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In Sports

Washington owner Daniel Snyder (left) and coach Joe Gibbs...

In Sports

... who have left fans feeling like this guy.

It's enough to make a Redskins fan sick


The Washington Redskins 2006 season is finally over.

My pre-season prediction: 12-4 ("And I don't know HOW they will lose four!")

Final record: 5-11.

Oops.

Cue up The Who playing "Won't Get Fooled Again."

Let's just say this: I don't know if Dan Snyder has learned his lesson, but I have certainly learned mine. I am no longer going to get sucked into the annual March Madness of Redskin press conferences and flurry of gigantic signing bonuses for players of dubious "stardom."

Here's a little factoid that may interest you: since Dan Snyder took over in 1999, not a single high-priced free agent he has brought in has made the Pro Bowl. (NOTE: 2005 Pro-Bowlers Portis and Moss were traded for, remember. Give something to get something.)

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my Redskin "fandom" lately. No, don't worry. I'm not "jumping ship." I'll be a Redskins fan for life. I plan to outlive Snyder too, even if only by a few years.

(Note: I can see the day now. I'll be 82 years old sitting in a home somewhere and the news will flash across the HDTV glasses I am wearing. I'll shake a fist in the air, and wheeze: "Damn Snyder! Bout time we got an owner who cares about the draft!")

Here's my new attitude about my beloved football team: when it WINS I am going to be a "fan", and when it LOSES I am going to be an "analyst."

Is that "fair-weather?"

Hardly. Here's my point. For the entire Snyder regime, I have beat myself up emotionally about the team's failings. It has angered me to the point of rage. I have ranted and railed and opened up the cannons, both on the air and off.

I have raged against the machine.

And, what good has it done me? What change has it affected?

I know that to be a true "die-hard" fan, you have to die a little bit with every loss, just like George Allen once said. But at the same time, I have to realize that this is not "MY" team anymore.

It's Snyder's.

While Jack Kent Cooke was neither angel nor genius, he certainly operated the team as more of a "public trust" than Snyder. Even though it certainly was Mr. Cooke's team back then, it at least FELT like it was OUR team too.

No longer.

This is Snyder's team, to either bring to unprecedented modern glory (waiting), or drive straight into the ditch of someday having home TV blackouts (I'm not kidding.) Or more likely, it's his franchise to drive aimlessly in a new direction every single year.

I'm just strapped into the backseat of the car, powerless. Every fan with an ounce of football sense has been screaming at Snyder for years to stop throwing money around at marginal players. But like your dad when he was certainly going the wrong way on a family vacation, he is driving, and your opinion doesn't matter.

Does Dan Snyder do any outreach to the fans, like other modern new-money sports owners? No.

Does Dan Snyder make himself accountable through the media for his actions in regard to the football team? No.

So why then, should I beat myself up, for HIS football stupidity?

I think the Redskins are settling in for a good, long, six to seven-year run (maybe longer) of sub-.500 football. The roster is capped out, the draft picks are almost all gone (but weren't TJ Duckett and Brandon Lloyd fun!), and surely Joe the Beloved will close the books on his comeback within 24 months (at the latest.)

There will be a new churn and burn among coaches and regimes. Snyder will try yet ANOTHER way of doing things. And the rest of the league will snicker.

Meanwhile, I'm grabbing a Snickers. We're not going anywhere for a while. But that's OK; I'm going to get comfortable. When the team does something remarkable – like, say... makes the playoffs for TWO years in a row – then I'll be impressed.

I'll be happy when they win, but philosophical when they lose. It's my team, but it's not really MY team.

Get my drift?

I didn't splurge for Adam Archuleta, only to scapegoat him. I didn't throw away two draft picks for a malcontent 3rd wideout like Brandon Lloyd.

I didn't do any of this. So why get mad about it?


Talkbacks

sandstorm | Jan. 7, 2007 at 1:32 p.m. (report)

czabe, do you remember writing this claptrap?- "List A: And Now, Your True Contenders 8. Cincinnati. Scoring still matters, and the 'Gals do that in spades. 7. New England. Ever a threat, but has their cockiness on players caught up? 6. Pittsburgh. Aside from Ben's noggin, hangover effect biggest challenge. 5. Denver. Does Jake have one more notch of improvement in him? 4. Carolina. The fact everybody is loving them, makes me nervous. 3. Washington. Monster year is taking shape under Gibbs in 3rd season. 2. Seattle. Cruising through laughable division is like a bye to the NFC Champ. 1. Indianapolis" redskins at three??? it's funny how a "sportsguy" didn't realize everything written in the current article on the redskins BEFORE the season started.

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0244 | Jan. 3, 2007 at 10:40 a.m. (report)

Is it me or does the new Joe Gibbs era feel like a continuation of the Steve spurrier era (who is laughing all the way to the bank). Do you think Dan will ever realize that Joe is a hall of fame coach who excels in X and o and in game adjustments. However talent evaluation was never his strong point. (Stan Humphrey's traded, Desmond Howard drafted and so on. the ugly truth is that when Joe was hired in 1981 the core group of redskins that went to his first three super bowls were already there. Joe and his assistants who numbered seven at that time just coached them up. Dan might have been wiser to have brought back Bobby Beatheard and talked Marty into staying. (look how well he is doing with a GM now.

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