Sign up today for Post Pro Picks, The Post's free, weekly NFL pick 'em game, where you can win great prizes, form groups to play against your friends, see how you fare against our experts or just play for fun. Register at http://washingtonpost. com/pro-picks
For breaking Redskins news, text "REDSKINS" to 98999
For breaking sports news alerts, text "SPORTS" to 98999
I have a message for Washington Redskins fans: We are very lucky. And spoiled. As bad as the Redskins have been lately, we have a team with Super Bowl victories, a commitment to winning (bear with me on that one), and a loyal fan base. In fact, pretty much all the teams in the Northeast can say this. Well, Philadelphia can’t say the Super Bowl part [ducks a battery]. What I'm getting it is that it could be worse -- we could be a fans of the Houston Texans.
I don’t have any problem with the Houston Texans. Nobody does. Why bother? I bet 20% of sports fans think that the Houston football team is still the Oilers playing in the Astrodome. The NFL originally awarded an expansion team to Los Angeles, but went back to Houston only when LA couldn’t get a stadium together. They’re the NFL’s safety city. They have exactly zero playoff wins -- which isn’t too surprising considering that they’ve never actually made the playoffs. The franchise’s greatest game was the big win against the Cowboys -- in the very first game. I’m more interested in the game-planning DC college bars need to do with Matt Leinart coming to town than anything else.
This is not uncommon once you get away from the traditional sports cities and franchises. I moved from DC to San Diego in 2001 and that year the season opener for the Chargers was, coincidentally enough, the Redskins. When I called the ticket office, the nice young man told me that “we expect it to be a sell-out” because of “all the military people in area” -- aka Redskins fans. I got decent tickets in my own sweet time and got to watch Jeff George’s last professional football game (yay!) with a stadium almost half full of other Skins fans. This week, the Chargers’ home opener will be blacked out, even though they have won the AFC West four years in a row. I guess the Tebow-less Jaguars don’t have the same kind of draw.
The fact is that many communities just don’t get that worked up about their football teams. It’s hard to understand until you live in one of those non-sports towns. So, to all you nutcases out there who take all things about the Redskins too seriously, I salute you. We should all raise a glass and toast each other as we watch the Redskins take on the whatchamacallits on Sunday.