Maybe the Chiefs’ bizarre playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans last week at Arrowhead Stadium could be shrugged off if it were an isolated episode of the bewildering, from the sheer fiasco of flubbing a 21-3 lead, to Marcus Mariota’s touchdown pass to himself, to the incompetent officiating interpretation of “forward progress.”
Alas, it was only the latest in an interminable series of inexplicable phenomena to afflict the Chiefs in the postseason — during which they’ve won just two home games in franchise history, triumphed in just four of 20 playoff chances since winning the 1970 Super Bowl, and often have lost in circumstances flush with ridiculous twists of fate.
Even for those of us who don’t subscribe much to the supernatural, it’s impossible not to wonder how this mind-boggling stuff keeps happening … and whether something beyond the rational and explainable is at play.
How else to explain the fact that the Chiefs have not won a home playoff game since aging Joe Montana was their quarterback more than 30 years ago?
In the wake of the Chiefs’ latest misadventure, we heard from plenty of fans invoking theories of hexes at play: jinxed carryover from the agonizing way they lost their last game at Municipal Stadium in 1971; peculiarities about Arrowhead Stadium itself and the history of the grounds; how Hank Stram was fired …
And a spell that was, in fact, cast on the Chiefs and Washington amid their 1992 game at Arrowhead.
Call it coincidence, but … the Chiefs are 3-12 with all manner of debacles in the postseason since then.
After fans mocked American Indian protesters and engaged in the tomahawk chop despite pleas that they not do so that day, Dennis Banks, one of the group’s leaders and a founder of the American Indian Movement, put it bluntly:
“We’re asking a curse to be put on their games, the participants and the owners. … It’s not voodoo. Strange things will happen. I believe in that,” Banks said, according to USA Today.
The “strange things,” he said, could include anything from injuries to persistent bad weather to … issues in the playoffs.
“Only another ceremony can undo that,” said Banks, who died last year. “I feel the owners and players will beg us to hold that ceremony.”
John Learned, founder and president of the American Indian Center of the Great Plains, confirmed his awareness of the curse.
And while he applauds much of what the Chiefs have done since then to address such concerns, he also…