(John Raoux/AP)

Earnhardt went there himself in Thursday’s episode of PTI, when Wilbon asked him if he’s surprised by the continued level of his fan support, given his on-track performance.

“It does surprise me,” Earnhardt said. “The fans in this sport have surprised me since the first time I got here. They always surprise you with how dedicated and how knowledgeable and how plugged into the sport they are.

“But I can relate to that. Being a Redskins fan, I want to read everything I can every day about the Redskins: about every player, what’s he thinking, what’s their approach to the season and to this game, what the coaches are talking about. I want to know everything, and I care about their success.

“And when they don’t win, I’m upset and it ruins my week, but I’m not changing my passion for them. My passion’s as strong and will always be as strong, because that’s my team, man. So I can kind of understand how the fan is.”

Turns out this is at least the second time Earnhardt has compared his devoted supporters to Redskins fans this season; I just saw this quote from SB Nation during the season-preview days.

“(As a Redskins fan), sometimes you think this isn’t the right way to go, but you’re still a fan,” Earnhardt said then. “Regardless of whether you like their quarterback or you think they’ve got a good receiving corps or not, you still as a fan decide to go into the season just as devoted and ready for the success or the same failure.”

Probably not a horrible comparison, all in all.

And speaking of Thursday’s PTI, Kornheiser offered a brief salute to the anniversary of Stephen Strasburg getting drafted and making his big-league debut.

“You know, a New Yorker slurping a five-year old Washington D.C. franchise is so pathetic,” Wilbon said, in a particularly extreme moment of Wilbonness.