I sat through an insufferable game because, like an accident on the side of the road, I’m one of those people that slows traffic because I simply cannot avert my eyes from a disaster.
Like NASCAR wrecks, we watch to see the wreck, not the victory. And in the case of the Washington Redskins, the wreck is the only thing you’ll be seeing.
The networks refuse to show a view of the entire stadium because to show it reveals a stadium one third full. The Redskins claimed, dubiously, a recorded attendance of just over 56,000 on Sunday. Please. Just another indication of how the fan base is viewed by ownership and management: Low IQ rubes who buy whatever Danny the Huckster is selling. And I haven’t even gotten to the game.
How does a team generate any enthusiasm for their job when they come out at the player introductions to a stadium that looks like a Friday night high school football game? At one point, the network showed Alex Smith and Bruce Allen in the owner’s box. What could those two possibly be discussing? The success of the team? The new stadium? How they’ll handle the upcoming playoff games? What could possibly be discussed?
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Don’t give me this nonsense that Dan Snyder is a great businessman. He’s a two-bit carnival barker who managed to sell the league and partners a bill of goods. He was a glorified Amway salesman that had the ability to develop a personality when he needed something. Outside of that, he’s a cloistered, reclusive coward who can’t face the fans or the media to provide an honest assessment of his team, leadership, and management.
Now, the game. Bruce Allen and Bill Callahan will extract three plays and use this as evidence the Redskins made progress. Dwayne Haskins, who I am rooting for as much as any, threw two deep balls to McLaurin and a running back screen to Guice that Snyder and his acolytes will certainly use as proof, positive they’re headed in the right direction. They’ll overlook the defense’s regression, the inability of Haskins to make split-second decisions, the lack of precision and discipline anywhere on the offensive line, and the fact that up until late in the game, they were losing to a 2-8 team 34-3.
The Redskins are one two point conversion away from being 0-10, yet Allen will see only the slight, lucky positives in yesterday’s game and not the glaring, obvious fact the Redskins are not only bad, but they’ve gotten worse. Haskins will be on his third coach (assuming Callahan isn’t the permanent Gruden replacement) in 12 months, and the fan base has other options. The Redskins aren’t one. The only bright side is that the transient nature of Washington D.C. ensures a fan base for opposing teams that can at least put 20-30,000 fans of the opposing team in the seats to buy Snyder beer, Snyder dogs, and Snyder snake oil.
The one play emblematic of the Redskins’ culture, players, season, ownership, coaching, and management was the play to McLaurin called back for Brandon Scherff’s holding who then, inexplicably, proceeded to take his helmet off on the field of play, drawing another penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. This is akin to that quarterback genius Donovan McNabb not knowing what happened when a game ends in a tie after overtime.
Are you SERIOUS? Every youth football team, college team, professional player and even passing fan knows the rule you can’t take your helmet off in the field of play. How is it Scherff didn’t know this? He knew as soon as he took it off he shouldn’t have done it but this is indicative of a cultural problem. A damn bad cultural problem. Not knowing the basic rules of the game ensures you cannot get to the end of a game or season with too many victories.
The lone bright spot on this team, however, continues to be Terry McLaurin who plays with passion, and in fairness to the Redskins, the talent acquisition department got a steal with him. His desire to succeed, positive attitude, and continual hustle on the field is the main reason I pray he does not get stuck for his entire playing career with the Redskins disaster. He simply doesn’t deserve it.
Sunday’s game was played against a team that, from a record standpoint, wasn’t much better than Washington. It should have been close, but instead, Sam Darnold looked like Joe Namath. And the Redskins continued to look like the Redskins. Callahan’s wind sprints and longer practices haven’t translated into one bit of on-field success. Imagine the ridicule the next team who loses to the Redskins will receive.
The frustration continues to mount with the fan base, and it will continue that way for the foreseeable future. The fan experience at FedEx field is horrid, but could be overlooked by all if the product on the field was a winning product. Remember ole’ RFK? That dilapidated, bounce-up-and-down, rusty old relic that used to pack in 55,000 fans to watch Dexter Manley sacks and Fun Bunch celebrations? That was a great product, sellable to the entire region because it epitomized fun. But this cast of ne’er do wells from the top to the bottom isn’t worth shelling out whatever minuscule ticket price you’re able to rustle up on the secondary market.
Welcome to irrelevance, Danny. It couldn’t be more deserved.