In addition to such practices, the Aztecs were known for their advanced knowledge of architecture, art, agriculture and astronomy among many other achievements. It is recognition of those achievements that resulted in San Diego State College recognizing Aztec culture as a symbol of the university nearly a century ago. Accordingly, the campus sits on Montezuma Mesa, its dormitories bear the names of Aztec gods and Montezuma was named its first official mascot.
In time, San Diego State College was renamed San Diego State University and in a dubious example of political correctness, Montezuma was renamed the Aztec Warrior. It is this latter move that some attribute to being a curse upon the Aztec football team.
Those who believe in the curse cite as evidence fired head coaches, injuries to key players, last second losses and slow starts that diminish attendance and community interest in the team.
Curse doubters point to an improved overall record, stabilization of the coaching carousel and four straight post-season appearances in bowls few can or would like to name.
The current team has done little to dispel the contention of those who believe that Aztec Football is cursed. They point to a 2-3 record, that includes a last second loss to North Carolina, a drubbing by Oregon State, loss of the conference opener against Fresno State and the loss of four key veteran players – including the senior starting quarterback – to injuries.
Teasing with glimpses of success and then cruelly stomping on the hearts of loyal and hopeful fans seems to be latest Aztec ritual – but they’re still my Aztecs and always will be.