The Hanshin Tigers, a professional baseball team, spent decades languishing without a championship trophy. Then, in 1985, thanks to a former big leaguer, American pitcher Randy Bass, the team finally broke through and won it all.
As local tradition demanded, fans gathered on a nearby bridge and called out the names of the players on the now-triumphant team. When each name was shouted, a fan who looked most like that player would jump into the river. Of course, no one resembled Bass, so instead, they nabbed a statue of Colonel Sanders from a nearby KFC restaurant and chucked it into the water.
This act launched a decades-long drought, from which the Tigers have still not recovered. It was the Curse of the Colonel. Finally, in 2009, divers miraculously pulled the statue from the river bottom, but that still hasn't changed their luck. However a fan site for the Hanshin Tigers points out that most media reports have this story wrong: The Sanders incident happened actually after the Tigers won the CL pennant, but before they won the Nippon Series (the championship) two weeks later. Further, talk of a curse only started two years after this, as a way to explain how the team's performance had declined so much.