A great many people — including me — have praised GM Bruce Allen for his insistence on including former Redskins in various franchise events. Daniel Snyder spoke about that issue at length during a preseason interview with Larry Michael on ESPN 980, saying Washington’s efforts in this regard have been a model for other NFL franchises.
But at least one NFL player wasn’t into the homecoming idea. Surely you remember DeAngelo Williams’s comments last November, after the Panthers beat Washington in 2012’s homecoming game:
“I have to say this, because it’s been bothering me all day, and it’s probably going to bother me for some time,” he said. “I got up this morning, I was feeling pretty good. Got my breakfast, got something to drink, got on the bus. Business as usual.
“I get over and I pick over the game day [program], and I’m looking at the [program], it’s customary,” Williams continued. “And I look on there and it says homecoming. And I’m thinking to myself, like, this is the National Football League. Are you serious?Homecoming? Homecoming.
“And it’s not like you tried to hide it. You blatantly put it on the front of the game day. And you’re talking about somebody fired up today? I was pissed.”
So Williams was asked if he was the only one so bothered by this designation.
“It was the whole team,” he said. “It was the whole team. That was definitely motivating. I mean, you don’t say you’re gonna have a homecoming in the National Football League. I mean, you do it in college. It’s [against] one of those teams that’s just terrible. You don’t book a good team for homecoming….I don’t know if they had a dance or anything; I just know you don’t give a team extra motivation by putting that on your program, just blatantly coming out and saying you’re our homecoming game.
Williams went on to explain that he even mentioned the alleged slight during pre-game meetings.
“I did, I brought it up,” he said. “I don’t know if anybody else saw it or not, but I know it pissed me off….[That happened] in college a couple times, a couple times, but not in the National Football League. I didn’t know they did that….I just know we was a homecoming game today.”
At least one other player mentioned the supposed slight during post-game interviews.
“I think it was their homecoming, which was kind of embarrassing for us to be in,” Cam Newton said. “And that was a challenge. I think some of the guys took that and put it as a chip on their shoulder to play harder.”
Williams later tweeted that “I’ve never been more insulted in the nfl until today! The redskins schedule us for their HOMECOMING game!” He included an image of the game-day program.
I mean, dang! He was angry! I had forgotten about that!
Anyhow, the Redskins have designated the Chargers this season’s homecoming opponent. An e-mail sent to fans on Tuesday had the subject line: “Homecoming Weekend for your Washington Redskins!”
“Arrive early on Sunday for all of the Homecoming festivities!” the e-mail reads. “The annual Redskins parade around the stadium featuring Redskins alumni, Cheerleaders, and the Marching Band begins at 10:15! Parking lots are set to open at 9:00 am and gates will open at 11:00 so plan accordingly. Prior to the game, Redskins alumni in attendance will be recognized, you won’t want to miss it.”
Just no one tell the Chargers.
Come on @Redskins did we not learn from last years Carolina “Homecoming” debacle? Don’t call it homecoming!
— Kenneth Grandon (@skinsfan_1981) October 30, 2013
Got an e-mail from #redskins about “Homecoming Weekend”. Really, homecoming for a professional team?
— BigMoneyTony Sports (@BMTSports) October 29, 2013