Dec 6, 2009.
Eight minutes and thirty-one seconds into overtime, I lost my heart...for the last time.
The Washington Redskins (3-9) proved that even when you can't help but win a game, try really hard and you'll find a way to squander it. The Skins led the New Orleans Saints (12-0) for most of the game, never giving a lead change.
I love this time of year. The air is cold and dry. Snow on the ground. Christmas is right around the corner.
The Redskins, of course, have been in the giving spirit all season long. Their first six opponents were winless before facing Washington. To be fair, the Giants were 0-0. And of those six teams, the Giants, Lions, Panthers, and Chiefs all left with a "W." Only the Rams and Buccaneers were left to find a win somewhere other than DC.
With the 11-0 Saints on the verge of their first loss, the Redskins knew what had to be done. They gave away the lead. They gave the Saints their twelfth win. What a great bunch of guys.
With the clock winding down in the fourth and a healthy 10 point lead, Washington decided it was time to prove the Saints were the Saints and those Redskins were still the Daniel Snyder flavor of Redskins. To paraphrase, They DEFINITELY are who we thought they were.
In the game, kicker Shaun Suisham missed a nut the size of which a blind squirrel could find. With the "gimme" chip-shot miss at the 23 yard line, Suisham may have given up his roster spot as well.
Then, Robert Meachem was left uncovered to score his second TD of the game. LaRon Landry decided to play "Secret Santa" as well by pretending he had never seen a double move by a wide-out before. He was burned twice, once by Marques Colston and once by Meachem. By the way, Meachem's first trip to the endzone came after quarterback Drew Brees threw an interception to Kareem Moore.
I guess Moore saw how much that upset the Saints because he quickly gave the ball back. Meachem was happy to accept.
Jason Campbell even got into the act. With the opportunity to sew up the victory in regulation, Campbell scanned the sidelines until he found Jonathan Vilma and delivered a brilliant pass to the Saints linebacker.
Most kind of all though was the generous turnover in overtime. The Redskins, being the winners that they are, even won the coin toss. Knowing that it truly is better to give than receive, Campbell completed a pass to Mike Sellers. Sellers, who is rarely given the chance to make a big contribution, saw his chance to deliver. After making the catch, he was hit by Saints defensive back Chris McAllister and turned the ball over.
The Saints drove down the field, all the way to the Redskins one yard line before kicking a chip-shot of their own. I'm sure the Saints are already trying to find a way to truly show their appreciation for such a kind-hearted gesture.
Well, with all the giving the Redskins have been involved in this season, I decided to give a little myself.
I'm giving up.
I've been a Redskins fan for 27 years and I can't take it any more. If I were to keep this team, I would effectively give away my sanity. So, immediately following the loss, I put my fanhood up for sale on eBay.
The sad truth is that the slow death the Redskins are putting me through is only one ring of my hellish inferno. I'm also an Orioles fan... for now.