Joe Gibbs And His Fans
I distinctly remember last year's season finale, since I was stuck in the press box writing a sidebar about the amazing resilience of Jason Campbell, or something like that. I distinctly remember looking up and seeing lots of chairs whose bodies had gone missing. It was the last game, it was the day before New Year's Eve, the season was lost, the game was at night, the team had five wins, and so on. I understood the absences. No big deal.
Here's what the AP said: "Tiki Barber didn't want his career to end here, not on a Saturday night against a losing team in front of thousands of empty seats."
Here's what Tom Boswell said: "If these Redskins, playing before a crowd infiltrated by thousands of Giants fans, had rolled over and played dead, few would have forgiven them." (Ital added)
Like I said, not surprising. That's just how it was. But Joe Gibbs is living in a world in which Dec. 30 and days like it haven't happened and won't happen. Here is what he said in today's Dallas Morning News, in a story about the Redskins having the NFL's longest streak of sellouts:
"You may go someplace else and in bad weather there will be some no-shows," Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. "But you don't get any no-shows here. This place is always packed."
It's just a demonstrably false claim. I don't much care, but you sometimes wonder why he says stuff like that, why he ended last year by saying his players "wanted to make a statement at the end of the year, and I think they did in the last six weeks," and why he started his final press conference of last season by saying the Giants game represened "one of the greatest exhibitions of fans supporting a team that at that point was 5-10." I mean, the fans aren't always perfect. Sometimes they don't show up. Sometimes they get drunk and swear at people they don't like and get kicked out of the stadium and throw their beer. The players aren't always perfect and hard-working and fighting their tails off. Sometimes a depressing end to a dismal season before empty seats in Landover is just a depressing time ending to a dismal season before empty seats in Landover.
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