My Last Redskins Post

Redskin logo facepalming

I’ve had it.

I’m tired of the “organization.” I’m tired of the excuses. I’m tired of the so-called name controversy. I’m tired of the D.C. media gossip, the leaks from who-knows-where, and all the idiot “fans” who think that Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, Joe Shmoe would do better than RGIII behind an NFL-Europe-quality offensive line. Above all, I am tired of the drama.

Sports are supposed to be fun. This isn’t fun anymore.

It’s not just the Redskins. It’s the NFL as a whole. A greedy handful of billionaires pay a slightly larger handful of multi-millionaires and a whole lot of cannon fodder to crash into each other on TV. They only started caring about concussions, or domestic abuse, or a supposedly offensive name when it threatened their bottom line.

I put up with it far longer than I should of. I tried to recapture the innocent fandom of my youth—given one last gasp in 2012—but I was fooling myself. That NFL had its own problems, but I didn’t know then. This NFL has even bigger problems now and I can’t turn a blind eye anymore.

I also can’t twist myself in knots over a team I have no control over.

The difference between a “good” NFL owner and a “bad” NFL owner is simple. The “good” owner is a greedy billionaire who hires the right people to run his front office and hire talented coaches and draft and scout talented players. The “bad” owner is a greedy billionaire who thinks he knows better than everyone else.

Dan Synder, who bought the Redskins in 1999, is a “bad” owner. He has taken the great NFL franchise of the first quarter-century of my life and turned it into a laughing stock.

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A Familiar Spot

Teddy Bridgewater and Trent Murphy

Photo: AP/Ann Heisenfelt

In 2012, the Washington Redskins entered their bye week at 3-6, following a demoralizing loss at home to the Carolina Panthers. They’d dropped three straight games and it looked like their season was over. After the bye, the Redskins hosted Philadelphia and blew them out 31-6. Four days later, on Thanksgiving, they beat the Cowboys in Dallas. A week-and-a half later, on Monday Night Football, they edged the New York Giants by one and were back to .500.

Three wins in a row and four more to go. By the time they finished off the Cowboys in the rematch at Fed Ex field, the Redskins had completed an improbable seven-game win streak and were NFC East Champions.

In 2013, the Washington Redskins lost a game they should have won against the Minnesota Vikings. The loss dropped them to 3-6. They had a ten-day break (Thursday to the following Sunday) to get it together before traveling to Philadelphia to face the Eagles. Fans hoped against hope for a repeat of recent history and another improbable run, but instead the team fell apart and lost seven more to finish the season 3-13.

A year later, the Redskins find themselves in a familiar spot. In an odd mix of 2012 and 2013, they are 3-6, coming off a loss that should have been a win against the Vikings, and are heading into a bye week.

So which is it? Will we see another improbable run? A nightmare collapse? Or a mediocre middle between the two extremes?

Why they could win them all.

On offense, Robert Griffin III is healthy again, Alfred Morris is back to his usual self, and DeSean Jackson is uncoverable on the long ball. On defense, Ryan Kerrigan has come into his own as a pass rusher, Keenan Robinson is a force to be reckoned with from sideline to sideline, and Bashaud Breeland and David Amerson are developing into a strong, young cornerback duo. On special teams, Kai Forbath is reliable as ever, Tress Way is the best punter we’ve had in years, and Andre Roberts has finally solved the team’s returner dilemma. And all of the games are winnable. Even the Niners and the Colts have weaknesses that can be exploited by the right game plan.

Why they could lose them all.

On offense, Pierre Garçon disappears for whole games, four-fifths of the offensive line is still subpar, and Jay Gruden’s play-calling is unproven. On defense, the line can’t get consistent pressure, the safeties are still among the worst in the league, and Jim Haslett is the defensive coordinator for a fifth season in spite of logic and common sense. On special teams … well just because they’re not the catastrophe they were last season doesn’t mean they’re more than average. And all of the games are losable. The Niners and the Colts are on a different level, even when they struggle, the Rams and the Bucs could easily catch fire at the wrong time, and while the Eagles, Giants, and Cowboys aren’t perfect, they can all beat the Redskins on the right day.

Why neither extreme is likely.

The 2012 Redskins caught a lot of unlikely breaks. The 2013 Redskins fell into a spiral that no team could pull out of. Both runs were flukes and the chance of either happening again is pretty slim. This is a team that will win a couple games they’re supposed to lose, lose a couple games they’re supposed to win, and pretty much average out over the course of the season.

Prediction: 6-10, a new defensive coordinator come January, and a foundation to build on for 2015.

Bloggerhood Etc. 9/29/14

Red moon and horizon.

Photo: Melissa Otterbein

Best Goodbye to Summer.Yes in Every Season: Thoughts & Longings on the Last Night of Summer” by Melissa Otterbein at Like Birds on Trees.

Best Admission.I’m Tired of Owning” by Micah J. Murray” at Redemption Pictures blog.

Best Parenting Post.Separating Twins at School and Other Misadventures in Twin Parenting” by Elizabeth Esther.

Best List.7 Ways Pro Athletes Are Like Toddlers” by Lorne Jaffe at City Dads Network.

Best Interview.Melissa Hart Rescues Raptors and Adopts a Child in Her New Memoir Wild Within” by Cornelia Becker Seigner at Oregon Live.

Most Thought-Provoking.The Racist Dirge of America” by Michael Peppard at Commonweal. 

Best Special Needs Post.He’s Not Scary, He’s a Little Boy” AliceAnn Meyer at Jameson’s Journey. 

Best Response to Bad Theology.Does God Really Promise to Give Us Our Own Nation?” by David Lamb at Biblical Theological Seminary Faculty Blog.

Best Advice.This is Hard, You’re Doing a Good Job.” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle.

Best Book for New Parents. Zero to Five, reviewed by Alice Callahan at Science of Mom.

Best Guest Post.Blueberry” by Ben Moberg at Cara Strickland’s Little Did She Know.

Best Apology. “‘We Screwed Up:’ Maker of DC Board Game Apologizes to Parents of Young Girls” by Rebecca Pahle at The Mary Sue.

Best Admission.I’m a Blogger Damnit” by Brandon Billinger at The Rookie Dad.

Best Dad Post.Happy Birthday, Mouse” by Buzz Bishop at Camp Dad.

Best Mom Post.When Growing Up Hurts (a Mama)” by Ashley Larkin at Draw Near.

Best Tribute. “Sean Taylor, A Football Lifeat NFL Network.

Sean Taylor Mosaic

Image: NFL Network

Bloggerhood Etc. 9/22/2014

Final Score: 34-37

Image: Washington Redskins

Inspired by the Redskins ugly and infuriating loss to the Eagles and a weird tweet predicting that loss, I’m taking a slightly different approach to my usual blogosphere roundup. Here’s the worst of the week beginning with that tweet. Enjoy!

Worst tweet.

O … kay. And what did I ever do to him. Besides linking him here numerous times. Such a talented writer. I’m heartbroken …

Worst Tenure Review.Back From Yet Another Globe Trotting Adventure, Indiana Jones Checks His Mail and Discovers That His Bid for Tenure Has Been Denied” by Andy Bryan at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

Don’t you know the old saying, Indy? Grab the idol and run, don’t get squished by giant bolder, find the Ark of the Covenant, close your eyes while the Nazis get their faces blown off, AND PUBLISH … or perish.

Worst Example of an Ignorant Evangelical.A Southern Baptist Who Accepts Evolution” shared by Tyler Francke on God and Evolution.

Don’t you mean “God OR Evolution,” Tyler?

Worst Sign (from the same article).

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Bloggerhood Etc. 7/14/14

Newport sunset

Photo: Julia Ozab

The sun has set on our week-long Oregon Coast vacation, and it’s time to get back to work. Step one: catching up on everything I missed online. Here are some of the best …

Best Bucket List.Gonna live like I’m dying–a list of what I’d do/not do if I my time was almost up” by Elizabeth Esther.

Best Response to a Media-Driven Controversy.The Redskins Controversy; Let the Natives Speak” by Charles Martel at Turf Show Times.

Best Writing Advice.Paper Can Handle the Truth” by Natalie Trust at The Gift of Writing.

Best Special Needs Post.When the Waves are too Strong” by Shannon Dingle at Not Alone.

Best Satire.How to Breastfeed Appropriately” by Bunmi Laditan at Huff Post Parents.

Best Protest.Dallas Open Carry Guitar Protest Hits the Right Note” by the editors at The Dallas Morning News.

Best Question.Will American Christians Fail the Good Samaritan Test?” by Ed Cyzewski.

Best Comic.If Super Mario World Had Been Released on an App Store” by Commitstrip. 

Best Dad Post.My Son Wears Dresses and That’s OK With Me” by Seth Menachem at xojane.

Best Reality Check.This is What Happened When I Drove My Mercedes to Pick Up Food Stamps” by Darlena Cunha at The Washington Post.

Best Commentary.Christians Worship a Child Who Fled Violence in His Home Country” by Gay Clark Jennings at Religion News Service.

Best Book Trailer.How to Start a Family … One Owl at a Time,” a trailer for Melissa Hart’s new memoir Wild Within (via You Tube).

Best Movie Trailer.Wild – Official Trailer (2014)” the film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir (via YouTube).

“What if all those things I did were the things that got me here?”

Redskins 2014 Draft Review

#skinsdraft

Image: Washington Redskins

The 2014 NFL Draft is in the books. This year, in preparation, I followed several mock draft sites and did a bunch of my own via Fanspeak’s excellent On the Clock draft simulator site. Until about the beginning of April. That’s when I burned out and stopped paying attention. A month later, the draft finally happened for real, and outside of the first round or so it was completely different from all the mocks—my own included. Here’s how it went down for my favorite team, The Washington Redskins.

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Bloggerhood Etc. 4/28/14

Redskins and Dolphins in SB VII

The Redskins of my childhood (Photo: Getty Images)

Happy Monday! Wait … is there such a thing?

Here’s the best of week …

Best Article.A Decade Without a First-Round Pick” by Mike Tanier on Sports on Earth.

Most Honest.Infertility Awareness Week: A Catholic Perspective” by Aimee Murphy (and numerous contributors from a Facebook infertility support group, some of whom chose to remain anonymous) at Ramblings of an Interested Party.

Most Poetic.The Popular Poet” by John Blase, guesting on Addie Zierman’s How to Talk Evangelical blog.

Best Reflection.Shared Sacrifice” by Msgr. Micheal Heintz at America.

Best Photoblog.Pattern” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle.

Biggest Blowout (in any sport, ever).NBA Y2K: OutKast’s quest for 404 points in one game” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.

Best Special Needs Post.3D Printers: The Future is Now” by Jolene Philo at Not Alone.

Best Guest Post.In which we’re telling a new narrative about gender roles and racial reconciliation” by Osheta Moore at Sarah Bessy’s blog.

Most Thought-Provoking.The Day the Place Cards Were Burned” by Natalie Trust.

Most Nostalgic.Traveling the Oregon Trail” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know.

Best List.Top Ten Ways to Misuse the Bible {from an ex-fundamentalist guilty of ALL ten}” by Elizabeth Esther.

Best Video.Play House” by Alex Allmont on Vimeo.

If only LEGO did that when I was a kid!