Ive been through it all during my 34 years of fandom. From the highest of highs as a youth during the 1st Joe Gibbs era to the lowest of lows as an adult. And there have been PLENTY of lows….
Hiring a Cowboy to be the last coach in RFK Stadium (Norv Turner), the purchases of the new Over-The-Hill Gang (Henry Ellard, Mark Carrier, Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, Andre Reed etc), The Stadium that was supposed to be at Potomac Yards, Pepper Rodgers, Gus Ferrotte and the headbutt, Steve Spurrier, Al Saunders and the 700 page playbook, Jimmy Raye, Marvcus Patton cursing out Gus Ferrotte on the 1st game of the season vs the Giants, then watching Trent Green have a great season then leave via Free Agency, Jeff George and NUMEROUS Free Agent Busts (Albert Haynesworth, Brandon Lloyd, Adam Archeleta, Jeremiah Trotter), Dumb trades (TJ Duckett, Donovan McNabb), unfufilled potential in Lavar Arrington and the ultimate low, the death of our last truly stud athlete in Sean Taylor.
Having said that, today marks a new beginning. A beginning that has can only occur this way for two reasons.
1) Hitting rock bottom….fans don’t want to admit it, but this team after the Jim Zorn era and the beginning of the Mike Shanahan regime, this team, franchise were a laughing stock. It sucks being a fan of a laughing stock but we Skins fans, if we aren’t anything, we are loyal to a fault.
2) The drafting of a transcendent athlete. Yes, Robert Griffin III is indeed a great young QB, but more than anything, as Stephen A. Smith has stated before “The Kid is BOX OFFICE!” and that matters in a city that gravitates towards positions of power. All eyes have been on this kid since the day we traded 2 extra 1st rd picks just to have the opportunity to draft him. After one full season, I doubt if anyone even cares that we “gave up so much” for one guy. When you have a QB such as this, you have the opportunity to win EVERY game, when was the last time you could say that about a Redskins team? 1992 maybe?
The Bruce Allen/Mike Shanahan dynamic has been criticized by plenty of people for not bringing immediate results but the BEST thing they have brought to this franchise, the ending of the Face of Loserdom, Vinny Cerrato as a member of this franchise. During his regime, Vinny basically ignored the proper protocol on how to build a team and totally disregarded how valuable a competent scouting department is to a teams future. Mike Shanahan was interviewed recently and said that the team has cut almost 150 players in 3 years, and only ONE player is a starter on another team currently (Carlos Rogers….also Laron Landry is a starter on the Jets but whatever LOL). That goes to show you that the General Manager before was basically worthless. Right now there are 40 players on the roster that have 4 years or less NFL experience. When players go down such as Brian Orakpo, when you can get contributions from a Rob Jackson, game changing plays from a Richard Crawford, solid play from a Logan Paulsen….and lastly, finding a stud RB in the 6th rd in Alfred Morris, this has become a well scouted, well coached ensemble that only had room to grow….together.
I cant say for sure what the future holds for the team, or if we are even the better team today vs Seattle. I do know one thing, this is the 1st time in my adult life I can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is Ultimate Respectability for this franchise and a consistent winner where JUST winning a division title isnt the sole reason for celebration. We should be striving to be consistent like the Patriots or Ravens where the playoffs are an afterthought to the ultimate prize and goal, the Vince Lombardi Trophy.