Is There a Tabloid Hottie Jinx on NFL QBs?

Now let us blame beautiful women.

Women took a beating this football season, being labeled jinxes and hoaxes — that is if you can call dating Gisele Bundchen bad luck.

Bundchen is the latest beauty to be blamed by fans for coming between them and their teams.

"Super stunner: Could Bundchen be to blame?!?" screamed the headline of Inside Track, the gossip page of The Boston Herald, looking for someone — anyone — to blame for the New England Patriots' 17-14 loss Sunday to the New York Giants.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been dating Brazilian-born supermodel Giselle Bundchen since he broke up last year with actress Bridget Moynihan, his long-term girlfriend and mother of his baby.

"Fans are upset," Laura Riposa of Inside Track told "Boston fans are always looking for someone to blame and it is easy to blame her."

Few are holding back on their comments in gossip and sports blogs.

"Gisele is bad luck," wrote one anonymous commenter at "Gisele is such a jinx!!" wrote another.

Gisele is being compared in the tabloids to singer Jessica Simpson, who was blamed by Dallas Cowboys fans for distracting quarterback Tony Romo in the playoff game last month against the Giants.

"Some of these couples have a pretty bad track record. Just look at Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo or Eva Longoria and Tony Parker [of the San Antonio Spurs.] So it's convenient to add Gisele and Brady to that list," said Riposa.

Parker was added to the injured list after hurting his left ankle and is not expected to return to the court until at least the middle of February.

Labeling women jinxes is a tradition many times older than Jessica Simpson, said Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University.

"This is a modern version of a very old taboo. In hunting and gathering societies women were considered jinxes. There was a great deal of superstition around women touching men's hunting equipment and they were often not allowed to touch equipment or accompany men while hunting. There was certainly a taboo, because young women were thought to sap men's powers," she said.

The women as jinx theory simply does not hold up under close examination, however.

Bundchen may have attended the Super Bowl at which the Patriots lost, but she was also in the stands for most of the games during the Pat's faultless 18-0 season. Romo has had one of the best years of his career and Parker has three championships under his belt.

Brady led the Pats to Super Bowl victories in 2004 and 2005 while dating looker Bridget Moynihan, with no talk of a jinx.

People like their favorite athletes and don't want to blame them when they screw up, said sports psychologist Richard Lustberg.

"People don't want to be culpable," said Lustberg. "It is a heck of a lot easier to blame Tony Romo than Jessica Simpson, because if you're a Cowboys fan you have a relationship with Romo and like him. People always look for external excuses."

Most Pats fans, however, are willing to put the blame where it more reasonably belongs.

"I wish we could blame Gisele," said Manny Makkas, a 29-year-old lifelong Patriots fan from Boston. "But it was the game plan and coaching that's really to blame."

"Brady got a lot of bad press for going out in New York this week before the Super Bowl, but I can't really blame him. He needed to get away. New York is his getaway because in Boston he can't walk into a restaurant and have dinner without getting mobbed. It is the same with Romo and Jessica Simpson in Mexico; he just needed to recharge his batteries."

Much of the anti-women sniping is coming from an unexpected place, said the Herald's Riposa — other women.

"There are lots of fans, mostly women, who are angry at Tom for having a baby with Bridget Moynihan in California and then cavorting in New York with Gisele. Many women blame Gisele for that."