It's done, Virginia.
There is no Santa Claus.
If you're rooting for a professional team in the nation's capital, then one more bleak season looks to close unceremoniously in a few weeks after Santa drops coal in Dan Snyder's proverbial stocking.
Heaven forbid that the front office find some way to forfeit most of its picks for a few wash-up free agents in February, March or April.
Or the team find lightning in a bottle and go at another mad-dash scramble to finish 7-9.
Really, the best (and only) consolation prize that Redskin Nation must look forward to under the Christmas tree are positive signs in the offseason and the 2010 NFL Draft.
I try my best not to be a doubting Thomas, but I doubt that things will go peachy keen for us Washingtonians this winter into fall.
I expect things instead to go awry, with the possibility of major shake-ups on the roster and staff, including coaching and quarterbacking changes.
Despite of three consecutive close games from Weeks 11 to 13, as my friend and B/R colleague Keith Smooth has put it, the Redskins' goose has been cooked since Snyder and his henchmen decided to sue unfortunate, delinquent ticketholders, including unemployed grandmothers, earlier this year.
By ignoring the outcome of the next four games, I ask all interested Redskin, NFC East and NFL fans this simple question: If you were the Redskins general manager (come on, you know Vinny's never been in charge of anything; you're the next best thing), and with your high, first-round selection, which would you choose: a defensive tackle, cornerback, offensive tackle, offensive guard, or running back?
Follow-up questions (gimmes, really): What would you spend the majority of picks on in this upcoming draft? What coaching and roster moves would you make this offseason? Who would you retain, release, trade for, with the possibility of 2010 being (or not being) an uncapped season?
Would you hire Charlie Weis? Select Jimmy "Blackeye" Clausen from Notre Dame? Toby Gerhart, a modern-day Riggo, from Stanford? Florida's Tim Tebow or Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh?
The team has been playing a lot better in this second half of the 2009 NFL season, even with a lot of its star players now on the IR (Clinton Portis, Chris Cooley, Chris Samuels). But they're still 3-9 and need some serious help.
Hopefully, 2010 looks like the year when the Washington Redskins front office will get it right, but it will need to do more in drastically improving the team's constant bottom-dweller status in the tough NFC East.
They will have to do more than just having the loyal fans cheer every summer and fall for the NFL's perennial offseason "paper" champions.
We deserve more than that, and the best moves that the owner and his staff could make is by taking baby steps; by abstaining from bone-head acquisitions like picking up Deion Sanders past his prime, as they did back in the 2000 season; and by addressing one of the team's deepest flaws: an anemic offensive line.
Your thoughts, interested readers and devoted fans?