Sunday, November 11, 2007

And the Pain Continues...

I think I mentioned before that I am a Redskins fan. I question why, and all I can really come up up with is a warm fuzzy feeling that I would get inside whenever I wore a stupid hat. How illogical and emotional that makes me. After the latest loss, I am feeling - despair.
The problem is that I have such an emotional investment in each game that I can't separate the outcome of the game from my own personal reality. I believe in my team the way a native population of a small pacific island might believe in a volcano god that will not destroy the village if fed virgins. Mine is a mindless devotion. I can even prove my devotion. I participate in a weekly football pool. During the week before the Skins vs Pats game I was the only person on the the face of the earth to pick the skins to win, and believe in the pick! Foolish man that I am...
If my feelings about the Redskins are similar to a religious belief, then FedEx field is the cathedral where I worship. The TV is only a stand in when I can not make my pilgrimage. My clothes are purchased to keep up with the latest styles so that I will always be prepared to show my Sunday's best.
My tithe to my team is probably not a tenth of my family income as the definition implies, but I estimate that it is in the neighborhood of 2% to maybe 5%. This is way out of wack for a family of five with income that is based on two teacher's salaries. I was inspired by a cool blog and created a special graphic to illustrate my meaning (inserted below).

Pain Illustrated

The disappointment of this season is settling in nicely. With the highest paid brain trust in the NFL, the Redskins have managed to all but throw this season away. I wonder which one of them said, "Hey, lets run Portis 7 times and see how far he gets (this was after a turnover at the Philly 24)!" The cameras didn't show the sideline, but I am thinking there was major high fiving on that one.

Don't get me wrong, I have the highest respect for Joe Gibbs. He is a supreme football being to me. If I were to ever meet him I would be giddy like a schoolgirl meeting her favorite teen idol. I can only assume that he is being pushed into the background by the other coaches. Could it be there are too many cooks in the kitchen?

Should I mention how penalties contributed to our loss? Nah, why bore anyone by going over one of the few things we do well? We easily keep drives going for the other team with mindless penalties. This should always be expected from a Washington team. You might think that having geniuses in charge of your team you would only see the proper number of defensive players on the field. But geniuses should never be bothered with counting to 11. That's kindergarten stuff.

Sophisticated communications equipment is in use in the NFL so that all of the coaches can talk and figure out what to do. Do we really need to blow all three 2nd half timeouts for patty cake? Don't they have a contingency flow chart with a pimply faced intern in charge to remind everyone about what they would do if X thing happened- like they agreed to in a Wednesday meeting? Can they just tell Cambell to fake it and run the hurry up all the time?

People might say that if I was a real fan I would never say these things (believe me I am thinking much worse- I am just trying to stay true to my promise of a clean blog). The only thing I can say to that is that I have paid for the privilege. To me, it is like voting. You must pay for the right to complain about government by taking an active role in it and voting. I have given my hard earned money, I have believed in my team and I have felt each loss as if it were my own personal failure. This gives me the right to say what I want.

These coaches make an obscene amount of money to fail. I would pay for the privilege. At least then I could say that I had some influence in a game that I feel so involved in. The difference between me and them, I would pay to fail, while they get paid to fail? No wonder I can't be happy with my team. I am willing to sacrifice my untested football reputation, more of my family's income than I already give away, and precious time away from my family to make my team right and they sacrifice what? Their reputation and time from their families. Millionaire Losers- that's what they are, while I am just a Loser.

I am a 41 year old male who weighs 170 on a heavy day, stands 5 ft 10 (that's what I put on my driver's licence), and I would suit up for a game and sacrifice my body to help my team. I would block the biggest rusher, tackle whoever had the ball, and run crossing routes through Baltimore's D. I mean this- I would do it knowing in the end I would be squished like a grape. My williness to sacrifce myself should mean something, but it doesn't. I sounds like false bravado.

So, where does this leave me? Believing that the Redskins can beat the Cowboys this weekend. Being mocked by other teams fans. Throwing virgins in the volcano...

I believe in God. I have prayed for my team to succeed. I know that He has to be on the Redskins side, because I think the Bible says something like, "The meek shall inherit the Earth." Lord, the Redskins are ready.

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