1. Nice going, Detroit. Way to cap off the holiday season. I knew that the Dallas Cowboys were good enough to beat the Lions, but I was banking on a signature performance from Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson to put a bow on things. Instead, the world got to watch Chris Christie ruin any chances he had of winning a presidential election. Before I get a bunch of politically-charged comments below, this has nothing to with being a Republican or a Democrat. I submit that jubilantly hugging Jerry Jones on national television is political suicide. In addition to inducing nausea from every person in America who hates the Cowboys (again, a demo that cuts across party lines!), Christie damaged his rep with the auto industry and anyone who enjoys the color orange. And, don't you have to ask yourself, "Is it just coincidence that an obvious penalty was overturned in favor of the home team with this man--and his history--sitting in the owner's suite?" Okay...that was a little political. I withdraw the question.
2. I wanted to lead off with the Bruce Allen press conference last week, but playoff business takes precedence today. I had another thought in that department that helps segue us back to the Redskins. Have you all noticed the storylines in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Detroit over the last 36 hours or so? You would think...well, you would think the Redskins played in those cities. I kept thinking, "How can it be so bad when your team actually made the playoffs?" You mean to tell me that there are teams who aren't just "happy to be in the playoffs?" I went on the record in 2012 as a guy who was just happy to be in the playoffs. I just have to say, "Take it easy, Pittsburgh. Talk to me when your front office gives a press conference on being a perennial loser but makes it sound like it is all going according to plan."
3. The Bruce Allen presser last week has been covered, so I will limit myself to just a few general comments. Generally, it pissed me off. The tone just seemed off. I mean, look at how organizations are reacting to losing in the playoffs. Compare that to the tone of Bruce Allen's press conference. Did Bruce Allen sound like a man who is distraught over being at the head of an organization for which very few experts hold a great of respect?
4. Imagine, if you will, that a dog has pooped in the corner of your living room, on a handmade, priceless Oriental carpet that completely ties the room together. Now imagine that this dog gave a press conference about it, where it almost sounds as if the dog has done the world a favor by placing its feces on this irreplaceable rug. Somewhere buried in the illusion of regret and the revisionist storytelling, the dog comes off as a self-anointed hero. Instead of vowing never to poop on your carpet again, the dog talks about leaving a higher quality pile of shit on your floor. You know...a pile of shit for which you can be PROUD! You wait patiently to hear the dog say, "Pooping inside is the WRONG way to do things." It never happens. You wait patiently to hear what measures will be taken to prevent indoor pooping in the future. Alas, it becomes clear that the chances of this incident repeating itself has done nothing but increase.
5. This is why we can't have nice things.
6. An enhanced role for A.J. Smith has some merit, as I wrote a few weeks ago, but we still have no idea how much input he has had since he was hired in March 2013. We know he plays nice with Bruce and Dan already, so we are unsure of how much he will "blow things up." I am willing to give him some leash (unrelated to the above analogy), but we need way more than a guy who was previously paid for cross-country advice now providing up close and personal advice. Who has the final say? Who gives the final grade? Who has the ultimate control over the organizational vision and blueprint? Call me crazy, but I would like to see someone who has the title and authority of a classic GM in this league. That kind of person gets to overrule the owner and the coach (and the star players). It would be interesting to see what would happen if a man with the proper qualifications was given all the power, responsibility and accountability on day ONE that goes with running a football operation. It would be interesting to see Dan Snyder give that, I mean.