I’ve been married for just over a year now. My wife became a Redskins fan because it was one of my pre-requisites before ever seriously dating. Recently, a friend of mine asked me what record the Redskins would end with during this upcoming season. I thought I was being optimistic when I said 7-9 or 8-8. My wife quickly questioned my response by asking, “Wait, I thought we got RGIII this year. Doesn’t that mean we’ll be really good?” I saw in her response the optimism that I had at various points over the past two decades. And I didn’t want to crush her spirit, so I just responded, “Yea, we’ll be good hun.”
I love to cheer for the Redskins every weekend, and my DC fan-hood (especially for the Redskins) is the biggest hobby in my life. As time has gone on through the Dan Snyder era, I have grown a bit jaded. I am 26 years old, and the first football game I can remember was the ’92 Super Bowl when I was 6. The majority of my memories are of disappointment. And things just kept getting worse. I thought Norv Turner was what was wrong with DC. And now in hindsight, I would have begged for him during the Spurrier or Zorn eras. We had Gus Frerotte head-butt this team out of the playoff race. We had Neon Deion Sanders waffling around and running backwards on punt returns. We had swinging gates and slip-n-slides. We had a cardiovascular debacle and conditioning tests. Our franchise has gotten really creative in ways to lose and lose badly. And yet every off-season there was a story for why the next season would be better whether it be the big signing: Donovan McNabb; the new coach: Steve Spurrier; or the “change in culture at Redskins Park” that folks like Chris Cooley seem to mention every year.
But I am hoping that my wife, as a relatively new fan doesn’t have to endure the pains we have had over the last two decades. I am hoping that she enjoys the exhilaration of a Super Bowl run. And I hope that she doesn’t have to witness any of the following events that I fear could come upon our team this season.
- RGIII tears his ACL in week 1 of Preseason (You know you all have thought it).
- Rex Grossman is brought into a game at some-point of the season because he “gives us the best chance to win” according to the coaching staff.
- Running Back by committee becomes unpopular among Hightower, Helu, and Royster since each feels as though they showed enough promise to be “the guy.” Locker-room division ensues.
- Despite our hopes, Pierre Garcon turns out to not really be more than an outlet receiver. And Josh Morgan proves that he still can’t stay healthy. The duo doesn’t come close to justifying their contracts, and Santana Moss and Anthony Armstrong re-gain starter roles by Week 8.
- Our O-Line is just as bad as it has been over the past 10 years, and it turns out that the O-Line didn’t need more “depth” or “time to adjust to the ZBS” or “to gel” – they just aren’t very good.
- Our 3rd Round pick, Josh LeRibeus, eats himself into a coma trying to cope with the stress of the NFL and regains the 100 pounds he lost a little over a year ago.
- Kerrigan starts to take some of Orakpo’s spotlight. Orakpo maintains that he doesn’t need to learn any other pass-rush techniques, and that he is one of the league’s best. He demands a trade at season’s end.
- Fred Davis and/or Trent Williams fail a drug test and are suspended for a year.
- DeAngelo “me-first” Hall complains about not getting to cover a certain receiver, only to get juked out for deep touchdowns multiple times in the next game.
- Turns out that the Safety positions were a bigger problem than could be solved by the jail-break squad assembled this past off-season.
- Graham Gano kicks the lights out in pre-season and comfortably beats out Neil Rackers. Once the season is played out, he again manages to have a FG% at the bottom of the league.
- Brandon Banks doesn’t learn how to take a knee, and consistently returns kickoffs out of the end-zone up to the 17 yard line before getting tackled.
- The practice bubble collapses.
- Snyder grows tired that Shanahan didn’t bring us to the playoffs in Season 3. He fires Shanahan and forces Bruce Allen to convince another coach out of retirement for the following season.
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer. I am truly hoping that none of these things happen. It just helped me with the off-season cleansing process to put those all out there on the table now. Hopefully the RGIII era will be filled with success, even if it does take a season or two to get there- HTTR!