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The Life of a Diehard Redskins Fan

The Redskins' awful 2013 season has led to a coaching change and severe turmoil within the franchise(again). Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

Patrick Smith

With all of the news coming out of Redskins Park lately, it's been hard to avoid the updates about who the team is interviewing or asking permission to interview.  While scanning Twitter and listening to the radio, I've had an unusual reaction to the flood of information regarding potential coaches for the Burgundy and Gold.  At first, I wasn't sure what to make of the sensation, but I have finally figured it out.

I don't care.

For someone like me, who has glommed on to everything Redskins-related for the last thirty plus years, this is a first.  I have lived and died by this team for most of my life.  I have had arguments with my wife and scared my kids while yelling at the TV because of this team.  I have spent countless hours reading and writing about them.  I have missed large life events to instead watch their games.  And it was always worth it.

But for the first time since I can remember, I just don't care.  It somewhat saddens me that I have reached this point, but at the same time, I'm fairly indifferent about that as well.

After everything I (and every other fan) have been through, it's kind of hard to feel like anything matters anymore with regards to who coaches the team.  We've done the hot college coach, the retread coach, the "bringing-back-the-legend" coach, the "who-the-hell is-this-guy" coach, and then the retread former Super Bowl winning coach again.  And none of it has worked.  In fact, for the most part, they have all been train wrecks in the end, and I think I am finally numb to the whole process.

I've seen names like Art Briles, Perry Fewell, Todd Bowles, Jon Gruden, Jay Gruden, Bill Cowher, Jim Caldwell, Darrell Bevell, James Franklin, Greg Roman, Mike Zimmer, Vic Fangio, and Ken Whisenhunt being thrown around, and none of them really excite me.   None of them excite me because at this point in the Dan Snyder era, none of it has worked.  I guess Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher get the blood pumping a little, but then I'm quick to remind myself that we had a coach like them in Mike Shanahan, and even that didn't work.

So just like when the man who has been married and divorced five times goes to his friends looking for excitement and instead gets eye-rolls when he announces he's engaged again, I'm not sure Snyder will receive much excitement when he announces his next head coach.  For true fans, it is really sad it has come to this.

Having said all of the above, this is what I am sure of:  Because I am the fan(atic) that I am (and I know there are countless others like me), I will automatically try to find the good qualities in the next head coach, whoever he might be.  Then, I will hang onto every tweet and report when free agency starts.  After that, I will be glued to the television for 100 hours straight during the draft in May.  And finally, I will be either at Fed Ex Field or sitting on my La-Z-Boy recliner with an excited lump in my throat when the Redskins open their season in September.

That is the beauty of the NFL.  While the Redskins have been in quite the dry spell for longer than any of us care to remember, every season brings new hope.  A team going from worst to first in their division has turned into almost a regular occurrence from year to year.  That includes this season, when the formerly last place Eagles made the swift turnaround and won the NFC East with a brand new coach who had been plucked from college, and in 2012 when our Redskins did it as well.

I know that I and many others are very put off by what has transpired here in the nation's capital over the last 12 months or so in regards to rumors, leaked stories, and anonymous hit pieces.  I also know that I love this sport and I love this team.  Who knows what can happen next season?

The answer is, no one does.

So while I find myself indifferent to the coaching search because this organization has seemingly tried everything and learned there is no silver bullet in this league, here's to a new year and a new season.  For better or for worse, Dan Snyder is not going anywhere for a long time.  It's fair to criticize this franchise for poor decisions and questionable management choices throughout the years.  It's also fair to be skeptical and wonder if this franchise will ever get it right.  However, I'm guessing Snyder didn't get to where he is by never learning from his mistakes.  Once the Redskins have chosen their next head coach, hope will spring eternal once again.

As is the life of the diehard fan.