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The Curse of Marty

In 1918, Boston Red Sox were Baseball World champions.

George Herman "Babe" Ruth was a pitcher and outfielder for the Red Sox.

He pitched 17 scoreless innings and helped Boston to win the World Series.

Two years later, Red Sox traded Babe to the New York Yankees for cash and loan.

After that trade, Boston Red Sox did not win a World Series for 85 year until 2004.

This dry spell is also known as the "Curse of the Bambino".

Meanwhile, with Babe Ruth, the Yankees dominated Major League Baseball for several years.

Now it appears that we, in Washington, have a new curse.

It is "The Curse of Marty".

Since moving to Washington, D.C. in 1970, I have been following the Washington Football team. Then, the team was owned by Washington's famous lawyer, Edward Bennett Williams.

Under his ownership, the team record was 67-30-1, with 1 Super Bowl appearance

and loss.

The Washington fans started getting hungry.

Then came the affluent era of Jack Kent Cooke's ownership.

The team went on to post a 207-145 record, several post season appearances, and

3 Super Bowl victories. Washington Football Team was a power house to reckon with.

The fan base was second to none. Football mania engulfed the capital area for several years.

Things changed in 1999.

There was a change in ownership of the franchise after Jack Kent Cooke's death.

Future of the franchise now belonged to Washington Business owner, Daniel Snyder.

Still, the momentum of the Cooke era carried the team to a 10 and 6 record and two post season wins in 1999. The following year, with a 8-8 record, Dan Snyder fired the Head Coach Norv Turner in mid-season, and the team was rudderless.

In 2001, Snyder, with a lot fanfare, hired legendary coach Marty Schottenheimer.

The team had a 8-8 record in 2001, winning 8 out of the lat 11 games.

The fan base was fired up. They were looking forward to picking up the momentum and getting back to the winning ways in 2002. Everyone was optimistic about future of the Washington football team.

But the new owner had a different perspective. Overshadowed by a dominant Coach in 2001, Snyder's ego would not permit him to retain Marty.

On January 13, 2002, Snider fired Marty Schottenheimer and took over full control of the team.

"The Curse of Marty" followed the team during the next 20 years.

During the 2002-2020 period, the team record was 123- 210, with just 5 playoff appearances. Even winning coaches like Mike Shanahan and Joe Gibbs could not alter the course.

Currently , in the 2021-22 season, the Washington team is assured of another losing record.

If Snyder was a coach, he would have been fired long time ago. But he is now the full owner of the suffering franchise. While the team is falling in disgrace, the Billionaire owner is counting his accumulating dollars.

The irony is that coach Schottenheimer was hired by San Diego Chargers in 2003 and they promptly went to a 14-2 record in 2004.

The infamy of the Washington franchise under Snyder is not limited to the performance of the team on the field. It has spread to a toxic off the field culture perpetuated by the owner. Sexual charges by female employees were quickly silenced. The National Football League, while not openly condoning these actions, has handled them with kid gloves.

The only hope is that the U.S. Congress may speed up their investigation of the allegations and try to get to the bottom of this mess.

In this New Year of 2022, let us wish and pray, that "The Curse of Marty" will not last as long as "The Curse of the Bambino".

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