The 5 o’clock club is published Wednesday to Saturday during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.
Will Blackmon is on NFL Network. I think Ryan Clark is a regular on ESPN. Both players spent time on the Redskins, but Clark is probably better known as a Steeler, and Blackmon spent only 2 season with Washington in his 12-year career.
Meanwhile, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin have been on TV for years. As superbowl champions, it was understandable that they might be popular personalities, though I have to say that Michael Irvin’s clown act on GameDay Morning grates on my nerves.
More recently, two other Dallas Cowboys without rings have ended up on TV. Tony Romo landed on his feet in the broadcast booth after being unwillingly turfed out of his gig as the QB of the Dallas Cowboys. To his credit, Romo may be the most talented TV analyst in the sport today. Less easy to fathom is the soft landing on Monday Night Football for Jason Witten, who looks good only by comparison to Booger McFarland. This current group has got to be the worst MNF lineup of analysts since its inception in 1970 — and that includes Dandy Don Meridith and O.J. Simpson, who had previously set a pretty low bar to hurdle.
Being a Redskin seems to be a bad career move if you want to go on to have a successful post-football career in broadcasting — certainly, former Dallas players have enjoyed a lot more success on the small screen.
When we think about players like London Fletcher, who was every bit as good as the criminal who played linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, but never seemed to achieve the same fame or popularity, and consider a player like Ryan Kerrigan who has had consistently league-leading production for 7 or 8 seasons in the NFL, but seems largely anonymous with respect to the broader NFL fanbase, it seems that getting a contract with the Washington Redskins may be something of a poison pill that kills a player’s chances of going on to life after football on the national stage.
Part of this may be explained by the two decades of bad on-field performance that the Redksins put out from ‘92-2011. Television producers like to put superbowl champions on the tube, and Washington hasn’t produced one of those for a long time. Further, Dan Snyder’s personal reputation has probably turned people off to the franchise. A final factor might be the issue about the Redskins name that always seems to hang around like a bad smell.
Whatever the explanation, I just don’t see a lot of former Redskins showing up on TV.