“When you lose a game like that, now you’re playing to see who obviously is going to be on your football team for years to come,” Shanahan said in his postgame news conference yesterday. “Now, we have a chance to evaluate players and see where we’re at. Obviously, we’re not out of it statistically. Now we find out what kind of character we have and how guys keep on fighting throughout the rest of the season.”
It was a statement that many considered to be a concession speech, and from players to media to fans, there were few who appreciated the words. Including Stephen A. Smith, who used it as his thing to yell about today on ESPN’s “First Take.”
“If I am Daniel Snyder, who, by the way, dresses sharply and has his glasses, I would go just like this,” Smith said. “Take off my glasses, after I summoned Shanahan to my office, and I would say to him, ‘You have three minutes to convince me why you should still be the coach for this team. You have three minutes. We are 3-6. We could potentially make the playoffs at 9-7. Which means that what we would have to do, we would have to go 6-1 over our last seven games, but until it doesn’t happen, it’s possible it can happen.’”
I think “It’s Possible It Can Happen” should be the Redskins’ “Natitude.”
Smith continued on with his Daniel Snyder impression.
“I got you the GM you wanted, I let you hire who you wanted to with your coaching staff. I let you pick these wide receivers. By the way, I doled out all of this money that you wanted. I still got dudes out there fighting, because despite the fact that our defense is awful, we out there in a lot of these games. And here you are, saying this. We lost to the Atlanta Falcons, by 7. We lost yesterday. Okay, that’s fine. But you’re tanking it? You’re giving a concession speech with seven games left? Why are you here? You’ve got three minutes. You got three minutes to convince me why I shouldn’t fire your butt right now. Why should you be the coach?’”
Snyder should let Stephen A. Smith do his hiring and firing, and sell tickets.
“What has Mike Shanahan done?” Smith yelled, finished with being Snyder. “What has Mike Shanahan done since Elway retired? Since Terrell Davis walked away? He’s done nothing. He is 14-27. Thirteen games below .500 since he arrived in the nation’s capital. This is an atrocity. An atrocity, because this man has the audacity, the unmitigated gall to sit here and talk about ‘Okay, we gonna start evaluating talent for next season.’ Who the hell told you you’ve got until next season? Who do you think you are? This man is a waste of time. He needs to be gone now.”
Skip Bayless, feeling left out of the impersonation game, jumped in.
“Can I roleplay now?” he asked, raising his hand. “Can I be Mike Shanahan?”
Antonio Pierce was also on the “First Take” panel, and used the few words he could get in edgewise to throw a strange jab at Joe Gibbs.
“I considered Joe Gibbs a great coach too, until I came back to the Redskins and figured out he was outdated,” Pierce replied, when asked by Smith if Shanahan was a good coach. “I’m saying Mike Shanahan, I’m saying he’s dated.”
Video of the sadly entertaining discussion is here. As far as Shanahan is concerned, he’s saying his words were misinterpreted.
“To insinuate that I was giving up on the season is completely ridiculous,” Shanahan told ESPN.com today. “We’ve got five NFC East games still on the schedule. Any time you have division games, you have a great chance.”
Until it doesn’t happen, it’s possible it could happen, right?