Redskins sure feel cursed
Look, obviously the rational among us don't really believe in curses. But at some point on Sunday, you said to yourself, "Crikey, self, this team is cursed." Yes?
"I don't know about the voodoo, but I definitely believe in destiny," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said, after a game in which his team benefited from a punt that dropped out of the air onto a burgundy back, a Redskins interception that turned into a Redskins fumble that turned into a Saints touchdown, a missed 23-yard field goal, and an instant replay reversal in overtime despite a lack of conclusive evidence. "I believe in karma, and what goes around comes around. We've been on the other side of this deal probably too many times, and maybe it's our time, that we start catching some of the breaks."
On the other side of the field, the Redskins--who are still waiting for it to stop going around and start coming around--were mostly busy dismissing such notions.
"There have been a lot of weird plays that I haven't seen a lot of in my career," long snapper Ethan Albright said of this dismal season. "I don't know how to put words to it to describe it."
"Sometimes it feels like it," he joked, but then said it wasn't so.
"There's no superstition about it, no psycho stuff going on here," Coach Jim Zorn said.
"Nah, don't believe in those curses," injured left tackle Chris Samuels agreed.
"Sometimes it just bounces your way, sometimes you just get lucky," said center Casey Rabach. "I don't know, cursed? It's hard to say. It's really hard to say cursed. Everything happens for a reason, but it's just a tough season all the way around, and a loss like that makes it even tougher."
Like I said, I don't actually believe the Redskins to be cursed, but for some reason I then wandered out to the FedEx Field parking lot. Where I saw three men, dressed in some sort of religious regalia, talking about...well, you guessed it.
"There's no way [Shaun Suisham] was making that kick," Keith Williams said of the gimme field goal that the Redskins inexplicably missed. "We put the voodoo all over him."
Now I'm not sure how serious he and his two buddies were, since some of their religious paraphernalia doubled as amazing drink holders, and since I kept having to interrupt their conversations with some young ladies to conduct my interview.
But they told me how their seats at the Superdome are located right near where opposing kickers warm up. And how they think they've won more games for New Orleans over the years than some guys in uniform. And how, even though they were on the other side of the field on Sunday, they directed their usual voodoo routine in Suisham's direction.
"The Gris-Gris," Williams explained.
"It's a hex," added Hank Staples, the owner of New Orleans's iconic Maple Leaf Bar, which he said was the first watering hole to reopen after Katrina.
"If he would have made that kick, I'd have been shocked," Williams added. "Shocked."
They seemed serious. They expected Shaun Suisham to miss because of the Gris-Gris. They weren't the only ones.
"You can go ask Nick Leckey over there if you want to," Mike Bell offered. "I said, 'We're going to win this game. He's going to miss the field goal, and we're going to win this game.' I swear to God I said it."
The three men had no shortage of New Orleans compatriots in the parking lot, where people wandered around shouting "Who Dat," beads jiggling and drinks flowing downhill. The men couldn't agree on their name; "The Three Bishops?" Mark Morice said, before Staples suggested "The Three Popes."
"There's only one Pope," Morice argued.
"Not in our church!" Staples said.
I told them that some Redskins fans, at least, were feeling rather cursed this season, with their Pro Bowlers littering the injured reserve list, with three straight fourth-quarter losses by a total of seven points, with one bad bounce after another. They laughed. Washington fans, they said, don't know what it means to feel cursed.
"This is a blip on the highway of the great Redskins journey," Staples told me. "It's merely a speed bump."
"You can always count on next year," Williams added. "We've been doing it for a long time."
Which probably wouldn't offer much solace to the Redskins players, who were inside, trying to make sense of this season.
"I've never seen anything like this in my life," Rock Cartwright said.
"It's like we've got a jinx or something against us," Devin Thomas said.
"It's not that we find ways to lose, it's that there's a force out there that won't let us win," Joe Theismann said on ESPN 980.
"I mean, it's just bizarre, at best," Rabach said.
Albert Haynesworth was asked whether he'd ever been part of a loss like this in his career.
"Not really," he said. "And hopefully it don't ever happen again, because I don't think I can take that much."
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