Circa around this time last year, Redskins fans couldn't have been more upbeat about their inevitable SuperBowl run in 2006. I mean, our top 10 defense had actually improved with the blockbuster signing of Adam Archuleta and Andre Carter, not to mention our offense finally coming around with the Coaching addition of Al Saunders (a proven winner!) and WRs Brandon Lloyd y Antwaan Randle-El. Brunell was Superbowl or bust. What the hell could go wrong???
Everything did, I just didn't see it coming. No point boring you -- or cornering you into depressed alcoholism -- with the details. Despite or perhaps because of (Curse you Football Gods!!!) our inflated high hopes, combined with vindication/reinforcement from a media in love with our Coaching Staff, the team fell precipitously from grace.
But it wasn't simply shameless homers who couldn't see it coming. As Tuesday Morning Quarterback pointed out, virtually everyone is wrong pre-season. Here are the Redskins highlights:
Last July, "SportsCenter" had football pundits Mike Golic, Sean Salisbury and Mark Schlereth spend a week producing an elaborate complete-season forecast. Their predicted Super Bowl winner? The Carolina Panthers, who failed to make the playoffs. They forecast Indianapolis would lose in the first round of the playoffs, while the Redskins, whose actual finish was 5-11, would be the league's third-best team.
I have a feeling we won't be a repeat on top of anyone's list given 2006.
Jeremy Green of Scouts Inc. predicted Dallas would win the NFC East, while Keith Kidd of the same service forecast Washington would win the same division; neither team did.
At least the Cowboys didn't win.
The [Wall Street] Journal added that the Redskins' roster "should be improved enough to yield a division title." Washington failed to make the playoffs.
We were a fashionable division winner given our Coaching staff and unlikely postseason run at the end of 2005.
Adam Schein of Fox Sports predicted a Super Bowl of Panthers over Bengals; neither reached the playoffs. Culpepper, Schein foresaw, "will be in the MVP mix." For the Jets, "it's a rebuilding season." Schein predicted, "The Redskins are loaded with talent on defense -- Gregg Williams' unit will once again frustrate the opposition;" the Redskins finished 31st on defense.
Nothing was more shocking -- or depressing -- for fans in 2006 than our subitaneous fall from respected defense to league laughing stock. We were record settingly bad
We even get a spot on the Worst Prediction of the Year:
Worst Prediction of the Year: Bob Oates, Los Angeles Times. Oates predicted Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Pittsburgh and Washington would reach the postseason -- all missed -- while Chicago would not make the playoffs. He said the Lions had a realistic chance of advancing to the Super Bowl. And the Indianapolis Colts? They will "flame out" because Peyton Manning "isn't a natural quarterback."
Finally TMQ's obligatory shot at Dan Snyder:
Snyder to Hire Jeff George to Run New Restaurant Division: Last week Red Zone Capital, the investment firm of Chainsaw Dan Snyder, acquired Johnny Rockets, the 1950s nostalgia-burger chain. Here are some of the sweeping changes Chainsaw Dan plans:
- Fry cooks, busboys to be fired weekly.
- Successful menu items such as cheeseburgers to be dropped; Snyder personally will choose recipe for new seaweed burger.
- Instead of singing "That'll Be the Day" and "It's My Party," waiters and waitresses will sing "In A Gadda Da Vida."
- New corporate P.R. strategy will focus on denouncing media and suing anyone who mentions Johnny Rockets in print.
- Heinz ketchup to be replaced with Washington Redskins branded tomato-like product.
Shocking! Thanks to being raised by The Simpsons
, I went my entire life thinking Iron Butterfly's famous anthem was titled In The Garden of Eden
. I was wrong
. In A Gadda Da Vida? What the hell is that about?