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Football is complicated

No offense to Reed Hundt, (hat tip: Extreme Skins) or his Yale Law Degree which makes him a more intelligent fellow than yours truly, but methink his simplistic, nugatory Redskins analysis is evidence that Football writing is too important to leave to qualified persons. To wit:

Third, I don't see how the Redskins can get significantly better given that they have made almost no personnel moves, but perhaps putting the franchise and Coach Gibbs' reputation in the hands of Jason Campbell suffices. By contrast, if the Patriots don't win the Super Bowl, it will be either injuries or the collapse of Tom Brady's psyche that is responsible, because they have loaded up during the off-season.
One doesn't have to reach too far back in history to grasp why this logic struggles mightily. As recently as last year the Redskins made huge offseason purchases with little positive effect on the field: We lost one more game than we won the previous year. Fans can blaim a myriad of reasons for why the 'Skins failed, but it wasn't injuries to expensive free agents, as Andre Carter, Antwaan Randle-El, Brandon Lloyd, and Adam Archuleta remained healthy throughout.

Actually that doesn't discount Mr. Hundt's theory, as that is merely proof that teams can fail despite active free agency and not evidence that success is contingent on it. We'll let the 2006 Colts inform us that NFL preeminence is just a lazy offseason away... or not, really, as the big splash was the loss of Edge to the Arizona Cardinals. Even casual NFL fans can posit numerous reasons why teams succeed sans "personnel moves", though here are a few: Coaching continuity, player maturity, return of injured personnel, easier scheduling...

Not that any of this is necessary, given that he didn't even accurately portray our offseason, which was active. Fred Smoot is joined by David Macklin is joined by Omar Stoutmire is joined by London Fletcher is joined by LaRon Landry. 66% of our starting linebackers have changed. Kenny Wright and Mike Rumph and Adam Archuleta, all saw field in 2006, were replaced. Some of the aforementioned catalysts for change are evident: We have coaching continuity, player maturity (in Golston, Montgomery, Campbell, Betts, and others), return of injured personnel (in CP and Prioleau), so on and so forth.

Here's my prediction that, if realized, would make Hundt's entire rant irrelevant: The Patriots will not win the Super Bowl in 2007 and neither will they suffer crippling injuries and neither will Brady have a psychological meltdown. None of these things, even in conjunction, are all together unlikely: Over 96% of NFL teams fail to win the Super Bowl on any given year, few are destroyed by injuries (and even some of the ones that are, like the Eagles last year, fail to dutifully collapse as a result), and I wouldn't even know how to quantify the likelihood of Brady doing something that is absolutely uncharacteristic of him.

If that were not enough:

Tenth and mercifully last from the grab-bag of Sunday night, if Jason Campbell isn't really great, won't the Redskins lose ten games? And if that happens, won't Coach Gibbs resign? Not a happy prospect, except for those who believe the Skins are cursed because of their intransigence over changing their name.
Wow, that is some heavy print, Reed. If our starting quarterback turns out to not be very good, we'll struggle. I can only wonder how many hours of film Reed had to pour through in order to divine that observation. Here's one I've been working on for a few weeks: if it rains, the ground becomes wet.

The Boston Braves became the Boston Redskins in the 1930s became the Washington Redskins by 1937. Incidentally, it was in 1937 that Your Washington Redskins broke the shortest nomenclature curse in the history of Professional sports by beating the Chicago Bears in the NFL Championship, 28-21. It was the Boston Redskins that lost the 1936 Championship game to the Packers. And the unoffensively (depends who you ask) titled Boston Braves never did much of anything.

The Redskins won another Championship in 1942. And three Super Bowls under Joe Gibbs, with a fourth added in the 2007 season. If there is indeed a pox on the house of Redskins due to their "intransigence over changing their name", then it has yet to manifest itself.