletter here!
Drake Cashes in 5-Figure Wager, Thanks to Falcons
Somewhat fittingly, Drake chose his namesake, Drake London to be the first wideout to hear his named called by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The bet, worth a cheeky $100,000, was made with Stake.com, per Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema:
It looked like a risky bet, even for somebody with an estimated net worth of $180 million. This year’s wide receiver class was loaded beyond London, with fellow headliners such as Ohio State pair Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, along with Alabama’s Jameson Williams.
All were touted as potential top-10 picks during the pre-draft process, but the Falcons threw a mild curveball when they took London off the board first, per the team’s official site.
The pick surprised some, including Fox Sports’ host Skip Bayless, who cautioned Falcons fans not to expect the “next Julio.” It’s a clear reference to franchise receiving-leader Julio Jones, who was traded to the Tennessee Titans last offseason after nine generally productive seasons in Atlanta.
Taking London ahead of some of his other marquee classmates might have raised a few eyebrows, but the Falcons’ decision paid off handsomely for Drake, according to B/R Betting:
He knows, he knows, he knows.
The Falcons and London might have also helped to end one of sport’s most high-profile anomalies.
Is The Drake Curse Over?
Offering his backing across various sports usually hasn’t gone so well for Drake. At least, the musician, actor and songwriter’s endorsement hasn’t been so lucky for the athletes he’s chosen.
Defining the curse is tricky, but The Guardian Australia’s Michael McGowan explained it to his colleague Stephanie Convery in 2019: “It’s simple: if Drake wears a jersey, poses for a photo with an athlete or in any way appears to be supporting any particular team or person, that team or person will go on to lose, often against the odds.”
McGowan went on to describe how UFC star Conor McGregor and former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua both lost high-profile bouts after posing for photos with Drake.
Joshua dropped the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO straps to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019, shortly after declaring his confidence to “break the curse.”
Drake’s penchant for jinxing sports figures wasn’t limited merely to the combat disciplines. He’s also proved less than a lucky charm in college football.
Three years ago, Drake offered some motivation to Alabama ahead of the National Championship against Clemson:
The Crimson Tide promptly lost the game by an eye-watering 44-16 scoreline.
It hasn’t all been bad, though. Not when Drake lumped big on the Los Angeles Rams to win Super Bowl LVI back in February.
His bets included $500,000 on Odell Beckham Jr. to score a touchdown and post over 62.5 yards receiving, according to Christian D’Andrea of USA Today Sports. Beckham did score and the Rams lifted the Lombardi Trophy after a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Yet, Beckham fell short of the yardage tally Drake envisaged, managing 52 yards on two catches before leaving the game with a torn ACL. So a mixed a bag for those who believe in the Drake curse, even though Beckham, who is a free agent, recently tweeted he’s on the road to recovery:
A breakout rookie season from London in Atlanta would surely dispel any notion the Drake curse is still alive and well.