There’s actually a local myth that explains Buffalo’s problems. This story is mostly an oral tradition, so you won’t find it mentioned in too many other places. (E2 is quite lucky to have a native of Loser City willing to admit so in public.)

Anyhow, the story was told to me by an old, drunk Indian in a Buffalo bar back in January 1991, just after the Bills lost their first Super Bowl. No, really. It was – I know this sounds like the beginning of a bad novel, but I’m dead serious.

The story goes like this: Sometime in the mid 19th century, a race was held by the city of Buffalo with a swift Tuscaroran runner participating. As it goes, the Tuscaroran had the lead when a local person tripped him in order to allow a white man to win. Cheated, the Tuscaroran cursed the entire city, deeming that no Buffalo competitor would ever win a championship again.

And so far it’s held true, with one intriguing exception. In 1992 Buffalo’s professional lacrosse team, the Buffalo Bandits, went on to win the MILL championship in just their first season in the league. Then in 1993 they went on to have MILL’s only undefeated season ever, winning their second championship in as many professional seasons.

In case you didn’t know, lacrosse was invented by the Native Americans. And nearly two-thirds of the Bandits’ championship roster was filled with players living on the nearby Tuscaroran Reservation, where they’d been playing organized lacrosse for generations.

Though I’ve met other Buffalonians who’ve heard this story, none of them could claim to have heard it before The Bandits won their championships, like I did.

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