The Washington Post

Michael Wilbon called this

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

As you all know, I like to poke fun of the things Michael Wilbon says and writes about D.C. sports, because he so often seems to veer toward the cynical and pessimistic side of the ledger.

Now, I do this with a smile, because I like Wilbon, and think he’s absurdly talented, and he’s always been super nice to me.

Others (read: you) do it without a smile, because you consider Wilbon a D.C. hater who revels in Washington’s misery.

Regardless, go read his column from the week Mike Shanahan was hired by the Redskins. You can think Michael Wilbon is the worst sports columnist in Washington Post history, or in D.C. media history, or in world history, and you still have to admit that this was a grand slam. Out of the stadium. Into the stadium next door. And out of that one, too.


* “Forgive me if I don’t break open a bottle of champagne over this latest Redskins coaching announcement. We’ve been down this road a time or two before.”

* “With each hire, things were supposed to different. Things were going to function better. The owner was going to be less involved. The offense was going to be more efficient. . . . Under each new coach, the Redskins were going to sit on top of the world.”

* “The Washington Redskins have been losers too much over the past 15 years, too dysfunctional in too many ways, too repeatedly stubborn to receive anything close to benefit of the doubt.”

* “Shanahan could be exactly what the doctor ordered to heal the Redskins. It’s certainly in him. But I’ve got to see it first. I need to see the Redskins stop grossly overpaying players. I’ve got to see them become a stable organization. I’ve got to see them stop squandering draft picks in stupid trades.”

* “In other words, the Redskins can choose whomever they want to coach, but it doesn’t matter at all if the management style doesn’t change dramatically, immediately. Celebrity football, whether it’s Spurrier or Shanahan coaching, doesn’t work. Apparently, they haven’t learned all that much at Redskins Park.”

* “It almost never works, being coach and making all the football decisions. It’s a structure doomed to fail, oh, 95 percent of the time..”

* “And it’s not like we don’t have a book on Shanahan the talent evaluator: He’s bad at it. Like Joe Gibbs, Shanahan is one helluva coach but not particularly insightful as a talent evaluator. ”

* ” Shanahan the personnel man undermined Shanahan the coach so badly, he was fired after twice not making the playoffs. So, moving from Denver to Washington is going to change all that?”

* “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me five times, shame on me for believing without evidence to the contrary that a new hire is going to change everything.”

* “Those video clips were pretty much the same with Spurrier and Schottenheimer and Gibbs. And it struck me that this, once again, is Snyder seducing a famous coach to come and work for him for a ton of money.”

* “If a man experienced in running a football team had been hired and then selected a coach, the feeling here might be different. But when it appears the Redskins have engaged in the same old, same old, the reaction is a yawn.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.



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Dan Steinberg · December 9, 2013