The Two Cents columns this season will (hopefully) be quick-hitters that allow us to potentially focus on those aspects of the NFL fandom experience that don't get covered ad nauseum by everyone--including us!
There was simply way too much to be happy about for most of yesterday to call the day a total disaster. True, our team failed to show up in the first half, but...
Let's try and do this without any buts.
The Redskins made the kinds of mistakes in the first half last night that most teams can not overcome in the second half. It really is that simple. The turnovers, the safety, the inaccuracy of Griffin early in the game...everything went the wrong way in that first half, and the Redskins have only the Redskins to blame. This article is less about the performance on the field as it is about the overall experience about welcoming football back into our lives.
In other words, back to the happiness.
When we woke up yesterday, the anticipation of the season opener was everywhere. The joy in the parking lot was inescapable. There was a very real lingering effect of the winning streak that closed last season. It was evident all the way up to the kickoff. Sure, it had no bearing on last night's outcome, but it fed the party atmosphere in the lots all day.
We will spend a lot of time talking about this loss and the potential damage it can do to our season. Still, I can't help but feel that it is just one game. If we believe that our team is past the kind of inconsistent play that plagued it for the last couple decades, then we have to adopt the mindset of a winner. It is already time to start thinking/worrying/preparing for the Green Bay Packers.
Let me be very clear: Neither I, nor any Redskins fan out there, need a lesson in losing in the NFL. We know all about it. We know how it feels. We know what it looks like. Losing to Philadelphia is especially painful. Today's pain is not the same as we have experienced in years past. The difference in what I feel today versus what I have felt in previous seasons is that I don't think we are a losing team. I don't feel like the Redskins are a bad team that will struggle to win in 2013. Instead, I feel like we made some stupid mistakes that cost us a game we could have, and perhaps should have, won. It happens every week in the NFL.
What I believe is that this team is good enough and responsible enough to understand the errors that occurred. What I believe is that this team has the kind of leadership in the locker room that will actively root out those errors.
What I believe is that Green Bay better watch out.