Another Football Season Ends

(this was a short thing I wrote at the end on last season… funny, it STILL mostly applies today at the end of this season)

Like most fans around the country, I was hopeful at the start of the season but very quickly realized it was another year to say “maybe next year”.

Unlike most seasons in the recent past, there were not a lot of undefeated teams past mid-season. It was such a strange season that even a team with a losing record actually won their division. (Remember, this was last year this happened. This year only won team got in with an 8-8 record… Tim Tebow’s team, and ’nuff said about that!)

I live in the D.C. Metropolitan area and so am a Redskins fan. Yeah, one of those.

Since Daniel Snyder purchased the team, the playoff berths here have been pretty meager. He was raised in the area and is a long-time fan of the Redskins himself. His desire to bring the team back to the glory days has been a little wide of the mark.

First off, he thinks you can buy a winning team. Several times now, he has shelled out the big bucks to bring in all the high ticket players to get on that fast track to a Super Bowl.

Ring-envy is not a pretty sight.

Needless to say, it has not worked out well. Having been involved in team sports when I was younger, I know first hand that it is not really about the caliber or quality of the players that makes a winning team. It is not just having a great coach, either, as Snyder is learning as well (I hope).

It is a team sport and there is some very undefinable “something” that brings a group of people together and allows them to function as one.

The best football team in history (the undefeated Miami Dolphins) were not populated with the big-name players of football history. What they had, instead, was a great team. It is not something you can purchase or detect at the combine. It is only something you can hope for.

One thing Mister Snyder could do that would help is to stop buying big name players (like Albert Haynesworth) and start valuing the lesser lights on the squad. Allow they to step up to the task. If the roster were peopled by players of that stripe, you would have a winning team.

Paying a few special players the really big bucks draws energy away from the TEAM.

And we suffered through two years of Coach Zorn (it’s not that he was so awful, it’s just that Snyder was filling the position until he could get his choice… and so never did much to support the two-year period of Zorn’s position) to bring in the really great coach: Shanahan.

Funny, I thought he meant Mike Shanahan, but it turned out to be Kyle who’s in charge. Oh, sure, they set it up to look like it’s Mike who’s in charge but it obviously ain’t so!

When McNabb was benched earlier in the season, Mike came out and gave his reasons… then back-pedaled and gave different reasons… then Kyle came out and gave different reasons and his Dad agreed.

At the end of the season, the Shanahananigans got even more obtuse. Mike was spinning his wheels for reasons until Kyle just came out and said that he did not like McNabb and was not going to use him!!

At least, Mike didn’t have to come up with three competing answers this time but it became dreadfully obvious who is actually running the team.

Kyle worked with Grossman at Houston and wants to put him in a prominent place in Washington. So, they worked Grossman out for the final few games of the season and I was thoroughly underwhelmed.

If Grossman had been using that as a display of his worth to the team, it was not a very good showing. He’s streaky like Jeff George… and a few years ago we had a dynamite offense under Brad Johnson but Snyder wanted his dream QB: Jeff George. The Redskins tanked and Brad Johnson went to Tampa Bay and took them to a win in the Super Bowl.

And if Kyle is thinking this display puts him on the “fast track” to a head-coaching position, I think he’s done a really good job…

That is, if any team is looking for a spoiled brat to run their team. If so, he’s a perfect fit.

Hm, maybe if Jeff Fisher ever leaves Tennessee they can call Kyle and replace one spoiled brat with another.

Fisher did the same thing with Vince Young that Kyle did with McNabb: I don’t like him and I’m not going to play with him! Yeah, that sounds real professional, huh? Why are they paying these guys so much money? To skate to the championships?

I just hope he leaves soon so Washington can find a real coach.

And they talk about players being prima donnas…

That was the end of last year’s article and I can’t say it is much different this year except we have no McNabb to kick around anymore or blame for the offensive troubles. And Kyle’s choice of savior, Grossman, was as streaky as ever. You don’t get a final mark of 5-11 on the season with a decent QB.

But there IS light at the end of the tunnel. There are now younger players populating the squad and it would seem that Shanahan might actually be given the chance to grow a team. That is Mike Shanahan, not his son. Perhaps he and Grossman can go somewhere else next year. Hopefully, the same place the now unemployed Jeff Fisher winds up.


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