Frank Herzog says Skins' play is "insulting"
I know you've had enough of this stuff. Can't stop just now. Sorry. You can boycott the bog for a few more days if you must.
The great names are just streaming out of the past to express dismay about the Redskins, and Frank Herzog joined that train this week. Herzog hosted an hour-long town-hall discussion with John Riggins on WTOP Tuesday morning; the full hour is available on WTOP's Web site.
For the most part, the show consisted of Riggins and fans unloading on the Redskins' front office and sharing each others' pain, but there were a few nuggets from Herzog himself. Here was his intro, for example:
"While the franchise itself still flourishes, the Washington Redskins football team is in the worst shape we've seen in the modern era of pro football," Herzog said. "For the first time in five years I have agreed to sit down and talk on the air about the Redskins. I do it for two reasons: I find the play of this team insulting to the tradition I was privileged to be part of, and I get to talk to John Riggins."
Herzog mostly just facilitated the anger, but it wasn't hard to sense some of his frustration.
"Redskins fans were the most patient people in the world," he said at one point. "They put up with RFK Stadium long after it was outmoded, the parking situation, the traffic and everything else at FedEx Field. But they always got a quality product, and that's the problem now."
Even his brief moments of reminiscing were obviously done with a purpose, as with this one.
"Jack Kent Cooke brought Bobby Beathard in and said build me a football team," Herzog recalled. "It was Beathard who hired the coaches. He took them all to the Alpine Restaurant over in northern Virginia. In fact, a lot of the assistant coaches said that's what signed us to the Redskins, was the great food. He got Joe Gibbs, he got the assistant coaches, and then he went about the process of building the team. And Jack Kent Cooke stood back and let him do it."
So Herzog wasn't exactly breathing fire, but he didn't have to be. The dude sitting next to him sure was.
"The bottom line here, there's one word to describe what this franchise is all about right now, and that's decay," Riggins said in his opening monologue. "The decay started 10 years ago. It started [with] the owner of this team. I think in the beginning they had great intentions, and to that extent, when Marty Schottenheimer was hired and it was turned over to him, it seemed like maybe, perhaps, that the right path had been chosen, and that is to bring in a professional and let a professional run this.
"And in all honesty, we're talking about a product, there's no question about that, that's what the Redskins are. But they're so much more than a product to people, because they tug at the heartstrings, and that's what is making this so painful. I would use the analogy, an owner of a hospital. How many people would go to this hospital if the guy that owned the hospital, with no medical background or training, was down in the OR helping the surgeons out? And I think that's what we've come to here....
"You come back to this, where there has to be a path taken now by the ownership of this team, and there's two choices. One path is to sell the team. The other path is to basically hand the team over to a Bill Parcels type of person and then go to Mongolia and live in a yurt."
Not good enough? Try this one.
"Really, this is almost a hostage situation," Riggins said later. "This franchise has been taken hostage by someone who has the mindset of a child, because everything revolves around them, and it's gonna be difficult, until that mental adjustment is made, that adjustment in personality. But that's gonna be a lot of sessions on the couch with somebody."
Want more? Ok, fine, there was this.
"This also is again about the fans, and I think that they have reached a tipping point," Riggins later said. "And I think we're going to see a reaction from the fans, and you have to look at it, this is the entertainment industry here. You know, if the movie isn't any good, people usually don't go to it. And this movie is no good, and I have a feeling that the fans are going to start--particularly this being the day of information, the age of information--that there's enough that they can share on the internet. And you're going to start seeing some uprisings and perhaps maybe even the prospect of FedEx being blacked out. The fans are not powerless. That's what I would tell them. You're not powerless, but you have to unite and you have to let your voice be heard, and that's the only way that you're going to perhaps change things. Because if you're going to go along with the status quo, you're going to get more of it."
The last question of the day came from an unhappy fan who believed Skins supporters should unite in anti-Snyder chants at FedEx Field. He asked Riggo for his opinion.
"Well I'll tell you what, if it was up to me, I think the best way to send your signal is just the opposite of that," Riggins said. "Because all you're displaying is your passion and how much you love this franchise. I would say as much as it hurts, stay home. Don't go. That would send a very loud message."
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