I started showing up here in December of 2020 and have stuck around for a few reasons; first & foremost of which is the quality content of the SB Nation writers, namely Bill in Bangkok. Then along came this fellow named KS4GM, who pulled me back into fandom by serving me much Kool-Aid, not to mention the predominance of thoughtful comments and contributions from the good ole regulars. You know who you are, and the juice was good!
Combined with what I surmised to be a shift in direction of the Washington Football Team and how Hogs Haven gave me the opportunity to flex my own writing muscles (sorry for that puny display,) the urge to post on HH was just too much. The back & forth brought laughter, raised eyebrows, and gave me a glimmer of kinship.
Back up a bit further though, and you'll find I had previously sworn off blog commenting sites due to what can be described as their pervasive coarseness and inexplicable ability to mess with my head. Partially owing to my own provocative tendencies, I managed to draw the ire of a few meanies up here (you and your multiple handles know who you are.) Thankfully, these incursions into my otherwise positive head space were properly put down and although it's a contributing factor, it is not the primary reason for me stepping away.
For this, we have one person deserving of attribution and his name is Daniel Snyder. Plus, the folks on his payroll. Before I go on though, and because I am not dumb, please do refrain from reminding me that Tanya is now in charge.
Okay so let's talk about that press conference, you know the one where Rivera shooed away a well-intentioned member of the press, someone who was finally asking substantive and fair questions regarding the suspect personnel / scheme / execution issues derailing this team. Considering the decades long poor record, the controversy swirling around the shameful failures of the previous regime, and their own handling of it, Rivera's level of tone deafness was equal parts offensive and astounding. Having a defensive posture towards being questioned is perhaps natural for the everyman, but not befitting of a true leadership representative, or that's what I would tell Mr. Rivera and Mr. Del Rio, if I was their boss. I would also remind them that when you're speaking with the press, you're indirectly speaking to the fans and fans are not mushroom spores who need to be kept in the dark and fed poop to propagate.
Ron moving the goal posts on us is an aggravating circumstance and understandable for a man in his position. As fans of this yet-to-be-renamed franchise, however, it's not even so much about winning, as it is about them producing a respectable product (offense, defense, special teams) for us to enjoy. Sadly, and as others have noted, other than a couple of players here and there, a quietly credible O-line, and being gifted a game by the refs, there's not been very much to cheer about. But sure, Ron, we're just two or three plays away... and we'll be even softer with you than we've been to date. An actual winning record vs. 7-9 would be nice too.
Even though he appears to have maybe missed the mark on a not-all-together insignificant % of his most recent draft haul and free agents, is witnessing a notable 2nd year top shelf player's productivity fall, tolerates what have become unreliable veteran contributions on the field, is still bereft of an actual QB1, and cranky with the press, I had every intention of sticking it out.
The deal breaker for me is none of the above, instead see below.
With each and every leak regarding the sexual harassment scandal and inner workings of the Bruce Allen administration – God willing there will be more - and in the context of how the investigation has been handled from its inception (the selection of Wilkerson, the NDAs, the settlements, the decision to withhold findings from public view and absence of a formal sanctioning of the owner,) the nail is driven deeper into the coffin, and this was all before Ron doubled down on his comments the day after his Zoom call.
To learn that the front office has been unrelenting in the effort to suppress and that the time frame at least briefly overlaps and/or coincides with Mr. Wright's tenure, a man whom I had given the benefit of the doubt, leaves me gutted. None of this is a surprise though, considering they couldn't even publish an appropriately contrite apology letter to begin with. What's next? Snyder & Company asking the taxpayers to offset the bill for a stadium that doesn't stink?
I imagine a scenario where my young daughter had applied for / was accepted as a Marketing Intern for the Washington Redskins and had then become a victim of sexual harassment, how damaging that would be to a young professional's outlook on work and life, and how enraged I would be as a father. That I, as a new college graduate/intern myself - and subordinate to a female owner/executive - was once subject to sexual harassment makes this all too immediate to co-sign on any further. It wasn't devastating to me at the time (I just quit and moved on,) but it ultimately proved to be a permanent diversion to my chosen career path.
Irrespective of any NDAs that were signed and acceptance of paltry settlements, the women who wish to make the full scope of their cases public - at a minimum - need to be heard out in their entirety, and whatever conclusions come from that (including a reset and return to business - just not 'as usual' - would be fine.) Obviously, the NFL needs to concurrently release the whole Wilkerson report, redacted to protect the victims if need be, not the perpetrators. Alternately, an independent 3rd party (from both the NFL and WFT) can launch a new probe and again at Snyder's expense.
For the people who are inclined to dismiss the Gruden-Allen emails as locker room talk, I ask..."do you have a young daughter?" and if so, my thoughts will be with her as she enters the work force one day. As for the new name of the franchise, Snyder & Company shouldn't get to dictate that either. They should give fans that opportunity to vote on it. With all that said, and it was waaay too much - I wish you all a good one, for the foreseeable future. I have some things to do around the house.