There’s a delicate balance that is necessary to be a Washington football fan.
You want so badly for the team to accomplish to the level of talent on the roster.
You want the coach to become the kind of leader that is as revered as his predecessor.
You want your team to contend.
And then you realize that you have an ownership group working diligently to dismantle each of those objectives.
So what are you supposed to do? Sit in the stands and celebrate mediocrity? Cheer poor play?
You boo years of frustration, underachievement and mismanagement.
Even if it is the second game of the season for the team, it hasn’t been the second game of your anxiety, has it?
And what are players to do? They work hard to be called "professionals." They have no ties to the city or its football tradition, but no one wants to lose and be compensated for poor performance. They have as much pride in their vocation as fans do in its results.
So there’s this big story in Washington surrounding Robert Henson’s comments about booing fans at Fed Ex Field.
And, if we want to be truthful, this is a story about rights.
Fans had a right to do it. Henson had a right to call them out for exactly what they are: ignorant nitwits.
If you are one of the morons that booed Washington last Sunday, you deserve more than the designation of nitwit. After all, you paid your money for a product you knew to be sub-par. You consciously purchased tickets, drove the miles to the stadium, paid for parking, paid for concessions, and stood in lines to cheer for this team.
A team that can’t draft, can’t pick head coaches, and gouges you for a lackluster game day experience. And when it didn’t go your way, you reacted like a child and booed.
You watched this team attempt to push Jason Campbell out, only to stick with him when they couldn’t get a deal done.
You’ve heard Clinton Portis, over the years, express frustration about the lack of offensive creativity under both Joe Gibbs and Jim Zorn.
You’ve felt dismay for the countless injuries, the senseless free agent signings, and the limitless excuses that follow every season.
And, true to nitwit form, you continue to believe that things will be better.
And Henson, while lacking grace and correct grammar in his comments, showed no love for a passionate fan base that would support fully if they had reason. He doesn’t know this town or how long it has waited on a winner. He just knows the work they put in against the closed-minded fans who bombard sports talk radio and boo in stadium seats that are far too expensive for the counterproductive activity of jeering the home team.
Did you have a right to boo? Absolutely.
I completely get what frustration does to people and how they need to get it off of their chests. But don’t boo if you are helping to finance the faulty product. Stay in your living room and do it. Don’t pretend as if the athletes and coaches want to be in a mismanaged, disorganized hodgepodge of personnel and scheme. They are just doing what they can with what and who they have to work with.
Did Henson have a right to snap? Absolutely. He wants a winner just as bad as the rest of Washington faithful. But don’t insult people’s jobs, or their passion, particularly if you aren’t being called upon to help the situation.
Reacting like Mike Greenberg to a tweet from a passionate rookie linebacker sounds good. It makes fans feel like they have a legitimate voice representing their concerns and hard-earned money, but make no mistake. In life, you always get what you pay for.
And if you are paying for it, you’ve already had your say in the outcome.