My BGO Christmas List
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only - Charles Dickens
It’s been a great year.
And an awful one.
I’m so confused.
‘Great’ you say? How can anyone characterize our current season of agony as anything but horrifically awful? That one’s easy. Football is our undying passion – but it is not our life. Setting aside the latest drama in Ashburn, Virginia, it’s been a hell of a year at BGO.
We rebuilt our favorite website from the ground up, and we did a magnificent job (if we do say so ourselves). We’re never done building, but we significantly upgraded our server, software, and functionality and made BGO an even better place to hang your Redskins hat.
We had our first official annual BGO Tailgate – an amazing event that was so much fun, I promise you it will happen every year. We shared wonderful food, drink, and most importantly camaraderie on an unforgettable day that featured an equally memorable last minute win against the Chargers. A lot of friendships were cemented, some new ones forged, and a great time was had by all. We can’t wait to do it again next season, with hopefully even more BGO members making the trip.
The site itself has grown as well. We’ve added some great new members, continue to produce some of the best fan-written Redskins content you’ll find anywhere, have become a regular presence on Twitter and Facebook, and are becoming a well-known and respected member of a large Redskins internet community. Like any internet community, particularly in a season of disappointment and woe, we’ve had our moments where heat overruled reason, and emotion shouted down rationality. But we’re still the most intelligent, civil Redskins fan community anywhere on the net.
We have a lot to be thankful and appreciative for in 2013.
And then there’s everything else .
Mr. Dickens said it about as well as anyone can. I have little to add. The worst of times indeed. There’s little sense in rehashing the how’s and why’s of a brutally unsuccessful 2013 Redskins season. Having spent most of the past 90 days wallowing in fan misery, anger, and bitterness, it’s time to let some of that go and prepare to move forward in 2014. That we have begun the process of doing just that, and Santa has yet even to land on our respective roofs, is both sad and strangely familiar. Nevertheless, moving forward is the only option.
Speaking of Satan, err….I mean, Santa, what are Daniel Snyder and his legion of Redskins fans hoping to find under their trees this Christmas?
Naughty or nice? Whether or not Snyder is the debil, or the most misunderstood man since Pee Wee Herman, I don’t profess to know. At this point, it doesn’t matter. Snyder could issue a thousand mea culpas and it wouldn’t begin to assuage this fan’s disappointment that we find ourselves wandering in the NFL desert once again so soon after a tantalizing tease of a 2012 season. Having observed Snyder’s reign of ownership for 20+ years, there is only one valid conclusion any sentient being could come to. Snyder has no clue how to forge a winning franchise.
He. Just. Doesn’t.
So – first item we must pine for under that holiday tree? Someone who does. I don’t care if we call him a ‘football GM’ or not – the Redskins desperately need a managerial genius to guide them to better decisions from the top. Snyder has to find one, and soon, or he needs to step aside and give an owner with a clue the chance to do better.
I’ve been a good boy this year, so this is going to be a long list. I want a head coach who’s here to stay. No more ‘give him three to four years’ and ‘we’ll see’. In Redskins parlance, ‘we’ll see’ means ‘we’ll be seeing you’. Don’t waste your time telling me about ‘today’s NFL’ and the pressure to win NOW. We won NOW. How satisfying was that NFC East championship last year, in the grand scheme of things? I want a commitment to the head coach of the Washington Redskins that last 10 years, and maybe then some. Of course, that kind of commitment necessitates the ability to actually find a coach with all of the qualities required to build a winning product on the field. But we cannot continue the head coaching carousel in DC and expect to ever be a consistent on-the-field success. That’s just not how it works. Give a coach 10 years you say? That’s crazy talk! No. Crazy is seven head coaches in 13 years. That’s bat-**** crazy territory. It’s time to stop being a sleeping-around, non-committal slut of an NFL franchise. It’s time to grow up, and commit. I don’t care if it starts with a Mike Shanahan extension and a ‘groom Kyle Shanahan as his successor’ plan, or blowing it up an eighth time and finding our head coaching soul mate for the next decade somewhere else. But we need to commit to our head coach of the future. They say patience is a virtue. Who knew?
Wait. I’m not happy yet. Have I mentioned I’ve been a very good boy this year? We need more presents. We need a team identity. The perennially great teams have them. New England, Pittsburgh, hell, even Seattle, they know who they are. The Redskins have a historical identity, based on building a physically dominating team from the lines out. We need to get back to our roots. Spend the next two drafts on nothing but offensive and defensive linemen. If that doesn’t get it done, spend the two after that. Build dominating lines, no matter what it takes to do it. Everything else can wait. Santa brought us what we desperately wanted awhile back, an all-world talent under center, our first franchise quarterback in 20 years. Don’t be deceived by this season’s stumbling bumbling mediocrity – RG3 can still be ‘the man’, but he needs some ‘men’ around him – big, strong, bad men. If the Redskins can’t provide him the best protection money can buy, they just aren’t thinking. It’s the lines STUPID!
Let’s see – a football GM, a long-tenured Head Coach, rebuilt offensive and defensive lines? That’s more than enough for any NFL franchise to hope to find under their tree. Sure, there’s so much more that we want and need. A capable secondary, hell, maybe even a ‘shutdown’ corner or dominating safety, a legitimate #2 wide receiver, a new defensive coordinator and special teams coach, just to name a few of them. But that’s been one of our problems for 20 years. We don’t have a plan for the long-term. Because we don’t have a football GM, we don’t have a head coach for more than five minutes before he’s looking over his shoulder wondering when the hammer will fall again, and we don’t have a team identity around which to build.
If Santa were to leave those particular gifts under our tree, all of the rest of it is bound to come.
The economy sucks. Times are tough. Let’s face it – if we get just one of those three during the 2013 holiday season, we should count ourselves lucky. But the best gifts are always worth the wait. It’s the season of hope and renewal. You’ve been good little burgundy and gold boys and girls this year. I hope Santa brings you, AND the Washington Redskins something you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Thanks to each one of you for being part of the BGO community. We appreciate and love each of you. Happy Holidays, and Hail!