Mmmmmmmm. Mmmmmmmm. Mmmmmmmm. That was the sound of me over the last several years in my Zen-like Redskins trance. For years after the Skins won their last super bowl in 1992, I harbored the conviction that we were a really good football team that was just having a bad run. Every year, I awoke on September 1st convinced that we were poised for our next big super bowl run. And, every year, the boys in burgundy and gold crushed my spirit. I mean crushed it to smithereens (wow, MS Word spell check allows “smithereens;” who knew).
Then, a few years ago, something amazing happened. I stopped caring. I mean I really stopped caring. I wasn’t just pretending not to care. I really didn’t care. I finally grasped the ugly reality that, after 15 years of futility, the problem wasn’t bad luck. The problem was the fact that my beloved Redskins were a shitty football team. They have a pissant (NB: spell check flags pissant as not being a word, but smithereens is OK – WTF?) little owner in Daniel Snyder who, for years, collaborated with his idiot racquetball partner, Vinnie Cerrato, to destroy the team. As my good friend, Pete, once said, Snyderato was “spending goodwill created by other people. Eventually,” Pete said, “that good will has to run out.” A quick look at all the empty $500 Chardonnay seats at Fedex Field make it clear that the goodwill done run out. I waited 17 years on the season ticket waiting list, had them for 5 years, and gave them up. I know many fans who have done the same thing. The good will is shattered like Joe Theismann’s tibia.
Life not caring about the Redskins was a good life. I played golf on Sunday afternoons. I went to my kids’ baseball and softball games. I would track the score every now and then on my Blackberry and laugh with other parents at the baseball game about how awful Snyderato’s team was. I woke up Monday morning after another stunning defeat at the hands of, say, the powerhouse Oakland Raiders and be in a good mood. What a great life this Zen-like Redskins trance was.
But, but, but, they got me again. Shit! Snyder (minus the “erato” thank God) is the Lucy to my Charlie Brown. He holds the football and I run up to try to kick it and…..BOOM….. I land on my arse as he pulls it away. He hired Mike Shanahan as coach, ending the Jim Zorn debacle quickly. Shanahan is a no-nonsense proven winner. More stunningly, he shit-canned his garden gnome racquetball mate come General Manager, Vinnie, and hired the son of a Redskins legend as the GM. He went out and got a proven winner at QB. He showed signs that he would stay out of the day-to-day operations.
And, and, and, we beat Dallas on opening day. Go back and read my blog from that game and you will see a deep psychological implosion. After several years in my Zen-like Redskins trance, I came out of it. I cared again. I saw a team that could win a super bowl. Even the OT loss to the Texans was explainable. They have the best offense in the league. We almost beat them anyway. We were a fluke blocked field goal away from a win. We’re good. We’re the real deal. WE ARE A SUPER BOWL CONTENDER! THE REDSKINS ARE BACK, BABY! FIRE UP THE BANDWAGON (oops, sorry, that’s Tony Kornheiser’s shtick).
Only they’re not back. They still suck. Going 6-18 over a season and a half doesn’t lie. Losing (badly) to the 1-28 over their last 29 games Rams doesn’t lie. Making the same stupid mistakes they’ve been making since 1992 doesn’t lie. These are still Snyderato’s Redskins and, with all respect due to Sarah Palin (and, yes, I have a lot), you cannot put lipstick on a pig….or a pigskin.
So, the Zen-like trance is gone. Charlie Bruce is lying on his backside again, Lucy Snyder snickering all the while. I’m booking my flight to Tibet to go meet with my Zen Master.