My Attempt To Admit Past Mistakes and Atone For Past Sins

Dan YokeCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2009

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 21:  A fan of the Washington Redskins waits in the stands prior to the game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field on December 21, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

One thing that I have come to dislike about sportswriters is their tendency to remind the reader of predictions they made that came true, while never acknowledging past articles that made them look very stupid.

In my writing, I try to avoid those tendencies.  If I am wrong, I will own up to it.

Watching the Giants-Redskins game last night reminded me of a recent article that I wrote that, in light of recent events, makes me look like a complete idiot.  Rather than ignore this I have decided to point out exactly how wrong I was.

Following the win against the Broncos, I felt that it was necessary to acknowledge special teams coach Danny Smith for the quality product that he has put on the field.

I have learned over the course of the Dan Snyder era to be very careful when complimenting the Skins.  But after the Amazing Gadget touchdown on a fake field goal against Denver, I decided to throw caution to the wind.

I noted the gutsy decision to bring kicker Shawn Suisham back this year after a horrible performance last season.  I wrote that Suisham has proven that Smith made a good choice by making every field goal attempt up to that point in the season.

The very next week, the Redskins played Dallas.  The Redskins dominated 58 minutes of the game, but lost 7-6 with the help of two missed field goals—one of which occurred late in the fourth quarter and would have sealed a victory.

Two weeks later, history repeated itself.  This time it was a 23 yard miss.  Suisham was fired shortly after the game.

I also praised the return teams.  I acknowledged that Antwaan Randle El is a horrible punt returner, but I praised the kickoff returns and noted that at least the Redskins didn’t muff many punts.

In the last few games, Randle El has muffed two punts, bringing his total to three on the year.  This eliminated the last positive aspect of him as a punt returner.  Recently, Santana Moss has been fielding more and more punts.

But my main point to this article was to give Smith credit for his innovative plays that have utilized punter Hunter Smith’s skills to their utmost potential.

Then I watched the last play of the first half last night against the Giants.

After that play, I knew that I had to call the Redskins out, and myself along with them.

This play consisted of a unique blend of two grade-school games.

The first part, where every blocker went out left into formation, leaving a punter alone to be rushed by four Giant linemen, resembled a popular kids game known in my neighborhood as “Smear the Qu33r” (Don’t get offended by the gay reference in the title.  I didn’t make it up.  It’s a game that every kid knows, like freeze tag). 

This is a game where a ball is snapped, thrown, or kicked to one kid, while every other kid runs to tackle him.  It's like running a kickoff back with no other players on your team to block for you.

The second part is a game called "500."  This involves one quarterback who throws a “Hail Mary” pass up for grabs to three to 10 other kids.  The thrower yells a number in the air, and the first person to catch it wins that point total.  The first player to 500 wins, and gets to become quarterback.

This play leads me to believe that Danny Smith developed this play by watching grade-school kids playing in the park.

The point of my article was that Smith is a good coach who deserves a shot to stay on next year, despite the coaching turnover that will occur.

I still think he is a good coach.  I know he isn’t out on the field executing the plays he calls and isn’t responsible for all of the special teams mistakes that have occurred in the last five weeks.

I just wanted to point out MY mistakes, and let other writers know that it is OK to sometimes admit that you don’t always know what you are talking about.