The Redskins and the infinite sadness
So, yeah. This season has been a bit of a bummer. But the question is - how much of a bummer is it from an historical perspective? Let's take a look at some of the more soul-crushing seasons of the last 20 years.
Last year gets a high ranking just for the laughingstock quality of it all. It wasn't just that the Redskins were bad, but they managed to be bad with a Clippers-like pathetic incompetence. No one thought this was a Super Bowl team, but it was an ugly 4-12 that had only Vinny's firing as a bright spot.
The Redskins started the Spurrier Era in 2002 with a 7-9 season that was full of ups and downs. However, the underlying assumption would be that, you know, they'd improve. Instead, they regressed to 5-11 as the Ol' Ball Coach let Patrick Ramsey get killed on every drop back. I distinctly remember Troy "How's Your Head" Aikman suggesting that Ramsey should press charges against the Redskins coaching staff.
The Redskins were coming off a season where they were a bad snap away from the NFC Championship game. After the long, dark 90's they seemed to have finally put together a good core group of players that worked well together. So, what do the Redskins do? They go out and get every high-priced free agent they could find, including Jeff George, Deion Sanders, and Bruce Smith. It seemed like a guaranteed ticket to the Super Bowl, but turned into a miserable 8-8 season where Norv got fired.
The Redskins finally settled on Gus Frerotte over Heath Shuler (yay!) and the Gus-tapo led the Skins to a 7-1 start. The playoffs were a given. Until, of course, they went 2-6 down the stretch and missed out on the postseason. Two of those losses were in overtime, and one was a loss in Arizona by a point. This season gets extra points in my book because that hot start gave the false hope that Norv had finally figured things out.
This gets my vote for number one, just because of the proximity to a Super Bowl win. Coming into 1993, the Redskins were only two years away from a championship, and had been in the playoffs for three straight years. While a drop off could be expected with Joe Gibbs retiring, no one thought the Richie Petibon era would be so terrible and so brief. The Redskins went 4-12 and the team got blown up the next year. This hurt so much because we all wanted Petibon to succeed, and Redskins fans were not in any way used to this kind of failure. I know, this seems so quaint now.
I currently give this season a solid 6.5. Most didn't expect too much out of the first season with a new front office, coach, and new players. I also give Shanahan 1000 times more credit than Norv, Zorn, or Spurrier. While the team is old and it's hard to have hope, it only feels worse than those other seasons because it is happening RIGHT NOW.
Now, I reserve the right to bump this score up if they lose the last three games. And it also means that next year could be a perfect 10 if (God forbid) things get worse. Ain't sports fun?
| December 13, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories: Jason Woodmansee, Redskins | Tags: Jason Woodmansee, Redskins
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