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:
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:
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.