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A home season in closing...


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Please pardon me while I think aloud for a while. I often find myself awash in thoughts of this team, and in those daily musings I tend to wander a bit, so it is here I will try to contain the thoughts in an orderly, sequential fashion.

As the home season draws to a close, and I prepare to attend the final home game, I am left a little cold. Not as cold as I will be Saturday, but cold. Not as cold as the seats will be at 12 midnight when Christmas arrives, and children dressed in their Redskin Underoos await the sounds of tiny reindeer. Not as cold as the stadium will be a month later when bird droppings are the only thing to fill the stands. Just cold.

Cold because another season will have passed me by. Cold because I will now have to turn to watching the season on video, which if done patiently, will last until a few weeks before training camp starts. I can just see myself sitting there. Remote in hand, chips and salsa and Barley Soda resting on the coffee table. Kickoff will come, and I will begin to lean forward in my seat, only to find myself on the edge of it a few minutes into the game. I wont realize it right away, but I’ll be squeezing the remote like I am trying to silence a chicken. My teeth will be locked tight. Material from the arm of the sofa will be bunched up in the palm of my other hand. In my off-season world, I will be there. Just as excited, just as ramped up, just as hopeful as if I were up in the nosebleeds sitting next to J.K.C. and all the other rowdy people who don’t have a lot of money. I will be there, and may even sit through the commercials, or run to the head really fast, so I can make it back without missing anything. I’ll forget, which sometimes can be seen as a gift, that it is just a tape. I can stop it at any time. I can press pause. But I forget.

Because to me, it is real. I forget that no matter how much I stomp and yell, the outcome will be the same.

I forget the outcome of most of the games. This is the part I said I think is a gift. It allows me to watch and enjoy the games as if it were the first time I had seen them. It’s only when one of my stat oriented, “Remembers every Players Name, and Everything Everyone Ever Did” friends drops by to remind me of what happens at the end. He spoils it for me. Not that he means to, but he does. And I say, “Oh well, to me it’s real. Just let me watch… Plus if you don’t like it, you can always go down to the watering hole and watch figure skating you fruit.” You see this is an Olympics year. Starting February 10th, for 16 days until every news organization has beaten the viewing audience to death with it, all you are going to be able to see on the weekends is Olympics coverage. For near three weeks straight, every sports channel will be crowing about “this person you don’t know and never heard of did this today!!!”

Yippee! I could go to a shopping mall and say the same thing about anyone in it. “Hey look at little Johnny, he’s a fine young athlete, and today he’s the points leader in the Running Away from His Mom competition..” “He’s already taken the gold in Booger Eating and Crying Uncontrollably, but today he’s got some steady competition behind him…” It will all be the same… BLAH, BLAH, BLAH… Cough – Gag – Puke… Who cares!! Give me football.. Not Curling, not Cross Country Skiing, not Nordic Combined…Give me football. And what the hell is Nordic Combined anyway? If you want to combine something, combine your weak-willy, sorry-suck, soft-tissue sports with the only real sport in the world…you guessed it, football.

Let your ski jumpers come off the end of the ramp and try to receive passes from Carson Palmer. I’ll watch it. Let the object of speed skating be that you have to make it around the track once with out getting laid out by Sean Taylor or Junior Seau. I’ll watch it. Let NFL lineman take the people who get excited about curling and push them across the ice into one another. That I could watch 24 hours a day. But take it as it is, and flush it. Just give me football. Sure, NASCAR will give us 5 races during this time frame. That will be something to watch, but until they find a way to make it a more integrated sport, there are a lot of people who aren’t going to watch them. The newly re-birthed NHL will be dormant from the 12th thru the 28th of the month. Too much competition on ice?? Who knows? I don’t… I don’t care…“Hey NHL leadership…Take the senseless fighting out of your games and more networks might want to carry you in primetime. Hence, more advertising = more revenue = more money to spend on your product and players = maybe never again having to shut your sport down for another season.”

MLB will be busy flushing its system in preparation for another season.

The NBA boasts over 100 nationally televised games during this period, so at least fans of that game will be knee deep in entertainment. For me, Michael Jordan made the sport watchable during the regular season. There is no more Michael Jordan, so there is no more me. Alan Iverson.. Mad skills.. Still not enough to make me watch. The Kobe Show didn’t help.

There are two PGA events during this time frame. Judging by the amount of fanfare the PGA is giving them they might not even be on the golf channel.

Essentially, as far as T.V is concerned, it will be my version of viewing hell, and that, as hot as hell is supposed to be, leaves me feeling…well… a little cold.

I’m feeling a little cold because one of our heroes, Randy Thomas, will be sitting on the sidelines at the end of what was becoming a sensational season as a Redskin, and quite possibly one of the greatest seasons of his career, only missing 6 out of the last 112 games in which he could have played.

I’m feeling a little cold because of a season of fumbles. If the temperature of a good football season is 75 degrees, and the temperature drops 1 degree each time the ball does, that means our season’s temperature stands at 46. Quite near the forecasted temperature for Saturday, the 24th. Sure, the numbers 75 and 46 are purely hypothetical, but the number 29 is not. That’s how many times we put the ball on the ground this season.

No, we didn’t lose all those fumbles, but we lost enough to make it count. And make a lot of people feel… A little cold.

I’m feeling a little cold because of Mike Alstott’s fat head. Though it may look and be shaped like a football, it is the only thing that crossed the goal line on the last play of the Tampa game before he was down.

I’m felling a little cold, because this Saturday is the final time this year, I will be able to watch with my own eyes and listen with my own ears, as the greatest Football Team in the World takes the home stage to play the most important December game in a very long time. There will be no T.V. talking heads. There will only be Sonny, Sam and Tool in the hallways and bathrooms. There will be no Tony “I like to fall on and crush quarterbacks” Siragusa. (I think he is just tenderizing them for easier digestion.) There will be no announcers other than the P.A. guy, who might have been replaced this week following the “Mamma’s Don’t Let Your Baby’s be Cowboys” incident. Maybe they can replace him with someone more sensitive, like Yardley Smith or Sally Struthers. No, there will be none of that. Just me, my friends, 90,000 more friends, my Redskins, my Redskinettes, my barley soda, and a bunch of people down on the field dressed in blue that resemble the little things at the bottom of my girlfriends rabbit cage. (If they were blue of course)

One great big party of Burgundy and Gold, tainted by a blue stain on my day. Uhgg, how I’ve come to hate that color. It used to be my favorite. I even had two cars that color. Not any more.. I don’t think I want to see it again.. I don’t think I’ll buy anything blue again. Hold on. Budweiser and Miller Lite come in blue cans.. I might want to rethink this..

I know I don’t want to see anything blue, but unfortunately, in order to close the doors on FedEx this year, we have to let the boys in blue in.. Wait a minute, didn’t we just sweep the boys out of here? Yes we did…I forgot, these are the Blue Men. Little tiny blue men that look like rabbit pellets, if they were blue of course.

So we just swept out the Boys, and now we have to deal with a field full of men? There are two of those men leading the league in the #3 and #5 spots in sacks with 24 between them. There are two of those men that rank 9th and 20th in receiving yards. There’s another one of those men that has run hard enough and far enough, to end up in the #2 rushing spot in the league. And yet another one, without enough hair on his face to really be called a man, that has thrown his way into the #6 spot. These men along with the other 47 have come together to become the #2 offense in the NFC, the #8 offense in the league. They are #5 in scoring, #11 in passing, and #6 in rushing. Sounds like a pretty formidable group of little, blue, rabbit pellet people doesn’t it? Well those may be their strengths, but what about their weaknesses?

They’ve coughed up the ball one less time than we have.

Receiving, they only average 24.4 yards per game more than we do, and 1.2 yards per play.

They only have 5 more touchdowns on the year than we do.

Rushing, they only average 1.6 more yards per game than we do.

Even with their running back going nuts on Kansas City and rushing for 220 yards on 29 carries, they’re only ahead of us by 23 rushing yards on the year. Almost 37% of the time, the only way they can score is with field goals. They are only surpassed by the Arizona Cardinals.

In this column they also hold company with such contenders as Cleveland, Baltimore, San Francisco and Houston.

The player with the most points scored in the league is Shawn Alexander, the Little Blue Rabbit Pellet People’s highest scoring player, with over 1/3 the teams total points scored is Jay Feely, their place kicker.

None of their other players are even in the top 30. Then again, neither are any of ours.

The highest scoring players in football are generally the kickers, so take it for what it’s worth.

Little Peyton has thrown 22 TD’s this year. He has also had 16 interceptions.

He only completes 75% of his passes and has them picked off at an average of 1+ per game.

The team has also picked as many as they have lost.

Now I know my “Burgundy Glasses” may be a bit foggy, and I may be looking at these numbers (which in the long run don’t mean badger patties) with a slant that leans in my direction or the direction of the team. No, I’m not. The only way I’m being slanted is by not listing the Redskins numbers along side them. These are observations of a few numbers that only apply to a few areas of the game, and really aren’t beaver biscuits when compared to the big numbers such as rushing totals, passing totals and points scored. Well let me save you some time. The so-called Little Blue Rabbit Pellet People have better stats than we do in almost every single category in the sport. The few I listed are some areas where they do not, and let me tell you they are slanted little nit-picking stats at that! And when you boil it all down, they don’t add up to horse hockey. (God bless Harry Morgan who turned 90 this past April)

The L.B.R.P.P. across the board, have a better record, better stats and a near identical schedule. Does that mean they are a better team? On paper maybe. The 2000 Redskins roster was a who’s – who of people on paper and we know where that went. They looked good on paper. But it was the wrong kind of paper. The L.B.R.P.P. look good on the right kind of paper. The kind that has a bunch of W’s on it. Could we have had the same kind of paper thus far in the season? Yes. Should we have it? Yes, depending on your point of view. It’s a shame, that the only thing between us and the right kind of paper is our inability to protect the ball in the early part of the season. It looms over us now. It looms over all of the losses during our entire season. A haunting skeleton in the closet; like that creepy guy from the movie Saw II, standing right behind you breathing down your neck. Making you feel… a little cold.

Dropping the ball accounts for every single loss on the schedule.

Every single loss except one.

One that I don’t even want to think about.

One that I recorded over.

One that I will never, ever watch again.

One loss that has no answer, no reason, no rhyme, no riddle.

There are no excuses, nothing to blame, no one thing to put your finger on.

You can’t just step back and say, “Oh, if it weren’t for that ____ we would have won the game.”

You cant, because it isn’t there. There is just no excuse for what happened.

There is one thing I know… There is absolutely no reason for it to happen again.

This team, the Redskins. Boy, I haven’t been able to say that word in so many years. This TEAM of Redskins, is by far the most cohesive, hardest fighting, most unselfish group of players I have seen amassed on a field under the Burgundy and Gold in a very, very long time. Too long for me and too long for my 87 year old grandmother who at 1:15 am on September 20th of this year, answered her phone with only two words: “Fourteen - Thirteen!”

I will remember those words for the rest of my life, as I will remember the night. It wasn’t just a group of guys with a picture of an American Indian on their hat winning a game. It was a team. A team of guys called the Redskins, not a group of guys better known as the Me-Skins. But a team. Fighting in colors and wearing a symbol that has become a symbol of strength and greatness to me.

They won that game. They won it as a team. Their leadership has said from the beginning that they didn’t win it for them... they won it for us. The other night, they won another one for us. A win that sent this city into hysteria. It still hasn’t settled down and probably won’t for a year. The Redskins are winning, because they are becoming what this city has been without in any professional sport for years. A team.

Only a team toils with defeat, and finds a way to push them selves from beneath the rubble that has collected atop them. A team is what pulled the stones to the top of the pyramids. A team is what put men on the moon. And only a team is going to pull through the adversity of a season in this league. Are the Redskins such a team? It has yet to be seen. But what they were for so many years prior, is a far cry from the group of men will be taking the field this Saturday. And I believe with all my heart, they are not the same team that took the field the first time they met the L.B.R.P.P.

I believe this time, they are what they were not then. A team. A team known as the Washington Redskins.

I will have my tape rolling Saturday. Another opportunity to capture a moment in time, and one more pre-recorded three hour period of my life that guarantees I wont have to watch the Olympics. When I get home, I’ll shake off the trail dust from the game. In the oven will be a 15lb prime rib. The tree will be lit, the chimney will be warm for Santa, and the stockings will be hung with care. I will blow out the candle, and call it a night. On Christmas morning when I wake, after all the presents are open, and I have lunch with Grandma, and all the kids have gone home, I will push in that tape. I’ll have my chips and salsa on the coffee table, my Barley Soda and remote in hand. I will press play as I sit up in my chair, and for that moment, depending how we played the day before, I might forget that at one point, I was feeling a little cold.

Merry Christmas to all.

I’ll see you in the stands…

:logo: :logo: :logo: :logo: :logo: :logo: :logo: :logo: :logo: :logo:

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I don't know what everybody else's problem is, I think this is a great post.

I especially liked the bits about the Olympics, Alstott's fat head, and the Redskins playing as a team.

By the way, it might help to put "(long)" at the end of the thread's title so people who are too lazy to read won't be so annoyed.

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Good post, but it was like watching Gone With the Wind. Sure, we can look and argue over all the stats - but that does not change the fact that despite all of our turnovers and close losses, this team has learned to play down the stretch.

And on any given sunday....

Sure, the Giants have been a bit more consistent, but I like our chances. They are scared to lose, while we are excited to win.

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