1. For those of you living in the D.C. metropolitan area, or from the same, the idea of "today" has special meaning. The Washington Wizards are battling the top team in the East in the second round of the playoffs, and giving the Atlanta Hawks all they can handle. The Washington Capitals are battling the top team in the East in the second round of the playoffs and giving the New York Rangers all they can handle. The Washington Nationals polished off a weekend series against their historically dominant NL East foes, the Atlanta Braves, and Bryce Harper put on a bit of a hitting exhibition. As a diehard fan of all three of these D.C. teams, my nerves are in tatters--mostly thanks to the Caps. One would think that with all of this going on, it would be hard to focus on or divert energy and though to the Redskins. One would be wrong.
2. All of this other stuff happening is not about crowding out the Redskins from the sports scene in the nation's capital. Quite the contrary. Seeing my other teams performing so well has me envisioning the Redskins doing well. Seeing my other favorite players show up in huge moments has me dreaming about Alfred Morris and Ryan Kerrigan and Robert Griffin III executing at the highest level in crunch time. Positivity begets positivity.
3. This is the latest in the calendar that the Caps, Nats and Wiz have all been playing at the same time. Typically, either the Caps or the Wiz--or both-- are done for the year. Attention slowly turns to the Redskins and we begin to remember that awful feeling we had back in December, when the burgundy and gold limped to the finish line. Having such awesome moments and storylines at this point in the NFL calendar is beyond therapeutic for Redskins fans long used to being forced to begin focusing all their optimism on the Skins. It's like we're saving ourselves for football season! Kind of old-fashioned, I know.
4. To be fair, the leadership over at Redskins Park has seemed to work hard in past iterations to turn off people from their brand. Unfortunately for most of us, we are big, dumb animals that love football and love the Redskins even more. We are Homer Simpson, and Dan Snyder has been the sandwich artist behind the making of a toxic club sandwich (that worked out nicely, I think) that we are (mostly) incapable of putting down. Don't look now, but there are some fresh ingredients. It remains to be seen, but the possibility for a distinct new flavor is very, very real. Are you McLovin' it?
5. I loved the draft, but as great as our haul appears to be, the truth is that the wheel is still very much spinning. We won't know about these new guys for some time. We need to stay focused on ensuring that McLovin' has the space to do his job. The Redskins have made plenty of good decisions over the years. Really, they have. It is the commitment to those decisions that has been lacking. Nothing sums that up better than the jettisoning of Marty Schottenheimer. Perhaps there is no other single example as devastating as that one, but you know what I am talking about. We have to continue to allow McLovin' to work. As important as this draft class and free agent haul is to our growth, it is all about the cumulative impact of the moves made over the next two offseasons. One-and-done in the front office is a billion times more harmful to an organization than when it happens with a player.
6. Even for me, I am in a very optimistic place these days when it comes to the Redskins. I think that as good as Brandon Scherff can be for us, Preston Smith's impact on our team could potentially be as great. I think that we're a much more sound organization today than we were a year ago, and I think that will manifest itself on Sundays in the fall. I think that this football team will benefit from the positive vibrations that are bouncing around the monuments these days, and build on the momentum that these other district teams are creating.