So much for rolling out The Bandwagon.
The Redskins aren't Bandwagon-worthy yet. On Sunday they weren't even James Worthy.
How you gonna get to the Super Bowl with a defense like this? Is everyone supposed to jump on Dana Stubblefield's back? Wouldn't you have to peel off all the opponents first?
Bill Arnsparger's second game on the job wasn't as magical as his first. Maybe the concept ought to be to bring in a new genius every game to help with the defense. Someone should call Don Shula for this Sunday's Bears game; it's not like Shula has anything better to do. Maybe Dan Snyder could bring in Nelson Mandela and give him a hat like Jerry Jones did. I hear he's a big Cory Raymer fan.
Late in the game I was thinking the Redskins should adopt Orlin Norris's strategy: After a whistle, all the Redskins defenders could fall down and claim they had dislocated their knees--and appeal to the officials to declare the game "no contest." Which it pretty much was after Deion Sanders returned that punt for a touchdown. Do you think the Cowboys are going to hold a special induction of Albert Connell into their Ring Of Honor for motivating Deion? I'm sure he'd have some quotable remarks once he got that foot out of his mouth.
Deion certainly made the most of his brief time on the field. There was Deion's big hit on Stephen Davis on the first play; then there was the hit Deion himself took from Dan Turk on a punt return. Dan Turk almost knocked Deion into Prince Bandar! Perhaps Dan Turk was trying to make up for his brother Matt "Dr. Naismith" Turk not being available due to a tryout with the CBA. Can you imagine how angry the Redskins are with Matt Turk that they have broken down the films from the Cardinals game to see if Matt really broke his thumb there, or if he's lying? Who'd they bring in to analyze the footage, Oliver Stone? Some folks at Redskin Park are probably eager to release Turk. But Brian Hansen didn't inspire any confidence. If Hansen had made those punts any lower and straighter, you could have hung wash on them.
How 'bout The Danny after the game? Was he boiling, or what? He was so hot you could've steamed lobsters on his head. He went into the locker room and chewed out his coaches and his players for 30 minutes. Some of his players hadn't stayed awake that long all game.
This wasn't the patient, restrained, compassionate owner we saw following the Opening Day debacle against Dallas.
This was Chucky.
I understand why The Danny was mad. His Redskins had just gotten their lunch handed to them by a Cowboys team that was missing Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Rocket Ismail and Deion Sanders for all or part of the game, a Cowboys team that had looked inept at Philadelphia and at the Giants the previous two games--a Cowboys team the Redskins should have been itching to demolish after the fourth-quarter implosion in Landover. I appreciate how infuriating it must have been watching Troy Aikman stylishly knit a silk purse out of a sow's ear, completing 20 of 32 passes to people named Ogden, Lester, Tucker and Lucky, whoever they are. And it can't be comforting knowing the Cowboys dropped eight passes.
The most troubling trend is the way Washington fell behind early. Again. It was the fifth time in six games the opponent scored first. It was only 0-3 with Arizona, and 0-7 with the Jets. You can make that up on any team, not just a bad one. But the Redskins fell behind 3-14 in the first Dallas game, 0-21 against Carolina and 0-17 Sunday. That's putting a big burden on your offense and your special teams to come up with big plays--especially considering how ineffective the special teams have been. I find myself wanting to believe that Brian Mitchell isn't getting any blocking rather than the alternative, that time is gaining on him after all these wonderful years.
On the brighter side, wasn't it nice to tune in a Redskins game and see Pat Summerall and John Madden, the A-team? Apparently, it's been a while since Madden and Summerall have done a Redskins game, because at one point Madden called Redskins assistant coach Terry Robiskie, "Tony Robiskie." Later, Madden called Brad Johnson, "Brad Mitchell," and Summerall called him "Brad Davis." I was hoping to hear Madden and Summerall refer to "Deion Warwick" and "Troy Donahue." (By the way, did you see Fox's house ad at halftime promoting something called the "Millennium Bass Fishing Tournament"? They're actually going to put a fishing competition on TV? This is not an early April Fool's Day joke? Who exactly is going to watch this, besides Steve Trout, Matt Fish, Tim Salmon, Kendall Gill and Bill Parcells?)
But if I had a second with The Danny, I'd advise him to chill out and consider the big picture. Last year at this time the Redskins were 0-6. They are 4-2 now, and they're an 8 1/2-point favorite to win this Sunday. (It's neck and neck to see who has turned themselves around more dramatically, the Redskins or Maryland. For all the gas I've given Debbie Yow about the empty seats at Byrd Stadium, she may be right about Ron Vanderlinden being the coach to fill them.) Considering their dicey bragging all week and their lethargy early in the game, the Redskins were still only one play away from being in position to beat Dallas: They were behind 24-20 and they had momentum from a big-play touchdown on the 44-yard pass to Connell. The Cowboys had dropped two straight passes, and were facing third and 19 from their 10-yard line. In desperation, Aikman threw for Alvin Harper, who hadn't caught one pass since approximately Prohibition. Darryl Pounds was hit, obviously, for pass interference; he was all over Harper like hair dye on Pete Rose. Aikman accepted the gift, and drove Dallas 93 yards in 13 plays for a touchdown he scored himself, and everybody in Washington was left to wonder what might have been if Dallas had been forced to punt.
My point is that if The Danny goes postal after every loss, he'll be in a puddle after 12 games. He'll be holding his coach and his team hostage behind locked doors for hours, even days at a time. There'll be a reign of terror. Norv Turner will be held incommunicado. Vinny Cerrato will block all access. Food and game plans will be slipped under the door. Then Jim Gray will come in here asking embarrassing questions. And nobody wants that.