The Washington Redskins face a tough, tough month. Their next opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will come gunning for them to keep their playoff hopes alive. The resurgent Cowboys can do something the ‘Skins can’t do – score points. Dallas’ defense can’t stop anyone, but it won’t have to. Washington’s offense will stop itself. (Facts are facts, and the facts are ugly.) Then there’s the division leading, run-it-down-your-throat Jacksonville Jaguars. And finally the season will come to a merciful end against the New York Giants.
While the Redskins have been imploding, and that includes its coaching staff which is apparently hell-bent on biting its nose to spite its face when it comes to Albert Haynesworth, their next four opponents are providing their fans with real sports entertainment. They’re providing them with a reason to come to the stadium. In Washington, fans have every reason to add to the NFL’s stadium attendance woes. Nobody wants to pay good money and spend valuable time in the cold watching marquee players drop balls and miss tackles. Nobody, of course, except for the loyal fans in the DC area.
The entire Redskins’ organization should keep one image above all others in its collective mind – fans leaving FedEx before the end of the first quarter of the Eagles’ game. Was there a national emergency? Nope. Were cars being stolen left and right from the parking lot by a humongous gang of thieves? Nada. Hearts were being broken. They were broken again yesterday.
I’m going to attend the final game of the season on Jan. 2. In some ways, I hope I’m alone. It would do the Redskins good to see an empty stadium, except of course for the thousands of visiting team’s fans to whom the Redskins apparently continue to sell general admission tickets through Ticket Master. What good is a massive season ticket waiting list if nobody shows up to a game which could be viewed by millions? What good indeed?
How much does any of this matter, really? The team is making money, Redskins’ apparel is still selling, the players are getting paid, the team is making a profit, and the league is reaping its profits. Well, at least the team isn’t going to raise ticket prices. Then again, no one knows for sure if there will be an Opening Day next year. Thanks for small favors.
Merry Christmas to all of you in my hometown. Don’t look for a present from the Redskins this year in the form of a competitive showing on Sundays – you won’t get it. Merry Christmas to the Redskins’ players, coaches, staff, and front-office personnel. Cash those paychecks, count your coins, buy something nice for you and yours. Ho Ho Ho!