- Welcome to Black Monday, y’all! The Washington Redskins have been taking part in this annual tradition in some capacity for the majority of Dan Snyder’s tenure as steward of the team. This one is a big one for us though...for only the second time under Snyder, a huge domino has fallen. Not since the firing of Vinny Cerrato has there been news like the kind we are waking up to today. We can finally end the hashtag campaign because Bruce Allen has been fired! As we kick off the final Sixpack of 2019, I will let that sink in for a moment, and we will relish in this news before moving ahead to why it might not be the advent of a completely new era for Redskins football. In terms of organizational direction, this is a move we can honestly be excited about.
- And I am excited...don’t get me wrong. Over the past few years, covering the Redskins has seen the rise of a burgundy-tinted cynicism. You all know what kind of sports fan I am—I have the luxury of pointing to ten years of optimistic homerism on this site as proof of my unabashed passion for my hometown team. It has given me ZERO pleasure to honestly address the reality of the Washington Redskins in recent seasons, and it would be hard to say that it hasn’t taken some toll. That said, my honesty about it is proof (at least to me) that I continue to be emotionally invested either way. I am reminded of my emotional investment on days like this one when I can actually envision ways in which this can (gulp) go right. In the world of professional sports, hope is a valuable commodity. It is so valuable that owners have figured out to fake it and sell their fans false hope. Redskins fans know exactly what that looks and feels like. Dan Snyder has been able to manufacture splashiness over his tenure and it has been wildly successful in whipping fans into a frenzy. What has happened over this period is that we have slowly become educated on what is real and what is not real as it pertains to honest-to-goodness “hope.” When an owner fires the man who has been the face of hopelessness for a fanbase, however, that is a time for genuine hope. The close of the Bruce Allen era opens the door for the beginning of a potentially better era of Redskins football. Yes, we should be excited.
- I would be remiss if I didn’t remind folks that Dan Snyder has been driving this clown car for quite some time. He is as much a part of the dysfunction as anyone, and in his role as top dog, we can and should rightfully lay the blame at his doorstep. The best news we could have woken up to was a sale process, but that ain’t happening. It is also important to remember that just changing owners wouldn’t make us a winning franchise. There are plenty of possible owners out there that could be as bad or worse than Snyder. See what I’m doing here? On some level, we have to embrace reality, which is that we have an owner in his early 50’s that is showing no real interest in selling our team to a new owner. That means that anything great we are hoping for will have to come with Dan Snyder. I respect those out there who have decided they aren’t coming back until there is a new owner, but I am not giving up the Redskins, as evidenced by the couch time I logged watching my favorite team lose to my least favorite team yesterday. What has changed: this is the first year in MORE than 20 years that I have not attended a single game at FedEx. Granted, I have been calling a lot of high school football games which has kept me busy, but I have had multiple opportunities to get to Landover and have passed on them all. It was a big change for me, but my insistence on watching every game with friends and family throughout this season has only reinforced my belief that my love of the team remains as strong as ever. My lack of interest in giving an entire day to FedEx has declined thanks to the actions of Dan Snyder, but firing Bruce Allen is an action taken by Dan that feels pretty damn good.
- I want to strike the right chord on a day like today. News is still happening, and will continue to happen over the next few days and weeks. It is possible to believe that Dan Snyder wants to get this right. It is nearly impossible to believe he thinks he has been doing it right up to this point. What remains to be seen is how he goes from here. I want so badly to pre-complain about hiring a head coach before we hire a general manager, but a voice in my head keeps telling me that Snyder has been working out his next moves for a few weeks now, with people advising him not named Bruce Allen. That is a good enough start for today. If I wanted to stir the pot up a little more than that, I might theorize that the Jeff Bezos headlines got to Dan. Perhaps they got to the rest of the league. Perhaps...PERHAPS... this is the result of Dan Snyder being advised by “the league” to get this right or get the hell out of the league. Remember, a shitty Redskins team is as bad for the league as it is for us. I have zero proof that any of that is true or matters, but a full house-cleaning the likes of which is taking place today brings a lot of good questions to the fore. Whether or not Dan Snyder is going rogue or being advised by smart people at the league office is something we should learn more about...in the meantime, the Washington organization is making wholesale changes and that is worth getting excited about.
- I don’t know if Ron Rivera is going to be our head coach, though by the time this is published, he may be. I like Marvin Lewis and I like Ron Rivera. I have no idea why either would want to work for Dan Snyder, but if either of them would, we would be pretty lucky. I get that there are a limited number of head coaching jobs, but people say no to Dan Snyder...plenty of people. Given we aren’t re-shaping the front office prior to any head coaching search tells me that either Dan’s consultants are running the show behind the curtains and will be introduced later, or Dan is back to being heavily involved. Either way, sounds like we will need an experienced head coach who can navigate through the tumult. Young coordinators and college coaches are not the right answer for this current environment, and locking up a guy like Rivera as soon as possible (if he says yes) strikes me as a smart hire.
- Based on the amount of engagement with Hogs Haven today, I think it is safe to say we are all engaged Redskins fans still. We will be gathering in the basement later tonight to go over not just how we got here, but where we go from here. I look forward to mixing that up with as many of you as can join us over on our 1st Amendment Sports YouTube channel for a special Monday edition of “Thank God It’s Tuesday.” We’ll talk about our age 25-and-under group of players, where the money is locked up for next season and we’ll begin charting out an offseason that can see the Washington Redskins work toward getting back into the competitive mix in the NFC. It is more possible today than it was 24 hours ago, and I think it is a great time to focus on that. I feel confident we will have plenty to disagree about and argue over in the coming weeks.
Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays
Snyder 3.0 has officially launched, and it looks very much like previous releases...so far.