This weekend the Redskins play Dallas. Usually there’d be so much buzz and excitement in the city surrounding this game that I wouldn’t have to remind you.
That does not seem to be the case this week. It’s been just another week.
I can remember people driving around honking their horns, free meals from from restaurant owners who wanted us to win, banners everywhere and car flags--for both teams--on every other car. And that’s when I played. Hello--we weren’t very good any of my years here. But the excitement surrounding this game was always intense.
I mean seriously, a 1 p.m. game? This has always made at least 4 p.m. 1 o’clock games are usually considered appetizers for the later games.
Even after I left the game in 2006 and came back home, this game was the one that I’d watch at a sports bar. This may be the first year I won’t. I don’t feel the excitement. On my radio show we have barely touched on the game itself or even mentioned the rivalry. All the focus has been on the state of the team.
It feels to me like the ever-growing frustration of Redskins fans is beginning to show in ways like this.
The Cowboys do seem to be finding a stride as of late and could compete for the division title, which, in a conference this weak doesn’t mean much. The Redskins are facing the possibility of not winning another game this season.
Either way, both teams have struggled with identity problems over the last decade. Let’s face it, neither team has done much about making it to the playoffs or staying in them.
There’s usually a build up of mass proportions this week: Cowboys versus Indians, champion versus champion. My, how times have changed since the glory days of both of these franchises.
We won’t see Darrell Green battling it out with Michael Irvin Sunday. Troy Aikman isn’t playing either, trying to avoid being sacked by Charles Mann or Dexter Manley. We won’t see Ernest Byner taking a handoff from Mark Rypien, no Art Monk making a spectacular play downfield with the greatest of ease. No Emmitt Smith or Deion Sanders on Dallas or Monte Coleman or Gary Clark for the Redskins
Those days are long gone.
Once historically great and proud franchises have sunk so deep into mediocrity that it would appear that the prestige of this matchup is all but gone.