Hopelessly Devoted: How Redskins Fans Contributed to MNF Humiliation
You've no doubt heard that the Washington Redskins laid in egg on "Monday Night Football."
It started with a blown coverage on wide receiver (and crap-starter) DeSean Jackson that let him prance into our end zone and ended with a 13-minute rant from Chad Dukes, demanding reparations and claiming the whole team should be fired.
Basically, it was an all-around horrible night to be a fan of the burgundy and gold, a night that was more or less a microcosm of everything that has been wrong with the team for the past 12 years, and the exact kind of thing you want to avoid the night you sign a franchise quarterback to a huge five-year deal.
I certainly understand the frustration that everyone in Redskins Nation is feeling right now. After all, this isn't the first time we've been embarrassed on national television.
As Dukes pointed out, Redskins fans have to hear it from all sides—from media that seem devoted to slam the team at every chance, to living in the DMV, where people who have never been to Pittsburgh or Dallas rag on the team every chance we get.
Years and years of false starts, broken promises and humiliating defeats (especially two back to back) have left everyone in the DMV drained, tired and ready to give up.
Well, not completely. But I'll get to that in a second.
First, I decided I would look at some of the...positives(?) that came out of the game.
1.) Our Young Guys Still Showed Up
As much as they could anyway, given the circumstances. With Ryan Torain re-aggravating a pesky hamstring injury (and no doubt re-aggravating the talk that he's injury-prone in Redskins Nation), undrafted rookie Keiland Williams performed pretty damn good. Granted, it was mostly for naught, but he still performed admirably in his playing time, as he did against the Lions when Torain originally got hurt.
Williams accounted for three of the Redskins four touchdowns, including one impressive 32-yard touchdown run that would've been pretty damn awesome if had come at a point when the Redskins still had any hopes of winning the game.
Tight end Fred Davis made up for a couple of untimely two-point conversion drops by temporarily giving the Redskins hope with a big play that set up one of those touchdowns, as did Anthony Armstrong. And Darrel Young filled in well as the second running back, including catching a touchdown on his first every NFL reception.
(As an aside, this is the second straight game where we've gone into a football game with two running backs active. If Chad Simpson can't get healthy, cut his ass and promote James Davis so we don't end up in this situation again.)
Meanwhile, rookie left tackle Trent Williams continues to be the only thing that can be repeatedly praised about the offensive line, though Kory Lichensteiger doesn't do too horrible. The most impressive (and fun) side for me was see "Silverback" very nearly run down Dimitri Patterson after he got an interception. Yeah, it was still a touchdown, but I thought it was cool seeing the big man run that fast.
Come on, I'm clinging on to any and all hope we can.
2.) Joey Galloway Appears To Have Been Benched
You know, at one point, I was going to write an article defending the 39-year-old wide receiver. But this is the second game in three weeks where Galloway made Donovan McNabb look foolish because he didn't know what route he was supposed to run.
The first time was in the Chicago game, where Joey Galloway appeared to run straight through a deep route, not even looking back for the ball. The problem? The DB who was covering him was looking back, knew the ball was coming his way and picked it off with Galloway standing looking dumbfounded.
Then in this game, once again it appeared that Joey Galloway (who despite being targeted 30-plus times, only has NINE FREAKING RECEPTIONS) forgot and/or didn't know what route he was supposed to run. Another ball picked because of Galloway.
In fact, Galloway could be easily blamed for losing the Redskins/Colts game. I said before that if Galloway had a step on the guy, but looking back at it, Galloway doesn't attempt to fight for the pick. The guy covering him made a great play, but Galloway seemed so focused on running his streak that he didn't even look back or try and stop the guy.
After giving up yet another pick, it appeared Mike Shanahan finally had enough of the guy and benched him for Roydell Williams, who, ya know, actually CAUGHT the balls that were passed to him.
This is the second time Galloway has been demoted, as he already lost his original starting job to the younger (and smarter) Anthony Armstrong. In his playing time, Galloway has proven that he's nothing but a depth wide receiver (if that) who once had a spark that is long gone.
Long live the Regime of Roydell.
3.) Albert Haynesworth Seals His Washington Redskins Fate
Several times over the past few weeks, I've praised Albert Haynesworth for finally getting it. He appeared to be playing hard, maybe several key plays, and seemingly was working towards repairing his destroyed image. Dare I say, I even considered that having Haynesworth on the roster next season would not have been a completely bad thing.
And then he lays down on a Michael Vick touchdown play. He just gives up. He dogs it.
"I had a Charley horse." My ass, Albert. You gave up on a play, and you sealed your fate. That play in itself represents Haynesworth's entire career with the Redskins.
The grumpy, overrated defensive tackle went out of his way to talk about how much he missed Tennessee and the guys there because they let him "do what he want."
You know, Albert? Fine. They let you do what you want. So pray that this season the Washington Redskins trade you back to your beloved team and don't leave you to suffer in some pit of eternal fire like the Carolina Panthers or the Buffalo Bills.
Maybe you and fellow lazy bum Devin Thomas can have a nice life together.
Good luck in your future endeavors, pal, and good riddance.
4.) The Redskins Appeared To Keep Fighting
Things could've been worse. Why?
Because I believe last year we would've been shut out.
That is not said to excuse what happened. The team was still outplayed, outcoached and obviously outscored. But the very least I can see is, when the going got tough, the Redskins didn't simply hang it up.
I don't think anyone could blame them if they did, but at the very least, they were trying to make things happen. It turned out to be too little, too late. But hey, at least they tried.
And now, a special comment.
The Redskins Need To Rebuild—A Fate No One Will Accept
This game more than any other proved how hideously mismanaged this team has been under Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato. There's a reason this team doesn't have talent—it's because the Redskins fans have really given this team no reason to draft talent.
We show up at FedEx Field every week regardless. Chad Dukes mentioned all the money that gets thrown at Dan Snyder...but why haven't fans of the Redskins stop showing up? Why do we still buy the merchandise? Still watch the games?
Why, if we are going to complain about Dan Snyder "treating the Redskins like a fantasy team," do we seem to always want the hottest free agent on the market? Why, if we are constantly complaining about losing draft picks, do we turn around and ask that they trade for players?
There are still members of the Redskins Nation who claim that if we just had Vincent Jackson we wouldn't have any of these problems.
Really? Can Vincent Jackson line up and block for us? Can he shut down speed receivers as cornerback like the second coming of Deion Sanders? No.
This team needs rebuilding at every level. We need a young quarterback. We have some good running backs, but we don't have the speed to go with the power. The O-line needs a total revamp. We need new, slightly taller wide outs.
On the defensive side, we need a new nose tackle, a new middle linebacker to replace London Fletcher, an outside linebacker who can complement Brian Orakpo and a new strong safety.
But we live in an area and exist in a media cycle that simply won't allow this to happen. The fans—US fans—will never accept that this team needs time.
We want both things. We want a new, young team, but we won't allow them any time to develop. We blame Jason Campbell as the reason for the downfall of the team last year, but don't blame Donovan McNabb for any shortcomings this season, unless he actually doesn't deserve the blame.
We want to build through the draft and blame the front office for the team's failings, but whenever someone hits the waiver wire, we blame and criticize the front office for not bringing him in.
But maybe more importantly than anything else...we don't stop giving this team money. The best way to vote our disdain for the team is to stop spending money. Part of the problem with rebuilding, is that this team makes so much money.
Would you be willing to accept a rebuilding period for the Washington Redskins?
The Cowboys (a team that, as much as we despise, is in the same situation we are) and the Redskins always trade places between being the two most profitable franchises in the league.
And the same problems abound for both.
With so much money tied up in the team, Dan Snyder has to have some reason for people to keep coming back to the games. So he'll sign the free agents, he'll make everyone excited.
The best way to invoke change? Stop spending money. Stop spend 35 bones for parking. Stop spending 10 bucks for beer. Stop buying the jerseys. Take yourself off the wait list for season tickets. Watch the games in the comfort of your home.
It's been a gross oversimplification of the Redskins to say that Dan Snyder, and Snyder alone, is the reason for all the team's problems. He is a large part. But—and I mean this, and I don't care who I upset—the Redskins fans are as much a problem as anyone else.
I talked about Mike Shanahan demanding excellence. It's time we, the fans, started demanding excellence. If Chad Dukes is serious about what he says, he'll stop attending Redskins games. He'll quit buying jerseys and spending money on these franchise.
And then, we have to be patient. I'm sick of hearing about the Redskins and the playoffs.
Playoffs? Playoffs? They just need to win games! That's it; that should be the goal. Not to be NFC East Champs, not to be a wild card.
Let's focus on being a solid team that wins games before we talk about playoffs and Super Bowls.
If we're patient, those things will come.
I'm just afraid we'll never be that patient.
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