Monday, January 02, 2012

Another Season of Redskin Mediocrity

Well, another 5-11 Redskins season under the belt!  Mission Accomplished!  136-184 over the last 20 years.

Washington, DC, is not "sports" town as can be defined by cities like Chicago, Boston, or New York, but the locals certainly love sports as well as anyone, and locally, the area enjoys a fair share of winners, from high schools to the collegiate athletics.  Professionally, Washington doesn't have a lot to brag about:  the Bullets (Wizards) have made it to the NBA's big dance four times, winning one; the original Senators went to the World Series three times (losing all three times) in the 1920s/30s, but never in the modern era; the Washington Capitals went to the Stanley Cup once and was swept by the Red Wings (we've had our way with the Wings ever since).  The DC United has the greatest success record, having gone to the championship game five times, winning four!

However, the Washington Redskins are probably the most beloved team in the DC area, and we can brag about having fans up and down the Eastern seaboard.  Our glory days were the 80s under demi-God, Joe Saint Gibbs.  But that was then....this is now.

It hurts to be a Washington fan--of any of our teams.  Because Washington, DC, is a transitory city, it's not surprising to find our stadiums and arenas half full of the opposing team on any given day.   But it hurts especially bad when you're a losing team and half of the 90,000 fans at FedEx stadium are wearing someone else's colors.  I don't think any other American sports town goes through that.  It makes for a particularly long Metro ride (or Beltway slog) home.

In addition to having a particularly sorry team, Washington Redskins fans also have to deal with a particularly sorry owner!  I've been to many pro sports venues across the country, and win or lose, I always feel like I'm a part of the team--a part of the town's sports culture because everywhere you go in the stadium, you're bombarded by the teams logo, colors, etc.  Take a casual walk around the oval at FedEx Field and all you see is the purple/green/orange colors of FedEx; the stadium employees wear FedEx clothes--until you're in the stands looking at the field, you don't feel like you're at a Redskins game when they're losing, you feel like you're in a FedEx warehouse with a bunch of Eagles customers.

Since the 1991 Super Bowl, the Redskins have seen the playoffs a total of four (4) times in 20 years!  That's beyond pitiful.  Sometimes, I think Danny Snyder is treating the Skins like the owner of the Cleveland Indians in the movie "Major League," encouraging the team to lose so he can relocate them!  And the team seems to be accommodating him!

I'm going to spare you about any rants about Shanahan, Snyder, or the players.  It's impossible to put a finger on any one thing that is the problem in Washington.  It seems like our 20-year rebuilding plan will have to go into its 21st year!  I will give you this one rant:  Until the Skins start winning, I truly wish they'd quit the chest thumping, profiling and celebrating on the field when they actually make a tackle, or catch the ball.  For the Redskins, we have been "there" before, I wish now we'd just play with dignity.  Scrimmage line chest-bumping and low-fiving isn't putting points on the board, or fans in the seats.  Clearly, it's putting money in someone's pockets!

Hail to the Redskins....(I guess)....


Zebster said...

Great post, G, and having gone with you last year to the Fed Ex warehouse, I know what you mean. I do think the Skins are improving (next year will tell alot) though you're in an impossible division. And I could AGREE more about the celebrations seemingly on every play these days. Celebrate when you've actually accomplished something.

tpubgu said...

Great post, George. I feel your despair as a fan, and thank God that my team will never have an owner like yours.

Dan Snyder must have majored in history in college because he keeps hiring has-beens. Lately, he's doing better on the abstaining from signing over-the-hill players, but he went and signed Shannahan thinking John Elway was in a Redskins uniform.

Your division is tough, and you have only a couple of players who are up-and-commers and you have no depth. I think next year's going to be a tough one on you too.