Redskins fans should have seen the writing on the wall.
From the moment seven time Pro Bowler Trent Williams indicated he was holding out, to the first game of the season when former Head Coach Jay Gruden decided to deactivate their best, most decorated, and respected player in Adrian Peterson, everyone should have felt a poor season brewing. This season has been an absolute embarrassment for all Redskins fans. Some players had the audacity to comment publicly about how upset they were about the fans booing, meanwhile, they haven’t won a home football game in over a calendar year equating to nine straight home losses.
Is it ok to boo now?
Not only are Redskin fans not attending games, they are also disconnecting from the team emotionally and attaching themselves to other allegiances. I heard a poll on the radio the other day indicating the new favorite team in Washington, DC is the Nationals. It’s not beyond the realm of belief considering they just won the World Series, and brought yet another professional sports title to DC; something the Redskins haven’t come remotely close to doing since 1992. I have never seen such a storied championship franchise destroy its foundation and turn the fans against it as quickly as this one has.
Redskins’ President of Football Operations Bruce Allen is clearly delusional when he has the gall to make a comment like “the culture is actually damn good…”. Meanwhile, in the REAL world the head coach has been fired, your most loyal player and team captain doesn’t trust you and never wants to play for your franchise again, the players allegedly were complaining about practicing in pads during the bye week when their record is 1-8, your starting safety is involved in an investigation into the death of his girlfriend, and your team and front office are the laughing stocks of the entire National Football League.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. President of Football Operations, Bruce Allen was hired in 2010 as the Redskins Executive Vice President/General Manager and was promoted to President/General Manager in 2014 where he held both titles until 2016. As of 2017, Allen has been the teams President of Football Operations and has the final say on personnel decisions. Since 2010, the Redskins are 60-93 with two playoff appearances and zero playoff victories. The Redskins went 3-13 the year Allen was promoted to President of Football Operations. I have been trying to figure out exactly what warranted him a promotion, and more “say so” over the day to day transgressions. If mediocrity is the standard of excellence, then I get it, but for a franchise whose history has always been about Super Bowls and playoff trips, this is unfathomable. In his defense, before Allen arrived, this franchise wasn’t having its best days, but it also wasn’t on the verge of total implosion. At the time Allen was hired, it looked like things couldn’t possibly get worse, but Allen came in and said “Hold my beer”.
The irony about the downfall of this Redskins’ franchise under Allen’s leadership is he has played an integral part in destroying the very foundation that his father, former Redskin coach and Hall of Famer George Allen helped build. Now, this isn’t necessarily a Bruce Allen bashing write up (well, not completely), but it is more so a closer look at part of what’s wrong with the franchise. You can’t reward people for underachieving and expect to excel. It sets a precedence that mediocrity is acceptable and is the standard by which those employed by Redskin owner Daniel Snyder will be evaluated under. This may not be Daniel Snyder’s position, and there may be more to it than meets the eye, which a lot of times there is.
Many want Snyder to sell the team and to get out of DC. I don’t necessarily share that sentiment because I believe Snyder wants to win. Not only that, many of the players and coaches that have come through the organization still respect Snyder and the way he does business. I believe Snyder empowers the wrong people in leadership positions and needs to seek outside feedback on what his approach should be in order to win this fan base back and get his franchise back to a respectable level. He should take a page out of Monumental Sports and Entertainment owner Ted Leonsis’ book and seek advice outside of Ashburn to help fix this mess. He needs an overhaul of the front office and guidance from credible sources.
The Washington Redskins are in a horrible place and I’m not sure exactly how they can rebound from this. I do however have a suggestion: Daniel Snyder must first fire Bruce Allen. Then, he should have a press conference regarding the state of the organization while detailing what his next steps will be in moving the Redskins forward. He should directly engage the fans that have invested their money and countless Sundays hoping to see an improved team. It won’t happen overnight, but at least it will show the fan base he embraces them, and he empathizes with them. It will show he recognizes their value, and knows they are the REAL foundation for the Washington Redskins franchise. It also may provide clarity, and possibly hope to some of the loyal fans that are still vested.
Who am I kidding? Danny won’t do that. He will never humble himself to that magnitude. This organization is operated from top to bottom with “arrogance at all cost” as its motto. It’s disheartening for Redskins fans to sit and suffer through what they experience on a weekly basis and it’s embarrassing. One thing is for sure, at some point, the Redskins will not only be an embarrassment to themselves, but to the entire NFL. I guess we all will have to sit back and wait and see how things pan out. I have to be real and say I’m not expecting a whole lot to change anytime soon, but I sincerely hope they prove me wrong. As you were…
Photo Credit: Clutch Points