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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 12/13/2010

The Redskins and the infinite sadness

By Jason Woodmansee

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.

2009
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.
Soul-crush-o-meter: 7/10

2003
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.
Soul-crush-o-meter: 8/10

2000
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.
Soul-crush-o-meter: 9/10

1996
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.
Soul-crush-o-meter: 9/10

1993
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.
Soul-crush-o-meter: 9.5/10

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?

By Jason Woodmansee  | December 13, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Woodmansee, Redskins  | Tags:  Jason Woodmansee, Redskins  
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Next: Can we all stop freaking out please?

Comments

I really wish everyone would relax a little. Yes, it's disappointing the Skins have surrendered at least a wildcard spot, but let's be realistic: there's a new GM, a new head coach, a new coaching staff, and a new QB. Rebuilding a team takes time. Let me say that again: rebuilding a team takes time. Fans and owners alike are so impatient for success that they'll blow through players and coaches looking for a quick fix, and all they do is damage the future of the team. Snyder's worst decision (or, group of decisions) since he's owned the team is to play musical chairs with the head coach position. I don't care if your name is Vince Lombardi or Bill Belichick, you will need at least a couple of seasons to build a respectable team. With the exception of Zorn, it made me shutter every time Snyder replaced the head coach because it means the team is starting over and was almost guaranteed not to make the playoffs that season. Shanahan needs two or three seasons and a young, promising QB of his own choosing before Skins fans can bathe in the light at the end of the tunnel. If Snyder gets an itchy trigger finger again, I promise you it will only get worse. Want proof? Look at Cleveland and Oakland. These were two rock-bottom, punch line NFL teams which are now showing signs of respectability. Why? The coaching staffs were given several seasons to cultivate plans and grow the team. Both teams still have mountains to climb, but neither are the butt of jokes like they used to be. The Redskins are no different. Do you want to be disappointed less? Learn patience.

Posted by: gregsuarez | December 14, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Zorn's first season was 8-8 !! You can't count his second season against him because Dannyboy and his puppeteers took over.
Take Banks off the team this year and the Redskins would've had 2 more losses this year.
Dont forget we had a top 5 defense last year....what do we have this year?

Looks like bad coaching to me

Posted by: dannyboyrules | December 14, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I'll all for getting worse if it means getting better in the long run.

Even the two playoff seasons we've had in the last . . . 11 years? were weak teams that put together valiant runs.

This will require a change in philosophy - no more giving away picks (let the ludicrous McNabb trade be the last).

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | December 14, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Okay, this is my first chance to rant about this. I know this sounds pathetic and slightly unstable, but being a Redskins and with three screaming young kids in my house has, I think, pushed me over the insanity line. Anyway, I watch a lot of football at every level. I have only seen three instances in my nearly 30 years watching in which an offensive lineman has been called for a facemask. All three times it's been against the Redskins: Zorn's first season at Detroit, a second time last year (or maybe earlier this year), and once this year on Keiland Williams would-be first down run against the Giants on the Skins second possession. The call in the Giants game was atrocious. Either the NFL wants other Skins fans to join me in the puzzle factory, or the officiating in the League is biased, even if subconsciously. You and I know that the Patriots o-line would never have that called against them. Nor would the Colts or Saints or Steelers, among other "in" teams. It's bad enough that the Skins play bad football. But when the officiating appears to be biased, or at least consistently bad to the detriment of the Redskins, the game becomes a joke. Fans and players have as a minimum expectation that the League and its officials don't have a rooting interest in one team versus another. I have to say that I do not feel that way when it comes to the Redskins. Does the League want the team to change its name? For Snyder to relinquish control of the League's 2nd most valuable franchise? I wish that it would just tell us what it wants rather than make us guess what it will take to get a consistent game called by the referees.

Posted by: NickFairfax | December 14, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Okay, this is my first chance to rant about this. I know this sounds pathetic and slightly unstable, but being a Redskins and with three screaming young kids in my house has, I think, pushed me over the insanity line. Anyway, I watch a lot of football at every level. I have only seen three instances in my nearly 30 years watching in which an offensive lineman has been called for a facemask. All three times it's been against the Redskins: Zorn's first season at Detroit, a second time last year (or maybe earlier this year), and once this year on Keiland Williams would-be first down run against the Giants on the Skins second possession. The call in the Giants game was atrocious. Either the NFL wants other Skins fans to join me in the puzzle factory, or the officiating in the League is biased, even if subconsciously. You and I know that the Patriots o-line would never have that called against them. Nor would the Colts or Saints or Steelers, among other "in" teams. It's bad enough that the Skins play bad football. But when the officiating appears to be biased, or at least consistently bad to the detriment of the Redskins, the game becomes a joke. Fans and players have as a minimum expectation that the League and its officials don't have a rooting interest in one team versus another. I have to say that I do not feel that way when it comes to the Redskins. Does the League want the team to change its name? For Snyder to relinquish control of the League's 2nd most valuable franchise? I wish that it would just tell us what it wants rather than make us guess what it will take to get a consistent game called by the referees.

Posted by: NickFairfax | December 14, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

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