Football in Washington: Dysfunction and Chaos
The Washington Redskins: the franchise that brought you Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, John Riggins, “The Hogs,” “The Posse,” the “Over the Hill Gang” and (who could ever forget) “The Hogettes.” Only in one of the craziest and most passionate NFL fandoms can grown men in pig noses and skirts be so cool.
In the late ‘90s, a boy-turned-billionaire buys the franchise he grew up rooting for his whole life. Sounds like a dream come true. Well, at least for him it was. A once-proud fan base would be stuck watching years of mediocre football, high-priced free agents—who never lived up to the hype—and a coaching carousel that never seems to end.
In the nation’s capital, football used to be bigger than politics, and for good reason: three Lombardi trophies and five Superbowl appearances, which is more than 27 other NFL franchise. But that was then.
In 1999, the Dan Snyder regime took the helm. In Snyder’s 20 years as the owner, there have been only four winning seasons, two playoff appearances, seven head coaches and 20 different starting quarterbacks for one reason or another, whether it be injury or subpar play. That’s not to mention an outdated team name so offensive that many journalists and broadcasters refuse to repeat it.
We’re already five games into the 2019 season and Washington fans have been left with nothing to cheer for. The team remains winless, the best player is still holding out due to organizational mismanagement, and a new coaching hire is on the horizon with Jay Gruden being let go early Monday.
Washington will spend much of the offseason in search of Gruden’s successor. All of the usual big names will be thrown around: the Urban Meyers, the Mike Tomlins and the Lincoln Rileys of the world because Snyder likes to make a splash. But if you’re a highly sought-after football coach, would you even want to take this job?
Gregg Williams, who was once the defensive coordinator for Washington, had a chance to return this year and passed on the job in favor of joining the Jets. But, hey, maybe Snyder has the next Kyle Shanahan or Sean McVay in the building. Of course, he already had Shanahan and McVay in the building, and he let them get away. Now look at all the success they are having with their teams. At just 32 years old, McVay already has the Rams competing for a Super Bowl.
“A dream is just a dream until you make it come true.” Well, Dan Snyder, for a little over 20 years now, you have been living your dream. You bought the franchise you grew up rooting for your whole life. But the fans in D.C. have been living their nightmare. They lost their football team. It’s time you give it back.
Ariel Simpson is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.