The Curse of the Redskins is a debilitating enchantment
which was made against the Washington Redskins
football team by an elderly Native American medicine man
, by some accounts Sioux
, by others Arapaho
, in the Spring of 1992.
As the story goes, the medicine man had not been aware of the team until his grandson told him of their Super Bowl
victory that year. The medicine man remembered how, when he was a child, the white men who stole his father's land had called his father a 'redskin' among their other insults
The medicine man sent his grandson to Washington, D.C.
, to entreat the team to change its name, but they refused to listen. And so the medicine man called upon all of the power of his ancestors, and of the sacred ground the team plays over, to curse
this team with its unsavory epithet
, deeming that the franchise would win no more Super Bowls until their name was changed. Their teams would fall short and their opponents would be strengthened. Their players would be haunted, disrupted, and even gravely injured.
But, the medicine man added an additional plea, that if the Redskins should change their name, the curse would not only be broken, but this good deed would be rewarded by the opposite effect, by the spirits of the ancestors aiding the team instead of hindering it, strengthening the athletes instead of harming them, delivering them victory instead of denying it.
And two decades later, the Curse of the Redskins clearly remains strongly in effect, with no signs of letting up anytime soon.