Colleague Rick Maese posted this photo from Redskins training camp Tuesday morning. Personally, I’ve never seen Redskins training camp look quite like that.
“It is probably a fifth of what I’ve seen on a normal day,” Chris Cooley told the AP’s Joseph White, who wrote that Monday might have been the least-attended Redskins training-camp practice in a decade.
Now, there are a million great reasons for why it might look like this:
1) The weather is hot enough to make Brandon Banks feel like Albert Haynesworth.
2) The lockout made it virtually impossible for out-of-towners to plan training-camp trips, and for locals to arrange their schedules around open practices.
3) Plus, the lockout burned some people out on football.
4) There are virtually no big-name offensive stars.
5) Summer vacations, weekday work obligations, traffic.
6) Going outside in this heat right now is slightly less pleasant than being forced to listen to 24 straight hours of Vinny Cerrato laughing.
The AP’s White, though, thinks it also might be connected to the Redskins’ larger issues: the losing, the difficulty selling tickets, the fan dissatisfaction and whatnot. I’m not completely convinced, and our web traffic certainly does not indicate a declining interest in the team. PR man Tony Wyllie isn’t convinced, either, if you can believe that:
“The Redskins are just as popular,” he told White. “We remain a global franchise. TV ratings were up 12 percent last year, merchandise sales were up, and we are on target to extend our sellout streak. Everyone is affected by what has happened recently, but we still remain popular as one of the most storied franchises in the NFL.”
All of which may be true. But for some reason, or many reasons, people don’t feel like watching that storied franchise practice this week.