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The Fine Art of Blamestorming


It’s that time of year folks. Homeristic optimism in our nation’s capital has yielded like the fall leaves to the forces of gravity and inevitability. Our Washington Redskins have come crashing down to Earth and we’ve barely had time to finish our pumpkin pie.

There will be no upstart’s glory in Mike Shanahan’s inaugural season. It’s just more of the same for Redskins fans. A few fleeting glimpses of potential, a nail-biter win every month or so just to keep the natives tuning in, but ultimately far more agony than ecstasy.

With little to do but watch the rest of the 2010 season unravel, we prepare to do what we must do, what it feels like we were born to do.

Figure out whose fault it all is.

Some of us blame Big Al Haynesworth. We don’t really know why. But he makes a bazillion-gazillion dollars and doesn’t play much. Surely the Redskins failure to go to the Super Bowl is somehow his fault? Others hold Mike Shanahan ultimately responsible. He clearly can’t win without John Elway. And who brought in a washed up Donovan McNabb anyway? We can all agree, Daniel Snyder is to blame that we look not one iota like the New England Patriots. Jesus himself, we reason, must hate Daniel Snyder. And Jim Haslett…well don’t even get me started on Jim Haslett and his %&#@! 3-4 defense. So beats our incessant fan refrain…

Let’s face it - in the absence of meaningful Redskins football to watch, we’ve got a lot of energy to burn. Assessing blame is as good an outlet for it as anything.

And blame we do, all over the internet. Virtual pitchforks and torches in hand, we rip the team on every forum, website, message board, and call-in radio show we can find. We’re not bad fans Carlos, we’re just beleaguered and frustrated.

But should we be?

Reasonableness is not a cherished quality this time of the year. But it’s worth engaging in if just for a moment. What should Redskins fans have expected this year? In defense of my burgundy and gold brethren, few fans believed this was more than a 6 or 7 win team in 2010. The more excitable among us might have hoped for a .500 season. The hysterical few may have even dreamed of a wildcard playoff berth. In general, Redskins fans knew rocketing to greatness from a 4-12 season simply wasn’t going to happen. But knowing something and accepting it are two different things...

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