Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Redskins 4-5 Positves/Negatives Metasciences Week Ten Recap
The topic of conversation in Redskins world this morning is whether or not this was the worst moment in the history of the Redskins. The first half’s 45 points allowed tied an all-time Redskins record for most points given up in a half, tying the 1940 NFL Championship game which the Redskins lost 73 to 0. Here are some fun facts about that game: it was the last NFL game where someone played without a helmet, and also the first NFL game broadcast nationwide (on the radio, of course). Also, the owner of the Redskins at the time was George Preston Marshall, a notoriously belligerent and racist man who was slow to accept changes to society such as integration (Redskins were the last to allow black dudes on their team), and generally just made the team a backwards ass mess all through the ‘60s until the actual dude named Vince Lombardi came into town and sort of righted the ship, kind of, although by that point he was not the same Lombardi that earned his name.
Sort of fitting, because for me, far beyond the actual loss that happened (which was comically bad), this game was a full-on exposure of what’s actually taking place with the Redskins. To this point, the talk had been a new era, with new coach and a potential Hall of Fame QB, not to mention an actual GM in place finally, which was going to usher in a new phase of Redskins football, where they were an actual functioning franchise that could possibly compete with the NFL’s middle-of-the-pack. They threw a ton of money at Donovan McNabb, even though he’s old and even though he’s having a shitty shitty fucktastic of a season, and everything was all good. Monday night football, let’s get it on.
20 seconds later, game over. 10 minutes later, game really over. And it kept getting worse. I actually cut the radio off beginning of the 4th quarter, but I saw the score and nobody else scored anymore, so maybe they just both agreed to end the game right there at some point and call it a night. I don’t know. I do know that this game proved to me exactly what I’d been fearing all along – that nothing has changed. That we still give NFL names giant contracts in their twilight years because our owner is a goddamned faggot for famous people. That we are completely undermanned, both depth-wise and in regards to starting talent, at about 21 of our 22 starting positions. (And I’m not really sure who I’d consider good enough at this point.) And most of all, with a consistent desire to trade draft picks for magic beans, and not much young talent in place, this is nowhere near the rebuilding project that even I thought it was of a few years. Hell man, a lot of Redskins fans thought we actually were playoff bound, maybe. Shit, we’ll be lucky to have a good team in place by the end of the decade.
Anyways, might as well dig into the specifics. I decided being I got like four emails from friends asking for even a kernel of positivity at this point, I only knocked the metasciences down to 2/5 positive/negative, although initially I was just gonna leave a single positive point. Might as well be positive I guess, even though nothing that happens with this team gives you hope for anything changing.
And you know what, that’s the fucking problem. This website has been probably the best collection of Lions fan writings you can find on the internet. And I in no means am trying to disparage my e-bro Neil or Lions fans in general or act all self-righteous and entitled. But there was a time in my life when this team was not only good, but one of the best. Multiple Super Bowl wins and a consistent top-shelf product on the field. Shit was great there for pretty much most of Jack Kent Cooke’s ownership of the team. And then it changed around the time he died. Everything shifted. The philosophy of the team shifted, where they played games moved (to fucking Maryland… that’s probably part of the problem, playing home games in the worst fucking state in America if you don’t count Indiana as America like me), everything shifted. There was no more building a team so much as it was plugging in a big name. And I know the NFL has changed and you can’t build a team like the Redskins did in the ‘80s. But at the same time the NFL hasn’t changed that much, and you can still build a team. Look at the Patriots or Steelers. Shit, look at the Giants or Eagles in our own fucking division. Name me superstars on the Eagles who did not come up in the Eagles system. Other than Vick, none. Name me superstars on the Giants who did not come up to fame as a Giant. Not a fucking one.
It’s embarrassing to be a fan of this team, knowing nothing will change. At least with the Lions, there is the naïve hope that yes, the tide is finally turning and we will experience that euphoria of finally being good. With the Skins, man, I’m fucked. I fell in love and married the high school homecoming queen, and we had three beautiful babies named Lombardi Trophy. But about a decade ago, she started fucking around with crack, and now she’s straight up addicted to fucking her life up, I’m trying to hold onto something that’s completely dead, trying to raise these kids on my own basically, which is impossible in today’s world, and she keeps telling me it’s different this time, she’s changed her ways. And then I come home on a Monday night to find her sucking off two sketchy ass dudes on our living room sofa while another sketchy ass dude with neck tattoos is fucking her from behind. And all I can do is impotently cuss under my breath, go up to my bedroom, and tuck up under the covers as far as I can, and hope it all goes away. Why did I ever marry her? Why do I stay with her? Shit ain’t gonna ever be good again, much less as good as it was. The whole arrangement is completely tarnished at this point, to where I’m resentful for her even being in my life. And yet I can’t make the break, out of emotional loyalty that for some reason is stronger than my own goddamned common sense and natural logic. Fuck fuck fuck. Fuck.
Anyways, here’s the bullshit positives/negatives, although really, fuck everybody…
SECOND DEGREE POSITIVE: Radio man Sam Huff. I do not have cable/satellite, and actually am still in the throes of non-drinking, so going to a bar to watch the game was just gonna be a waste of money or jump-starting wasting my life again. So I tuned in the satellite radio to the Redskins announce team, and suffered the suffering with the good spirited awesomeoness of Sam Huff and Sonny Jurgensen. Sam Huff is the best. They were talking about the 1940 championship game, and Huff said, “I wasn’t even born then.” They said, “It was 1940 Sam,” and he goes, “Oh, well I was six,” and kept on plowing through the game, mentioning how Sonny was older. They asked him how much older and he said, “Whatever it is, that’s what it is.” Really, the dude is like Yogi Berra in a football booth. They went to the sideline reporter Doc Walker and asked him if he was in a raincoat or umbrella or something and he said, “No, I’m going all-natural. This ain’t the NBA. We work in this, we play in this. Come on down, Sam.” And Sam answers, “I’m not taking my clothes off and coming down there.” After a ??? moment, Sam explained, “He said he was going au natural.” Fucking great. I think that being I scoped out the rest of the season, and I’d put it a very good likelihood this team does not win more than 2 games and could very easily not win another, I am going to exclusively enjoy these piece of shit football contest via radio, if at all, for the rest of 2010. And let’s be honest finally, we ain’t playing no Redskin football in January, no matter how bad the NFC is.
FIRST DEGREE POSITIVE: LB Lorenzo Alexander. I guess if I had to pick somebody, it’s the One Man Gang. He slobberknocked a motherfucker on special teams, and holds his own on defense, although nobody on that defensive unit held anything last night. Shit man, I shouldn’t even have two positives, but again, I’m married to this stupid bitch, so I’m trying to give myself reason to stay around.
STAY MEDIUM DEGREE: LB Brian Orakpo. Orakpo is statistically good, consistently held, and is having a rookie sophomore season. But if he’s going to be a superstar like a Clay Matthews or Brian Douchebagger, he’s going to have to take it to the next level, where he imposes himself on a game. We need a motherfucker to impose themselves on this team’s games, more than ever before. I am not hopeful though, because Orakpo was part of a contingent of Redskins that spent the bye week with their ol’ ladies vacationing in Mexico, to get away from all the McNabb talk. Not trying to be a dick, because Mephistopheles knows if I had the chance, I’d be done bolted for a week too. But if your motivation on the bye week is to escape the criticism and incessant negative analysis of what your team is doing, I don’t know, there’s not a lot of accountability there.
FIRST DEGREE NEGATIVE: WR Anthony Armstrong. Okay, all I needed to salvage anything from last night was for Double A to get like 20 yards in reception yards in that second half, and at least one of my shitty fantasy teams would have snuck out a win. But even when down by 57 points, he couldn’t get a sniff of a pass. And like I said, I cut the game off to start the 4th quarter, so I don’t know what happened. But come on man, one more downfield route. On top of that, checking twitter this morning to see what Skins players are posting, amongst the complaints of having to delete followers who are tearing them a new ass this morning, Double A posts a quote from the Bible: “Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.” Fuck your made-up gods and his wordy mantras.
SECOND DEGREE NEGATIVE: S Laron Landry. Well-played Mr. Landry, starting shit with DeSean Jackson before the game, and then having him burn you over the top for an 88-yard TD on the FIRST FUCKING PLAY FROM SCRIMMAGE. Landry is a straight up alpha male pitbull dog of a man, so after that initially punking, the rest of the game was played in relative silence by him. And here I was about to be all like, “I think Landry is just as great as Sean Taylor.” Luckily, real life reeled me in on that one. What made #21 so great was he was intensity without braggadocio. He didn’t talk shit, he just got shit done, with animalistic aggression. And yet he learned to make plays on balls and not just men. Laron is a headhunter who doesn’t even see the ball half the time. He’s got a long ways to go to be the player he could be or that he thinks he is.
THIRD DEGREE NEGATIVE: Head coach Mike Shanahan. I never liked Shanahan, and nothing of the last two weeks has really done anything but reaffirm that opinion completely. He lost his mind and benched McNabb for Rex Grossman, made up two or three convoluted explanations as to why, and created a shitstorm of media attention. I can understand being frustrated with McNabb, but come on – Rex Grossman is The Fucking Rex Grossman of NFL Infamy for Ineptitude. You look stupid and bush league just having that guy on your sideline, much less actually deciding to put him into a game. As for coaching, I don’t know, ol’ Mikey the molester seems to suffer from the same overinflated value of self that Steve Spurrier had, that Norv Turner had, that most of our high-profile free agents had. He’s installing his kid as the heir apparent, and neither one of them have shown a fucking flash of getting something done with what they have. Granted, this is a completely depleted team, lacking even the most basically stocked depth charts. But still, if you are god’s gift to offenses, you ought to be able to do something more than get skullfucked on national TV in a bitter divisional rivalry game.
FOURTH DEGREE NEGATIVE: QB Donovan McNabb. Okay, so let’s dig into this whole Donovan McNabb new mega-deal situation. I have real life Redskins fans who still think that having McNabb as our QB is a good thing. The basic argument is that he’s not as bad as what we have had, which is fucking nihilistic at best. I mean, syphilis is not as bad as AIDS, but I do not want syphilis. But on top of that, this is the textbook example of Dan Snyder signing a famous name for a bunch of money because he is a “Hall of Famer” and adds respectability to the team. Except none of these Hall of Famers have played halfway worth a shit in D.C. In fact, we have not had a bonafide Hall of Famer suit up for this team, playing to a Hall of Famer level, in over a decade. Not a single exception to that rule. London Fletcher? Great player, consistent, excellent influence on a team, but just only made the Pro Bowl last year for the first time because like 3 other dudes couldn’t go. Is he underrated? Hell yeah. But that’s it. There is no Hall of Famer on this roster right now. Not one. Certainly not McNabb. His inconsistency is so blatantly obvious, I am shocked anyone would want him to be signed to such a deal. I heard someone say to me, “Well, only $40 million of it’s guaranteed, so they can dump him if they need to.” That’s what it’s come to as a Redskins fan. Even though something completely stupid and wasteful and counterintuitive to success is done, it’s not quite as stupid and wasteful and counterintuitive as something else we’ve done, so therefore it must make sense. What the fuck? Seriously, I am shocked anybody could think McNabb should be here. Because we wasted draft picks if we don’t sign him? Well great, now we’ve wasted draft picks and money and a roster spot on him. Maybe we should waste more things on him as well to prove how we didn’t waste draft picks on him. Maybe we should start murdering children in his name so that those draft picks did not go for nothing. And then we can make giant posters of the murdered children to hang outside FedEx Field, and say, “If you do not spend $40 at the concession stands today, then these children died for nothing.” Really, that whole line of thinking is a self-perpetuating prophecy that ends up nowhere but Shitsville. And that’s where we are, with an overpaid QB who is rapidly declining into Favre mode, just without the good parts, with no receiving threats, no running game, and a crappy offensive line. Excuse me if I don’t feel fucking good about all this.
Seriously, for those arguing in favor of McNabb because of the last however many years, let me lay this out for you – Donovan McNabb is EXACTLY FUCKING LIKE Jason Campbell – a really really nice guy who is middle-of-the-pack QB when good, and not very good at all in clutch situations, and seems to lack focused intensity when intensity seems to every eyeball staring at the scenario to be required. Sure, McNabb may be a little bit nicer than Campbell and may be a good bit better than McNabb. But we will not get a single Pro Bowl appearance out of Donovan McNabb during his time in Washington.
Beyond that, forgive me for some old school conjecture, but why would you even do something like this with a division rival anyways? Perhaps I am too paranoid, but I would think any former superstar of the Cowboys first, next the Eagles, and finally Giants, should ever be allowed to play a major part on this team. I do not think it impossible to believe guys could be double agents secretly destroying a team from inside. I still think that Norv Turner was on Jerry Jones’ payroll through his entire stint as Redskins head coach. And it seems odd to me that McNabb is allowed to be traded to the Redskins, being they knew he was no longer going to start, to give the Redskins an alleged starting-caliber NFL QB, and then on the big Monday night showdown, he gets a giant contract, and then the team gets fucking assraped all over their home field. Seriously, was McNabb and Andy Reid and Michael Vick sitting around a table late last night, sharing an $800 bottle of wine and some terrier sausage over top a nice whole wheat/spinach penne pasta with a wild mushroom alfredo sauce, laughing it up about how their master plan worked to a tee? I don’t fucking know, but it seems plausible. It certainly seems more plausible than thinking Donovan McNabb is somehow gonna not be a shitty QB magically at any point over the course of the giant contract he signed yesterday.
FIFTH DEGREE NEGATIVE: Owner Dan Snyder. Being a Redskins fan has been reduced to this – hoping for a new owner because you know that during the entire course of that man’s lifetime, nothing good will come to fruition. Sure, there might be a wild card run one or two years, the combination of a couple great players and law of averages giving your team a dull moment of glory to pretend something is being built upon. But seriously, as long as Dan Snyder is owner of this team, this is going to happen. Worst moment in Redskins history last night? No, not really, because when you are able to see pieces in place and imagine the future, you can always sense new high and low watermarks on the horizon. Last night eventually will be forgotten in a long list of tragic scenes. Dan Snyder is a very wealthy and very young man, relative to NFL ownership. Look at what we’ve been building the past decade: Deion Sanders in a burgundy suit with a gold handkerchief, signing a contract; Steve Spurrier slamming his visor on the ground, looking out of place; Joe Gibbs blowing the game-winning field goal in the first game after Sean Taylor was murdered; Jim Zorn “HIP HIP HOORAY!”ing; and then last night’s game. We are only just now getting started. Last night certainly is a frontrunner for worst moment of the year, but it’s not going to be the worst moment in Redskins history. And honestly, with 7 very losable games, including two against the Giants and a trip to Dallas still awaiting us this season, this may not even be the worst moment this year.
The great thing about the internet is you can pretend that the actual people see what you write, because that wall is no longer there; but that’s foolishness, and not true. Armchair Linebacker is a miserable little corner of the internet where none of us take our opinions for you seriously enough to not talk crazy shit like a real fan. That’s because we are real fans, hopelessly married to some crack whore of a football team. So in the off-chance that somehow the little weasel eyeballs of a Dan Snyder crosses this paragraph, let me commend you Mr. Millionaire. Crank up your Public Relations machine again, and get those “All Dan Snyder wants to do is win” pieces cranking. Let everybody know, very publicly, how upset you are by all this. But you don’t even know the fucking half of it. I don’t get cuts from merchandising. I don’t get to sit in a comfortable box and watch the game. I don’t get to hang out with famous football players and pay them money so that they’ll pretend to be interested in what I say. I don’t get a fucking thing from this relationship except the games being played, and I consistently get emotionally crushed by that single fucking thing. You just want to win, more than anything else? You have your goddamned wife on a TV interview talking about how you won’t even let your kids put stars on things, as if that’s how deep your Redskins fandom goes? Man, fuck you with a thousand knives. I fucking hate football now, because I am a Redskins fan. There is no goddamned hope; there is just misery and pain and false promises, consistently tricking somebody other than me that somehow it’s different.
But it’s not. This is Redskins football now. The pattern has been going on long enough that it’s not a bump in the road. This is what we are, what the team I am lifelong married to has become. It’s not going to be any different. You see, as owner, you can sell the team, and move on, probably making a substantial net gain in the process. But as a fan of this team, all I can do is sit here and watch it unfold in the same dysfunctional ways, yet again, and here the offseason promises of change that become more and more hollow going through my ears. But I am emotionally loyal, to a fault, so I sit there and go through it again and again, letting myself get crushed over and over until eventually I am dead, and it will be over. Finally.
Season-to-date totals: LB Lorenzo Alexander (+13), LB Brian Orakpo (+13), LB London Fletcher (+11), TE Chris Cooley (+8), PR Brandon Banks (+8), S Laron Landry (+7), RB Ryan Torain (+7), WR Anthony Armstrong (+6), RB Clinton Portis (+4), Radio man Sam Huff (+4), LB Chris Wilson (+4), K Graham Gano (+3), GM Bruce Allen (+3), LB Rocky McIntosh (+2), S Kareem Moore (+2), DE Philip Daniels (+2), CB DeAngelo Hall (+1), P Hunter Smith (+1), CB Phillip Buchanon (+1), T Trent Williams (even), WR Santana Moss (even), DC Jim Haslet (-1), fan Raven Mack (-1), WR Malcolm Kelly (-1), S Reed Doughty (-2), P Josh Bidwell (-2), head coach Mike Shanahan (-3), OC Kyle Shanahan (-3), CB Carlos Rogers (-4), DT Albert Haynesworth (-6), T Stephon Heyer (-7), QB Donovan McNabb (-8), and owner Dan Snyder (-13).