What today means

It was all possible because of them…..

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.

 

 

HAIL!

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2012 Year In Review

2012 aka The Greatest Year in My Adult Sporting Fandom! LOL (I know, I know I’m a couple of days late….sue me! LOL)

With Robert Griffin III and The Redskins making the playoffs this season, people have easily forgotten how great of a season its been for ALL DC Sports fans.  Two Divisional Titles with epic performances from the young, old and obscure made this a classic year.

 

Bryce Harper

The Nationals were the best team in baseball virtually the whole 2nd half of the season (Record-wise).  The early call-up of rookie phenom (and eventual Rookie of the Year) Bryce Harper energized a fan base who early on wondered would the early success last especially with the lack of offense, injuries to Ryan Zimmerman, “Beast Mode” Michael Morse, Jesus Flores, Drew Storen and Jayson Werth (and eventually Breakout Star Ian Desmond would be lost for a month later in the season).  Davey Johnson and staff did a helluva job with the pitching staff, who was outstanding throughout the long campaign.  Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzales both made the All Star team as did the aforementioned Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper.  Ryan Zimmerman took “The Corizone Shot from God” and came back with numbers that would have made him an MVP candidate.  Our REAL MVP candidate was Adam LaRoche, who after an injury filled 2011, came back with a vengeance.  He displayed Gold Glove winning defense and Silver Slugger winning power.  He stabilized what became the biggest improvement of the team during the resurgence to respectability, the team overall defense.   The 2nd half of the season was just a joy to watch for all Nats fans and the day we clinched the Division crown was an absolute joy, one of the greatest sporting moments of my life (NEVER deleting that from the DVR!).  We didn’t go into the playoffs with our best squad with the shutdown of Strasburg and losing a couple of series going into postseason, but for me, just getting there THIS year was more than enough for me….just dont get swept LOL.  We all know what eventually happened, after Jayson Werth provided us with a DC Sports moment of the ages with the walk-off HR in the bottom of the 9th in Game 4, we eventually lost Game 5 in the bottom of the 9th off our young closer Drew Storen.  Honestly, the Cardinals played better than us throughout the series, and we walked waaaaaaaaay too many batters throughout the series that it would eventually bite us in the ass, and it did.  Regardless, The Nationals are now a major threat to win the whole thing next year (especially if we can resign LaRoche) and for years to come.  Denard Span will now man CF so Bryce Harper can become settled in at a corner outfield position along with Werth at the other.  Also coming to the team this off-season is veteran Dan Haren to become the 5th starter. If he can show us anything from his earlier years, this will be the best rotation in the league as if it wasn’t already.  Ill take Strasburg, Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detweiler (who was the best pitcher in the postseason) against any rotation in the majors today. Natitude is alive and well!

Joel Ward and teammates celebrate!

Our Capitals didnt dominate the Regular Season like we normally do, and maybe that was a good thing going into the Stanley Cup playoffs this year, finishing 7th overall in the Eastern Conference matching up with the defending Cup Champs, the Boston Bruins.  Rookie Goalie Brandon Holtby was just outstanding and Joel Ward scored a series clinching overtime goal in the 7th and deciding game.  After winning a game like that, us Caps fans thought that quite possibly the demons of Postseason’s Past could finally be exercised.  Alas they werent as we were defeated by the hated New York Rangers again in 7 games.  Coach Dale Hunter who took over in midseason after the firing of fan favorite Bruce Boudreau, declined to return for the next season and we hired (another) former Caps great in recent Hall of Famer Adam Oates to take over the reigns.  Hopefully there will be a damn season to start soon enough! LETS GET IT TOGETHER OWNERS!!!!

Not much to say about the Wizards sadly smh.  We are the worst franchise in the sport as our only two players worth a damn (John Wall and Nene) both started the season injured.  Fun Times on Fun Street!  Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton haven’t developed much at all and we have the worst record in the sport with no light at the end of the tunnel.  Thanks Ernie Grundfeld for ALL of this!

 

The Rooks!

Lastly, Our Washington Redskins.  I’m not going to write much because that’s going to go into another posting. I do want to acknowledge the fact that this team, region, fan base is re-energized.  Even if we didn’t make the playoffs this season, you could finally see that the fruits of the labor of Bruce Allen, Coach Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan and most importantly, the scouting department is finally coming to fruition.   Long gone are the days where just making the playoffs was the ultimate ceiling for the team, we can now build a true contender which one day could make “just” winning divisional titles commonplace.  HAIL!

Oh, I know this posting is about DC Sports, but I’m a HUGE Kentucky Wildcats fan….and we won that chip last year….don’t get mad at Calipari, DEAL WITH IT…”Coach YOUR team!” GO BIG BLUE!

The Redskins and the “Mean Ol’ Parent”

Honestly, as a Skins fan thats a realist more than anything, having 5 wins with this inept roster, I would have been happy with “progress” in “changing the culture” (Key word…..remember them).  BUT after this Donovan McNabb debacle (and thats exactly what is is as of Friday December 17th, 2010), this season has been a failure at epic levels because of one major thing, the lack of genuine respect given, not to just McNabb, but because of the constant flakiness towards a bevy of situations.  People may not agree with me here but Mike Shanahan has treated this team and its fan base on a smaller scale, like a mean parent.  The type of parent that says “Its my way or the highway” with no room for flexibility.  Maybe in the grander scheme that its a good thing, and we will eventually find out but for TODAY, its become a sad, sad commentary of 2 decades of foolery us fans have had to endure and maybe thats what he doesnt realize.

As a parent of a 2 1/2 year old female bundle of joy, I have had my missteps. Ive had to apologize to her for  admonishing her without hearing the whole story. That happens…..which goes back to why I think this is such a debacle, there is nothing WRONG with admitting fault Mr Shanahan!  If you messed up and gave up a 2nd round pick for a Qb that doesnt work for you, FINE….just admit it.  Just admit YOU’VE been apart of the problem because if we eventually turn this mess around, your damn sure going to take praise for being apart of the solution.

Any normal person with a brain realizes McNabb hasnt been great this season, hell this has been his worst season in his career.  But the open disrespect shown to him by the staff could have been handled so much better PUBLICLY.  If you wanted to bench him, just do it, say it and move on.  Shanahan has done a poor job dealing with this team in all fronts.  The Devin Thomas debacle (even though he sucks, just cut the man instead of going through the unnecessary crap), the implementation of this 3-4 defense with NO flexibility to TRY to get something out of your best talent (Albert Haynesworth), and lastly, the Albert Haynesworth saga.  I was one of the people to not totally bash Albert for this and I’m sure because of whats transpired these last couple of days have people looking back on the Haynesworth Saga a tad bit differently.  Again, the Mean Ol Parent comes to the light “You cross me, you’ll never win my love back, EVER!!”

Out of the 13 games played, the RB position started a player who wasn’t even ON an NFL roster last season 8 times, the starting WR on the opposite side of Santana Moss had a combined 7 catches last season (Joey Galloway with a whopping 7, Anthony Armstrong with 0).  How in the HELL do you expect supreme greatness with such a whopping lack of talent?!?! They say there is now “accountability” in Ashburn for these players on this roster and some of these moves have shown that to be the case, but where is the accountability of these coaches?  The 1st step in recovery is admitting a problem….. Shana-rat!