Redskins fans can’t do it alone

Mike Wise
Columnist November 18, 2011

Somewhere in Washington, in a church basement amid a growing circle of men and women in folding chairs . . .

“Good evening. Welcome to the regular Sunday night meeting of Redskins-aholics Anonymous.

Mike Wise is a sports columnist for The Washington Post. View Archive

“R-Anon is a fellowship where recovering Redskins fans share their experience, strength and hope with each other so that they may stop from ever believing this franchise will help them lead a happy, joyous life.

“The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop watching the team’s games when Mike Shanahan and his players make your life unbearable. There are no dues or fees in R-Anon; we only ask that the money you would have recklessly spent on tickets or DeAngelo Hall jerseys go to milk and shoes for your baby.

“With such a large meeting — this being Dallas week — please keep your shares to three minutes or less. . . .”

* * *

“Hi, I’m Georgette. And I’m definitely a ’Skins-aholic.

“I have been wearing a pink dress, a garden-party hat and a plastic pig snout since 1983. I have done this for charity and because me and several other men who dress up love this team and what it stands for.

“But this team now makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t even eat. Do you know how bad the Redskins have to be for a Hogette not to eat? We have no offense; we score less than Mel Gibson on JDate. And it’s my fault because I keep watching. Thanks for letting me share.”

* * *

“Hi everyone, I’m Kevin. I’m a ’Skins-aholic.

“After seeing just one touchdown in the past 180 minutes, I’ve had to come to grips that my life isn’t working real well. Hasn’t been for a while. Since 1999, I have been through five marriages, three bankruptcies, 13 season ticket renewals and six psychiatrists. Rex Grossman sent me back to therapy Sunday. Bottom line, I finally looked in the mirror and admitted to myself there is one common denominator in my sad, sorry existence: It’s not me; it’s the team and the owner. They’re the problem. They are why I can’t sleep at night, why I continue to lose jobs and relationships. I’m saying right now, right here, in front of everyone, I am breaking that codependent relationship. I’m done this time. I mean it. Thanks for listening.”

* * *

* * *

“I’m C.J. I too am a ’Skins-aholic.

“I was once 180 pounds. I am now 250 large. This team put 70 pounds of brisket, burgers and dogs on my once-svelte frame. I was told I used to look like Russell Crowe. Now I am mistaken for Officer Taggert from ‘Beverly Hills Cop.’ I don’t medicate with food. I medicate with the Redskins. They make me eat. And eat. And eat. I am the biggest loser, bigger than Albert Haynesworth, because at least he got paid to witness this.

“Because I turn on TV and go to the games, I understand Shanahan’s choice perfectly: He’s not deciding which quarterback can best help him win; he’s now down to who can help him lose more entertainingly: (A) Rex, Mr. I-N-T, whose self-immolation is second to only Fox’s “Greatest Car Crashes,” or (B) Becks, whose multiple check-downs and inability to throw the ball more than 13 yards are a slow, painful end.

“I vote for Rex because he gives me a flicker of hope. And then just crushes my spirit in the most spectacular, cruel way. If I am going to continue to be an active addict like many of you, I might as well crash and burn like a supernova, right. Thanks for letting me share.”

* * *

“Hi again, everybody. I’m Joe, and I’m a ’Skins-aholic.

“I said in 2005 they would go to the Super Bowl, and I’ve liked them winning the NFC East every year since, oh, 1937. I’m such an unabashed homer it’s gotten to the point where no one takes me seriously anymore even though I have a great voice and used to play myself. Heck, I advocated for starting Rex again. I once said Danny Wuerffel could be here 10 years. I thought it was a shocker Jim Zorn didn’t work out. But I had a moment of growth before the 49ers game I want to share with everyone. I picked against the Redskins! I finally did it! That’s all I got. Thanks for letting me share.”

* * *

“Yeah, I’m John. And I’m a ’Skins-aholic.

“I used to drink, smoke, take many prescription drugs and eat pork rinds in my underwear while setting my fantasy roster. My doctor didn’t start worrying about my health, though, until I started watching the Redskins. They about killed me. I feel sorry for London Fletcher. I keep wanting to tell him, ‘Iceberg, dead ahead!’ My doctor now said it’s okay if I drink and smoke heavily again. It’s a much healthier lifestyle than turning on the game. Hail to the All-Off Button.”

* * *

“I’m Vinny. And I used to be a ’Skins-aholic.

“I’ve been in recovery since December 2009. I gave them up. Or they gave me up. Hee-hee. I’m in R-Anon Witness Protection now, north of Baltimore. Hee-hee. My life is much happier. I don’t make rash decisions with money anymore. My kids now admit to classmates who their father is without shame. People don’t blame me for everything. Hee-hee. I could propose giving up three first-round draft picks for a marginal player on radio now and it doesn’t hurt anyone. Hee-hee. Thanks for letting me share.”

* * *

“And thank you all for attending. Remember, what you hear here stays here.

“Now, please join us in the Serenity Prayer:

“God, grant Coach Shanahan the serenity to accept the fact he staked his reputation on John Beck and Rex Grossman; the courage to keep switching starters he has; and the wisdom to ignore there’s no difference.

“Keep coming back, folks. It works if you don’t watch.”

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