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  This Is the Pits

By Tony Kornheiser
Washington Post Columnist
Tuesday, November 26, 1991; Page E01

Tony Kornheiser Can I keep the gifts?

Well, where do we go from here?

To Anaheim, stupid. To the Rams game.

I mean, what happens to The Bandwagon? Does it stay, or does it go?

Don't make it sound like Bob's Big Boy.

So you don't think we should dump it? You don't think that enough is enough with this shtick? I bet we can get a nifty price for a slightly used Bandwagon; only 12 games on the treads. You think we should gather up the spare parts and broken hearts, and keep on driving?

O ye of little faith. Look, before you do something rash, ask the players.

So after the Dallas game we went through the locker room, asking charter members of The Bandwagon: What should we tell the passengers?

"Tell them we pulled over to refuel," advised legendary wide receiver Russ "The Flea" Grimm.

"Tell them we're on the side of the road tightening up the wheels," offered Jeff Bostic.

"Tell them not to jump off," cautioned Terry Orr. "This is just a temporary lull in the music. We'll crank it up again."

But the best suggestion of all came from Mark Rypien, who's obviously taken some long drives in his life.

"Tell them it's a potty break."

The Ripster . . . heading for the facility . . . Rip-O-Rama.

Excuse me, Tony. Didn't you say these stupid columns would end as soon as the Redskins lost?

Well, yeah.

In fact, didn't you say -- and I'm quoting now from your column of Oct. 2 -- that as soon as the Redskins lost, you would "bury them"?

Well, yeah.


So I lied. So sue me.

I think it's appropriate to remember, as wagoneer Siafa Sherman reminded me on Monday morning, The Bandwagon was chartered for a trip to the Super Bowl. The itinerary didn't specify the Redskins had to be undefeated when they got there. That was, as Coach "Joe" Gibbs (obviously a huge Jimmy Clanton fan) so often says, "just a dream." Sure, some people put a face on that dream. Mark Adickes, for example, spoke of "envisioning myself at age 75, with my grandson on my knee, proudly saying, yeah, I was part of those undefeated Redskins." But even with that dream gone, the other one remains. So let's raise a glass to the trek to Minneapolis with a traditional Minnesota Mai-Tai, equal parts Zerex and Jim Beam (courtesy of passengers Dave Geller and Marty Thomas), and get back on board!

What a drag, though, losing to the Cowboys and that poodle of a head coach. The Jimster . . . going for it early on fourth-and-long . . . kicking on-sides without mussing his hair . . . Jimarooni. I'm sure Sean McMullen is ecstatic, after sending a letter last week predicting, "It's over, buddy. The Bandwagon will be disassembled Nov. 24. I'm enclosing a tissue, so you can wipe your tears, but you'll probably need a quilt to soak them up." The Bandwagon is simply delayed, Sean, not deterred. A spot underneath the front wheels, where you'll be crushed like apple crumb pie, has been reserved in your name.

In fact, what did the Redskins lose? Da Bears gagged. (That sound you heard was Mike "That Toddlin' Town" Wilbon bungeeing off the Sears Tower.) The Saints Cha-Choked. Black Sunday claimed every divisional leader. Underdogs ran wild. (Venturi Update: Well, most underdogs ran wild. Rick "My Dog Belongs On A Bun" Venturi, now staring at 2-41-1.) I prefer to think that Sunday never happened. I prefer to think we were all taking a shower, like Bobby Ewing, and I believe that's appropriate, since Dallas was involved. Having lost nothing -- except pride on that pitiful Hail Mary; nobody got off the ground, I've seen groundhogs jump higher when they see their own shadow -- let's go to our customary review:

Most points. Don't say a word, Kelly, not after New England picked off four of your passes.

Most shutouts.

Highest point differential, 219; a slight adjustment downward, due to, as they say on Wall Street, "profit taking."

The 1975 Reds. Okay, Zonk, you can exhale now.

(By the way, some of you may remember last week's Bandwagon column took the position that only an idiot would claim losing could be beneficial, because it would "take the pressure off." I didn't write that. My evil twin Ramon wrote that. This week, Ramon asks: If you call up for Darrell Green to deliver your pizza, will Michael Irvin get there first?)

Before we convene this week's meeting of the Coach "Joe" Gibbs I Shouldn't Have Given Them Seven Days Off Orchestra, featuring the I Can't Believe We Had Six Men In The End Zone And We Couldn't Bat Down That Pass chorale, let's give The Squire some unsolicited advice: First, ditch the camel's hair coat you wore to the game. It never worked for Art Modell, and it won't work for you. Second, heave all those freeloading Republicans out of the box. Dan Quayle, Jim Baker, Alan "I Guess Will Rogers Never Met Me" Simpson, Snorin' Orrin Hatch and Jack Kemp were all there scarfing food. Was this a football game or the Ollie North Book Club? No wonder the offense was too conservative.

Okay, don't let it ever be said that The Bandwagon (copyright Anthony I. Kornheiser, U.S. Patent Office 25OR624) doesn't give credit. Dallas was the better team Sunday. This concludes the credit portion of this column. What do I look like, the Discover card?

The Bandwagon is of course tickled by your gag gifts and letters. They are being catalogued. The master list will be sold to Lillian Vernon. The Lilster . . . making you nuts with monogrammed Lucite salad spinners . . . Lillissima. Unfortunately, the Dallas victory makes it awkward to welcome new members -- okay, just a few: Jonathan Cayne, Elaine Burns, Mitch & Bill, Christie Gagnon, Kevin Hurley, Fern & Bill, Jim Campbell, Harold & Steve, Sarah Ashwick, Tang Ye-Lin, Phil Yunger. Applications are still being accepted. We expect to issue boarding passes following The Silence Of The Lambs on Sunday. Yes, "Joe," I realize the Lambs make you nervous, but every team makes you nervous, you're the Don Knotts of the NFL. The rest of us wonder how thorough John Robinson's game plan will be, if he can't even remember No. 91's name.

© Copyright 1991 The Washington Post Company

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