Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Washington Redskins Discover Winning Is Hard Without Testicles

When Washington Redskins head coach Jim Zorn told his team to attempt to get a first down on a fourth down play early in the fourth quarter of a 31-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, all could see the indecision in his eyes. The inevitability of his calling a time out loomed large as the play clock began to run down.

Zorn predictably called the time out, and you could see his team roll their eyes and stare at each other. They were doomed for repeated failure they have been experiencing the entire 2009 season. After the time out, they were stopped by the Falcons on a screen pass that once again showed the Redskins players their coaching staff had zero confidence in their ability to run for the one yard needed.

Zorn, who has pretty much become a lame duck coach, was missing his headphones when he instructed his team to go for it. These headphones were his link to the Sherman Lewis, who is now in charge of calling plays. Lewis, who was playing bingo just a few weeks ago, did not seem part of the initial call by Zorn.

It seemed as though Zorn had temporarily forgotten his place in Redskins hierarchy, perhaps due to the heat of the moment, as he scurried back to his headset. The conversation that took place then can only be theorized by those not participating, but there was obviously a disagreement on the play Zorn had called to lead to the Redskins burning a timeout, momentum, and what little confidence they had.

This glitch is just another example of the cluelessness and confusion in the Redskins ranks. A once proud franchise rich in tradition now reduced to the bumbling embers of bottom feeding losers burnt out on only hope for money at seasons end. The prospect of trophies and glory have now faded to another lifetime, and are a faded memory held onto with yearned melancholy of those fans lucky enough to be conceived just before that era.

The week leading into another losing effort saw Redskins owner Dan Snyder halfheartedly apologize to a few fans for his mismanagement of the team. His lament fell on deaf ears of those tired of the same old circus he has run for years, but none have yet to truly call him out on his banning of signs at the teams games.

Snyder's ban is not only a slap in the faces of Redskins fans who financially support his team, but it is an obvious slap in the face of America. His deciding to ban free speech under the shadows of the Nations Capitol speaks of an ego who feels he is above the men and women who have fought to make this country what it is today. The fact that no one from Capitol Hill, many of whom attend games, has yet called him on his fascist actions shows another form of a lack of representation.

Having seen the front office try to threaten Redskins legends like Sonny Jurgensen, John Riggins, Joe Thiesmann, and Brian Mitchell this season has been a bewildering example of Snyder's obvious disdain for the teams tradition. A tradition the owner claims he admired as a child growing up a fan of the team.

Instead of taking their constructive criticism, he has opted to threaten Jurgensen with his job, and purportedly cost Mitchell his job with a local network affiliate. Some also recall Riggins lost his popular radio show after Snyder bought the rights to the radio station Riggins worked for. Snyder now controls almost all of the sports radio talk shows in the Washington Metropolitan area via ownership, which allows him to control most of the content.

Snyder's brazen approach to former players has even allowed his lap dog Vinny Cerrato to pile on recently during a show Cerrato has on one of Snyder's radio stations. Cerrato disparaged Congressman Steve Largent, a Hall Of Famer, for his coming to the aid of Zorn. Largent and Zorn were teammates with the Seattle Seahawks for years, and Cerrato went as far to practically call Largent a loser.

Everything that Snyder has touched this decade has turned to manure, as opposed to the golden touched he showed the decade before. He bought two companies, Six Flags Amusement Parks and Johnny Rocket Restaurants, that have quickly gone bankrupt. He has cut staffing so much at Redskins Park, that the grass in front of the offices went brown over the summer because no one could water it. There are murmurs that Snyder is mortgaged and financially stretched to the hilt.

Though the Redskins were recently listed as the second most valuable franchise in the NFL, the team has spiraled in jersey sales, accessories sales, and even in stadium revenue. A long line of fans that used to hope to get into a game now try to give away tickets for little cash on E-Bay and other avenues.

Snyder has become so desperate for cash that he recently sued a fan for trying to back out of their season tickets plan. The fan, like many Americans today, had felt the crunch of the recession and could no longer afford the tickets. Remember, this is a team with a waiting list of over twenty years for season tickets. Few NFL teams sue their fans, and none have a waiting list for season tickets as long as the Redskins. This type of community awareness by Snyder has only made him more despised by any observer.

This type of approach has trickled down the Redskins chain of command. It has infested and infected the club to the point where losing is the only certainty week after week. Snyder has taken the team to a crossroads he can no longer ignore. Either sell the team or get a football expert to clean up the mess he created. If he opts for the latter, all his role can be is to write the checks and get out of the way. Most fans would prefer he sell the team. Snyder claims to be a businessman, and every business man should be aware when they have overstayed their welcome and the time to sell has arrived. It appears now is that time for Dan Snyder.

Thursdays Game : Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers

Vernon Davis, the tight end of the 49ers, has tried to hype up this game featuring two mediocre teams. He might be the best thing going at this game, and is well on his way to playing in the Pro Bowl. I expect him to have a big game, and back up his words.

49ers 27 Bears 24


Lester's Legends said...

What a title. It's a shame what's going on in D.C. A once proud franchise is now the laughing stock. They should just fire Zorn and have one voice for the rest of the year.

David Funk said...

Who would have ever thought the Redskins organization would be the shape it's in 10 or so years ago? It's an embarrassment from the top and to the fans.

Nice post about the state of a once proud franchise.