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Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays

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It's Opening Day, so even this NFL site is thinking about America's second favorite pastime.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

1. I understand that not every Redskins fan that ends up on this page is also a Nationals fan, or Capitals fan for that matter (I also love the Wizards, but talking about them right now is...just...too...painful). On Opening Day for most MLB teams though, I think it is okay to wear a little hometown love on your sleeve. Please feel free to handicap the season for whomever your favorite team is in the comments section below. As much as I hate to give people a reason to beat each other up (we do a good enough job of that on just Redskins matters), this is a day where every fan feels a bit of hope. Every Redskins fan can understand that that. I apologize in advance for the Nationals tint to this Sixpack...but it's Opening Day y'all! Please let me have this (I'll make as many Redskins tie-ins as possible).

2. As a Nats fan, I think you have to feel pretty damn optimistic today. If you are a fan of any other contender in the National League, there are undeniable truths about the Nats that can't be dismissed. We have a reigning league MVP--that is just 22 years old. We have one in-his-prime shutdown pitcher (Max Scherzer) and a young talent in a contract year that has spent the last month or so instilling the fear of God in hitters (Stephen Strasburg). We have a new manager that used to smoke weed with Jimi Hendrix (Dusty Baker) that at least seems to be the perfect guy in the dugout for this roster. Based on just this alone, I feel like I am not falling into the classic Redskins fan trap of thinking my team is better than it actually is.

3. One area where we as Redskins fans can all relate to Nats fans is on the matter of Anthony Rendon. For those that don't know, he is our young, first-round third baseman that missed just over half a season last year to injury. In fact, he fell to us in the first round of the draft because of his injury issues in college (sound familiar, Vinny?) but proceeded to finish fifth in MVP voting two seasons ago. The guy is healthy and playing his natural position heading into the 2016 campaign. He is the kind of player that can be the difference between winning and losing every single day--assuming he can stay on the field. For a team that has contention in its sights, having a player of this caliber alongside an established superstar like Bryce Harper is enough to necessitate a change of pants.

4. Oh jeez...I feel myself saying something very familiar. "Assuming he stays healthy..." is something we say about every player on any team we root for in the beginning of a season. It is something that goes without saying--that never remains unsaid. It makes me ask the question, "Is injury the only thing that can derail a team like the Nats?" The answer is most definitely, "No." The Nats were heavy favorites last season, and while injuries certainly played a part in their demise, it would also be pretty easy to point to coaching as a primary culprit. Enter Dusty Baker. I remember thinking our coaching problems were solved when Joe Gibbs came back to the Redskins for a second run. While I have made the argument that he got way more out of that roster than any other coach could have, there is always the double-timeout game to remind of which team we root for...SERENITY NOW! Are there any other teams out there you guys are devoted to that can leap into contention just based on a key coaching change?

5. I do have a Redskins point to make. I spent the weekend outside of Atlanta with St. Megan's family at a wedding. Aside from the great company and the amazing open bourbon bar (pretty sure you could get drunk off of my sweat), I was eager to have sports conversations with folks from around the country. It provides a glimpse into the perception fans of other teams from other cities have of our team. In past years, the conversations were focused on unholy offseason splashes, disastrous decisions and my very unrealistic expectations. I recall assuming defensive postures over the last decade, as some of her family has stayed in their native New England--pretty much the worst fanbase to debate when your own team is a raging dumpster fire. I did get into a name change conversation with a Steelers fan, but it was more about him asking just what is going on, and not him taking any kind of position. This plays into my belief that if and when the Redskins get good, and are featured more prominently on national shows, this particular issue could pick up some serious steam...again. What I found refreshing was that, even though the Atlanta, Houston, Pittsburgh, New England and Denver fans I got to talk to were not fully fluent on the inner workings of our offseason, there seemed to be a genuine understanding that things are different in Washington right now. One of our family members has lived in over a half dozen major sports markets over the last decade thanks to a successful hotel management career. He made a great comment that no matter where he has lived, the biggest complaint of locals behind "our traffic is the worst" has always been "our sports owner is a jackass." I had to laugh, because that certainly would apply to us here in the nation's capital. That said, Dan Snyder has to be given some major credit for the way he has handled his business over the last year or so.

6. This brings me to this week's Audible conversation. Where do you rank Dan Snyder among D.C. sports owners? Which metrics do you prioritize? In which ways is he potentially superior to his peers in town? In which ways does he simply look...bad? Given all four D.C. teams are on the front page right now--the Wizards are disappointing down the stretch, the Caps are the best NHL team on the planet, the Nats are legit contenders on Opening Day and the Redskins are never off the front page--it is almost overload. If you are not a fan of all D.C. teams, feel free to use analogies from your other favorite teams. I would love to hear how you would rank Dan Snyder against the owners of those teams in other sports from other markets. That is one of the strengths of this site: we come from all over, and we bring a lot of flavor from a lot of different places. Enjoy Opening Day everyone. To all you Mets fans out there...it's on!