1) Let's just address the referee disaster: I am glad it happened to our team and not to a team whose season was on the line. If anyone had to cover that grenade, it might as well have been us. It was a terrible mistake by the guys in stripes, but once Pierre Garcon was stripped of the ball on our last offensive play of the game, we officially had very little to complain about.
2) In defense of the refs, I have to say that I, too, had a difficult time staying focused on the game. Once we get to this point of the season, I am mostly just zeroing in on individual players on each play. Our team might not be winning, but at least I can possibly witness some one-on-one wins. (SPOILER ALERT: Don't play that game with Tyler Polumbus. At one point, I think I saw Polumbus actually give the defensive end directions to the quarterback. The guy is more maitre d' than lineman, kindly showing pass rushers to the backfield.)
3) I was a little disappointed that they did not double down on the Navajo Code Talkers video on Sunday night. People were still buzzing about it in the stadium. As our season once again spirals out of control and morphs into a national nightmare (yes, national--see next point), I think the team would rather argue about the name. If I was Mike Shanahan, I would make this the time to really dedicate the lion's share of my press conferences to this discussion. It is amazing that a discussion about real or perceived racism is actually a preferable conversation to what is going on down on the field.
4) A year after the Redskins shocked the world and won seven games in a row to make the playoffs, this team still has enough buzz to generate way more national attention than they deserve. It's almost as if ESPN and the NFL Network budgeted time slots for the Redskins back in August and they just decided not to change that up. I don't have the numbers to back this up--Herman Cain-style--but there is no way that Jacksonville is getting the same amount of airtime. Robert Griffin III remains a hot topic no matter what he does, and Mike Shanahan's ego is big enough to fill one or two Sportscenter segments a day. I feel like everyone kind of smells Dan Snyder's blood in the water on this one and the media is swarming a bit to feed on the impending circus.
5) I predict a very muted circus. If Dan Snyder's public relations people are worth anything, won't they convince him to stay quiet all the way through next summer? The whole world is waiting for him to hand out blindfolds and cigarettes and begin the executions. If he ever had a chance to show that he has changed, now is the opportunity to show it. Of course, this would come with its own set of potentially gut-busting possibilities, like ponying up an extra two years of contract money for Shanahan knowing full well he might have to fire him after the 2014 season. I feel like Dan Snyder is very much like Hingle McCringleberry, the excessive celebration artist from "Key and Peele." Instead of standing in the end zone, trying like hell to refrain from superfluous pelvic thrusts, Dan Snyder is in his owner's box, desperately trying to refrain from engaging in old habits. He wants to do it so bad, but maybe...just maybe...he has enough self-control to ride this out for one more year. If he does--and I am not suggesting what is right or wrong in this discussion--I think we would all have to stand back and recognize that our owner has learned some lessons. Unfortunately for us, he is spending a hell of a lot of years learning lessons. Changing out Haslett and Burns with new coordinators should be enough action for Snyder to satisfy his inner-McCringleberry, while keeping enough of the ship intact to provide some measure of unprecedented stability. Nothing like stability when your team has three wins!
6) It looks like Twitter has deteriorated a bit in the last week or so for the Redskins fanbase, with infighting and sniping dominating timelines all over the place. This is a bit discouraging. We have to be better than that--calling out people for not showing up on Sunday is no way for us to treat each other. I continue to show up to the home games and mix it up with my fellow diehard fans. That group is dwindling each week, and I can't say I blame anyone. As the temperature drops and the product on the field plummets, I don't hold it against anyone for deciding not to endure a day at FedEx. This week is going to be especially brutal. It is shaping up to be a very cold and wet experience. I'll be dressed appropriately and manning my post in the parking lot. I will make my way into the stadium at some point to provide what energy I have left after the tailgate to the effort on the field. I do it because I love it. I am out there because I desperately need to be out there. I can't explain it, and come Sunday, it will make even less sense to me and the rest of the world. Does it make it okay at all if I do it so some of you don't have to? The truth is that many of you reading this might be holding a ticket you are not sure you will use this week. I feel like I want to tell you it is okay not to go. I feel like I want to tell you to save yourself for when the team needs you the most. I am not sure I have that kind of power, but if that is something you need to hear this week, there it is. For my part, I won't hold it against you. I will be sure to represent us to the best of my abilities. All I ask is that you don't sell your ticket to an opposing team's fans, and that you send warm, dry thoughts my way through your television.
**Maybe you can find a Redskins fan who would otherwise not be able to attend a game and give them your ticket? We at Hogs Haven do our best to find extra tickets and give them away to active and retired military personnel. Let us know if you don't want to use your ticket and we will do our best to find a deserving member of our armed forces to go in your stead.