Let me guess. Today, you’re doing your best to temper expectations for the Redskins. You’ve resigned yourself to the fact that .500 is a borderline totally unreasonable outlook for this football team, and if you’re not completely unreasonable, you haven’t seriously thought about something called the postseason for longer than you can remember at this point of the season.
But it’s okay. There were no insane free agent splashes in March. The coach didn’t get fired. The team name controversy moved along with minimal dustups. Daniel M. Snyder actually hired a GM, albeit one in need of a second chance in his professional life, and FedEx Field didn’t fall down amid the latest retooling of the stadium. In many ways, this has been the best offseason between Ashburn and Landover in years.
But ask yourself: what are you in it for? If you like football, good for you. If you watch to hang out and root with your friends, godspeed. But if you’re doing it because of some connection with a parent, a mythical memory of RFK Stadium that brightened your youth, or some far off link to your hometown that is the only thing keeping you in contact with the area, I feel for you.
Since 1993, when I was 12, this franchise has made the playoffs four times. Think about that.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at this squad. If you ask some people, they were the best 4-12 team in the league last year, by virtue of the fact that the only other one was the Jets. (Sidenote: there is no such thing as a good 4-12 team.) As importantly, though, that was actually an improvement on the previous season.
This is the first season of zero optimism in the Robert Griffin III era. As a fan, these are the hardest ones. Another drafted quarterback who for whatever reason just isn’t panning out, necessarily, and little to no buzz to the team at all. Nobody this side of the Mississippi is ready to throw Bob on a heap with Jason Campbell, Patrick Ramsey and Gus Frerotte, but we’re moving closer to that territory than not. Of course, there are people who throw out random 10-6 or 9-7 predictions, but let’s be honest with ourselves.
Tonight, of course, is just a preseason game. But there’s always the possibility of what we like to call an Anti-Osaka Situation. You know, where the team comes out and looks so dreadful in the first preseason game that you presume the rest of the way is a march to 2-14? But then again, they’re playing the Browns, the only team with a more recent amount of misfortune and similar levels of previous delusion.
There are things to look forward to, though. There are no 4 p.m. games. Meaning, no Sundays full of watching other actual, functional franchises for three hours, only to have to come back to Kenny Albert and some guy who played backup safety in the ’90s that you’ve never heard of call a game. Those days are the worst.
We’ll hope to see some special teamer make an outstanding play and continue the dream of getting to the NFL. We’ll hope that no one gets injured and maybe see some semblance of an offense that involves something more than bombs to DeSean Jackson and three-yard plunges to Alfred Morris. The operative word here is: hope.
By the way, if you have any more of that left, let me know where to find it.