“We all wanted to go out and get off to a good start. It wasn’t like we didn’t want to win, but it was our first game against a really good team.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Redskins lost to the Giants…I know it sucks, I feel your pain. But, it was the 1st game of the season, it was the Giants and it was in New York. Sure it would be nice to get a win there, but 1 game does not make a season.”
“I thought it was a shame, to be honest with you. You take a win when you can get it. And there’s a lot of good players, and there’s a lot of good teams in this league. I think Washington prides themselves on being the best fans, and I think that they should try to be the best fans.”
“All you fake half hearted Skins fan can .. I won’t go there but I dislike you very strongly, don’t come to Fed Ex to boo dim wits!!”
All these quotes were said by our heroes in Burgundy and Gold over the course of their first two games of the 2009 season. The first is attributed our leader and quarterback Jason Campbell. The next two quotes are from Chris Cooley, arguably the face of the Redskins franchise. The final quote which I am sure you have already heard is from Robert Henson, a rookie linebacker only die hard fans have heard of up until now.
Being lifelong Redskins fans you have to ask yourselves, is this something I would hear from someone who is confident in their ability? Do the above comments reflect a sense of potential? Do they give you a sense that the team believes in themselves and each other?
Perhaps I am interpreting what was said the wrong way but what I find most troubling and worrisome is the general acceptance and attitude toward losing.
I believe team culture is a far more important factor to a team’s success than we give it credit for. How is it that the Lions could be so bad for so long in an era of free agency? You could have included the Cardinals in the same group up until recently. Some teams just seem to lose year after year no matter who they draft or who they sign. I’m afraid that our dear Redskins are starting to fall into this trap. It has been 18 years since our last Super Bowl. 18 years filled with losing, mediocrity, and consistently falling short of expectations.
And now we are starting to hear it from the player’s just two games into the season. Most of the Players are in their early to mid 20’s who throughout their lifetime probably never equated the Redskins as a franchise rich in a Winning tradition. Jason Campbell and Chris Cooley did not witness the HOGS or the Fun Bunch, the Diesel or the Smurfs and Robert Henson never saw the Posse and Capital Defense show us what Redskins football was all about.
Campbell, Cooley, and Henson grew up watching the Cowboys dominate the 90’s and the Eagles dominating the most recent decade with the Giants mixing in a few Super Bowl Victories of their own. To them the Redskins are the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFC East in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. In essence The Redskins have become what their players think they are. They are becoming a team satisfied with mediocrity, where losing is accepted when you are expected to lose, and where playing past December is as rare as Redskins pass inside the Red Zone.
I’m inclined to give Henson a break on his recent Twitter mouth off rant against the fans. I believe he has learned his lesson and has learned quite quickly the difference between the NFL and NCAA. I believe his apology to be sincere. I was much more disappointed by Campbell and Cooley’s comments. I understand the necessity of needing to get over losses quickly in order prepare for the next game, however telling us that a loss was ok because it was against a better team shows poor leadership and a failed outlook for the future.
I do believe that Campbell and Cooley want to win and want to win badly, but just because I want to score a touchdown, doesn’t mean I’m going to be able to. I need to prepare physically, mentally and most importantly strongly believe that I will be able to do it.
The fans will always be here to support the Redskins along the way. No matter if some of our Gridiron Heroes get their feelings hurt by boos and vent their frustrations on us. We will still support you. We will still pay a large sum of money to see you play and to park our cars and will devote our entire Sundays to you existence. I just hope that the team does not become too far entrenched in a culture of inferiority before it’s too late.