Ashburn Syndrome, or reason for optimism for Washington Football Team?

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LANDOVER, MD – DECEMBER 15: A Washington football team helmet is seen on the field before the game between the Washington football team and the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField on December 15, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

This seemingly happens to me every year.

August rolls around and the anticipation of a new season takes control of me. Training camp begins, media coverage is vast, and the disappointments from prior seasons are forgotten.

My brain begins the process of convincing myself “this year will be different”, a phenomenon that can be described as  “Ashburn Syndrome” — a phrase coined by J.P. Finlay and the Washington Talk Podcast crew to define a Washington fan who overvalues a player or coach because we’ve been programmed to compare it to a history of low standards set in place by the Washington Football Team over the past three decades. Ashburn Syndrome: It’s a thing, and I’m very much a victim.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Has Washington really made me lose my mind? Can I be tricked yet again, or has something changed? Can this year finally be the beginning of something we haven’t seen from the Washington Football Team in nearly 30 years, a team that can become respectable and a perennial contender?

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