The Curse of Camp Tontozona might soon be exorcised from the Arizona State University football program.
If will be lifted if ASU returns to Tontozona for pre-season football training as it did from 1960 to 2008.
There are hints on the school campus in Tempe that new head coach Todd Graham will return the team this summer to Tontozona for three or four days of practice.
Such an event, although not confirmed officially, would sooth the ire many of the boosters, alumni and fans who remain angry that former coach Dennis Erickson decided to stay in Tempe and practice in an indoor facility rather than travel to Tontozona, located about 18 miles east of Payson.
The Curse of Tontozona was hexed onto the ASU football program in 2008 after Erickson decided to no longer use the fabled training camp located in the Tonto National Forest.
A year earlier, which was the final time ASU practiced at Tontozona, the Devils finished 10-3 and advanced to the Holiday Bowl.
The next season, the Devils opted to hold preseason training in Tempe ending the annual visits to Camp Tontozona, which was one of the school’s richest and most storied traditions.
The moved angered Tontozona, prompting the Grand Lady of college pre-season football camps to place the curse on the football program, which went on a losing streak the likes of which the team has never before suffered.
The Devils were 5-7 in 2008, 4-8 in 2009, 6-6 in 2010 and 6-7 in 2011.
Most shocking about the 2011 season is the Devils opened 6-2 and appeared on their way to making a run at a Rose Bowl bid.
But ASU took a nosedive, dropping five straight games, including the Las Vegas Bowl, which ultimately cost Erickson his job.
Around the state and across the country, ASU alum and Devils disciples know well the curse is at the root of the football team’s problems.
The curse is much like the Billy Goat Curse that was placed on the Chicago Cubs in 1945 and has been in place since.
While the Cubs have continued to lose since the curse was first placed, ASU has the opportunity to rid itself of the hex by spending practice time at Camp T this summer.
Only then, will the ASU football program return to the luster of yesteryear.