1. Today's Sixpack was very difficult for me to complete. A couple of news stories out there have me thinking about things I frankly would prefer not to think about today, and they are distracting me from trying to have a light start to my week. These are all things that are kind of floating in the periphery, but they are starting to congeal into a blob that is blocking my view. Even though I am not (as you know) a talker, maybe we just need to work through them a little and they will just kind of fade out of view...for a few hours.
2. Sean Lee's injury has been WAY TOO BIG of a deal around here. I have two words for teams and fans that depend on such things for their own success and happiness: "loser talk." Of course our chances against the Dallas Cowboys are better without Sean Lee on the field. Of course Dallas is screwed on defense in 2014 without DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher and Sean Lee. Of course it will be fun to see Rod Marinelli scramble to create defensive gameplans that seek to keep their opponents below 50 points per game. Of course it will be hilarious to hear coaches and players spin it, suggesting that "the next man up is just going to have to get it done." Of course it will be must-see TV as Tony Romo and Dez Bryant feel the weight of the world on their shoulders every single week in the fourth quarter. Of course the inevitable meltdowns will make all of us smile. Of course...wait, what was I trying to say here? Ummmmm...hmmmmmmmmmm.
3. We don't root for injuries to other players. Every team in the league has to deal with the loss of a player they were counting on at some point, and we know that the Redskins will surely be dealt such a blow. In addition to the obvious karma implications of relishing in the injury of a dude, there is also this: I WANT TO BEAT DALLAS WITH THEIR BEST PLAYERS ON THE FIELD. I want that game to be played on NFL's weekly "Replay" series due to the kind of beatdown we laid on the Cowboys. Anyone who has ever participated in a contest where one team enjoyed a major competitive advantage knows two things: 1) there is a certain emptiness in beating a team that isn't even close to being at their best; and 2) the pressure that sits squarely on the team with the advantage is sometimes enough to swing the outcome. Let's hope that our chances of beating teams like Dallas in 2014 have more to do with us and what we have instead of what our opponents are missing.
4. The name change issue is...not going anywhere. I feel a long post on this one coming, but today is not the day for it. It is the single most asked question I get, and the opinions on it are all over the map. I'm putting a pin it today, mostly because I am still spending a lot of time putting together my full thoughts on it. One thing is certain: this topic matters to all kinds of people, for all kinds of reasons. It is easy to dismiss the arguments of those who have taken pleasure in bashing the Washington Redskins in the past, but the list of people with "against" opinions is long and distinguished. It is no longer enough to simply argue away each point made by folks who think the name ought to change with, "the name honors Native Americans." We have entered a new and very complicated phase of this debate. That said, I have very little regard for any letters signed by exactly half of the US Senate. I think our elected representatives in Congress (House and Senate) have been an embarrassment to this country for a few years now. In my opinion, they have lent their frustratingly diluted voice to a meaningful side of this debate. The good news is that Dan Snyder's terrible approach to this issue has finally been met by a body that has been equally defiant in the face of reason and logic. Snyder and the Senators deserve each other. With them working on this together, we should really see some movement on this...never. (Man, just when I was trying to not be controversial, I went and got a teeny bit political. To be clear, I am an equal opportunity Congress-basher...idiocy exists on both sides of the aisle.)
Dedicated to my Cleveland brethren:
5. When I hear Kyle Shanahan suggest that Johnny Manziel and Robert Griffin III are "very similar," my eyes roll just a little bit. Even if it is more true than we care to believe, it just feels a little bit forced. It is not all Kyle's fault, but he could maybe add that he doesn't envision Manziel outrunning an entire NFL defense for a 76-yard touchdown run. There are things that Griffin can do that nobody can do but him--and some of them he should NEVER do. Let me be clear on this: I am not railing against everyone's blatant attempt to incorporate either RG3 or Johnny Football into every story these days. What I am railing against is how badly they missed the REAL Redskins/Browns link. Charlie Frye, Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, Ken Dorsey, Bruce Gradkowski, Spergon Wynn, Doug Pederson, Luke McCown, Ty Detmer, Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Thaddeus Lewis, Trent Dilfer, Derek Anderson, Kelly Holcomb...and of course Colt McCoy and Jason Campbell. NOW THAT'S A LIST OF QUARTERBACKS THAT ARE "VERY SIMILAR" TO ONES THAT PLAYED IN WASHINGTON IN RECENT YEARS!!!!! I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Cleveland fans are "very similar" to Redskins fans in that we both have a list like this. I am not doing our list today...you have heard me do it enough, and putting the Washington list in the same paragraph as the Cleveland list could cause an irreparable tear in the time-space continuum.
6. I can't believe I got through this whole thing without a single Game of Thrones reference.
Damn. (NO SPOILERS!!!!)