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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."

Cursed, right?

"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."

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 7, 2009; 7:11 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Vinny Cerrato discusses the weather


they're not cursed. they just suck.

Posted by: bacaje | December 7, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

What bacaje said.

All they had to do was have Campbell kneel on 3rd down to center the XP-length kick, instead of running outside the hashmark to the right. Game over. That they didn't points to coach-fail, not curse.

Posted by: jhorstma | December 7, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Let's see.

Skins up by 7 with two plays left in the first half and KM tries to run through the entire NO team like Barry Sanders without protecting the football. Suisham misses a 23 yard FG and Dirty Landry the FREE SAFETY lets the hottest offensive team's receivers get behind him TWICE.

Curse of the unthinking football players it is!

Posted by: charley42 | December 7, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

All this curse stuff is loser talk. BTW, New Orleans is just coming off one of the worst natural disasters of our universe, not sure they should be talking about curses. Bad joke, but what I'm saying is that people that feel cursed find excuses whereas great teams with confidence (Saints) believe in themselves to win.

Posted by: PropJoe | December 7, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

its simpler than a curse. the nfl wants the saints story to keep going. there is no way they overturn that sellers fumble unless there is pressure from the league to keep the saints winning. no one could ever convince me that was "indisputable".

just like the first half review where kareem was clearly down with the pick. his elbow was on the ground and his leg all over shockey. but they dont overturn calls often...

Posted by: follybeach | December 7, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

That bar got nothing but pub after Katrina for being open after since they were in an area that was saved. They're doing fine, PropJoe and I doubt they care too much about the rest.

Posted by: sitruc | December 7, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@ sitruc

sorry my comment actually meant nothing to do with the above article (actually haven't taken the time to read it so didn't even know a bar was mentioned), it was just on the notion of the skins being cursed. as far as Katrina, etc. i am actually somebody who has seen the devastation firsthand to the gulf as part of my job entails providing protection of critical infrastructure to government and private clients in the region, especially post hurricanes.

Posted by: PropJoe | December 7, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Surely cursed! The entire Washington Area teams are cursed. Here are my thoughts from the game:

Posted by: tc2003 | December 7, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Sick, sick and tired of Laron Landry and his ridiculous strutting and posturing aftermaking a tackle - WHICH HE IS PAID ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF MONEY TO DO. Yet the dude got beat twice for touchdowns. They should cut the creep. Many of us are sick of all the celebrating over plays these jerks are supposed to make. Man, do your job for which you get paid lots of money, and shut-up. Laron you play on a lousy team of losers, so don't celebrate. Just win.

Posted by: wbonora | December 7, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

My first sports post in a while...I was really disappointed yesterday. This is Suisham's second or third blown-FG situation all season and I'm sure there will be a placekicker in training camp next summer to challenge him.

The Skins should also cut Portis after the season and consider drafting a RB in the early rounds, possibly Montario Hardesty out of Tennessee, who looks a lot like the early-career Clinton Portis. Both Portis and Betts [post-injury] may be washed up, and we may need a top-flight running back for the future. Hardesty could start by backing up Rock Cartwright.

As for Jim Zorn he's doing fine though Snyder should have named Gregg Williams head coach. The Redskins are just being hit by bad luck and I think it's the "Curse of Raljon". You can bet that Jack Kent Cooke is looking down from somewhere up there. What Dan Snyder needs to do is to restore the stadium name [to 'FedEx Field at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium'] and "Raljon", and things will start picking up on the field. Perhaps NFL officiating is discriminating against us on crucial calls since we continue to use the discriminatory name "Redskins". Perhaps we should change the name to "Pigskins" or just plain "Skins" in order to soothe Native American concerns.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 7, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Am I incorrect in my thinking that once the whistle blows, the play is dead? If that is correct, then the Redskins really got screwed by the zebras because the replay clearly showed the ref blowing the whistle and pointing to the ground BEFORE the Saints player picked up Sellers fumble (even if it really was a fumble), which should have ended the play before the recovery.

Posted by: scott68 | December 7, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Those Native Americans put the whoo-whoo on the team a few years ago when $nyder insulted their heritage by claiming the name was honoring them...

Posted by: nojunk4me | December 8, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

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