Confessions of a Shanahan Apologist

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Bitterness, phantom knee pain, Natalie Imbruglia and the sobering reality of human nature. My life is in shambles.

I wanted to write the dissenting opinion.

I wanted to write: "Go Home, DC. You’re Drunk. No one is lying to you. There is no cover-up. Turn off the TV. Turn off your radio. They’re trying to do it again. Turmoil = ratings. Don’t feed the beast."

Yes, you Jason Reid of the Washington Post, and you, Sally Jenkins – the person more in love with Lance Armstrong than Lance Armstrong— I wanted to defend Mike Shanahan.

I wanted to call everyone conspiracy theorists. Glenn Becks of the Redskins fan base, poisoning not only my twitter feed, but all rational reporting and analysis done by professionals:

Then there are "insiders" with "knowledge" who talk about a cover-up of the severity of RG3’s injury from the Ravens game and want to call Shanahan a liar and a snake. People who don't know him at all continue to mention his "ego". A simple Twitter search of "Shanahan" and "ego" produces so much blather, you'd think Shanahan had slept with these people's girlfriends.


The Immaculately-Tanned Man— if he be not a Redskin—single-handedly rebuilding this roster into a winning franchise like a personnel lumberjack—then who? You want to TURN YOUR BACK ON HIM NOW?

I wanted to be THAT GUY.

And then I received this email from my mother:


Truth bomb. A lesson in brevity and tone by my Puerto Rican, psychiatrist mother (imagine that growing up).

I refused to accept the fact that my mother is never wrong about anything. It didn’t matter that literally everyone in the world—including the before-mentioned, highly respected and accomplished sportswriters—agreed with her. She watches Nancy Grace every night – she’s just caught up in the sensationalism of it all.

So I watched the game again. Sober.

It was EXACTLY like watching Se7en again – already knowing what’s in the box. And Mike Shanahan is Kevin Spacey.


And then I watched that damn fumble in the 4th quarter...


Ok. You’re right. What the hell were you thinking, Mike?

I still think we should be beating down the door of the head groundsman of Fedex Field. I’ve seen the lawns of hoarders and shut-ins maintained better than the field at Fedex.

And still, what the hell Robert?

"Shouldn’t have been his decision", "he’s a rookie", "he’s only 22 years old."

Just a refresher – you can go to war and fucking die at 18.

Robert Griffin wasn’t just a 22 year old kid when he entered into those multimillion dollar contracts right? And trademarking phrases? I thought he was so "smart" and "polished" and "mature".

We give 22 year old kids millions of dollars, cars, guns, drugs, alcohol, women and followers (literal and virtual) and when they make a mistake – it is absolutely all their fault. You are a bad guy. You have "character issues".

But if you’re clearly injured, hurting your team, and you know it better than anyone else – you’re not to blame? We can’t question your decision making and whether you were making the best decision for the future of the team – let alone yourself?

There is no one more aware of his brand and his business decisions and his future than Robert Griffin III. I think it’s borderline offensive to suggest he’s not smart and aware enough to take himself out of a game if he’s hurting the team. The team that elected him to lead them down the stretch as captain.

The biggest mistake Shanahan made was not realizing that Robert Griffin III’s hero complex and ego would destroy him.

This puts it best:

You’re in a playoff game. Your team is ahead by two touchdowns. Your quarterback—a special player, without whom you never would have come this far—is obviously hobbled and in pain, but refuses to come off the field. He says he’s hurt but not injured. Is this macho bluster, or is it the kind of sound judgment he has displayed all year? In the context of the football ethos, has he earned the right to perhaps be wrong?

It’s an easy call in retrospect. But given the situation at the time, I understand why Shanahan left him in.

- Eugene Robinson, Washington Post

So now I’m like Natalie Imbruglia – torn, ashamed, lying naked on the floor. Literally every word of this song can be applied to Mike Shanahan. I'm so depressed when I listen to it.

(whatever happened to her? She's a 10.)

My mother is never wrong and I agree with her but at the end of the day she is coming from a mother’s perspective. I still trust Mike Shanahan to make the right decisions for this football team. There is no question the decision to leave RG3 in that game could severely impact the future of his tenure here at the University of Ashburn – but we can’t place the blame solely in his lap for the destruction of RGKnee after the reconstruction he done on this roster.

We are all upset. So is Mike Shanahan.

Acceptance is a small, dark room.

We will get through this.

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