Monday, October 31, 2005
This just in: The Redskins Aren't Very Good
Yesterday afternoon, the New York Giants were looking to win a ball game to honor their recently deceased co-owner Wellington Mara. How nice of the Washington Redskins to accommodate them.
In a total chicken-droppings effort, the visiting Redskins laid an egg, losing 36-0 to the Giants in a game fraught with turnovers, weird penalties, dropped passes, missed tackles, blown assignments, mental mistakes, problematic injuries, and generally poor execution and focus in a game that determined who would assume first place in the NFC East. Bwok Bwok!
In other words, it was classic Redskins. When the stakes are high, the Redskins roll over. Not only do they get outplayed, they get out-hustled and out-thought and out-competed. Of course, at home against the worst-in-the-league 49ers, they score 52 points and can't be stopped. But in a game of real consequence against a heated rival, they can't get a first down or a defensive stop. The game was actually less competitive than the final score indicated, if you can believe that. The Redskins actually didn't CROSS MIDFIELD until the very end of the third quarter, when the game was already so out of reach that backup doghouse quarterback Patrick Ramsey was in there.
I like what local media personality Steve Czaban said on Comcast Sportsnet following the game: that this was a cold shower for the Redskins and their fans, and that sometimes, that can be a good thing. I second that emotion. The Redskins seem to spend a lot of time reading their media clippings, good or bad. Personally, I am of the opinion that the team reflects its owner on this account, as Daniel Snyder is notorious for poring over his own press. They all have to stop and realize that success comes through efforts and continuity on the field, not during the offseason or the draft, or on the set of SportsCenter, or in the boardroom, or in the bank vault, or at the eight-dollar-hot-dog pep rally and traded-player jersey sell-off. This also goes for the fans, who watched the team roll the 49ers and immediately started buying Super Bowl tickets. When a team is as mentally unstable and fundamentally unsound as the Skins have been over the last eight or nine seasons - all sound and fury, signifying nothing - a few early season creampuff wins does not a turnaround create. Let them beat the Cowboys twice, and the Eagles and Giants at least once (not to mention tough out-of-division foes like the Broncos or even the Chiefs) before we break out the Bandwagon and the Return-To-Glory talk and all the other chicanery. Please.
Games like these are why the Redskins are always prominently featured in those NFL Films career highlight reels - on the wrong side. Amani Toomer's career highlight reel - you know, if you wanted to put one together - now undoubtedly features his 12-yard dragging of Walt Harris down the sideline yesterday, while the other defenders gathered around and watched like they were at a catfight behind the cafeteria after school. Eli Manning, Jeremy Shockey, Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, former Skin Antonio Pierce, Jay freeking Feely, and of course Tiki Barber (who set a career high with 206 rushing yards and just missed the Giants record by 12 yards) all feathered their personal nests at the expense of the Redskins. Bwok Bwok!
So that's it on the game. To sum up, the Redskins stink, and they will continue to stink until further notice. They are one of the hardest teams in pro sports to root for (for several reasons) and a turnaround does not seem imminent. Hey, maybe next week. Whatever.
Bonus Broadcaster notes: Why is it that Tony Siragusa is the sideline reporter for every single NFL game I watch nowadays? Good lord, is this man annoying. And judging by the games I watch, he seems to be asexually multiplying. He seems affable enough if you're "his kind of guy," but definitely in a fart joke kind of way. In a six-year-old, steal-your-lunch-money kind of way. He's the kind of guy who, because he is so massive and rather famous, is used to everyone around him laughing at every joke he makes no matter what. So he doesn't have to try so hard, and just makes locker room fart jokes. I expect to hear within the next few years that he's going for some kind of farting/fart joke record. Way to go, Goose. You're enough to make me miss Lisa Guerrero.
Also, I liked Howie Long's halftime assessment of Tiki Barber. "He's running like somebody owes him money." Astute observation, Howard. No wonder you're "the smart one" on that show after James Brown. One time, somebody owed me money, and I was running to beat the devil. I understand that this is why bankers and bookies are so notoriously fast and in shape. I can't wait until next week for your next observation - or for the next Skins game, for that matter. I hope the week goes by fast. Fast like somebody owes it money. Good day now.
(Photo Credit: Jason Steven)