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1. I don't believe in curses when it comes to sports. I don't believe that teams and their fanbases can be doomed. That said, there are some days where I feel like--as a Redskins fan--my balls are perpetually being squeezed by a vice grip.
2. Even the most casual NFL fans are familiar with Washington's offseason "tendencies." To know us is to mock us. The current confluence of dramatic storylines surrounding this team, however...is impressive--even for these guys. We have been living in soap opera territory for years, but this series of headlines lately puts us in some rarefied air.
3. I am sure this story has been updated a million times between Monday night and Tuesday morning, but was our response to the NFL taking away $36 million of our cap space: "As far as we know, we still have that cap space?" It's very Costanza. I like it.
4. As most of you know, I do believe that Bruce Allen has taken a front seat to everyone in this organization lately. I see the trade with St. Louis as being a Bruce Allen-led decision. I believe that he is driving the bus right now. I am NOT suggesting he is doing things that Snyder and Shanahan don't or wouldn't approve of, and I am not suggesting he would cram his philosophy down anyone's throat. He still has to work with Shanahan, but to me, this Rams trade is a clear sign that Allen is wearing the big boy pants at Redskins Park.
5. Everyone assumes that Mike Shanahan is calling all the shots. While I am certain he has a lot of input, and an above average amount of control for a man in his position, I believe that Bruce Allen is asserting his power inside the Redskins organization. One thing we know about Dan Snyder is that he is capable of sticking with a general manager through a ridiculous amount of coaching turnover. I am not saying that Shanahan's job is on the line, but I am saying that Bruce Allen will likely be here after Shanahan's time in D.C. comes to an end (especially if this trade pans out). Bruce Allen was willing to pay the Rams' asking price to bring in a player that could potentially shape the franchise for the next decade or longer. I don't think Shanahan was as keen to do this deal because the first rounders the team is giving up represent top-shelf starters that Shanny could have brought in while he was still the coach. This trade has a much longer-term view than what you would expect out of a 60-year old head coach (Shanny will be 60 when the season starts.) When Bruce Allen suggested that he wasn't mortgaging the Redskins' future, he was right--he is mortgaging Mike Shanahan's future. Of course Shanahan wants what is best for the Redskins, but as a 60-year old head coach, he certainly weighs immediate results much higher than possibilities for the distant future.
6. Bruce Allen looks to be here for the long haul. He is a career football executive. He was raised here--inside this very organization. I think he sees himself as the architect now. I think he is beyond walking on eggshells around Mike Shahahan. If Shanny had come in here and taken us to the playoffs in one of his first two years, maybe things would be different. Maybe Shanny could be more assertive. That didn't happen. Now, Bruce Allen has his eyes on the next 10-15 years. Even in the rosiest of scenarios, Mike Shanahan wouldn't last that long as our head coach. Allen is in charge of our future now. These moves are his legacy--not Shanahan's, and not Snyder's. There is no "Triumvirate" at Redskins Park anymore. There is Bruce Allen. Don't f#%k it up.
7. Fans around the league see this trade with the Rams as the definition of insanity. While there is simply no getting around the ridiculous price we paid to move up to get what we hope will be a transcedant quarterback, only Redskins fans can understand what this move means to Redskins fans. Of course we know how ludicrous the price was in this deal. But it was the price that was necessary to move up for the chance to get one of the "it" guys in this draft. When is the last "it" guy the Redskins have had at quarterback?
8. The Redskins have chased after "it" guys in free agency for years. But it has typically been the other teams in the league (and our division) who have succeeded in drafting players with that magical quality. At the quarterback position especially, the Redskins have gone without having a "special" player for...well, jeez, for as long as we can remember. Brad Johnson might be the last guy we had who was not only competent and effective, but was also still young enough to have some good years in Washington (we decided to let him have those years in Tampa Bay instead). Redskins fans hunger for not just a good quarterback, but for a quarterback we can call our own. The parade of journeymen has to come to an end.
9. What do people always say about our Super Bowl winning quarterbacks? Don't we hear that we won those trophies in spite of not having a franchise quarterback? Three different signal callers in three different Super Bowl victories. Joe Theismann, Mark Rypien and Doug Williams are beloved in Washington, but none of those guys could compare to what a player like Robert Griffin III brings to the party. Theismann returned punts when he first got to the league. Rypien spent years buried on the depth chart. Williams was not even the starter for the bulk of the regular season prior to taking the helm of the Redskins in the playoffs the year he blew it up in the Super Bowl. On one hand, it does prove you can accomplish greatness without having to rely on drafting the top guy, but after years of seeing other teams in the league develop stud signal callers and advance their team's fortunes, we want ours.
10. When Donovan McNabb was a young player in Philadelphia, slicing and dicing his way through Washington's defense twice per season, I remember constantly asking, "When are we going to get our Donovan McNabb?" In a way, all of us has a Donovan McNabb we crave. For some, Cam Newton might be their Donovan McNabb. For others, Michael Vick might be their Donovan McNabb. For a brief moment two years ago, Donovan McNabb was our Donovan McNabb (shortly before becoming our El Guapo). If and when we draft Robert Griffin III, we'll finally have "our guy." A savior-type that is drafted and developed by the Redskins is just what this franchise has to have. The risks involved can't be overstated, especially given the pricetag. If this guy turns out to be the kind of marquee player that changes the fortunes of a franchise and its fanbase, not only will we have wins to celebrate, we will have the satisfaction of knowing that we cultivated success in our own garden--as opposed to raiding our neighbor's garden. That is what we are desperate for...that is how we will achieve fulfillment as fans; and that is what people outside the fanbase struggle to understand.