(oh lord, again)
Man, what a farce this past week has been for the Redskins, with the suspension of Albert Haynesworth to pretend that was the only piece that had been holding these guys back. But that game against the Buccaneers yesterday proved what a piece of shit team this is. Even a fairly good effort by the defense could not overcome a limp-dicked offense and a special teams unit that must’ve thought, “Well, Brandon Banks is on fire so nobody else has to do shit.” I was watching the game in stolen moments during my center child’s 7th birthday party, so there was a house full of girls running around making beaded necklaces and playing with massive amounts of American Girl paraphernalia. A hippie mother who I think hasn’t watched TV since 2003 and a dude who knows nothing about sports at all, like none, they were watching that end with me. The hippie mom was like, “Oh they could come back and tie it, couldn’t they?” obviously coming from a football family originally. This was as the Redskins were starting their final drive. “No, this is usually where Donovan McNabb throws an interception.” But somehow, he did not. It was amazing. Even Santana Moss managed to actual receive the potential tying TD pass instead of letting it bounce off his numbers or get swatted away as he ran the same slant route he ran 39 times before. And as I was moaning about how they would find some weird and bizarre way to ruin it in overtime, the snap goes high, the holder deflects it further into the rainy air, and a ridiculous flop by the kicker onto the ball is muffed to symbolically end the game. Everyone just started laughing because it was exactly as I had said, bizarre and ridiculous and the Redskins had yet again epicly failed. It is Dan Snyder’s legacy to this team – just as everyone has the hype machine rolling that the one bad egg that was holding back the perfect quiche – in this case it was Sir Albert Haynesworth – reality rears its ugly head and the Redskins show how they are just an absolute joke of a franchise. For anybody to say, “We have the pieces in place, so I’m not sure why it’s not better,” would be madness. And that’s what they say year after year, getting some hyped up fading superstar to come in and pretend we are Super Bowl contenders, when we’ve barely been wild card contenders for going on 20 years.
Sad thing is, the week after I threatened to go free agent fan if they didn’t win 6 games total this year, they won their 5th against the Titans (how the fuck do you lose to the Redskins?), and I thought I could put that behind me. But with road games in Dallas and Jacksonville, then hosting a New York Fagball Giants team that will probably be fighting for a playoff spot (or at least jockeying for position), it could happen. And I hate to say it, but I’m going to go through with it. I’d really love to end my career of NFL fandom rooting for the same team I came up with – I really would – but I’m gonna have to explore my options I think. For now, I’m just gonna keep rooting for these guys, at least watching the games the next three Sundays, and we’ll let the season play out.
I often think of Neil and the Lions when I get in this mindframe, because historically that’s a worse team. But you look at how they’ve played this season, and how they won yesterday, and it seems like they are a cursed team at teams, that forces conspire against them. With the Redskins, it is the opposite. They conspire against theirselves. It is really fucking hard to hold faith in something like that.
Oh well. I kept the positives/negatives at 2/5 because really I am an optimist and had far more upward notes than downward notes. But the reality is this is a 5-8 team, so I can’t justify going like 4 positive/3 negative, especially when I’m so down on them that I just don’t fucking care right now. But I left it at 2/5 on the metascientific scale, and here is where who is and why…
SECOND DEGREE POSITIVE: RB Ryan Torain. Torain, who sat out last year of the NFL, healing a torn ACL from his rookie season, has started and played the full amount of three games this year. All three he gained over 100 yards, and it has gotten more and more each time. His nickname he seems to have is ATV or All Torain Vehicle. I think this is wack, especially because of the way he runs, so I am from hereforth calling him Ryan “Freight Train” Torain, because Freight Train Torain fits his style perfectly, and sets him up for a nice second run in pro wrestling once his football career is over. And the thing I love about him most is how he is doing this behind a shitty fucking offensive line. A really shitty line. I hope this kid is soaking up all the C.P. on the sidelines he can, learning how to punch a blitzing LB in the mouth, and just getting his shit together. He seems injury prone, but fuck man, that’s why in the year 2010 NFL you have two or three dudes on roster who can play the RB in different styles. An NFL backfield is like a kung fu team from the ‘70s now, not the old feature back set bullshit from the ‘80s and ‘90s. I don’t give a fuck if he’s injured off and on for the next couple years – Freight Train Torain is the goods.
FIRST DEGREE POSITIVE: LB Brian Orakpo. Before I talk on Orakpo, let me make mention of London Fletcher, who was all over the field, hyped the fuck up, and just generally one of the greatest field generals on defense I’ve ever seen in my years of watching the stupid football professional variety. It is very telling that he had to struggle to get a new deal with the Redskins, but they will throw money at any semi-famous flavor of three months ago guy they can. Dan Snyder has been very lucky to have a man of London Fletcher’s caliber – both on and off the field – on this team for the past five years or so.
That being said, let’s get to Orakpo. He’s been a little gimpy the middle part of this year, but seemed full speed yesterday. You know how I know? Because he was a fucking Monster. A fucking brutal Monster. This guy is so fucking crazy good that they don’t even call holding penalties on him, probably to keep him from having like 9 sacks a game and crippling half the QBs in the NFC. On Kellen Winslow Jr.’s TD that took the lead (and kept it), he was not only held but assaulted, almost a horse collar tackle to the side of Josh Freeman as he flung the ball downfield. (Speaking of which, how the fuck does London Fletcher cover Kellen Winslow better than our safeties? Goddamn, get well soon Laron Landry.) If (and that’s always a big if with the Redskins decision makers) the Skins can get a complementary beast on defense up front, someone on the line who can bring the motherfuckin’ ruckus, this defense could be fucking sick as hell next year (although we’ll need some upgrades at CB).
STAY MEDIUM DEGREE: TE Logan Paulsen. My man #82 with the ponytail longhaired wildman 3rd string tight end got in the game and got his first NFL touchdown. I do not know his history, but I can only assume from his name he is some sort of Scandinavian descendant, sent to this Earth to drink fermented liquids and destroy civilized things; therefore he is one of my own.
FIRST DEGREE NEGATIVE: P Hunter Smith. Hunter the Punter has brought stability to that position, but man, botching that hold, regardless of the rain, that’s some pitiful shit. And something that was lost on everybody bitching and moaning about the missed PAT is that immediately after that, as the Skins lined up for the onsides kick, which is again Hunter the Punter’s responsibility, instead of giving it the bounce into the turf and up into the air, he knocked it straight 20 yards down into a dude’s hands. Game over. Not a very head’s up finish to the game by Hunter Smith. Maybe he was like me and hadn’t brought in firewood for the stove yet and didn’t want to go out in the rain and was thinking about how he hates it when he pulls the tarp up but for some reason all the water rolls right down to his pants leg and makes him soaking wet and it fucking sucks and you just want to kill the world sometimes but you can’t because the world is legislated by bitches who don’t recognize the way you a normal solid straight actin’ bro thinks.
SECOND DEGREE NEGATIVE: QB Donovan McNabb. You know what, I’m so tired of talking about how McNabb underthrows short routes and overthrows long routes and just generally is consistently inconsistent that I don’t even wanna bother. Yet somehow he has thrown a TD pass in more consecutive games than any Redskin since Joe Theismann. That is the essence of Donovan McNabb right there – he certainly seems good when you look at the numbers and the highlights; but when you watch the actual games he is as frustrating as a vagina-less drunk woman, passed out on your couch.
THIRD DEGREE NEGATIVE: Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Not nearly enough has been made of how sucky the Redskins offense has been this year, a result of all the Mike Shanahan vs. Albert Haynesworth trending that was going on. But this offense has sucked. And the rumors of a potential return to Rex Grossman started back up again this past week, which really disturbs me, because it shows a false sense of greatness on Kyle Shanahan’s part. He has put in place this system, which is failing, and has been budros with the Sex Cannon for two years now, last year in Houston and this year in suburban Maryland, and he thinks that somehow he is such a great football mastermind that he can trick Rex Grossman into not being Rex Grossman.
(You know at one point in the mid-‘90s Ted Turner donated like 10 million dollars to study if coyotes could be trained to break their natural instincts through the use of electronic collars? It’s true, the internet don’t lie. I find it interesting that such a study was done right before the onslaught of smart phone technology. It also reminds me of Kyle Shanahan and Rex Grossman.)
Coach Shanahan the Younger needs to step his game up somehow, make something happen. This team has not been much of a scoring threat for a few years now, and after last season and the end of the Zorny era, that was supposed to be directly addressed. The results have not been very impressive.
(the ball is not a-sposed to be floating where it is in this picture)
FOURTH DEGREE NEGATIVE: K Graham Gano. Oh man, the radio commentary with Sam and Sonny and the gang was hilarious. As he lined up for his second kick, Sonny Jurgensen straight up said, “If he misses this one, pack your bags,” and then he missed it (a 24-yarder, after missing a 34-yarder earlier). Sam Huff says, “You said pack your bags didn’t you? Well, there you go.” Being I will probably forget to post this until tomorrow (Tuesday), I would expect his bags will have been packed by then. He’s leading the NFL in missed field goals, and hasn’t exactly endeared himself with any great game-winning shots to put him first in our hearts. He hit an OT game-winner against the Titans, but only after missing the game-winner at the end of regulation. So fuck off Graham Gano.
(Twitter is fucking stupid, but also funny, because I follow a lot of the Redskins players, and some of them were all like, “I support our kicker, Graham will have better days again,” and shit like that, but with bad internet spelling and less than however many characters the Twitter Nazis force you to stay under unless you use a stupid fucking link to post like an extra 39 characters. That is some annoying shit when someone has a twitter twat and it says, “Going to the store gonna get me some beers and kielbasas and … (more)” and you click the link for the more and all it says is “Going to the store gonna get me some beers and kielbasas and go home.” and you just want to smash them but you can’t because it is the internet and we now willingly let dumbasses into our heart with disturbing ease. Shit, that’s probably how you got here to Armchair Linebacker.)
FIFTH DEGREE NEGATIVE: Owner Dan Snyder. Locker room cancers are benign and can be removed. Franchise cancers are malignant and can destroy a wonderful thing for hundreds of thousands of people. Dan Snyder is a franchise cancer. He always claims all he wants to do is win, and he always feels like he’s one move away from checkmating the NFL. But he ain’t. And the value of his team, which is trumped up by the NFL’s policy for counting sell-outs and claiming season ticket holders, is propped up by falsehoods. Attendance is down. People care less. Ten years of damage has been done. And it’s to the point where the little-dicked owner has cried wolf too many times, so next spring when he signs some dude or does some dumb shit and the WaPo plants start writing articles glorifying how the team has done something great again and addressed their most pressing needs so this year will be different, well there’s a lot of us who don’t give a fuck anymore to hear it. Show us. And to be honest, I’m near the point where you’ve gotta show me even more than that. My free agency is looming.
Season-to-date totals: LB Lorenzo Alexander (+16) PR Brandon Banks (+15), LB Brian Orakpo (+14), TE Chris Cooley (+12), LB London Fletcher (+12), RB Ryan Torain (+9), RB Clinton Portis (+7), S Laron Landry (+7), WR Anthony Armstrong (+5), Radio man Sam Huff (+4), LB Chris Wilson (+4), GM Bruce Allen (+3), DE Philip Daniels (+2), LB Rocky McIntosh (+2), S Kareem Moore (+2), TE Logan Paulsen (+1), CB DeAngelo Hall (+1), CB Phillip Buchanon (+1), T Trent Williams (even), P Hunter Smith (even), DC Jim Haslet (-1), fan Raven Mack (-1), WR Malcolm Kelly (-1), LB Rocky McIntosh (-2), S Reed Doughty (-2), K Graham Gano (-2), P Josh Bidwell (-2), CB Carlos Rogers (-5), head coach Mike Shanahan (-6), OC Kyle Shanahan (-6), T Stephon Heyer (-7), WR Santana Moss (-8), DT Albert Haynesworth (-9), QB Donovan McNabb (-18), and owner Dan Snyder (-22).