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Dispatch from Drama City

A few minutes after the Monday Night Football game ended, Devin Thomas was addressing a crowd of reporters. Someone asked him about the tumult of the past week at Redskins Park.

"That's just how it is around here," Thomas said. "You know, it's like Drama City right now. So you've got to expect big things, crazy things to happen around here."

Drama City isn't a bad way to put it. I'll post more on each of these things later, but among the other exciting developments of the night, I counted at least 10 different models of anti-front office t-shirts in the crowd. I saw people have their harmless signs and posters confiscated at the front gate, and got an e-mail from a fan who said he was tossed out for having a critical sign. I heard Coach Jim Zorn address the much-discussed playcaller change with uncomfortable honesty, saying "the result was the same, we got 17 points." I saw Chris Cooley, the third-leading vote-getter in my Most Indispensable Redskin poll, go down with a broken ankle, depriving the offense of possibly its two most valuable players. I heard some Redskins leaders say the bye week comes at a perfect time, so they can get away, and others say it comes at a bad time, because they'd rather stay and play.

And I heard some quotes that, if you read between the lines, didn't seem too optimistic about the future.

"You know, sometimes you think you're gonna wake up and your record's gonna be different, it'll all change," DeAngelo Hall said. "I know defensively, early in the game after the turnovers, I'm trying to rally the guys, just [saying] 'Hey, ain't nothing we can do about nothing else but us, but the defense. So if we're gonna play 80 plays, we've got 80 chances to make a play.'...We can't control anything but us, and that's kind of our mindset. We're gonna try to focus in on nothing nobody else is doing. We can only control what we can control, and that's the defense....

"Like I said, all we can worry about is ourselves," Hall later continued. "You know, that's the defense as a whole, that's all we can worry about, that's all we focus in on. Early in the game, when we had a couple turnovers, some things weren't going our way, we didn't let it frustrate us. All we can do is worry about ourselves. Like I said, if we're playing 75 plays, 80 plays, or 55 plays, we're gonna play all those plays as hard as we can, and try to be as sound as possible, try to make as many plays as we can, try to get our offense the ball in the best field position possible to give them the best chance for success. That's all we can do. We'll keep trying to do that."

So that's the defensive perspective. Just focus on themselves. And for some perspective on offense, Rock Cartwright, perhaps.

"I mean, nobody expects to be 2-5, we would like be 7-0, but that's not the case," he said. "We've been struggling this year, and you can't win games if you don't score points. That's the bottom line. No gray area. Black and white. You've got to score points in order to win football games. That's what we're not doing."

Executive Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato was on the ESPN pre-game TV show and the ESPN pre-game radio show; it's a wonder didn't book him for a halftime live chat. I heard the radio spot, and he accurately described what his team needed to do.

"It's gonna be a physical NFC East game," he said. "We've got to get some turnovers, and the big thing is, is we've got to find a way to score some points offensively."

They didn't score all that many. Even with the bye weeks, 16 different NFL teams reached the 20-point threshold this week; Team Drama City still hasn't gotten there in seven tries this season. Heck, eight different NFL teams reached at least 34 points this week, double Washington's season-high. And understandably, there's some kind of of misery settling in.

"You know, at times you sit there and be like, 'Man, here we go again,' " Carlos Rogers said. "You know, that comes to everybody's mind. I'd be lying if I said it didn't. When things go bad in the game, I'll just be like, 'Dang, here we go again, here this go again.' But at the same time, another part of our brains is like, 'Man, we can make a play, we can make it happen, we can turn it around.' And I think until that game says it's 16, we're gonna continue to fight."

That'll probably happen. But in the meantime, Drama City. Like, you see the image at the top? A few seconds before I took that photo, that was actually a blanket, not a sign. A sort of non-threatening middle-aged woman had it wrapped around her shoulders, seemingly to keep out the chill. Normal October football scene. And then all of a sudden, the blanket was off, and she was holding a banner aloft, a banner made of tape on cloth, carrying a message of protest. And after a few seconds of holding the Revolutionary propaganda aloft for TV cameras, security wandered over, and the cloth was back around her shoulders, just a little bit of warmth for an innocent fan.

I mean, where are we? Are we in some Third World dictatorship, where people have to tape secret messages on their blankets, hoping only for a covert flash of a TV camera to bring their message to The People? Is that what it's actually coming to?

"That's just how it is around here," Thomas said. "You know, it's like Drama City right now. So you've got to expect big things, crazy things to happen around here."

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2009; 1:54 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: The Wizards still have swag


Same s***, different day.

Posted by: fufighter2121 | October 27, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

The people who go to the games don't get it. Fans who show up to the games CANNOT force the owner to do anything. Why? You're supporting him by putting even $1 into his pocket. Your opinion doesn't matter if you're paying the guy you don't support.

The only thing that will make Snyder sit up and take notice are empty seats. People with signs are simply a hit to his ego, nothing more. He's got enough ego and hubris that displaying displeasure with his actions isn't going to cause Snyder one minute of lost sleep. Seeing a half or quarter full FedEx Field for the rest of the season might.

Instead of wasting your time on pointless signs to get on ESPN, stop going to the games, stop listening to ESPN 980 and don't watch any Tom Cruise movie. Hit Snyder in the only thing he pays attention to, his wallet.

Posted by: CJMARTIN04 | October 27, 2009 2:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to hourly dispatches from Drama City, not to mention answering the question of how many interview transcripts of Redskins alumni to break even the die hard fan.

Posted by: Section117 | October 27, 2009 5:23 AM | Report abuse

I was actually disappointed, watching the game, to hear how loud the crowd got when we were down (I think) 24-7 in the 2nd quarter. By stepping up the noise and screwing the Eagles, they screwed themselves, because every real fan up there knew that the team did not have the punch to win the game.

Posted by: ncromcr | October 27, 2009 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Drama City () Chocolate City?

George Clinton would know.

Posted by: hithere1 | October 27, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

It's pretty sh*itty that there is a policy of confiscating any expression of negativity with the franchise. Can't confiscate an empty seat, though. Unfortunately?

I have it on good authority that the Washington Post that actually sneaked in that ESPN-themed protest blanket, then blackmailed that woman to hold it up.

Oh yeah, why did the media break Cooley's ankle? After all, he is one of you what with all his blogging and etc.

Posted by: hithere1 | October 27, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I thought that it was great when ESPN showed the few clips of the Brian Mitchell ring of fame induction on the field then cut the cover being removed from the sign and there was a guy standing there with as SNYDER SUCKS shirt on. Classic.

Posted by: _newt_ | October 27, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I was at this game, and man do we suck. This is going to be a long season.

Posted by: Andymr | October 27, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Oooh big scary signs!
Can't have our tiny little owner getting his tiny little feelings hurt!

(Anyone that goes there bringing negative signs to begin with is still completely missing the point)

**And yes the media made the redskins play a horrible game last night. BAD media! BAD!

Posted by: jbanks979 | October 27, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

giving money to Dan Snyder is like making a campaign contribution to Idi Amin, why you guys keep doing it is beyond me

Posted by: TGT11 | October 27, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

This is just embarassing

Posted by: G20FdaCowboys | October 27, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

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