Letter: Fighting Hawks end UND's logo curse
Congrats to the 2016 UND Fighting Hawks men's hockey team. They were able to win the first national title since moving into the $100 million Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Not that the team hadn't been in position to win more titles since the last one in 2000.
Interestingly, the hockey team in 2000 won the NCAA title with the old geometric logo that had been used since 1976.
And what transpired since cannot be made up.
Here's the timeline: Bennett Brien designed the new Fighting Sioux logo for UND in 1999. The logo was officially adopted to coincide with the new arena's grand opening during the 2001-02 season.
There were lots of successful seasons for the hockey team, but no NCAA titles until this year. Was there something brewing from the hockey gods?
The first game ever in the new palace was a 7-5 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. That year, UND would miss the NCAA tournament after going to the title game the previous two years.
Then they would go on to play in 13 straight NCAA tournaments, with agonizing losses each year.
Were those losses due to powers out of UND's hands? Was it a curse?
2002-03 season, loss to Ferris State, giving Ferris State its first ever NCAA tournament win. 2003-04, UND wins 30 games and is the Number 1 seed, but loses a heartbreaker to Denver, 0-1. 2005-08, UND loses to Boston College in the Frozen Four, three years in a row.
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2009-10, UND loses in the first round to Yale, a team that hadn't had a win in the NCAA tourney since 1952. 2013-14, UND loses to Minnesota in the Frozen Four on a short-handed goal with half a second left.
And so on.
It was a mad run of losses in a 14-year span for a team that previously won seven national titles in 13 Frozen Four appearances.
Enter 2015-16, when UND picks Fighting Hawks as the new moniker.
And the sports gods relinquished the curse.
To sum up, Ben Brien's Sioux head logo never won a NCAA national title. All the great players, all the great teams—and that logo cursed them.
Sure, it's possible that UND wasn't cursed, and they lost those games for other reasons. But the next time you look up at the eight national-title banners hanging in the Ralph, realize that not only were none of them won with that logo, but the two most recent wins bookend the logo's use.
These are the exact elements that make up curses throughout sports history.
UND fans still despise the NCAA for taking the Sioux logo. Seems disrespectful to me, to hate the very organization that supplies you with what you cherish most: national titles.