There comes a time in the life of a fan when you have to scream and laugh at the same time. For some fans, every time your team plays, that’s the time. It’s come to that for the Washington Redskins. A once very and perennially tough team, it seems the Skins have been permanently relegated to the league’s “folding table,” where the Bengals, Lions, and Clippers (ooops, that's the wrong league!) sit at Thanksgiving. For the Redskins, the last 18 years have been more than just a Super Bowl drought, it’s been a “winning season” famine! Since winning the 1992 Super Bowl, the Skins have had a .500 record only nine times (the best being 10-6 in ‘99 and ‘05), been to the playoffs only three times, and won its division once. Once! In the 28 years between 1971 and 1999, the team has had a losing season (less than .500) only five times! Since Dan Snyder’s been the owner (’99), the team has gone 85-101. Two weeks ago, the Redskins took a double “bitch-slapping” from the Philadelphia Eagles 59-28. For all intents and purposes, the “E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!” scored 35 pts (not 28) in the 1st quarter since their first score of the 2nd quarter was a continuation of a 1st quarter drive and the score happened only 48 seconds in.
I’m a die-hard, loyal, rabid DC sports fan—a “homer.” For decades, the Skins earned a reputation of having the hardest season ticket to get. I’ve had mine for the past 4 years, but I might as well have bought them off the back of a truck because the games are no longer “fun” to go to, or to watch. If you want to get a first-hand impression of how really pissed off Skins fans are about their beloved team, listen to the now classic post-Eagles/Skins game rant (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePAevL_cEaA) of Chad Dukes of the “LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes” (WFAN 106.7) as he went “Duke Nuke ‘Em” on the Skins. Man, he said it all, and then some!!!
We got to the stadium at 5:00, did the obligatory tailgate, razzed every Eagles fan we saw—it seemed like every other person was wearing green and white. Then settled in our seats for what we were sure to be a slug fest. Within seconds of the opening kickoff, I was texting smack to my Eagles friend—then it happened. TOUCHDOWN! TOUCHDOWN!! TOUCHDOWN!!! TOUCHDOWN!!!! TOUCHDOWN!!!!! Then it started to rain. My “pisstivity” with the Skins didn’t start with those five consecutive TDs—I pretty much gave up on the game with the first 2 TDs within two minutes. Now what pissed me off was the long walk down the ramp from our Section 400 seats. At 35-0, in the pouring rain, half the stadium was bailing and the FedEx workers wouldn’t let us down the escalator—they made us walk because they expected more fans to arrive! As I slogged down that ramp, I just got madder and madder—and I hadn’t heard Chad’s ranting yet—that didn’t occur until the next day. I was fuming, steaming mad, but I was chuckling at the same time. “Dan Snyder!” I thought aloud and began laughing.
Now, when I say “fan,” what I really mean is “ticket holder,” or “commodity,” or….”sucker!” You see, when us Skins fans rant and rave about Snyder it’s because we have reason to. Chad Dukes screamed that Snyder owes us (“suckers”) a refund—damn right! FedEx Field sits atop a hill in Landover, MD, you can see it clearly as your drive along the I-495 Beltway. But when you get to the stadium, when you get inside, when you get to your seat, you don’t “see” anything that says “Redskins,” all you see is “FedEx” and those U-G-L-Y orange, blue, and green colors. There’s no “Washington Redskins” written on the stadium, and the employees all wear FedEx uniforms. The only time you see the Skins logo is on your ticket, the fans’ clothes and on at mid-field. You don’t have a feeling of being a Redskins fan, you feel like a FedEx “customer.” Parking is $35, and for most folks you have to walk almost a mile from your car to the stadium! And if you’re going to a concert at FedEx, that $35 parking fee is embedded in your ticket, even if you drove with friends or took the Metro!! If you’re a lover of piss beer (Bud/Miller) and piss-lite, you get the pleasure of paying $8.50 a bottle for it. If you like cold food, you get the enjoyment of paying an average of $9 for everything. If it rains, you better have a poncho because Snyder bans umbrellas….and anyone wearing a tee shirt with anything derogatory about him!
As a Skins fan, I’m finding hard to “love” my team. I cringe when I see a player dance over a tackled opponent, or juke in the end zone when we score—then looking up at the scoreboard (Them: 28, Skins: 7!) If you watched the Eagles game on TV, you probably saw a few billion dollars worth of players yucking it up—laughing and grinning on the sidelines when it was 51-21 in the 3rd quarter. I’m sick and tired of losing—especially to the New Jerk G’ain’ts! I’m sick of watching the Skins lose to the sorriest teams. If a team is 0-15, they’ll beat the Skins! Our coaches suck, our owner suck, our players suck, our stadium suck, and oh yeah, our fans suck, too, taking the distinction away from Philadelphia for having the biggest assholes fans! We take the cake.
I’m going to the Vikings game tomorrow with the firm knowledge that we’re BETTER than them, and we’re going to pound Farve into retirement. If I don’t write tomorrow, you’ll know we lost and I’ll soon be dying of self-inflicted .45 caliber “lead poisoning.” Sometimes I weary of this love-hate bubble I’m sitting on, but no matter which way I fall I’ll still be a Skins fan, I’ll be there next week, and the next. I guess it could be worse—the Nationals and Wizards also suck! But I count my blessings….GO CAPS!!!