Washington Redskins: Glass Is Nearly Empty for Fans After Embarrassing Loss

Josh McCainSenior Writer INovember 17, 2010

As I'm sure you are well aware, loyal reader, on the nationally televised Monday Night Football on ESPN the Washington Redskins were bent over the knee of Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles and spanked like a naughty child.

When Vick threw an 88-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the game, I was miffed. When the 'Skins went three-and-out and the Eagles scored again, I got pissed.  With the score 21-0 (again after another Redskins three-and-out), I was livid. 

However, after the blood continued to spew from the Redskins on that miserable raining November night, my anger subsided. 

I was no longer pissed or even a little annoyed.  I was disappointed.

I have been a fan of this team further back in time than my memory goes.  I was born just three days before they won their first championship at Super Bowl XVII.  My mother watched it from her hospital bed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with me next to her.

Five years later, at our home in Virginia, I remember my father throwing me up in the air in celebration as the Redskins mounted their epic, second-quarter comeback over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.  In fact, the comeback was so epic, whilst I was in midair, Ricky Sanders scored a touchdown.  My dad threw his arms in the air to cheer and forgot to catch me.

I was a little mad at him at first, but that game with Doug Williams at the helm was so special that I quickly forgave him, and the party continued.

Then came the magical 14-2 1991-92 season that was capped off with another championship at Super Bowl XXVI.

That Redskins team was one of the most underrated NFL teams of all time.  The defense brutally punished opposing teams, and the offense seemed to score at will.  Quarterback Mark Rypien was only sacked nine times the entire season.

There have been games this season where, if it weren't for Donovan McNabb's escapability, he would have been sacked nine times in a single game.

Like Bob Dylan once said, "The times they are a changing."

I remember in middle school saying "Oh, it's only been three years since the Redskins last won the Super Bowl."

Then in high school, "Oh, it's only been five years since the Redskins won the Super Bowl."

Now I think, "Oh, it's only been...holy crap we're coming up on twenty years without a Super Bowl appearance!"

Now for some older fans, that might not be too alarming, given how terrible this team was in the '50s and '60s.  But for someone of my generation (those of us in our twenties and thirties), we were spoiled in our youth. 

We became accustomed to being in the playoffs almost every year and making it to the Super Bowl every four years, not twenty.

There is a whole generation of kids in the D.C., Virginia and Maryland area who have never seen a championship here in D.C.

This past spring, I took my little cousin to the Redskins draft party at FedEx Field, and for a moment I had forgotten that he wasn't even a glimmer in his mother's eye the last time the Redskins were in the Super Bowl.  It absolutely blew my mind.

Then this past Monday night came and all of the embarrassment, futility and frustration of being a Redskins fan came with it.

Like I said, at first I was angry with my favorite team for not even showing up to a game that might just define their season.  As the game wore on, though, my anger left.

I thought back to this one time in my childhood where my mother was so mad at me she didn't yell or ground me she just looked at me and said, "I'm just so very disappointed in you."

That hit me way harder than anything she could have done, and that's how I felt about my favorite team Monday night.

I wasn't angry anymore, I was just so disappointed in them—in the players, the coaches and the owner.

Local radio host Chad Dukes for 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. went on the warpath to open his show with former Redskin LaVar Arrington yesterday. 

His anger summed up all the feelings of those of us who have stood by this franchise from our very beginnings through thick and thin.  The audio of Chad's speech (found here http://1067thefandc.cbslocal.com/2010/11/16/chad-dukes-rant-on-the-redskins-59-28-loss/) made its way across Twitter yesterday.

It was retweeted by fans of his and the Washington Post's D.C. Sports Bog as well as Questlove (yes that Questlove), who tweeted this:

"man this @chaddukes clip might cause me to miss the GREATEST @latenightjimmy episode tonight. i been listening since 9pm! #can't stop."

Of course, with Chad's rant getting so much attention on Twitter, it was bound to make its way to a Redskin or two, and it so happens that Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels (a frequent guest on Dukes's show) heard it.

He took exception to it and said he agreed with 20 percent, but didn't feel it was appropriate.

Granted there are times Chad may have gone overboard in his speech, but what Phillip Daniels doesn't understand is Chad's anger (along with the rest of us) didn't come from just one game, it's come from nearly two decades of futility.

Sure there have been playoff appearances sprinkled here and there, but none of them had the feel that there was any hope for a Super Bowl.  In fact, as fans, we were just kind of happy to watch an extra game or two with our hometown team.

This anger started brewing long before Daniels got here, and unless something in this franchise changes, it will go on long after Daniels has retired.

Look, we know the players are embarrassed by Monday's butt-whooping, but we the fans have been embarrassed for well over 10 years now.

I like to think that I'm an optimist, you know, a glass half-full kind of person.

I've stuck with this team through thick and thin and have always held out hope that we were one step away from turning the corner and becoming the franchise we once were under the ownership of Jack Kent Cook.

With Mike Shanahan as the coach, and the once-hated-but-now-loved Donovan McNabb at quarterback, I had high hopes for this season. 

Shoot, I even had a dream the 'Skins made it to the Super Bowl this past summer.  In the dream they lost the big game, but heck, I'll take that over the two decades of no appearances any day.

However, after what I saw on Monday night the glass isn't half-full, it isn't even a quarter-full.

After watching the lack of effort in the first quarter of that game, I wonder how the Redskins are even going to win another game this season.

Like I said, though, I no longer look at this team with a glass half-full approach.  In fact, after Monday, for the first time in my 27 years on this Earth I have zero hope for the Redskins.


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