There is no logic behind feeling cheated Saturday, but that pang is still there. Every time a stirring, pixie-dust run like this ends abruptly, an emotional response follows from the aggrieved player or fan, who believe teams with heavy hearts should have divine endings, who deeply feel the Washington Redskins deserve to keep going, because it would somehow be right and fair.
To them, Santana Moss and Clinton Portis say, it's all right, it's okay.
Let this unsightly loss to Seattle go.
They lost a game. Their season ended. No one laid a teammate to rest today.
"You hurt for losing anyway this time of year, you hurt because you can't do a little more for Sean," Moss said after this deflating 21-point playoff loss. "But that's not what it's about."
"This late run showed what this team can be. We came here with guys who are fighting and we left with guys who are fighting."
Portis seemed to grasp a larger significance, too, as he stood in a hallway inside the team's locker room at Qwest Field.
"I think the bigger accomplishment we had as a team was coming together," he said. "Guys loving one another, bonding with one another, building some relationships that are going to last and grow. We formed some bonds."
Wild, isn't it -- the two players who have a right to feel wronged the most about a playoff loss, understanding a larger picture?
When Moss spun around, lost the ball and then watched in agony as Marcus Trufant scored on one of the most breathtaking interception returns of the season, the Redskins' wide receiver had every right to be thinking he deserved a better finish. He also dropped one of Todd Collins's passes right in his hands early in the game on Saturday.