A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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A Burgundy and Gold Obsession

Wino Bad

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You don’t know when it happened.

One day, you’re a successful professional, loved, admired, and respected. Good things are happening, and even better are on the horizon. Life is wonderful, your coffers are full, and the world is your oyster.

Next thing you know, you are rising from fitful dreams, blurry images sharpening to a painful focus through squinted eyes in the bright morning light. The sound of cars honking rudely and incessantly through rush hour traffic greets you, along with the smells of the alley – vomit, urine, cheap liquor, and something dead. You sit up, head swimming, and swallow down the nausea, swat away the tiny rocks embedded in your face from a night sleeping on the cold pavement. Reality hits you like a lover’s slap as you peer around the cold stark place you now find yourself in.

And you wonder…

How in the hell did I ever, in a million years, arrive at this place?

So it is for our Washington Redskins.

Wino bad. That’s what we are Ladies and Gentlemen.

But of course, this trip to despair didn’t really happen overnight. It began innocently enough – a few casual trades of draft picks here, a couple of aging stars there, shunning conventional wisdom throughout, no harm in that. When the cracks begin to show, you play a little 3 card Molly, blame the coaches and shuffle in a new set of talking heads to cover your tracks. Turner, Robiskie, Shottenheimer, Spurrier, Gibbs, Zorn…a parade of leadership to take the blame. The veneer is bright, it’s shiny, it’s slick and promising. God knows it sells. But it’s only a veneer. Even a returning legend can’t make it real, substantial. Because it’s only a veneer. Even then, our talking head gets the blame. He’s old. He’s out of touch. The game has passed him by. But that’s not really it, is it? Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. And it smells so bad, even Joe Jackson Gibbs can’t stand the stench for long.

Soon the thin facade of respectability is nearly transparent. Friends and family start avoiding you. The word is out. This play is not going to end up on Broadway. You’ve become a straight-to-video operation. Obvious successors run for the exit. Promising NFL coaches shun, even mock you. You revert to your true nature, and hire an inexperienced, unproven coach who is so unqualified for the job it doesn’t dawn on him to apply for it. You can intimidate, direct, and control him. You can keep the machine running.

Denial. It’s a bitch.

There’s no denying anything now. You’re a wino, and you’ve just woken up in some nameless, stinking street with no idea how you got there and no idea where to go from here. They call it ‘rock bottom’.

But through the dirty haze of steam and car exhaust rising off the pavement, shine the first bright rays of a new day. You take comfort – because there is solace in knowing, it really can’t get any worse for you. The hardest step is over. The Reckoning has come. The first glimmer of hope lifts your spirit. You’ve had to embrace the one immutable fact. You’ve got a problem. And now, you’re either going to swallow hard, stand up, start making yourself presentable, and turn it around, or all you’re ever going to be is that wino.

2010 approaches. The new year is a time for introspection, commitment, renewal. What’s done is done and there is no escaping the past. But here’s to hoping our Washington Redskins are finally moving forward. It can’t get any worse. There’s comfort and promise in that. May Bruce Allen and the next Redskins coaching staff take this team and build something solid and substantial of it. What better foundation for success than humility?

And humility, we got

Updated 12-26-09 at 02:22 PM by Boone



  1. Neophyte's Avatar
    About the most apt analogy I have heard yet for where the Skins are today, especially after last night's game.
  2. Boone's Avatar
    Well - I think I'm done raking my team over the coals. This was, believe it or not, a happy hopeful take You know - the first step to recovery is 'admitting you have a problem' ...

    Here's to hoping we continue on the path to sobriety.
  3. Aston Gambino's Avatar
    "It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."

    - Tyler Durden
  4. SkinnedAussie's Avatar
    Let's all hope that this is rock bottom.

    Can they go any further south?
  5. Boone's Avatar
    Oh - I think there's always 'further South'
    What I'm mildly encouraged about is that it appears Dan Snyder has come out of the 3 month drunk and recognizes that smell of urine and vomit is rising from where he sits. Now we get to see what he's going to do about it.
  6. BigRedskinDaddy's Avatar
    An interesting take, brother. I reiterate my belief that in your way you write every bit as evoticavely as that literary craftsman Om himself -- and I for one appreciate good writing.

    That said, I didn't get the 'happy hopeful' slant you alluded to in your comments; it seems a glass is half-empty take more than enything else. Nothing at all wrong with voicing your opinion however. I don't think we've arrived at that magnificent desolation just yet -- but I would be sorely pressed to show just cause for the cautious optimism I look to the future with.

    Maybe I've got those blinders on, or it's the Homer-colored glasses...I might have stayed too long at the Kool-aid table, I dunno. Despite the misgivings I can't shake about our loose cannon of an owner, despite the slowly lengthening tour of mediocrity we've been on since '91, I still feel that mojo out there just beyond our reach, but oh so attainable.

    It has ever been thus with me and this team, though; nothing says it better for me than the paraphrased expression "in the Love hope springs eternal." May the day never dawn that I don't wonder deep down if this next year might be 'it' again.
    Updated 01-03-10 at 09:38 AM by BigRedskinDaddy
  7. Boone's Avatar
    I think I probably see my 'take' as a more optimistic one because I believe it's been our approach, organizational philosophy, and a vertical leadership structure where a guy unqualified to build a winning football system is calling all of the important shots that has held us back in the extreme. We haven't just had bad seasons. We've been mired in such organizational mediocrity that only a HOF coach could get us past the regular season.

    I am more hopeful than I've been in a long time, since having a strong GM and a seasoned coach means Dan Snyder isn't going to be calling the football shots.


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