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Mouth Off at Mike

Where's the Joy at FedEx?

I'm thinking about writing a column for this weekend about the anxiety of being a Redskins fan over the past 10 years and am considering including a couple of testimonials from fans.

If you want to share, respond -- in a rational and G-rated fashion -- in the comments below, telling me what it's like to be a modern Redskins fan, and when the last time there was joy in rooting for the team.

I may use some of the best responses in the column. Keep it to 75 words or fewer, and include your real name and email address. If you're not comfortable posting your email address here, send us a note at wilbonstuff-at-washpost-dot-com.

By

Michael Wilbon

 |  September 23, 2009; 11:49 AM ET  |  Category:  NFL , Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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I am a fan, but I honestly want them to keep loosing (for a while only of course) why? Because we need MAJOR change around here! If they end up on a mediocre season again, it's sad but probably not much would change, however if we lose every game that we shouldn't really deserve to win, we would probably win 25% of the games only. We all know that the Skins are one of those teams that ultimately aim for winning superbowls because of our history, but football has changed since the skins were a superbowl winning team (that's why Coach Gibbs didn’t succeed). To win you need a solid structure top to bottom, thirst, guts and luck, and as we know, the skins are 0-4 in those... Most of us agree on what needs to change, but the only guy you can't fire is the owner, so maybe we need to get to the bottom of the pit before we can have a solid foundation that makes us real contenders again. Enough superstars! This is football, not basketball! get some all-around solidity, we don’t need big names! (well, maybe a quarterback) Plus my predicament is that heavy agile guys like Haynesworth and Yao Ming always end up injured because their knees/ankles can't withstand so much weight and agility @ the same time. I hope I'm wrong about that one...

Posted by: jk_29 | October 2, 2009 10:44 AM
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December 18, 2005!! That was the last real joy I experienced. The Skins whupped up on the Cowboys 35 -7. I think Cooley had 3 touchdowns. They were just clicking on all cylinders. We really needed that game too. That was the last time for me. I haven't seen the skins play like that since. I remember seeing them play like that all the time with Theismanm, Riggo, Monk, etc. Those days are long gone.

Posted by: StevenDay | September 30, 2009 1:35 PM
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I am 31 years old and have lived the last 21 years in Australia after being born in England, I support the Redskins basically because I was given some Redskins shorts for Xmas as a 12 year old and the great Sports Writing in the Post sealed the deal once the internet became a part of my life. Living in an apartment block with no Cable I wake up at 3am to listen to games on espn980 live streaming, I have a question, seeing as I have never been to a game and have only watched a couple am I allowed to choose another team in Dan Snyder doesnt sell soon, I read alot of NFL stuff and i can tell we are poorly managed, I wont do it because I am a naturally loyal person but am I allowed too theoretically??

email is wrong on my Post Login

real email is lee.carney@anz.ccamatil.com

Posted by: LeeCarney | September 29, 2009 8:42 AM
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My last great memories of being a Redskins fan were when Jack Kent Cooke owned the team. At least then, you felt the team was competitive. I know there were a few lean years, but the adjusting to the salary cap in the early 90's took Washington a little longer since they were so far over the cap to begin the era. Cooke would have hired a GM and coach who would have figured out how to build a team and maintain excellence (draft well, resign crucial players, learn when to let a veteran go, and only sign medium to low priced free agents to fill certain roles) in the salary cap era. Under Dan Snyder, it has been all flash and no substance.
During the football season in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's, I used to pour over the newspaper to read about the upcoming game, watched all of the pregame, post game and wrap-up shows. I watched the TV and heard Sonny, Sam, and Frank on the radio. Those wonderful memories are very faint now.
Just remember this, since Dan Snyder bought the Redskins, two teams with the worst ownership in the modern history of the NFL (Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals) have been to a Super Bowl. Where have the Redskins been? They've been mired in the heap of mediocrity. Today it is irrelevant whether the Redskins win or lose.. I don't care

Posted by: rmack67 | September 28, 2009 12:35 PM
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I have always loved the skins but can't remember a year where I enjoyed watching them. I m too young to remember the glory days. And can only recall the end of Mark Rypien and the start of turmoil. Daniel Synder, please build a team don't buy one. I'd take a couple losing seasons if it meant a brighter future.

Posted by: dsilber924 | September 28, 2009 11:57 AM
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No joy at Fedex. The last time that I was really happy with the Redskins was when Jack Kent Cooke owned the operation.
RFK had it's wrinkles, but victory was expected there.
Cooke had a good GM, front office, and coaches who won.
The Danny has not been good for the 'team', maybe good for the 'franchise' and the marketing side of the business, but not good to the fans or a winning tradition.

Posted by: rhall2 | September 28, 2009 11:11 AM
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Please don't fire the coach until the season is over. If you do and get better one, improve the team with additional wins this year you would drop down in the Draft order in April. Go 3 and 13 and we get a quarterback. Go 8 and 8 we get a special team linebacker.

Posted by: boyn4884 | September 27, 2009 12:15 PM
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One thing I can't understand is why the Redskins refuse to run a bootleg.

For example: In that 4th down play at the goal line against the Rams where Campbell handed the ball off to Clinton Portis on the left side. If he fakes the handoff and bootlegs to the right he could have walked into the endzone!!!

I hope Jim Zorn reads this....I have been yelling bootleg....bootleg.....bootleg at every game for years now. I think it's time to give it a try.

Posted by: markstanard | September 27, 2009 11:21 AM
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I graduated High School in 92. The same year Gibbs retired. I was pretty busy with the Army and college through Pettibone's 4 wins and Norv Turner's 3,6, and maybe even the following 9 win season. After the steady progress '97 introduces Snyder poking his head in to Norv's office and 8,6 wins follow. But this is where there was last joy in being a Redskins fan. '99 draft 1. Champ Bailey and 2. Jon Jansen. Followed by winning the division with a 10-6 record. Followed by two first round picks (#1+#2 I believe) in the next draft netting Arrington and Samuels. Bailey, Jansen; Win Division and Arrington/Samuels. Circle it.

The following season Snyder inexplicably fires Norv Turner with a 7-6 winning record and 3 games left. Skins finish 1-2 and the movie Major League comes to mind. They broke even picturing Snyder in a bikini. What follows? 01 missing the 3rd and 7th picks. 03 netting 3 picks Taylor "Spur in Spurrier" Jacobs, Dockery, and Gibran "Hail Mary" Hamdan in the seventh. Hamdan was not only 1 out of 3 picks following taking Ramsey in the 1st in the prior year but 4 straight years of drafting a QB. Can you say Coaching Carosel/Quarterback Controversy?

But back to the point, 3 draft picks followed by 4. -2 and -3 the next year. -1, -3, -4. -2, -3, -4. And the last two technically missing 2 rounds each though better than in the hey day of Hurricane Snyder. Which is what I'm hoping this is (a return to calm rather than the eye of the storm). Zorn has raised the average wins per season since '92 from 6.9 to just over 7. Gibbs did add a second 10 win season to the all time highs post-his very own era. That time of my youth when the Skins dominated. But Zorn would have to lose the next 2 or so to keep pace with Gibbs 2.0. Norv Turner started with 3 and 6 wins before becoming a respected coach in the league if not in Snyder's head. So it stands above circled the last bit of joy Snyder inherited... hope.

Posted by: chavez66 | September 27, 2009 11:16 AM
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I believe theres been three moments the last ten to 15 years that have been uplifting only to be brought back down the next years. 2001 when Brad Johnson and Stephen Davis took us to the playoffs beating Detroit 1st round only to lose to Tampa Bay fluck snap who knows would have happened if we played the Rams instead of Tampa Bay thats the closet as i unit i thought we had of winning the Super Bowl. Then to have Synder ruin everything for the next 4 years. I thought Marty being here would have helped a good coach who went 8-3 to finish only to be fired because he want gm position and Snyder think he knows what he is doing. And sure making the playoff in 2005 was awesome the way they beat Dallas, NY, and Phila, but they never looked good all year shaky at times and every game was like a heart attack. 2007 was a great but tragic story. Great through all the adversity of a fallen player making the playoffs with a backup qb, but it wasnt the same without Taylor out their. The joy of last year starting the year at 6-2 brought hope and encouragement only to be brought back to reality again. I will always be a Redskin fan, but im waiting for are generation to watch the SKins host that Lambordi trophy just like are parents did in the 80's. But im afraid its not going to happen for while till Synder realizes he doesnt know anything about football and should let a gm who does do that. I just want to watch Redskins and not have to be at the edge of my seat every game of every season. I want to see them play hard for 60 minutes and not make excuses time and time again. If only we did this or that. Prevent that from happening. Its been 4 years with team with excuses and where almost their. This team has the talent and potential and i would like to see it. I hope September 20, 2009 will be a changing point in this franchise history where booes rain down on the Redskins and telling them this is unexceptable we expect better.

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | September 27, 2009 11:12 AM
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Being a Redskin fan for the last 10 years has been a rollacoaster of emotions. From the high expectations in the offseason, to the harsh reality of..well..reality. Mr. Snyder needs real football people, not yes men. We as Redskin fans need to realize something. We are/have been an average team with over priced players. Its heart breaking year in and year out to put so much into a football team, only to get crushed at years end. I wish for some success soon, not only for me but this organization. As example by last week, WE are getting tired of whats going on at Redskin Park.

Posted by: johnrm2 | September 27, 2009 11:04 AM
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To even hint that there's been any degree of joy being a fan of this team during the past ten years is a joke. I would love to know what it's like to be a Giants fan. Not simply because its current team is good but mainly because it represents a professional organization. I don't root for a particular season, I root for the organization. If it's a good one, then I can rest assured as a fan that any season's team will have quality. Even if the Giants were to have a bad season in the near future, I'd know as a fan that it would be a temporary hiccup, more a fluke. With the 'Skins, a fluke is a good season. All you're left with each season is hope hinged on a bunch of 'ifs'. If key players remain healthy (see offensive line), if the free agents turn out to be worth the investment, if certain questionable draft choices pan out (see Devan Thomas and Chad Rinehart) ...

I like comedy, and as fan of this team, I have a comedy of errors in this organization that just keeps giving. My only Redskins’ entertainment now comes from the unnecessary drama and subplots surrounding the team. And this coming offseason, the circus will return to town again, as Snyder begins his latest search for the next sucker who will be fooled into thinking the coaching job for this team is prestigious.

The stupidity and mean-spiritedness of Snyder and Inc are almost breathtaking. Does Snyder ever do any homework? Does he engage in due diligence? Does he understand that resorting to band-aid measures to take care of the perennial problem of being over the salary cap only saddle the team with extended contracts and therefore veterans who are way past their shelf-lives? Which also means that young talent can’t be brought in, since there’s no roster space for them. As if the team has draft picks by which to acquire such youth in the first place.

Posted by: stevekwkim | September 27, 2009 10:33 AM
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The only time I heard my dad drop an "F-Bomb" was during Super Bowl VII, when I was four years old. I specifically recall my mom screaming at him because of it. The only time I dropped an "F-Bomb" in my parents' presence was during Super Bowl XVIII, as Marcus Allen zig-zagged through the Redskins defense on his way to the end zone and Super Bowl MVP. My mom screamed at me in response while my dad slightly smirked.

The Skins have given my family and me so many very happy and sad Sundays, as I'm sure is the case with Dan Snyder and his dad. The great irony is that it has taken a passionate Redskins fan (Dan Snyder) to destroy the passion most of us no longer have for the Redskins. The opposite of joy may be disgust, but the worst feeling a team wants from its fans is apathy. I just don't care any longer.

Posted by: c_e_daniel | September 27, 2009 10:14 AM
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I knew after the 91 season that the SKINS would not be in the bowl game but I did not thank it would be 16 seasons of losing!!

I said this before Snyder should own the Wizards not the Skins (wich he got by defult because the original guy the owners would not approve) and Abe Pollin should have own the Skins.

Snyder probley would have won 3 NBA titles by now the way he spends money.

Pollin on the other hand would have one atleast two championships with prudent way of doing business.

Posted by: SOLVBACK | September 27, 2009 9:49 AM
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Seeing the current owner and current stadium situation has dampened my enthusiasm for this team, which I have rooted for since 1979. While the Norv Turner years were tough, I kept the faith, especially when they got Brad Johnson and won their last NFC East title. When Dan Snyder came in and sabbatoged the team, my enthusiasm slowly went down hill.

The Redskins had an owner (Jack Kent Cooke) who knew how to hire the best people (Bobby Betheard, Charlie Casserly and Joe Gibbs) and then stay out of their way. Not so with Dan Snyder.

RFK Stadium, while so much less modern that Fedex Field, was a much better place when it came to a home field advantage. Remember the fans screaming "WE WANT DALLAS!" before the 1983 NFC Championship Game? You didn't need blaring music and the circus atmosphere you see at Fed Ex Field today. It was the toughest place to play.

Posted by: dobrian | September 27, 2009 8:37 AM
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How sad it is to watch this once great organization free fall. How does this "player personnel" director stay employed? We know the Big Name coach will come next year, move us from 5-11 to 9-7, only to say after three years, "burnt out", gotta go. Build Dan, build. You're young, wealthy and have tremendous fan support waiting. The balls in your court, and having moved from the Metro area to Cincy a few years ago, I can tell you memories doen't last when you start winning. Bengal fans are elated at 1-1, doesn't take much. Fix it, only you can.

Posted by: Vinindaltex | September 27, 2009 8:18 AM
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Back in the day (and by “day” I mean the ’80’s – early ‘90’s), Sundays in the fall were “must watch TV.” It was an event. You didn’t just “watch” the game, you lived it! Why, if they lost on Sunday, I wouldn’t even buy a paper the next day for fear of re-living the moment. But I always took solace in knowing they were a damned good football team, and that someday soon they would return to their winning ways.

Watching the Washington Redskin’s today is like watching Barney Fife: He has a gun. He has one bullet in his pocket. You know sooner or later he’s going to shoot himself in the foot.

Posted by: Satiate | September 27, 2009 8:10 AM
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Growing up in New York I was a Giants fan. The Redskins were the last team in the NFL to desegregate. Their name offends Native Americans, as well as "thinking" Americans. Snyder is one of the worst owners in professional sports. Fed Ex Field is a nightmare.

Having said all of that, the team is in for a long season, fans are discouraged, so the obvious thing to do is to further exacerbate the situation by alienating the "tailgate crowd" by moving them off their turf and the faithful by brokering tickets.

It seems as though the product, for a long time gold in the Washington Area, is beginning to tarnish. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

Posted by: FrankMoss | September 27, 2009 12:33 AM
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We haven't been the 'Skins since Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerato took control. For ten years it's been painful watching one quick, expensive fix after another fail. There's no effort to build the backbone of a champion, just to get big names and big contracts to justify big revenue for a bad team. If I didn't bleed burgundy and gold, this would be a team I'd love to root againt.

Posted by: jjafari | September 26, 2009 4:05 AM
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My great memories of the Skins are from my childhood growing up in the 1980's and attending games with my dad and grandfather. The Skins rarely lost at home back then so every Sunday we went home happy. I remember the pride I felt during the great Super Bowl years. I also remember the pain from losing to the Raiders in '84 and the Giants in '86. I will always have fond memories of my childhood heros Coach Giibbs, Riggo, Butz, D. Green, etc.

It is kind of sad that my most recent good memories are occasionally beating an over rated Cowboys team. Other than Fletcher and Cooley I wouldn't mind if every player was cut today. I know Dan Snyder wants to win so lets all hope he finally gets it and brings in a real GM.

Posted by: skinsFan74 | September 25, 2009 8:05 PM
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In 2007 I was living in Chicago and We were playing the Bears. The Bears were on their way to the playoffs and the Redskins were going nowhere fast. So I went to watch it at the local bar. The game was old school, both sets of fans were thinking about the ghosts of games past. Sammy Baugh, Sid Luckman, Riggo and Sweetness. However on that day the best player on the field was Shawn Springs. He was a monster, picking off passes, making tough tackles, I was in awe of the athletisicm. The Skins won and the whole affair ended with some Bears fans joining us in a chorus of Hail to the Redskins. Brought back alot of memories for fans of both teams. The skins ended the Bears season that year, and began their own playoff run.

Posted by: DCDave11 | September 25, 2009 11:39 AM
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I will always stay true to the Burgundy and Gold. I have been a fan for over 20 years now and can't see a better way to spend my Sundays.

I can't say that I'm happy with their performance of late, but if I'm going to pay the hefty prices for tickets, concession, and other merchandise I want to see a winning record, or at least a team with a fire lit under its rear and goes out and competes for the win every time. The feeling I get when I watch now is that one the players are not meshing well and executing on the same page, two they are constantly getting called on bone-headed penalties, and three the fans are genuinely disappointed with the outcome of a game (even after a win). There hasn't been a lot to talk about with the Redskins unless it's about how much money we're spending on this free agent pool, or what is Snyder doing now to make it harder to be the average Joe fan. Not to mention that Robert Hanson's of the wall comment about the fans.

My opinion on that is, we boo because we care. We care about how our Redskins perform and expect better. I personally believe that the booing is not always soley intended for the players, but also for management (coaches, trainers, executives).

There is a reason why teams like the Patriots and Steelers do so well every year. They know how to build and develop game winning game plans as well as plan for the future of the organization.

One last opinion; If Vinny must stay (though he should go) then he should be VP of operations and hire someone else to be the General Manager. There is talent out there and you don't always have to pay top dollar for it.

Posted by: hailtodathief | September 25, 2009 11:30 AM
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In 2005 everyone thought the Redskins were done. Then they reeled off 5 wins beating Dallas, NY then Philly in Philly. That was a show of true grit. One saturday at the end of the season I went to the mall, and the Burgundy and Gold was everywhere, black people, white people, little kids, teenagers, old guys wearing Jurgenson. It was awesome, DC felt like a community again.

Posted by: DCDave11 | September 25, 2009 11:28 AM
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Snyder has turned us into a fanbase of... well, Snyders.

Think about it. Jim Zorn is currently 9-9 for his career, 1-1 for the season. And he coaches in the toughest division in football with the worst "front office" and with apologies to JC, the worst quarterback.

Only in Washington would the fans and media be saying his job is on the line this week while not blinking an eye at the insanity of it all. Heck, the fans seem to be in favor of kicking Zorn to the curb right this minute. Like I said, a fanbase of Snyders.

There's a reason Zorn got the job. And that's because no one else wanted it.

Most of the blame is on Snyder... but the fans and media ain't helping.

Posted by: MylesMonroe | September 24, 2009 10:36 PM
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I watched games with my Dad in the 70s and became a huge fan during the George Allen years. We were always pretty good but not good enough to get anywhere special.

I remember the meltdown when Gibbs started 0-5. What followed is sweet, sweet, history. Gibbs, Bobby then Charlie, Cooke, low-profile investments and years of coaching and front office stability. It was a recipe for sustained success.

It was bad for a while after Gibbs retired but it seems more hopeless now. The big name coaching hires (Schottenheimer, Spurrier, Gibbs) and the short leash (Schottenheimer, hopefully not Zorn). The high profile, free agent busts (Deion, Archuleta). This is not how the Redskins of the 80s operated nor is it how teams that are successful today operate. It's all very sad. You can't fire an owner.

Posted by: ezetimibe | September 24, 2009 8:18 PM
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I became a Skins fan in early 60s. They were awful. But I loved watching games with my Dad. But - my best recent memory - a toss up between taking my daughter to FEDEX to see Darryl Green's last game (and a victory over Dallas), or taking my Dad to see last game of 2007 (another victory over Dallas)and we make the playoffs. Skins are nowhere as good or exciting as Joe Gibbs I era, but play better than the teams of the 60s, but bottom line - 'Skins are part of the family.

Posted by: humbleandfree | September 24, 2009 7:38 PM
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The Caps provide fans with the most exciting games and the best overall fan experience in town. Anyone who wants a REAL team to root for should head down to F Street.

C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS!

Posted by: jkarasek | September 24, 2009 7:28 PM
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Mike,
I moved to the DC area in 1973 at the age of 10 and fell in love with the over the hill gang. Billy and Sonny, Larry Brown and Charley Taylor. The Pardee years had some fun but then came Joe. I have always felt like we were the good guys. J. Cooke, J. Gibbs were instrumental in making that feeling we fans had a reality. Now, the truth is that we are what we used to despise and that hurts as bad as losing.

Posted by: jjohnnya63 | September 24, 2009 6:23 PM
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Redskins, the team of my youth. My first game was in 1963 the Sunday after President Kennedy was assassinated. My father and uncle took my cousin and me to see the Sonny Jurgenson - lead Eagles go down in defeat 13-10 to the Norm Snead - lead Redskins. My most vivid memory is just how cold and dreary that day was.

Since I don't actually play the games, I don't get personally wrapped up in the 'Skins successes or shortcomings (and I don't refer to the team as "we" or "us"). The last time it really felt good to be a 'Skins fan was when Jack Kent Cooke ran the franchise. Don't get me wrong, Dan Snyder's story, coming from a modest background into ownership of arguably one of a handful of the NFL's marquee franchises would be like me getting embarrassingly wealthy and buying the team (eminently cool). The difference, I hope, would be that I'd quickly realize just what I didn't know about running the playing side of an NFL franchise and would address that by surrounding myself with some savvy adult supervision.

Posted by: prestoj | September 24, 2009 6:17 PM
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It’s like a kid getting all pumped up to go to Disney World and then his parents telling him that they’re going to Kings Dominion.

Every offseason we get all hyped up and then we underperform...again and again and again.

The players are all wrong about us booing the team. We’re not booing because we only beat the Rams by 2 points, we’re booing b/c we’re tired of the mediocrity. Everyone realized that if we can’t even score a touchdown against a team that is 2-15(one win was against the skins) then we aren’t going to be able to do anything this year.

Posted by: PurpleEagle | September 24, 2009 5:37 PM
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When I was a kid being a Redskins' fan was extremely rewarding. It was interesting, in the 80's the Skins didn't win the division every year or anything but every year I just assumed we'd be good. Was I spoiled? Maybe. I just know that as an adult I assume we will be a mediocre over paid team. We will make sure to choke away the close games and never win what we should. The frustration comes from the millions of fair weather fans out there who support whatever the flavor of the week is (DC is full of these guys) and you don't even get to shut them up because you don't have that kind of faith in the Skins.

Posted by: brianthestuntbum | September 24, 2009 5:34 PM
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This will far exceed 75 words, but it will be a cathartic experience. So what the hell...

Ten years ago. 1999. We didn't know it at the time, but that was when this era of the modern Redskins began.

From '93 through '98 -- the first six post-Gibbs years -- the team was unquestionably bad, with a record of 36-59-1. Frustration and disappointment over such unfamiliar futility reigned supreme in those days.

But things changed in 1999. A 10-6 season, a division title and a playoff victory had hopes soaring -- particularly after the team drafted a couple of blue chippers in Chris Samuels and Lavar Arrington and grabbed a host of big name free agents in the off season. The team had a year that gave them something to build upon then dominated the off season with the type of moves that would surely bring the them back to their rightful position atop the league.

Then in 2000...8-8. No playoffs. Sound familiar?

Unfair expectations, too much tinkering and not enough patience. The Snyder era front office built the model in 1999 and has been test driving new versions ever since. Spend enough money to give the fans hope every August. Don't spend it smart enough to move the team beyond being a perennial .500 club. The frustration and disappointment we felt in the '90s is still there. But even with a few marginal successes over the years, it's somehow worse now because we get caught up in false expectations and a notion that the team is "one or two key pieces away".

Maybe if we as a community stop getting caught up in those expectations and realize that success will only come with fundamental changes to the team's approach to putting a product on the field, maybe then such change will occur. Maybe, but probably not.

1999-2009. 10 years...feels like 20.

Zach Kalman

Posted by: zachkalman | September 24, 2009 5:00 PM
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Gibbs, Part 2 was great. Everything prior to that and after that during the Snyder regime has been a complete bust. From the free agent class of 2000 to the Jay Cutler/Mark Sanchez affair this offseason.

The winning streak to make the playoffs after the death of No. 21 was remarkable.

Beating Tampa in the first round of the playoffs in 2006 was an awesome game.

With Gibbs back, regular season games during that time were much different. Everyone had a sense of confidence in the team - not like now, where we all expect the impending doom that may lie ahead.

I really hope Zorn is the answer and we go on a winning streak during our soft schedule because starting over will just lead to more of the same...

Posted by: JBuss | September 24, 2009 4:38 PM
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I've been fan since i was 7 years old when I watched the Skins beat the Dolphins in Super Bowl 17. I've rooted for the skins through thick and thin, and lets be honest, its been pretty thin for the past several years. But all teams, even great ones, go through down periods. How do you think 49er and Raider fans feel? What have the Cowboys done since the mid 90s? And though it seems like the Skins have underachieved, we have to be a little honest with ourselves about the talent. Look at the Super Bowl winners (and even the losers) from the past several years and ask whether or not Skins "belonged". Patriots, Colts, Steelers, Giants - the skins are not as good.

Posted by: rvaidyanathan | September 24, 2009 4:21 PM
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My favorite memories:

- Doug Williams heading into the locker room after Super Bowl XXII

- The madness in Georgetown after Super Bowl XXVI

- Joe Gibbs running with his players (always)

- Art Monk's record-breaking catch

- Darrell Green's hurdle in Soldier Field (sorry, Michael)

To me, being a Redskins fan meant that I belonged to the organization, that I was a part of the team, and that somehow Jack Kent Cooke knew how I felt. It was like we communicated through a level of ESP old couples have.

I don’t feel that way anymore. The Redskins Corporation does not care about its fans. It knows we are loyal and we will continue to fill its coffers. But we are loyal because of the past, not because of the present. We are a sentimental people longing for the return to the Glory Years. Longing for a franchise we can be proud of once again. But if things remain the way they are, that longing will die off and the loyalty will go with it. Take note, Dan Snyder.

Posted by: newspeak3000 | September 24, 2009 4:08 PM
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These days, I'm ashamed to call myself a Redskins fan. Not because of anything Dan Snyder, Vinny Cerrato, or Jim Zorn has done. But because my fellow Redskins fans have become the most irrational and obnoxious fans in all of sports. I'm not talking about booing when your team doesn't score a TD, we all were unhappy about the redzone ineptitude. I'm talking about the constant, non stop, illogical criticism of Snyder, Cerrato, and Zorn from the fans.

If you don't like this team, I suggest you go find another one to root for. The Skins have plenty of fans and don't need the crybabies anymore.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 24, 2009 3:25 PM
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I am a lifelong fan of the burgundy and gold. I started watching the team when they were guided by George Allen and had Charley Taylor. Under Allen the Skins were never the greatest team in the league but they were very competitive and worked hard. The Allen teams put that initial meaning in "hard fought." When the Squire took over in the early 80s who knew what a wonderful ride fans would be in store for. Storied names were added to the Skins history, furthering my loyalty were players like Riggins, Theisman, Doug Williams, Green, Monk, the Hoggs, Monte Coleman, Dexter Manley, Charles Mann, Dave Butz, etc...just an endless line of loveable guys laying it all out on the field. Guys that understood what it meant to be a part of the Redskin tradition. After the fantastic win against the Bills on January 26, 1992 it feels as though it has been for the most part all down hill (with notable exceptions like London Fletcher, Stephen Davis, Terry Allen, Cooley, Portis, Arrington, and Sean Taylor). And under Snyder it has been worse. I finally was able to get season tickets when they opened the new stadium the big Jack in 1997. I was thrilled, estatic, on cloud 9. The Redskins ownership situation seemed like it would be sorted out shortly and things were looking good. Then Danny took over and everything went to poop. I loved going to the games, but over the last few years it has gotten progressively worse. My seat cost me close to $2600 a year. For that lavish luxury, which I cut many corners to afford, I was subjected to price gouging and some of the drunkest people I have ever had to deal with. Add an overly loud experience in the stadium and insane traffic to and from the stadium mixed in with years of under performance by the team and finally I said enough is enough. Danny needs to wake up and realize that he can no longer milk the diehards. We are jumpin ship faster than rats off the titanic. Thanks for nothing Danny.

Posted by: tylerdurden1 | September 24, 2009 3:20 PM
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if you haven't already got check out the sound bites on redskins.com or NFL.com, after watching it made me feel like an azz to curse the team like i had been all week. it really changed my outlook on the team, Zorn and JC. I'm confident that this team will have a successful season. Pessimist enters: "yeah wait til mon and see if he's sayin that"

Posted by: russelljharris | September 24, 2009 2:52 PM
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Winning cures all. If they won more over the past 10 yrs, most fans would tolerate $35 parking, an idiot pre-game field announcer, annoying prompts to cheer on 3rd down, drunks in the aisles on every play, head-scratching drafts & free agent signings, no true GM, adding obstructed view seats,suing ticket holders, etc. I've been to most games since '71(Dad's had tix for 56 yrs beg. in Griffith Stadium)-still love the Skins but it's been a rough romance since the move from RFK. Last pure joy as a fan was the playoff run in Gibbs' last season, which was remarkable given the death of Sean Taylor, the team's best player.

Posted by: jandjfields | September 24, 2009 2:33 PM
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I was 10 years old when the Joe Gibbs era began, they were winners on and off the field and I was proud to be a fan. My nephew was born in late 1991, but obviously too young too remember beating the Bills in the super bowl. My nephew is now turning 18 and he doesn't understand why I love this team so much, I'm almost glad he doesn't understand because it saves him from the frustration I feel every Sunday.

Posted by: TWSS | September 24, 2009 1:44 PM
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I have been a fan since Danny White had to be escorted to the sidelines in the NFC champ game. The most frustrating thing about the Skins is that other teams get better over the years and WE STAY THE SAME, 8-8 or 9-7 squeeking into the playoffs and never getting any better. Other teams like Atlanta, Bills, Saints, Ravens, SF all have been down in the last 5 yrs but got better throught the draft. We try to buy teams and it can't be done! Dan Snyder please do this town a favor and SELL THE TEAM. You are the number one most despised person in this area and that is saying a lot. GO AWAY!!!!!!!

Posted by: cromag23 | September 24, 2009 1:42 PM
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I'm a native Washingtonian and lifelong fan. They'll always be my team, but I think that it's pretty clear that the Redskins jumped the shark about 10 years ago. Moving into their lousy new home and then the purchase of the team by Snyder made them a completely different organization than what they were before. The aura is gone. It's not a big deal to have Skins tickets any more, they keep trying to get back to the Super Bowl without going through the process of building a solid team for the long term and the only interesting thing about watching them now is seeing how they implode each year. The 80's are long over. I'm tired of the team still milking that and expecting the same results. The Skins had one of the deepest wells of loyalty and tradition and it appears that they have done the impossible and squandered it.

Posted by: washwave | September 24, 2009 1:32 PM
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I now go to DC United games. The best fan experience and tailgates this area has to offer. It's affordable, easy to get to and the passion that emits from RFK is magical. The old lady still has it....

Posted by: CHICO13 | September 24, 2009 1:19 PM
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There is no other team in sports that I root harder for every season and offseason. Living in New York, having to deal with Giants fans, and shamlessly defending this once storied franchise every Sunday has been brutal. Best offseason team, biggest dissappointment during the season. I dont need Superbowls, but I need to see a franchise that is competitive in the NFC East. Offensive play calling has been bottom tier for years. My wife says I dont speak after a loss. We havent been speaking much on Sunday nights...

Posted by: tommyarnold75 | September 24, 2009 1:14 PM
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As a kid, I began rooting for the Skins during the era of Kilmer, Lavender and Mulkey. The 2 former names stood out because my father spent many Sundays cursing those guys. The latter stood out because, when my dad joyfully yelled his name, I would strain to find the "Monkey" named Herb on tv. I was on the season ticket waiting list for 5 short years and started as a ticket holder in the next-to-last row of the stadium. In 4 short years, I've moved down to the 200 level without accepting ridiculous offers of club level with the promise of lower bowl "next year". Am I lucky? That's questionable, because now I get to see the debacle that is "our" offense up close and personal. With the proliferation of HDTV, the mediocrity on the field and the wallet-busting cost of attending games, I find myself selling more games each year. The only consolation for us long-suffering Skins fans during this Snyder regime has been witnessing the struggles of "America's Team" as well.

Posted by: laidbakfella | September 24, 2009 1:00 PM
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As a former Lower Potomac Indigenous Peoples fan, I now absolutely despise them and hope they lose every game (yes, even against the Cowboys). Not only is Dan Snyder one of the most inept, selfish, and money grabbing owners I've had the displeasure of watching, I now realize that I only cheered for them because my dad did and I've effectively "outgrown" the Peoples.

Also, for the rabid Peoples fans, why still cheer for them and buy tickets and merchandise? Don't you blind lemmings know that cheering for them and buying their useless merchandise just gives aid and comfort to the sketch comedy duo of Snyder/Cerrato and gives them no motivation to change?

I know devote my time, energy, and money to a well-run, fan-friendly, successful team called the Washington Capitals. ROCK THE RED AND TO HELL WITH THE BURGUNDY AND GOLD!

Posted by: playahatah | September 24, 2009 12:45 PM
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The problem I have boils down to Good v/s Evil.
Growing up in the 80s, I saw the Redskins as 'Good'... almost angelic.

I developed the paradigm that Dallas, with their big name players, fancy stadium, tempting cheerleaders, and showboat style of play were, at least in football terms, Evil.

And the Redskins, with their overachieving and underrated players (Coleman, Mann, Rypien, etc.), classy coach (Gibbs), old fashioned stadium (RFK), and fundamentally sound style of play (counter-trey), were Good.

Sadly, today's Redskins are less like yesterday's Redskins and more like yesterday's (and today's) Cowboys.
So how can I still be a fan of an Evil team? Especially an Evil team that loses all the time?!
I don't want to be disloyal to the team that brought me so much joy as a kid, but I think I'm allowed to change my opinion of a team when the facts change so drastically.

Posted by: jgarrisn | September 24, 2009 12:41 PM
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Mike,

I have been a Redskin fan for 41 years but most of all I am a football fan. I can appreciate good play by any team. I love just sitting in my TV room & watching the games. This will probably infuriate the rest of the rabid bloggers out there but I have a life and I don’t go bonkers if the Redskins don’t win. There is only one real winner in the NFL every year, that is the team that wins the super bowl.

Posted by: dc4life | September 24, 2009 12:38 PM
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My first memory of football was Dexter Manley crushing Danny White. I used to highstep to be like Daryl Grant and I remember Riggins tossing aside a helpless defender. I was six years old. I didn't choose to be a Redskins fan, I was born a Redskins fan.

When Joe Gibbs came back, seeing him on the sidelines again made every game feel like a big game. Joe could not live up to his legacy but I thank him for trying.

I miss Sean Taylor. I selfishly still shake my head thinking about the highlights that were stolen from us.

It is unbelievably difficult to be a Redskins fan, especially over the last decade but I will not stop cheering for them because I cannot stop cheering for them.

Thank you for the opportunity to post this message. alayser@hotmail.com

Posted by: alayser | September 24, 2009 12:36 PM
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I had a golden retriever named Riggins growing up. I will always be a die hard Redskins fan. But after all the class of Jack Kent Cooke we get served a telemarketing icon who's Napoleon syndrome has him trying to take over the world. The problem is, he's too dumb and smug to do it. I wish the NFL would strip him of ownership on principle. There is no doubt in my mind who was at fault in handling the Lavar Arrington situation and the only classy thing I've seen them do is celebrate the life of Sean Taylor; but that's common decency so protocol probably dictated that situation. I wish Danny Boy would let the coaches coach and give them time to build a team not pull the trigger every time we lose to the Cowboys. He couldn't manage his way out of a wet paper bag and I'm sick of seeing his hand in everything including the excessive over-marketing of the team. The NFL has already turned into an all day beer commercial which is offensive in and of itself. The players are often arrogant, poor me sell outs. Adding Daniel Snyder to the equation is just insult to injury.
- Patrick Apple

Posted by: papple | September 24, 2009 12:19 PM
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I love watching the redskins and that won't change no matter how often they disappoint. You can't win every game but I enjoy watching them try. I have become more reasonable in terms of my expecations each season, especially after so many disappointing seasons since Snyder took over but I still believe they are capable of greatness. Going to the games is just as excited for me, walking up to Fed Ex, the comraderie of my fellow skins fans -- although by the end I'm often wondering why I spent all the money to do so. But you have to believe they can be great again and the joy I get out of their success, albeit limited these days, is worth it 100%. HAIL!

Matt Estes, mdestes@gmail.com, Fan Since 1987 (Age 5).

Posted by: mde2s | September 24, 2009 12:05 PM
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I have been a Redskin fan for 45 years. It's difficult to watch a proud team of the 80's and early 90's being reduced to mediorce by players who have talent, but are not playing up to it. Yes the Redskins have talent. But what's really missing from this years team is the desire and willingness to sacrifice and execute to the best of their ability on each and every play. Restore hope to your fans Sunday by physically manhandling an inferior team.

Posted by: classicskins | September 24, 2009 11:52 AM
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I have been a life long Redskins fan through the Super Bowl years and the lean years. I love the Redskins because they are the Redskins whether they win or lose they are still my team!! Every Sunday through good times and tough times they are always there for me every Sunday. I'm crushed whenever they lose and when they win I start worrying about the next game.

They make me so happy when they are winning and miserable during the bad seasons I can't stand it. The only thing in life I have this much passion for.

Jeff Thornton
Winston-Salem, NC

Posted by: Jethornt3 | September 24, 2009 11:50 AM
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As many I start every season with the prediction of a 16-0 season. And my children have been brainwashed as well. Recently I asked my 9 year old son why he doesn't watch games with me anymore ... quote "No offense Dad, but they always lose!"

Since leaving RFK and a new owner this team has no heart. He has stolen the Redskins tradition with his swollen ego. Perhaps he could take a few lessons from Ted Leonsis!

Posted by: gwells1 | September 24, 2009 11:37 AM
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Mike,
I am a diehard Redskins fan born in 1990, so I never got to experience football at RFK. My dad and I started going to games when he received season tickets starting in 1999, when the Skins made the playoffs for the first time since I was the ripe old age of two. I was not old enough to remember the glory days of Gibbs and the Hogs, so I've grown numb to the waffling front office and shaky play over my 19 years of life. However, I still yearn for the day that my Skins (or any of the other DC teams for that matter) will finally bring home a championship, and every Sunday afternoon gets me as pumped up as those few playoff games that I've been lucky enough to see.

Andrew Schumacher

Posted by: ASchumacher | September 24, 2009 11:26 AM
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It's always a joy to be a redskins fan based on the wonderful history of past players and gut wins & loses, but even Joe#2 never felt right. The new breed of players have guts, but their hearts beat to a differnt time.

Posted by: tuffy6326 | September 24, 2009 11:16 AM
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I was born 10 days before the Redskins won their first Super Bowl. I "watched" the game with my Dad and I have a picture of him holding me as he calls his brother in Miami to gloat. I wasn't allowed to watch any TV as kid- except for Redskins games. I'm a lifelong fan and even though I lived in Toronto for 6 years and I live in NYC now I'll never root for another team. But.....
The last time I enjoyed watching them was '99. It was heartbreaking to see them lose because the punter's brother couldn't long snap the ball correctly, but it wasn't a bad year. Then Brad Johnson has a mediocre year and Danny Boy decides to trade him and we get Jeff George and Tony Banks????

That's the kind of genius decision making that has doomed this team since Jack Kent Cooke died. We'll never be more than half-decent unless Snyder hires a legitimate GM and lets him do his job. It's sad that a man who's intelligent enough to amass a huge fortune at such a young age would be so blinded by ego to think the knowledge he's accumulated as a fan will allow him to compete with men who have spent their entire adult lives getting paid to study the game. I've never been one of delusional Redskins fans who gets upset when someone points out the obvious. We're not a good team, we haven't been a good team for a long time, and we're not gonna be a good team until someone else owns the team. So, maybe in 4 or 5 decades?

In the meantime, I can't afford satellite TV and I'm not going to waste 4 hours a week to trek down to a bar and watch these guys stink it up. I'll watch the national games and read about the rest of them on Monday morning.


Posted by: ccasros | September 24, 2009 11:13 AM
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I started cheering for the redskins when I was 8 years when we won our last superbowl. Ever since then I approached each season with incredible optimism no matter how bleak our prospects were. Put simply, being a redskins fan is hard, just when it seems like the franchise is on the verge of turning things around they inevitably fall back into mediocrity. There is always next season...

Posted by: dmoreno82 | September 24, 2009 11:11 AM
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Anxiety of being a fan over the past 10 years? How about living in the most "politically correct" city on earth and rooting for a team named for a racial slur? How about being embarassed by the fact that the same people who scream for the blood of anyone who makes a "racially charged" statement (firing a city employee for using the word "niggardly" because it SOUNDED like a slur) refuse to even engage in discussion of why a team named the yellowskins, blackskins, brownskins, or whiteskins would be offensive, but a team named redskins is ok. How about the lame argument that "tradition" takes the sting out of a racial slur (as long as its not directed at a minority with a loud local voice).

There is no joy in rooting for the local NFL team because nobody will even acknowledge the 800 lb. Gorila in the room- our blind acceptance of the racism behind the team's name.

Posted by: shapcano | September 24, 2009 10:46 AM
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I'm a NY'er who lives in DC and for the last dozen or so years I've snagged a ticket to the Giants-Redskins game. I've had a good enough time at the Landover stadium, speaking purely about the facility, amenities, etc., obviously without the angst about the team itself (G-Men thank you, Dan!).

3 things, though, have always bugged me. One, the relentless selling. Every freaking thing is sponsored. The ads aren't just static, they're flashed at you and endlessly announced. I've paid for my ticket and always have a bite and a cocktail or two; please let me watch the game without continuously trying to sell me more stuff.

Secondly, the spectator is constantly bombarded by the aforementioned ads and music. Before the game, between posessions, in between every play - constant, constant loud, throbbing music and sound effects. You can never sit back and hear the natural sound of the crowd and stadium, be able to comtemplate what you're seeing, or even hold a normal-volume conversation with a fellow spectator. Maybe it's like this in all stadiums these days, but it detracts from enjoyment of the event.

Lastly I resent the shennanigans the Redskins play with getting to the game by any means other than parking in their lots. Again, I bought your ticket; stop trying to manipulate me into (paying for) parking in your lot. And doing stuff like lobbing to shut down public roads in pursuit of this scam - shameful. I attended the Eagles-Giants playoff game in NJ last year - the grand symphony of rail/bus service to Giants Stadium, fully advertised and integrated into the scheme of things, was beautiful to behold and easy to use.

Posted by: michaelmagnus9 | September 24, 2009 10:34 AM
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A modern day Redskin's fan, is exactly the same as fans from yesteryear. We remain the league's most delusional fans. We think we have a chance every year no matter the situation or the talent. The only thing that seperates us from our halcyon days is winning. Oh and tweets on twitter. :)

Posted by: alex | September 24, 2009 10:32 AM
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Every year you think is this going to be the year the skins turn it around. Is this the year the skins get a qb? Being a skins fan is like being embalmed every week. You feel like your insides have been taken out. Synder hired all these so called great offensive gurus(Turner, Spurrier, Gibbs, and Zorn)and every week we struggle to score a td. Michael Javakian - realmj20@yahoo.com

Posted by: MichaelJ20 | September 24, 2009 10:22 AM
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I have been a fan of the redskins since 1958. My first game was at Griffith Stadium against the Giants in December. It was cold and the redskins lost. The redskins always lost but I have always had a love affair with the redskins. I would listen to every home game on the radio when the games were not on tv and cheer out loud when something good happened and become depressed when they lost which was often until George Allen and than Joe Gibbs. There was always hope until the last few years. Now it is hype in the winter and spring and once pre season starts and reality sets in you realize there is no chance. The players don't care about winning, the owner doesn't care about the fans and it just leads to one frustrating season after another until all hope is lost. That is where the Redskins are. No matter who the coach or who the players are the same lack of concern for winning and pride is exhibited almost constantly. That is why we now have players complaining about the fans. All the fans want is the same desire in the players that they exhibit fighting the traffic at fed ex and paying exhobitant ticket prices. Instead of players showing desire they complain about fans. If they show the desire the fans will be there.

Posted by: pdkatz | September 24, 2009 9:52 AM
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jack kent cooke had the right idea and that is what the redskins statdium should be called.with the advent of no tailgating and the higher prices i no longer want or need to go to the game. however i am a life time fan and if your a fan you stick with them no matter what. dear dan get a clue

Posted by: beenthe424 | September 24, 2009 9:49 AM
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I have been a Redskins fan since the days of Sonny and my Dad was a fan who saw Sammy Baugh play, so we are a lifetime Redskins family of fans. I am usually positive about the Redskins and see the glass half full, but this is by far the most despairing of times. I now live in Baltimore and most of my friends and coworkers are Raven fans. And the big difference is player selection and development that the Ravens have and we do not have. The Ravens bring in rookies and keep them and play them on special teams and develop them so by their 3rd season they are legitimate starters. We draft a lineman, Chad Rhinehart, and he does not take a snap last year and now he has to start and has no experience. I think Snyder is learning, but it is frustrating.

Posted by: sruppert | September 24, 2009 9:38 AM
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Being a Redskins fan over the last 10 years is like going to the senior prom and never getting to dance with your hot date. The expectations are so high for the night/season only to see her/W's fraternize with other guys/teams. There is joy in being a Redskins fan. The five game winning streak to make the playoffs in '05 and seeing Art Monk enshrined are the best moments though.

Posted by: titonassif | September 24, 2009 9:14 AM
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I have been a Redskins fan since I was a kid, rooting for Sonny and crew. The first Gibbs tenure was great and I have wonderful memories of success and class players like, Monk and Green. However, the Danny era is killing the team and I am embarrassed to be a Redskins fan. Part of this is the name (it should be changed) but I am so sick of this under performing team - they all talk big and do nothing. Everyone is loving the idea that Detroit will beat them this weekend. The classless style of Danny is destroying the team's image. His ego prevents him from hiring the right people to lead the team.

Posted by: tpmoore50 | September 24, 2009 9:13 AM
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I have been a Redskins fan since I was a kid, rooting for Sonny and crew. The first Gibbs tenure was great and I have wonderful memories of success and class players like, Monk and Green. However, the Danny era is killing the team and I am embarrassed to be a Redskins fan. Part of this is the name (it should be changed) but I am so sick of this under performing team - they all talk big and do nothing. Everyone is loving the idea that Detroit will beat them this weekend. The classless style of Danny is destroying the team's image. His ego prevents him from hiring the right people to lead the team.

Posted by: tpmoore50 | September 24, 2009 9:12 AM
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I think that it's real sad when I've never gone to another stadium and I know Fed Ex Field is a bad experience. I work at an elementary school and the kids even tell me how horrible it is. The kids!

Ephraim Milton
ephraim.milton@fcps.edu

Posted by: eezyslim | September 24, 2009 9:11 AM
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I have been a Skins fan since 1961. From 1972 thru 2004, I was a season-ticket holder. Under JKCooke, renewals were due in July. Then comes the new owner and paragon of greed - Danny Snyder. Ticket renewals became due in June, then May and in 2004, they were due in March (the Super Bowl was played in February). I had the misfortune of moving that year and the renewal notice went to my former address. I found out about the early renewal two or three days past the due date. When I called the ticket office, I was informed that my tickets had been sold. After 30 years you would think I would be due a courtesy call (I had the same phone #). My tickets were in section 127 - great seats. Well maybe not great seats, because when they moved to Fed-Ex, the seats got a lot smaller, as did the aisles. But I digress. They offered me seats in the 400 section (top of the stadium). Now, what happened to my seats in the one or two days beyond the due date. The answer is the Pittsburgh game last year. They were sold ("unathorized") by Skins agents. Anyway, I took the $2,000 that I was spending for a bad game experience and bought a big-screen tv and a reclining sofa. With Direct TV and the NFL package, I can see any game that is being played. Most of these games offer much more excitement than the product that Snyder is offfering. What he has done to one of the NFL's premier franchises is nothing short of disgraceful. I will not even purchase anything with the Skins logo on it and I will never eat at Johnny Rockets.

Posted by: Goodbar1 | September 24, 2009 9:10 AM
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My joy came last in 1991 when I was 8 years old and I had such pride in my Redskins for winning the big one. Most kids now days in this area aren't even Redskins fans because they have seen the culture of losing here and instability. The joy will come when the Redskins organization focus not so much on being a marketing company but a football team that the city will be proud of because of how hard they play...win or loss. Excited monday has become not so joyful tuesday in this town!

Posted by: BRANMAN | September 24, 2009 9:10 AM
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Joy? At FedEx? You've got to be kidding. You want joy? How about the seat cushions raining onto the field at RFK? How about the Browns kicker missing the chip shot field goal to preserve the 'Skins unbeaten record (because 'God had the Redskins in the pool' as Sonny said at the time)? How about Dexter sacking Danny White and 'ringing his clock'? How about Darryl Grant intercepting a pass and returning it for a touchdown?

Ain't no joy at FedEx.

Posted by: rulesgeek | September 24, 2009 8:50 AM
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Joy ? Every March thru September. OK, honestly, the joy is still there: Reading about hyped up stress, listening to ever criticizing radio jocks, looking for those few and far between Wilbon articles: it still takes me away from my everyday, gridlocked grind. I still enjoy my 25 year ritual of putting on my old Nations Defense t-shirt, sitting in front of my TV and yelling "Lets Go Skins" to my empty living room.

Douglas Panneton
Samsonslion@aol.com

Posted by: US-conscience | September 24, 2009 7:54 AM
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I'm actually not a Redskin fan, but I imagine being a Redskin fan is like being an Oriole fan. Past tradition ruined by an owner who doesnt know how to run a sports team. Past glories fade into mediocrity and all the fans want is hope that things will someday be like they used to be.

Posted by: mikepcfl | September 24, 2009 7:27 AM
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Last year, I gave up my Redskins season tickets. It was not a very difficult decision. I explained to the ticket office that I was laid off and I could not afford the tickets anymore. I was laid off but that was not the main reason for giving back the tickets. The game day experience has changed and it is just not as fun as the rocking stands at RFK. Over time, I realized that I was wasting so much time for a sub par product. I knew that I had a problem when I felt that I would rather be home, watching the game, than sitting at Fedex cheering on my skins. It just seems that the skins management does not care about making it a fun game day experience for the paying customer. I think that the biggest problem is the security. I have never seen so many drunk teenagers in one place. The only times that these kids are reprimanded is when they start a fight. I knew that I was done when I felt that it was not a safe place to bring my 8 year old daughter. I will always love the skins but Dan Snyder will not be getting my money anymore.

Posted by: mcvacin | September 24, 2009 6:11 AM
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As a kid (80's), the Redskins were the family Sunday event and a community institution. Family and friends would gather for barbeques, fanatical rooting, and halftime football tossing in the yard. I remember the build up to game time as being almost unbearable. The team then was built upon character and players you grew to love over years and who ended up having great success for the most part. Old RFK stadium in all it's gritty glory would literally shake from the energy provided by the rabid fan base with virtually no rivals in the league. Fondest of memories!

Now, sadly, the Redskins have turned into a sterile corporate entity built to extract as much money as possible from the ever dwindling rabid fan base to fund the latest overpaid free agent so we can win the latest off season Super Bowl. If only Snyder treated his team's fans half as well. As a consequence, the stadium doesn't shake, the team doesn't win, and the passion seems to be waning both on the field and off.

The team no longer plays in the heart of DC and it seems the heart has been taken out of the team as well. I hope it changes!

Robert Phillips
Minneapolis, MN
rphilli72@yahoo.com

Posted by: rphilli721 | September 24, 2009 5:47 AM
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56yr old male redskins true die hard fan since 1965 been though it all the good,bad,and the ugly , since D.S. has owned the skins they have become that girlfriend that you love with all your heart but she won't stop cheating on you,
so sooner or later for your own emotional health you have to leave her alone that's where I'm at D.S. skins ,will always root for them to win but NO more $$$$$ on the SKINS

Posted by: caldwelt | September 24, 2009 4:22 AM
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In 1989, I moved here as a child from Nicaragua at the age of six not speaking a word of English. Adjusting was tough at first, but the Redskins were at the heart of my acculturation. The first friends I made were all too eager to teach me about football and the Redskins, who the best players were and about our famous coach. I was very eager to become a young member of the Redskins faithful. In Northern Virginia neighborhood that wasn't the most integrated twenty years ago, the team became a significant part of why I came to embrace this town, this new identity, and this new culture.

Our love and enthusiasm for the team was rewarded with the 1991 Super Bowl, and since Joe's retirement I feel we have yet to recapture that feeling again, but I've tried to remain loyal because of what the team has meant to be since moving here as that little boy, and the raw joy of cheering for a team you love. In subsequent years, my family moved for work reasons to Africa and I would catch games whenever possible on satellite from Zimbabwe, waking up at 4 am to watch the occasional Sunday or Monday night broadcast of a Redskins game live. I've watched the games in Nicaragua, in college in Canada, everywhere I could and now that I live here again, never missing a one...but still we have yet to recapture that feeling.

Being a Skins fan since Richie Petitbon gave way to Norv Turner has been Groundhog Day for fans. Dan Snyder seems to learns lessons at a Snail's Pace, and the organization responds to problems one or two years to late instead of preempting. We go through quarterbacks and philosophies like kleenex and there are a hundred different reasons I should be frustrated enough to ditch them or stop paying as much attention or something. But I refuse. Maybe I'm too sentimental in stating that I still remember what it was like to move here twenty years ago when the greatest currency I had was a newfound love for the local team...but I do remember, and I'll always root for them. Always.

Posted by: dericozw | September 24, 2009 2:40 AM
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As a 23 year-old fan, the memories the Skins have provided give me great joy into today. Every Sunday with my late Grandma, we would cheer on Brian Mitchell for his tough and gritty play. Cheering in the stands at the last game at RFK was unforgettable. The same happiness was felt shaking Darrell Green’s hand after his last game. Joe Gibbs instilled indelible character and values into this team that carries on even now.

Josh Bauer
jbauer2k@hotmail.com

Posted by: jbauer2k | September 24, 2009 1:56 AM
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Michael,

My family has had season tickets since 1960. I've watched and rooted for the Over-the-Hill Gang, Hogs, Fun Bunch, and the rest. I've lost my joy since Dan Snyder turned the team into all flash and little substance. Every year we win the "Off-season Super Bowl" with big $$ signings and then descend into mediocrity because of little depth, and no leadership due to a meddling owner who thinks he's a football guy. He's not! I'm 52 years old and I'm afraid I'll never see another winner because Snyder is younger than I!

Ken Jones

Posted by: kenjones57 | September 24, 2009 1:09 AM
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As a kid in NC, my first favorite player was a guy I thought was named Hamburger.

I really am proud of the players' character. You don't hear about Redskins in the police blotter. They're good people. They play hard all game. They support each other. I wish for them that they showed and felt more joy while playing.

I still find great joy--now mostly for the players--any time they win a big game. Why, I have no idea. But I can't stop.

Posted by: jmaxwell34 | September 24, 2009 12:30 AM
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Mike,
I went to my first Redskins game in 1965. I have seen teams that won and teams that lost. I have come to realize that I don't need wins to find joy in rooting for the team. Here is all I need:

I need a team that plays smart and together.

I need players whose singular focus is to constantly improve, compete, and perform at their personal best, and who will sacrifice anything for each other and the team.

I need coaches who maximize players' physical and mental preparation and who design and execute well thought-out gameplans to leverage our team's strengths and exploit the opposition's weaknesses.

I need a front office that sees the team as a whole orchestra, and not a collection of individual instruments, that understands the importance of heart and mind in addition to physical talent, and that recognizes and values future potential rather than yesterday's news.

I need ownership that respects the fan, and recognizes the team is a trust to be cared for and not a prize to exploit.

It's not about the wins and losses. Look at the Cubs and their fans. Look at the Browns and their fans. It's about pride. I will find joy again when I can take pride in my team and how it operates, and when the gameday experience generates excitement that is natural and not staged.

Posted by: rcohn | September 23, 2009 11:46 PM
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I was a Redskins fan beginning in 1972. How they did on Sundays determined how I felt on Monday mornings. I remember Larry Brown, Chris Hanberger, Len Hauss, etc. I remember the later glory years as well.

But now, it really doesn't matter to the owner (or to me) whether the team wins or loses. Snyder is the problem, and he will continue to be. He's turned me against my team.

Quite simply, it's all about the money. And remember this - the Cardinals (Arizona, St Louis, Chicago, etc.) went FIFTY YEARS from 1947 to 1998 without a playoff victory under owner Bill Bidwill. And Bidwill still didn't care. He just kept on owning a team that returned a profit.

Snyder is still a young guy - just as Bidwill was in the 50's. He obviously cares more about profit than winning (or anything else) and will continue to focus on that to the exclusion of all else, just as Bidwill did.

The Cardinals became win-conscious when Bill recently turned over control of the team to his two sons. So there's hope, but only in the absence of the Danny. And that's a long time to wait.

Meanwhile, there's a TEAM up the road in Baltimore. They put forth maximum EFFORT in order to WIN football games. Anyone who watched the Ravens beat the Chargers could see that. They DESERVE their fans.

Posted by: atrepos1 | September 23, 2009 11:23 PM
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I was born into a family that had 'skins season tickets since the early '60s, & started going when Billy Kilmer was the quarterback. Although we still have the season tickets, I have not been to Jack Kent Cooke stadium (that's right) since I don't even remember. I have to agree with those that have talked about the bad atmosphere & will not put any more money in Snyder's pockets until he hires a real general manager...

Posted by: noPostFoxTypeNewsPlease | September 23, 2009 11:18 PM
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75 words or less, well that's kind of tough.

The last time I felt joy as a Redskins fan was the first Gibbs era. When the Redskins were one of the elite organizations in sports not just football.

As for why I will probably not go to one football game at FedEx Field (just the second year I won't since 1996). Well I live in Richmond and use my grandparents' tickets to go.
It's a pain to go. Get up and get there early so at least getting into the stadium is not a problem.
Getting out of there is a nightmare (especially if you are in a green lot).
I went to the Steelers Monday night game in 2008. I didn't bother to turn my car on to try and leave the lots until an hour and a half after the game because the traffic was so awful. Throwing in a stop for gas (and Red Bull) in Fredericksburg and dropping off my Steeler fan coworker who joined me, I made it back to my home in Richmond at about 4 a.m.
I am tired of going and watching them lose. It's awful. You wrote that FedEx Field is one of the most despised edifices in metro area and you are right. It is the symbol of everything wrong with the franchise. It is a big cash register, not a home field advantage. And like our horrific owner, Dan Snyder, it will be around for a long time.

George Templeton,
templetontherat1978@yahoo.com

Posted by: templetontherat1978 | September 23, 2009 11:15 PM
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I have never been a season ticket holder but I was always thrilled when I received a ticket to head to RFK - incredible energy and too much fun. It is too bad a quality company like Fedex has to have its name associated with Snyder and this frying pan of a field that is more like "South of the Border" billboard than an NFL experience. Too many ads, sponsors plus the overpriced ____________(fill in the blank)is one thing but the blatant disregard for the fan experience is beyond comprehension. I take great pride in the fact that I never bought a ticket to Fedex (got two for free!)

Bottom line, Snyder might have the second most valuable franchise in sports - trust me, not for long. His act is getting old and the DC masses are mad as hell and wont take it anymore!

Posted by: jms1957 | September 23, 2009 11:02 PM
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I can honestly say that the last time I felt "joy" as a Redskin fan was the day I had heard that Joe Gibbs had been rehired. I thought that even with Danny Boys meddling ways, with Coach Gibbs, we were on our way back from the never-ending mediocrity of the Norf years & the Coach's that had follwed him.

I was wrong.

I have been a hardcore redskin fan since the wonderful 1972 season, George Allen was my hero. I attended 11 games at RFK during the "glory years" & was 11-0. The way we used to rock the bleachers behind the goalpost under the Budweiser sign was AWESOME! We MADE a difference!

This past Sunday, I took my two teenaged sons to their first Pro game. (If you wanna call that game a "Pro" game.) It was clear to me from the start that FedEx is NOTHING like RFK was. FedEx is a "money machine", not a stadium built for team support. The Danny has taken over the stadium with the utmost in discomfort, dirtiness & price gouging.

This is just another example of the horror that is the Dan Snyder ownership of the Washington Redskins. After 37 years of being totally devoted, my passion is waning. I am sick of the meddling by an owner that knows NOTHING about the game. I am sick of a "GM" that has NO EYE whatsoever for talent or team needs.

I regret to inform all of you, Jason included, that as long as Danny Boy continues to run this team & not hire an excutive with NFL experience & then leaves him ALONE to make the decisions that we are doomed to mediocrity.

There is no joy in being a Redskin fan these days. None whatsoever. Danny, learn from Steinbrenners mistakes: HIRE A GM THAT KNOWS FOOTBALL & LET HIM RUN THE TEAM!

James L. Davis
ocean City, MD
info@castleinthesand.com

Posted by: james51 | September 23, 2009 10:44 PM
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Pt 3

misery than happiness.

Posted by: Monkman63 | September 23, 2009 10:05 PM
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Pt 2

I probably hit my low this past Sunday.
We have been parking and catching the shuttle bus from Apollo Dr for
the past few seasons for $40. When we arrived there we noticed that
things had changed. We were told the buses were now in a different
place. "OK, No Problem" We ate our sandwiches (not gonna pay $6 for a
hot dog) then went to were the buses were supposed to be. There was a
large line of people forming but NO buses. Finally after a 15 minute
wait, short buses that fit thirty people at a time started to show up.
We finally got on the third bus and were then let out in a neighborhood
nearly a mile from the stadium and told "this is were you will catch
the bus after the game" This was due to the fact that the area were
they used to have the shuttle bus turnaround had been completly taken
away and made into more parking spaces which of course will make the
franchise that much richer. I missed my FIRST kickoff in nearly 30
years!! and I know that the people in the back of that line had to of
missed most if not all of the First Quarter. Why were we not notified
at any point that there was a change to the shuttle bus system? This is
what we get for our $40? I was completly livid!! and the game that
followed didn't help either. The bottom line is that it just isn't fun
to go to FED EX Field anymore to see a very mediocre team that Snyder
is running into the ground due to his refusal to hire a GM who might
actually know what he is doing. Couple that with the ongoing awful
treatment of the fans (did they really sue that poor 73 year old
lady!!) I just don't know anymore. My couch and HDTV are starting to
look much better on game day. I will ALWAYS love the Skins, but I fear
that as long as Danny is in control we are looking at a great deal more

Posted by: Monkman63 | September 23, 2009 10:01 PM
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Pt 1

My dad was was a Skins fan when he was a young man back in the 50's. He
and my uncle had the foresight to obtain seasons tickets at DC Stadium
when it was opened in 1961. Therefore, I was a Redskins fan when I came
out of the womb. I went to my first game in 1971 and it is one of my
greatest memories ever with my dad. I started going to home games on a
regular basis in 1981 and have missed only six games since then for
various reasons. Before I was married and had a reason to live, I
traveled to Philly with friends ten straight years in the 80's and put
my life literally on the line every time all for the love and devotion
of the "Burgundy and Gold" I was in Houston in '88 when Crazy George
was beating that damm drum and they got demolished. I was at Canton
when Riggo was inducted into the Hall of Fame. I was at Minnesota when
they won their last Super Bowl which I consider one of the greatest
days of my life ranking only after meeting and marrying my wife and the
birth of my children. Basically, I LOVE the Washington Redskins!! ...
BUT ... over the last few seasons the treatment that I have felt that
Mr. Snyder has displayed towards the fans and the way he continues to
run "his" Football team has caused me to become increasingly more and
more down on the organization. Cont.

Posted by: Monkman63 | September 23, 2009 10:00 PM
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75 words? really?

The last time I felt joy as a Redskins fan was SUNDAY! What has happened? We are going 15-1!!! I am not saying I haven't had frustration from lack of offensive production, or bad mgmt decisions or poor play since the glory days. I remember. Waking every Sunday and donning the gear expecting to win again on the way to another post season and possible superbowl. I still do it. I was born in DC. I was a skins fan before I could tell you I was a skins fan. I am a cubs fan too, try that pill! This is one of the best franchises in this league. Forget Snyder and all the miscues on and off the field. These guys still go out and play their hearts out. Is it perfection? Hell NO! But it is the skins, my team from my town, and nothing will change that. Do I wish we still had JKC as an owner? Yes! Do I wish Snyder and Cerrato would get the hell out of the way? Yes! But if you watched my beloved Redskins still post a victory after so many mistakes and almosts and do not have hope and faith, than go root for the Cowgirls. It is easy to bash, it is much harder to support. Watch the game, we are right there, only mere plays away from blowing it open and crushing the opponent. I don't know, am I a homer? Maybe. But there is always a chance that we can return to the glory days. I'm no spring chicken, I watched all thru the late seventies and eighties and remember the swagger and fear we put in the league. I have never seen such a backlash from media and fans to a win such as this. I have joy everytime they take the field. Hail to the Redskins!!!!

Posted by: rognation | September 23, 2009 9:46 PM
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I first remember Sonny holding on the field goal at the end of a game and trying a fake. He got knocked down again and we lost again. I moved my family to the Tampa area some 11 years ago and subscribe to NFL ticket. After a few years of sitting in bars for 5 hours to watch your team its worth it.We always go to the game when the SKINS are in town.EASY to purchase tickets and you might be surprised how many of us show up.I will always be a SKINS fan.My one current anxiety is this: Would someone please tell Jason to make a 3rd and 3 anyway he can. He's over 6 foot-there's 2 of them right there.I want him to succeed or at the very least "have some fun out there".

Posted by: doyouwantacat | September 23, 2009 8:52 PM
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Michael,

I've attended nearly 100 games over the last three plus decades since becoming a Skins fan back in '72 or '73 when I first recall watching a Skins game against the Packers in the playoffs.

RFK has very fond memories for me, while Fedex Field has nightmares. Especially the Norv Turner years when I was unlucky enough have partial season tickets for three years from a friend of the family.

The last game that I've attended was in 2007 and in all of the games I've been to over the many years as a Skins fan, not once have I ever booed my beloved home team. I don't believe that is how you show displeasure or show support for the players who are working their tails off to win no matter anyone says.

What player doesn't want to win? Come on so called fans, think about it.

I never played pro, or college football, but I played enough in high school and in adult leagues to know it is a tough sport and most fans who criticize the players (any player) show their ignorance and should be dismissed as to what they are talking about. That includes most reporters, too.

I show my displeasure with Snyder's product by not attending games anymore, by not buying merchandise and criticizing the team from home so the players don't hear any negativity when they should be supported by fans of the team.

This summer I received notice that my season ticket waiting list number was up.

I was surprised to say the least because my waiting list number was number 60,000+ just 2-3 years ago.

When I opened the envelope I thought, "WOW!", that was a fast moving number after being on the list for over a decade and hardly moving at all for many years.

Naturally I was still excited until I thought about it more.

What I realized was the product I would have to watch, the hassles of getting to the game, the unreal cost of parking, the incredible cost of food and drink.

Yada! Yada! Yada!

What was most shocking was when I called the Skins ticket office and was told that for all of the money I would be spending I couldn't even pick my own seats.

Hmmmpf!

Forget it Danny Boy, I'm no sucker like a certain circus operator once claimed there are an endless number of walking around and born every minute.

I say that we Boo Snyder instead.

Don't buy his products or go to the game until he learns how to run his franchise properly.

I don't think his ego will allow him to change his management style so I can only hope that someday he will take his circus act somewhere else because it's not working in that tent called Fedex Field.

Posted by: mjbrooks1963 | September 23, 2009 8:49 PM
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My dad was was a Skins fan when he was a young man back in the 50's. He
and my uncle had the foresight to obtain seasons tickets at DC Stadium
when it was opened in 1961. Therefore, I was a Redskins fan when I came
out of the womb. I went to my first game in 1971 and it is one of my
greatest memories ever with my dad. I started going to home games on a
regular basis in 1981 and have missed only six games since then for
various reasons. Before I was married and had a reason to live, I
traveled to Philly with friends ten straight years in the 80's and put
my life literally on the line every time all for the love and devotion
of the "Burgundy and Gold" I was in Houston in '88 when Crazy George
was beating that damm drum and they got demolished. I was at Canton
when Riggo was inducted into the Hall of Fame. I was at Minnesota when
they won their last Super Bowl which I consider one of the greatest
days of my life ranking only after meeting and marrying my wife and the
birth of my children. Basically, I LOVE the Washington Redskins!! ...
BUT ... over the last few seasons the treatment that I have felt that
Mr. Snyder has displayed towards the fans and the way he continues to
run "his" Football team has caused me to become increasingly more and
more down on the organization.

Posted by: Monkman63 | September 23, 2009 8:39 PM
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There's been no joy in Mudville since Glen Brenner and Mr. Cooke passed away.

Posted by: js_edit | September 23, 2009 7:29 PM
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I grew up in Arlington as a Redskins fan and have maintained my devout allegiance having lived in California the past 20 years. When I first moved to the Golden state, my late grandmothers always asked me what it would take to join them as 49ers fans. “Will never happen!” I told them. I would have the same answer today. I’ll always be a Redskins fan.

Posted by: SacTownSkinsFan | September 23, 2009 6:55 PM
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As an 11 year-old watching football and the Redskins for the first time I saw my beloved Skins not just win, but utterly dominate the opposition. We crushed the Lions in the NFC Championship game and then the Hogs and the Posse had their way with the Bills to win the Super Bowl. So, as a child, I thought glory came every Sunday every year.

Now, nearly two decades later, I can describe how I feel with one statistic:

**Only two teams have failed to reach the NFC Championship game since the Skins and Lions met in 1991.**

They meet again this week in a game that outside of DC and Detroit is meaningless. The only difference between Detroit and Washington is that Detroit knows how terrible they’ve been over the past two decades.

Posted by: wassavi | September 23, 2009 6:54 PM
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In 1992 I was 6 years old. I didn't know what a first down was. I didn't know why some poeple got to kick the ball and others got to throw and some just ran with it. I didn't know why we had to give the ball back to the other team. I didn't know why those burly men were dressed up like Miss Piggy. I didn't even know how awful the Cowboys were. But I knew my team was dressed in burgundy and gold. Not red and yellow. Burgundy and Gold.

In 1992 the Redskins romped the Buffalo Bills and from that point forward I was sold. The city celebrated and I got to stay up past my bedtime and from that point forward anything the Redskins were selling I was buying. And buy I did. I bought

that Norv Turner was going to take us back to the Super Bowl.I looked the other way when Gus Ferrotte rammed himself into the endzone. I bought that the new stadium would mark a revival to Redskin football. I believed that Chris Samuels and LaVar Arrington were going to turn things around. I believed that Marty Shottenheimer would be the perfect coach to fix the mess that the organization had become. I believed that Steven Davis could single handedly run us into the playoffs. I bought that "fun and gun" could work in the NFL. You better believe I bought that the return of Joe Gibbs was a dream come true (yes I cried when I heard). I reluctantly bought that trading Champ Bailey for Clinton Portis was a good thing. I bought that although, late in his career, Mark Brunell would bring some much needed leadership to the quarterback position. I bought that the Redskins could do anything with a come from behind win against the Cowboys on Monday Night in 2005. I even bought that Jason Campbell was the quarterback of the future. I'm currently buying that Jim Zorn can change things.

Even after all these years, I believe- and I'm not the only one. It all seems rather odd, that after all these years, in a city of politicians, lies and deceit, the Redskins still have so many believers. At this point I think we've all been through too much to throw in the towel now.

Has it been easy? No. But as Redskin faithful, we still cling to Sundays and ill-advised hope that someday the glory will return...and that someday we'll be able to tell all the doubters "told ya so" and that this will have all been worth it.

Posted by: gam2b | September 23, 2009 6:48 PM
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I started watching the Redskins in 1983 when I was 6 years old, so I know the joy of watching the Skins win multiple superbowls, and it literally happened every 4 years. I think about fans of teams like Philly, Cleveland, and Buffalo (among others), who have never known such joy and that usually stops me from whining about the lack of success we've had since then. I honestly feel lucky that I got to witness the great era of the Redskins, because it may never happen again in the free agency era or in the non-GM era of the current Skins teams. Now I look for small doses of joy, like the two late season runs we had to make the playoffs under Joe Gibbs' second stint. And that's what I realize what it is that Redskins fans are frustrated about, and what it is that we've been missing...its the playoff run. Its not just the winning of a championship...its that nerve-wracking string of do-or-die games that lead up to the championship and eventually end up in a Don Cheadle NFL commercial. Under Gibbs first stint we had that every single year. Heck, even Jay Schroeder made it to an NFC championship game. Almost every year we were in the mix and there would be games in late December and January that the whole city was buzzing about. But now the buzz seems to happen on the offseason and not the postseason. We are now a playoff fringe team at best and all too often we realize before the season is over that our team is not going to take us on the emotional roller coaster ride that only a playoff contender can bring. We may not win a superbowl, but we want our team to finish the season fighting for something real.

Posted by: Turtle77 | September 23, 2009 6:39 PM
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Redskins fans have become increasingly fickle and frustrated for a variety of reasons. However, the reaction to the 9-7 win, albeit an ugly ugly one, was flat out embarassing. I've been a fan since birth and everytime the team takes the field it gives me tremendous joy. At night, when trying to sleep, I think happy thoughts of Jason Campbell slinging bombs to Santana Moss or Clinton scoring touchdowns or Sean T being the most intimidating force since Lawrence Taylor. Skins Fans are Overreacting,no matter how they justify it!
Alex Portal-Garcia squadzilla@live.com

Posted by: icon976 | September 23, 2009 6:22 PM
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Wilbon-

How do we get rid of him?

Please help.

Paul William Davis
pdavis713@gmail.com

HTTR
#21

Posted by: PaulWilliamDavis | September 23, 2009 5:58 PM
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Mike, the glory days of the skins showed everyone in this area and elsewhere what good organization was and how it worked. Bobby Beathard provided a 1st class team to Coach Gibbs to coach and put on the field. Those became members of our families, our kids learned their names. They played their hearts out every Sunday, sure they lost some, but they also won some. I did not mind skipping 4 hours of study time in grad school to watch the Redskins play. Fast forward to Snyder-era skins. As jaded a fan as I have become, I still want the Redskins to succeed, but I know that as long as Snyder owns the team, or until he grows up, mediocrity will reign in Washington. And that, my friend, is a crying shame.

Posted by: sadrad | September 23, 2009 5:49 PM
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The days of rocking RFK until it shook with "We Want Dallas" seem so long gone. Where have those fans gone, you ask? Well most of them can't afford tickets and that's just sad. Now it's random company employees who got free tickets, sponsors, fairweathers and fans of other teams that fill our stadium. RFK would never house anyone who couldnt recite the words to HTTR. Fed Ex seems to breed them. There is no excitement, no passion in that building-its shiny, expensive and corporate. Does Danny not remember what being a Redskin really means? There used to be pride to don the burgundy and gold- from owner, to player, to fan.

I know many people who aren't even fans of the team but just go tailgate, wear an expensive jersey, and get as drunk as possible over the overpriced liquor. I paid close to $200 for the homeopener finding tix online, $21 for a meal and $20 for parking, a luxury that won't happen again. It felt sickening giving that to an owner who is suing his fans. An inactive rookie wonders why the team was boo-ing? The only people that seemed to show up to play that day were London, Horton and Cooley. Many people who boo'd have supported their beloved Redskins long before many of these players have been playing the game. The boo's didnt just represent that game, it was for the whole Snyder era.

What do you do when you are caught between an intense loyalty to your team and an owner who seems to be sucking the legacy out of it? You just have to keep moving on. I will never turn my back on a team that gave us Darrell Green, Art Monk, Doug Williams and Joe Gibbs. I will always greet someone who still wears a cap with that old school R. Not even the current owner will stop me from mouthing the words to HTTR after every score- I'll just be watching it from TV, not the stands.

Posted by: afts26 | September 23, 2009 5:40 PM
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Sitting on my couch, writing my song
Defense looking good, until 3rd and long

Albert gotta help us, gotta hit the QB
But we’re afraid to win, and it’s KILLING ME.

A running team that can’t run, ain’t gonna help us
But that ain’t no disrespect, to Clinton Portis

So Skins fans unite, I want to hear it now
Throw the damn ball on 1st and goal
And we can still dream ‘bout the Superbowl

Posted by: gs12 | September 23, 2009 5:37 PM
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Everyone inside the organization, the coaches and players always say: "You come and try to do it better than us." Well, i might not be able to coach better, and i might not be able play better, but I know if i had the chance i could own better- at least in terms of winning. Im not even bashing Danny, Im telling him I want to help. I will do it free of charge. Put a 22 year old die-hard Redskins fan in charge. That will put people in the stands. Give me a chance Danny, i know i can help! I promise i will give you final say.

Posted by: AdMan87 | September 23, 2009 5:24 PM
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It is probably better than being a Lions or Browns fan, but not as good as being a Patriots or Giants fan.

Posted by: AdMan87 | September 23, 2009 5:14 PM
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Twenty-two years old. Two Championships I can’t remember. Must be different for those around for the glory days. For now I will wait for mine to come. Sad thing is, in Washington, I am a die-hard fan of the Skins, Bullets, and Orioles. They haven’t given me anything in my life the Skins haven’t. It is too bad I am not really a Caps fan, there seems to be more optimism there.

Posted by: AdMan87 | September 23, 2009 5:09 PM
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bmcghinnis@comcast.net
Brandon M., Tacoma, WA

Posted by: WAskinsfan | September 23, 2009 5:03 PM
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My first great Redskins memory is Darrell Green's punt return for a TD against the Bears in '86. When Gibbs was in charge, there was always a sense of hope and calm because you could sense the coaches would make the necessary adjustments to win games (not to mention bring out the best in his players). Doug Williams’ performance against the Broncos (especially the second quarter) is probably my favorite memory. Moss's game against the Cowboys in 2005 is another great one (best from Snyder era). I will always be a Skins fan but I just feel sick at how mediocre we are each year, with no sense of real identity.

Posted by: WAskinsfan | September 23, 2009 5:02 PM
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Joey Mavor
Ballplaya4034@yahoo.com
There are a few factors contributing to the difficulties of a being a Redskins fan in this era. Number 1 on that list in my opinion is the abuse we as a fan base take from other fan bases because of our mediocrity as an organization. It is hard to continually defend the organization to other fans when it continues to make the same mistakes every year. Hail to the Redskins!

Posted by: ballplaya4034 | September 23, 2009 4:48 PM
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The last ten years have been tough. But you have to be an optimist. I think Vinny Cerrato has made numerous brilliant personnel choices ranging from signing Fat Albert to drafting Chris Horton, Brian Orakpo and Marko Mitchell. Whether or not th Jim Zorn hiring was a good signing, as well as the futures of those aforementioned young studs remains to be seen.

The thing that is aggravating is the conservative nature of the offense under Gibbs II and Zorn.

Not to mention the shocking murder of what would have been a hall of famer, Sean Taylor.

Posted by: lavararrington | September 23, 2009 4:42 PM
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Last time there was joy? Last Sunday. If you’re a real fan, that should be the answer. Hard to watch, yes, but there was still joy. Sad to say I do see the joy fading from others. Why I ask? Dan Snyder. My answer, you don’t need to be a fan of Snyder, only a fan of the Redskins. It’s difficult, not to be a fan, but to see the joy of other fans wane.

Posted by: AdMan87 | September 23, 2009 4:41 PM
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I have been a fan for over 45 years now. I can remember the "TRADE" bringing Sonny to Washington in exchange for Snead and a "D" player that I do not remember. No matter what the record was after the season SB champs or scraping the bottom of the barrel I have always given my undying loyalty to "my" team.

After JKC's death I hoped that we would have an owner with his football acumen. After the dust settled and it was reported that Howard Milstein was to be the majority owner and how he destroyed the NY Rangers, I prayed that he would not be the new owner of the Redskins. Now, a decade later, just how much worse could it have been if he had gotten it instead of Snyder. I thought that Snyder would be the perfect owner seeing how he was a lifelong Redskins fan. How wrong could one person be.

It would seem the only thing needed to turn this franchise around would be Snyder the owner be more like Snyder the entrepreneur who sold his company for what between $1-3Bil?

Just hire a competent GM, Get rid of that "yes" man brown noser Vinny.

As for the most recent developments of Zorn putting down Sonny, just how many titles (SB or otherwise) has he been a part of - player or head coach. The best decision Zorn could make is to bench his placalling duties cause they are clearly not working.

William C. Rizi
rillbizi@verizon.net

Posted by: rillbizi | September 23, 2009 4:41 PM
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Man, it's been a long and painful haul! I started going to games with my father in the late 70s. Washington used to have an urban team with a strong middle/working class following. Rooting for the team at RFK brought a lot of diverse people together, physically and emotionally who would otherwise never commune. And commune we did! I'll never forgive Mr. Cook for taking the team out of the city and I'll never understand how a marketing billionaire could completely misunderstand the give and take required to create supporters as opposed to consumers. And finally -- Washington has the dubious honor of being the the last team in the NFL to hire black football players, will they also be the last to cling to a slur for a nickname? I have much love invested in this city and in our beloved football club, but yes, it's been hard. And it's getting harder.

Posted by: neithernor | September 23, 2009 4:31 PM
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PS I actually feel dirty when I have ever bought anything knowing that some of my money would end up in Danny Snyder's wallet.

Posted by: oldnova | September 23, 2009 4:31 PM
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tm1135

Taidg Murphy
tye_digga@hotmail.com

Posted by: tm1135 | September 23, 2009 4:28 PM
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My first memory of the Redskins is when I was five in 1991. The only thing I remember was asking something like, "do the Redskins score like a bazillion points." I remember they beat the Bills pretty good in the Super Bowl, but I remember a mediocre season the next year followed by a Gibbs retirement. I remember the excitement about Norv Turner coming from Dallas. Then I do not remember anything except the Redskins not being a good team. I was not a fan then. Being so young and having a poor team I moved on to other interests. Then my senior year of high school Gibbs came back, and I got excited. To this day, six years later, I am a sports junkie (in a good way, I think). Gibbs coming back has been the catalyst for my interest in sports, and more importantly, the Redskins.

Posted by: tm1135 | September 23, 2009 4:27 PM
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When Danny Snyder bought the team he fired all the administrative staff. It is his team - he can do that. But it paints a picture that does not include him being able to lay claim to the notion that he wants what is best for the Redskins and not for Danny Snyder. Continuity is craved for in any organization and he must have known this as he had owen large companies.

Danny does what is best for Danny's ego or checking account.

Posted by: oldnova | September 23, 2009 4:24 PM
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Hi Mike-

These days there are too many casual Redskins fans that like the idea of fandom more than the Redskins themselves. This when people are more in love with the idea of being in love than they are with their actual partner.

Posted by: burnsrb | September 23, 2009 4:18 PM
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Frustrating and joyless. Frustrating not only because the lack of consistency on the field, but also because it's the same
spend-big-yet-still-lose merry-go-round. Joyless because there is no sense of team, of shared pride, of fun like there seem to be in other NFL cities. When do the Redskins get a top-flight general manager, grow a team, and get the owner to trust those he hired to do the job?

Posted by: s2_Dogg | September 23, 2009 4:14 PM
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My grandfather became a 'Skins fan when he was a boy living in Arlington and team moved down from Boston. He claims he met Sammy Baugh outside of their practice field. My father rooted for the 'Skins unfailingly from my earliest memories. My first memory of massive disappointment was the team coming up just short in the last game of the season against the Cowboys ('76, '77?), and thus failing to make the playoffs. My first taste of true Redskins glory came when John Riggins rolled over Don McClean to a touchdown in the '83 Super Bowl. My devotion has rarely waned over those thirty plus years.

But the last good memory is of '92, watching tight win after tight win lead to a great Super Bowl victory. And since Dan Snyder took over the team rooting for the 'Skins has begun to feel wrong, distasteful. Mean-spirited micromanaging, callous disregard for his employees and fans, one wrong personnel move after another, and constantly meddling in areas where he has no knowledge or experience (all aspects of the football side of the operation) have sadly failed to diminish his arrogance. Now I wish I could just let the 'Skins go, because I think the odds are we're stuck with this owner for the rest of my life.

For a glimpse of what effect an owner like Snyder can eventually have on a devoted and longstanding fan base, we only need to look a bit north to Baltimore. That's where we're headed first. And then after that, to Oakland.

It's time to let go. Nothing will humble Snyder. We should turn our backs and move on. I wish I could.

Posted by: jaymon1 | September 23, 2009 4:09 PM
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The only way to describe being a modern fan is constant disappointment. Every year they are on paper the best team in the league, because that's what makes Snyder the most money. The PR blitzing business scheme outweighs the football and I've realized that is the way its going to be until people keep their money in their pockets and stop giving it to Snyder...
mike.tedder@ferguson.com

Posted by: hlywd11 | September 23, 2009 4:07 PM
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i find myself in a psychological battle being a Skins fan. i want them to win, but i'm less excited than ever before when they do. i guess 14 points a game will do that to a person. i want them to lose, because i want a change. losing calls for change quickly in todays sports business. i will always be loyal to the Skins. they just make it really tough to do so.

Stuart freeman
oriolesnumber1@hotmail.com
(75 words is really hard to fit my countless thoughts on the Skins)

Posted by: StuartFreeman | September 23, 2009 4:01 PM
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Snyder's lack of front office savoir faire has ruined the franchise. Never mind the fantasy football approach to the roster. How about hiring an OC before hiring a head coach? Snyder's financial policies have sucked the joy out of the game experience at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium. $25 to PARK and take a bus? Honestly, only an addict would put up with an operation like this.

Posted by: shanks1 | September 23, 2009 4:00 PM
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Burgundy and Gold fans, read the next sentence carefully.
THE SQUIRE IS NO LONGER THE OWNER OF THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS.
Elite owners create elite franchises. It doesn’t take 10 years, six head coaches, roughly 8 starting QBs,and a virtual who’s who of high priced free agents to create a winner.
I’ve made my peace with what we are now.
It hurts like hell and I’ll always watch and root of the Burgundy & Gold.

We were all spoiled by great past owners, now we see how the other half lives.

Posted by: bozomoeman | September 23, 2009 3:55 PM
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I think Clinton Portis said it very well...
People confuse video games with football. There is real enjoyment among the fans in watching the great sideshows in NFL football.. Portis picking up a blitzer, Hines Ward cracking back on defensive back, Troy Pomalalu accelerating through the legs of the running back. Real fans watch these sideshows at the same time as the main attraction. Even if the main attraction is a dropped pass on a screen pas, there was a nice kick-out block by Mike Sellers to enjoy or a good downfield block by Santana Moss. So my advice to all the football fans wishing for more scores is to see the whole game and not just the main attraction.

Posted by: iseyij | September 23, 2009 3:52 PM
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Mike,

I still think its a joy to be a 'Skins fan..

I'm 40 and a life long resident of NoVa and a life long Redskins fan. I remember vividly being 13 and watching Riggins turn the corner and go 44 yards for the score in their first SuperBowl Victory. I remember being in Navy Boot Camp in San Diego, having the day off and watching "my" skins kill the Broncos and looking to the city sky line seeing the blimp over the stadium. I remember the Bills loosing a 3rd? straight SuperBowl to my Skins. I remember all the heated dinner table conversation with my father, who is from Philadelphia, and listening him laughing at Sonny and George never picking against the skins and all the Blind Homers here in DC. I remember putting my name on the season ticket waiting list sometime back in the 80s. I'm finally a season ticket holder. As I think you could relate, I'll be enjoying my first games with each of my 4 children this year. We will be tailgating on a ~$25 menu...you don't have to and we wont be spending $12 on chicken fingers or $8 on a beer. We'll bring our own. The team hasn't been good in 17 years but this year especially, theres joy in being a Redskins fan, because for our house, we'll finally be there.

Posted by: Bking1168 | September 23, 2009 3:49 PM
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The Redskins lack an identity. I don't know if they're a Defensive Team like the superbowl Bears and Ravens, passing team to open run, a run team to open the pass or a spread the ball around type team.
The Redskins look more like, OK guys, let's do the routine NFL things. Let's look at film, lets practice it and lets see IF (big IF) it will work against a real team in a real game.

Let Joe Bugel or Greg Blache be the Head Coach...they know what I'm talking about.

clifton16atyahoodotcom

Posted by: clifton3 | September 23, 2009 3:45 PM
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Dear Michael,

I am 35 and a diehard Redskins fan. I mention "die hard" because that is what it has felt like for over 15 years now. I remember being 8 years old and watching the Redskins trounce the Cowboys and ending up on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Yes, Sports Illustrated! Later that football season I remember going outside in Prince Georges County on a January night and hearing car horns for hours,and hours celebrating Superbowl 17. I remember an owner named Jack Kent Cooke. A funny and charismatic owner that seemed to want only the best for his Dear Redskins, the fans, and the players who played for them. I remember That great superbowl season that our players stuck together on the picket line while no-name replacement players beat up on teams that didn't want to stay together. I remember Doug Williams the first African-American quarterback to win a superbowl. That 2nd quarter will live with me forever.
I remember crying when Jack Kent Cooke died. It seemed the spirit of the Redskins withered away with him. I remember when Snyder bought the team. The only good memory I have of the Redskins since then was when they all came together and fought valiantly to get into the playoffs. Snyder is killing our team ever so slowly.

Posted by: brianlee720 | September 23, 2009 3:41 PM
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Wilbon,
being born and raisedin the DMV area, ive been a skins fan as long as i can remember. Our team used to be feared by other teams. Those were they days that I felt the most joy. In recent years ( since 1991 -92 season) i find myself getting hyped up in the offseason over these expensive acquisitions, thinking that they were the answer to all of our problems. And every eyar i have been wrong. for the past 17 years, we have been the epitome of mediocrity. Recent years, i found it joyful to watch a redskin by the name of sean taylor play. Everyweek i watched this young man strike fear into opposing offenses. I watched wrs drop balls just thinking he was near. i watched this kid pour his soul on that field week after week. after his passing, we have been even more mediocre, as if that was even possible. If i can watch from my tv or the stands at fed ex field, and guess what offensive play Zorn is going to run next, and be dead on 80% of the time, then whats to say that the opposing teams coaching staff cant do it as well. Although i dont agree with the nast email cooley received last week, there was one point he made that i did agree with, We need to start playing with some heart and passion for the game. Its like all of it dissapeared when we lost Taylor, and noone knows how to get it back. I will love the skins till the day i die, but there are many things that Ive noticed. Cooley, and Fletcher, I see the most passion from. The rest of them, I duno. Is it ok to give up on the ball, if you think you wont be able to catch it? how many ints is santana gonna give away because of his tendency to stop running his route completely? At wat point do we let our rookie targets get ont he field and make a difference? When will Zorn trust JC enough to let him air it out? When will we stop mortgaging our future for old talent? When will we start to adress areas of concern, as opposed to taking next best draft pick, (O-line). We have invested soo much in our defense, and i do believe our defense is amazing, but how come we cant get more than 1 or 2 sacks a game? If I, who am in no way a football guru like our coaching staff, can sense these things, what is it thats blocking their perception?

Posted by: samh1 | September 23, 2009 3:38 PM
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The first football game I ever watched was when the Redskins' first super bowl victory after the 1982 regular season. I was 8 years old. I didn't really understand what was going on most of the game, but when the bowl of potato chips on my dad's lap flew up into the air as Riggins scored a touchdown on a 4th and 1 late in the game, I became hooked. All hell broke loose in our living room, and I loved it. I watched almost every game during the Gibbs 1.0 era and loved it all.

Of course, the last ten years have pretty much been excruciating. Even in 1999 when the Redskins won the division, they were not dominant and seemed to play sloppy in a way Gibbs' teams rarely did. Terry Robiskie as interim coach? Are you kidding me? Canning Shottenheimer after he closes the year with an 8-3 mark after starting 0-5 (like Jeff Fisher's Titans a few years back, and like Gibbs 1.0's first season ever as head coach)? Steve Spurrier? Are you joking? Please, put down the crackpipe Mr. Snyder. Gibbs 2.0 was marketing genius, but ultimately ineffective. Although the 2005 regular season was something special to watch, I tell you. But now, Zorn? Lord have mercy! I comin' for ya, Weezy!

It's just not fun being a fan these days. Back during the Golden Age of Gibbs, the Redskins stood for something: character, determination, grit, and execution under pressure. Few big names, but strong teams. I just don't know what the Redskins stand for anymore. Since 1993 the Redskins have been all over the place looking for success, and it still eludes the organization.

Mediocrity has reigned over this franchise, really since the death of Jack Kent Cooke, but especially since Snyder bough the team in 1999. And now look at the constants over the last ten years since then: mediocrity, and Snyder. Seek truth from facts, people. Organizations win championships.

Posted by: hithere1 | September 23, 2009 3:31 PM
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What's the difference between going to FEDEX and being robbed standing at the ATM?

No weapon or threat of bodily harm

Gameday experience is horrible, can no longer listen to the broadcast without Herzog, can expect the same areas to not be upgraded/addressed (OLine, Special Teams, Defensing a screenplay, pass blocking)

Joy? For THIS? To paraphrase Ocho 'Chile Please'

Posted by: kahlua87 | September 23, 2009 3:22 PM
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I've been bleeding burgundy and gold since the feather-on-the-crown-of-the-helmet era. Snyder's irresponsible reign has tested my loyalty. So I often turn to reminiscing just to cope with the current sorry state of affairs. Cooley, CP, London...you and many of your teammates are great. But I still miss George Allen, Joe Gibbs, Bobby Beathard and the Hogs; JKC and RFK; Monte, Riggo, Art and Darrell, et al. These are trying times indeed for Redskins fans everywhere.

Posted by: HogDiesel44 | September 23, 2009 3:18 PM
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I had season tickets. After canceling them, I have been offered season tickets multiple times. Going to a Redskins game is the worst experience in sports. Whenever someone tells me they are going to an upcoming game, I always respond with "I'm sorry." My one great memory this decade was the MNF game in Dallas in 2005. That's it, that's the list.

Posted by: TerapinStati0n24 | September 23, 2009 3:03 PM
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Tickets have been in my family since 1937. Went to my first game at 4 years old in 1971 at RFK. Moved to NJ in 1993 and have attended more than 90% of home games since plus away games every year at Philly, M-lands and then always someplace warm. This year's away game is not happening. Instead, during their bye week, we're off to Lambeau to witness Favre's return November 1.

The joy used to lie in the pride of a true home field advantage, and the fans in attendance used to genuinely feel like they were really connected to the team and could actually affect the outcome of a game. It seems in recent years things have shifted to a true disconnection at the stadium with the players- they are seemingly more aware of "the show" and not willingly playing until they puke to win. Players are dancing in between plays and seem to be more concerned about style points than getting bloody. The fans in return have given up at bringing the juice at a necessary level to go undefeated at home- just look at the empty seats at the start of the second half. There is ZERO energy in the stadium for the players to come to after halftime, and it is not a wonder to me that the Redskins have blown more second half leads at home and have more nailbiting wins at home than any team in the NFL over the last number of years. That's not a coincidence.

So, to me, the joy then? True homefield advantage and feeling like an integral part of the success.

Joy now? Watching London Fletcher. He would have fit in great in the glory days...they need a roster full of that guy.
-Chris
cbayes@mortgagefs.com

Posted by: Chris2172 | September 23, 2009 3:00 PM
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Tickets have been in my family since 1937. Went to my first game at 4 years old in 1971 at RFK. Moved to NJ in 1993 and have attended more than 90% of home games since plus away games every year at Philly, M-lands and then always someplace warm. This year's away game is not happening. Instead, during their bye week, we're off to Lambeau to witness Favre's return November 1.

The joy used to lie in the pride of a true home field advantage, and the fans in attendance used to genuinely feel like they were really connected to the team and could actually affect the outcome of a game. It seems in recent years things have shifted to a true disconnection at the stadium with the players- they are seemingly more aware of "the show" and not willingly playing until they puke to win. Players are dancing in between plays and seem to be more concerned about style points than getting bloody. The fans in return have given up at bringing the juice at a necessary level to go undefeated at home- just look at the empty seats at the start of the second half. There is ZERO energy in the stadium for the players to come to after halftime, and it is not a wonder to me that the Redskins have blown more second half leads at home and have more nailbiting wins at home than any team in the NFL over the last number of years. That's not a coincidence.

So, to me, the joy then? True homefield advantage and feeling like an integral part of the success.

Joy now? Watching London Fletcher. He would have fit in great in the glory days...they need a roster full of that guy.

-Chris
cbayes@mortgagefs.com

Posted by: Chris2172 | September 23, 2009 2:57 PM
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Oops.The comments below are from Dave Peers (elduave@verizon.net). Thanks.

Posted by: elduave | September 23, 2009 2:56 PM
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I am 25 Years old and I can think of two times of pure joy as a redskins fan first when they beat the cowboys on Monday night football thanks to the miracle throws from Moss to Brunell and secondly the super bowl victory over the bills in 1991. Other then that it has been insufferable as I've seen quarterbacks such as Heath Shuler,Gus Freerote, Tony Banks, Danny Wuerffel, and the Great Patrick Ramsey under center. But I still hold out hope that one day Great football will return to Washington and I want to be there when it happens.

Posted by: TheRealDonJohnson | September 23, 2009 2:55 PM
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It's been tough to be a 'Skins fan of late. The games always seem a little darker than the rest of the league, the picture not quite as crisp, like 'Skins games are "B" league or Junior Varstity or something. I've always been a Snyder defender, but there's no denying anymore that the teams troubles start and end with him. Of all things, the $50 "building facility fee" on a $60 McCartney ticket finally sent me over the edge. I can count 3 moments under Dan Snyder that I've been proud to be a Redskins fan. Hiring Joe Gibbs, (seriously, that felt like a Super Bowl win at the time), the Brunnell/Moss led win over the Cowboys on a Monday night, and being in Canton to witness Darrell Green and Art Monk inducted into the Hall Of Fame.

Posted by: elduave | September 23, 2009 2:53 PM
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I became a Redskins fan during the George Allen era. From 1971-1992, give a year/take a year, we were constant playoff/championship contenders. Yes we have been spoiled with success complared to other cities. The problem right now is it looks like the team has no vision/stability. You look at Baltimore/New York/Philadelphia, they plan on how to constuct a team, we look like we are throwing something up in the air seeing what sticks, spending/wasting money on free agents, not drafting where we need help (OL). I love my team, and I will be always be a fan, but right now, almost like a child, i'm so disappointed in them. The final thought is sometimes you have to "man up" which means your Owner/General Manager has to face the music and tell the fans what they expect, that they made a mistake, and they will do better. Accountability can't always be with the players and coaches only.

Posted by: tb0816 | September 23, 2009 2:49 PM
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The modern Redskins fan is locked into an annual cycle of false hope, generally unwarranted optimism, short lived excitement over fleeting success, resentment of poor performance, reluctant recognition of perpetual mediocrity and finally, nostalgia.

We have gotten our share of joy from Dallas wins and a few playoff appearances...but not enough to break the cycle.

Posted by: zachkalman | September 23, 2009 2:46 PM
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I'll try to be unique and offer the perspective of a fan who's moved out of Redskins territory.

The most upsetting part of being a Redskins fan is the way your team is regarded by others, especially AFC towns where I've lived(Boston, Indy).

Have you ever seen in nature videos when the lion cub is walking around on top of the resting Lioness, playfully gnawing on her legs, chasing her tail, while the Lioness stares off into the distance - concerned only with the future. Outside of DC, the Redskins are that cub to the home town's Lioness.

Posted by: REXskins | September 23, 2009 2:44 PM
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Where is the joy? A win, is a win, is a win. If that were a Superbowl score would we care? No. I have been to every Redskin home game, except 3 in the last 11 years. My family has owned season tickets since 1962. I just turned 40, and I know, growing up in the 80's was the best time for being a Redskin fan. Redskins were a elite team, one of the best, if not the best through the 80's. Since basically 1992, we have done nothing to still be that elite team. Every year its seems there always something missing. I thinks its a curse! The curse of Jack Kent Cooke. Because we have had a ton of bad luck. Sean Taylor is a prime example of that. The best player on the team, a game changer, GONE. Bad snap in a playoff game for the winning feild goal. SPLAT. Draft picks after draft picks, that everyone in the league would have picked in our position. SUCK. Prime example of that, Rod Gardner (50/50 as Bruce Smith called him). TERRIBLE. Now Randy Thomas gone for season, the last thing we needed. DONE. I hate to jinks us. But watch somebody like CP or Chris Samuels go down, or London Flecther. WE'RE SCREWED. I believe in the curse of Jack Kent Cooke. I dont think he knew somebody like Dan Synder would own this team. I think he really thought his son would be the owner (John Cooke). Dont get me wrong, I dont totally hate Dan Synder. He wants what we all want, a Super Bowl. But as long as he runs this team and doesnt let some one else run this team (COWHER),that knows football (COWHER) there will be no joy in Redskins territory. But I hate to think we would have to go through another rebuild, but it is coming. Are best players are getting old (SAMUELS). We'll see what happens, but remember a win, is a win, is a win. Just think we could be Detroit, has'nt one a game in more than a season. Damn, I just jinked us again!

Posted by: wm_mulholland | September 23, 2009 2:42 PM
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I have been a Redskins fan for 31 years. I grew up during the glory years of Hog Heaven, Riggo, and The Posse. Watching the Redskins as perennial super bowl contenders seemed like a birthright, not a privilege. The past 18 years has shed some light on how the other half lives in places like Detroit, New Orleans, and Cincinnati.

I only recall being really proud of the Skins' performance once in last decade. The 2005 Skins faced 5-6 record and a demoralizing loss to Norv Turner's Charger on their home turf. The odds of Washington making a playoff run seemed remote. Yet somehow, the team overcame a conservative gameplan and it's own inept quarterback, to rip off 5 straight victories, including consecutive wins against the Giants, Cowboys, and Eagles to close out the season and win the wild-card.

I recall watching Sean Taylor return a fumble for a touchdown against the Eagles put the Eagles away and put the Skins in the playoffs. Yes I felt proud in that moment, I hailed the Skins.

Chris in Greenbelt

Posted by: coxen00 | September 23, 2009 2:40 PM
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Despite having lived in the midwest for the past 16 years, I remain a diehard Skins fan. I suppose I owe that to the amazing experience of rooting for the Skins of the 80s and early 90s when there was a tradition of excellence and smash-mouth football in DC. Regardless of the futility the Skins franchise has shown in continuing this tradition, I remain a steadfast supporter. The problem is that it's more stressful than it is satisfying. I'm wondering if the model that fostered the tradition of those great Skins teams is something that can never really work in the age of NFL Free Agency. I don't think it's a coincidence that the Skins have been such a woeful franchise since 1993.

Posted by: chitownskinsfan | September 23, 2009 2:36 PM
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Michael,

The joy is in the phrase "wait till next year". As frustrating as our boys can be, I always hold out hope that THIS will be the game where the potential is reached, THIS will be the season where my guys overachieve. Though they disappoint, that excitement keeps me coming back for more every time.

I still love this team and this game more than any other despite it all.

Posted by: shaunsherman12 | September 23, 2009 2:36 PM
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Until this year, I was a 3rd generation season ticket holder. My grandparents had tickets since before RFK and passed them to my father who passed them to me. I put a lot of thought over the last several years into renewing. To me the whole experience has declined so significantly. From the constant bombardment of noise and advertisements to the blatant disregard for the fans, I no longer looked forward to going to games. Still love the team and always will but can't bear the thought of further enriching an ownership that abuses its position with what has historically been a captive fan base. A few examples:

(1) Two years ago, the Redskins lost my renewal and gave away my seats (after I had called to make sure they had received it and was told it was received). After 40+ years, no phone call or warning. I was given upper deck for that season and moved back to the lower bowl the following season;

(2) Every year I have requested seat upgrades and not once have I been able to improve my location (near the goal line, Redskins sideline, lower bowl) - clearly better seats are vacated on occasion but who are they going to? I suspect to the folks who shell out extra money for tailgate clubs and other "privileges";

The Redskins games to me were always about going out and enjoying a football game. Now it is an assault on the senses with the football game as a sideshow. There is an owner who will spend lavishly on the players and seem to revel in the glamour of the big names, but when it comes to the customer take it or leave it because I have someone else in line to take your place. I suspect that line is shrinking, though, and believe that the whole waiting list is a farce. Perhaps this will eventually come back to bite them one day.

For now, I am a devoted TV follower of the Redskins and will redeploy my sports dollars into organizations who respect and value the customer.

Posted by: collins63 | September 23, 2009 2:35 PM
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There is no joy really, at least not during the season. Perhaps we have been spoiled by the team's success in the 80's/early 90s and expect too much. However, I have lived outside of the DC area over the past 10 years (NY, Chicago, TN, SF) and have seen how other NFL teams operate, treat fans, and have long-term vision. I don’t expect a SB or even the playoffs every single year. I just wish we could get some semblance of stability and consistency that could give us hope that things are going to get better. And people wonder why we would "boo" our team, even after a win. Outside of completely abandoning the team we love, what else is there left to do to show our dissatisfaction?
Muhammad
asim301@yahoo.com

Posted by: asim301 | September 23, 2009 2:33 PM
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Being a 25 year old Redskin fan I'm sure is different than some of you that were around for the Allen and Gibbs 1.0 years. I remember watching the '91 Super Bowl as a 7 year old, but my memories of that game are pretty hazy. I love the Redskins and always will, but it'd be nice to love them for what they're doing, instead of what they've already done. HTTR.

Posted by: Andymr | September 23, 2009 2:32 PM
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As a kid I followed the George Allen Redskins because they were my hometown team and they were reasonably successful. As a young adult I rooted for the Joe Gibbs Redskins because they were very successful, and I admired much about them - they played clean, hard football, and were well-run. I do not root for the Redskins anymore. Dan Snyder does not grasp the psychological fundamentals of team-building - teams take time. Younger players more readily accept philosophies and practices - so build through the draft. Togetherness matters - so choose coaches well and give them time for their teams to come together. Snyder's actions so far lead me to believe he will never grasp these concepts.

Suing the fans reveals the cynical nature of this ownership, and was only the last straw of many.

Posted by: justnowaformerskinsfan | September 23, 2009 2:31 PM
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I feel joy every Sunday when I watch a 'Skins game. I love 'em -- win or lose. It's something I've been ridiculed for constantly, but they're my home team, it's my favorite sport. Why not enjoy it?

Andy Charest
agcharest@hotmail.com

Posted by: sparky0488 | September 23, 2009 2:15 PM
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I am 37 years old, and I have been a Redskins fan since my family moved to Washington when I was 3 years old. My family had season tickets for several years, and I lived through a good bit of the good times live at RFK stadium. Maybe the single most joyous memory from my childhood was watching live at RFK while the Redskins beat Dallas in the 1983 NFC Championship game. The Redskins, to me, play like the "soundtrack to my life", and are an integral part of who I am. I've been so disappointed this past decade, because Dan Snyder, although he wants to win, has adsolutely sucked every ounce of joy out of my beloved team. The infuriating coaching turnover, the constant big name free agent signings that go bust, the incredibly high prices to go to a game, have ruined that sense that "these guys are OUR guys, and they're going to win" that we had in the '80s. Winning starts from the top - look at the Giants, Steelers, and Patriots. They all have great owners who know what to do and not to do. We never hear about the Mara family or Bob Kraft selecting draft choices or free agents. They have a structure in place to do that. Snyder does so much himself, without any more football knowledge or experience than me, that he's practically ruined the whole expeience. And to add to that, he just doesn't seem like a very likeable person at all - he's no one I really want to support or root for. I'm concerned that the current generation of kids won't grow up with the same joy and loyalty as I did, simply because of the owner's actions and personality, and it's ultimate effect on winning (i.e., we don't). That would be a real shame.

Posted by: skinsfan713 | September 23, 2009 2:13 PM
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I have been following the skins for fifty plus years. The norm for them is to be mediocre or bad. The only two times the skins were successful were during the Allen and GibbsI eras. In spite of that,I still look forward to watching their games every week.

Posted by: Markin21132 | September 23, 2009 2:11 PM
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Joy is in the few sporadic moments where the team on the field compensates for one of the worst front offices in the league, the ridiculous ticket prices, the horrible traffic around the stadium, the awful game day experiences.....etc.

Joy is in watching ancient Mark Brunell connect with Santana Moss for 2 touchdowns to ruin the cowboys ring of fame ceremony in the fourth quarter.

Joy is watching a young Sean Taylor absolutely destroy anyone who dared cross the middle of the secondary.

Joy is watching former coaching legend Joe Gibbs bring an air of respectabilty to this franchise for four years, even if it did not involve alot of wins.

Joy is joining together with your fellow long suffering team bosters and singing Hail to the Redskins.

In the past 10 years, I can still find alot of joy in this team (just not alot of passion)

Posted by: jbanks979 | September 23, 2009 2:00 PM
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As a 22 year old, my first memories of the Washington Redskins happened to be the season following the Super Bowl victory in 1991. Since then, I have been a fan for three playoff seasons, zero NFC championship appearances, 19 starting quarterbacks, and 7 different head coaches. In this time period, the Cowboys have won 3 Super Bowls, the Giants have won 1 Super Bowl, and the Eagles won the NFC East crown 5 times in a 6 year span. Translation: the last time I felt joy about the Redskins was when I won with them in Madden.

Posted by: AshrafEl-Arini | September 23, 2009 1:59 PM
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We've been through more QB's and head coaches than Jason Campbell has offensive systems. Some stability would be nice. Nevertheless, as a phycho fan, I scratch for something to joy in each year. People are freaking out over Zorn and his play calling; bottomline the guy went 8-8 in his first year as a head coach in the toughest division known to man. That being said, YOU HAVE 4 GAMES TO GET IT RIGHT BUDDY!

Brian Foster
bnfoster@yahoo.com

Posted by: bnfoster | September 23, 2009 1:57 PM
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I often tell people being a Redskins fan is like being an abused spouse. You love them so much, but all they do is hurt and disappoint you. You know you should leave, but you just keep coming back. Year after year, it's the same old song and dance.

Posted by: teddyk | September 23, 2009 1:56 PM
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As a seven year old I cried when the Redskins lost Superbowl Seven. As a troubled teen I found role models in the blue collar Hogs and hard working Joe Gibbs. As an adult, with a successful career path that has taken me away from DC, I've stayed connected to 'home' through my passion for my 'home team'. Before the internet, I traveled across my new city to go to the only bookstore that carried the Washington Post - I paid $2.50 a day just to read the Skins articles and the Post’s sports page. So for me, being a Redskins fan has primarily been about following their story season to season as my own life’s story evolves. It’s like reading a novel where I actually have an emotional stake in the outcome. Only over the past sixteen seasons following the Redskins' season to season story has been like reading a great book that was great right up until it really mattered – and then the story just turned into a dud. My favorite part of the season now is the offseason. The story is great and uplifting in the offseason and the team seems primed for triumph. Then the regular season comes and the bad guys keep winning while my team falls apart in ways that get me so tweaked I actually yell at the TV. I’ll always be a true fan, and follow the team’s story until my own story ends, but I’m having to set some boundaries now because nothing is more pointless than yelling at a TV and wondering why on Earth I bought the offseason spin yet again. It's almost like a telemarketer is running the team - sell you the goods then hang up the phone. Unfortunately, I've got to much history to quit them now. By the way – big fan of yours and your articles in general always made those trips across the city worth every stoplight along the way!

Posted by: kmag1 | September 23, 2009 1:52 PM
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I agree with other fans that the move to Fedex field sucked a lot of the joy out of following this team. It is just a terrible gameday experience at Fedex made even worse if you were lucky enough to see the Redskins at RFK. Fedex field is so emblematic of today's Redskins. Its bloated, ridiculously over priced, disappointing and regrettable. Just like the team itself, Fedex doesn't feel like a place designed to field a winning team and terrorize opponents. Its sole purpose is to maximize profit, taking as much money from as many people as possible.

Today's Redskins are one of the best marketed, most entertaining and profitable teams in the NFL. Those things unfortunately have nothing to do with being a good football team.

Posted by: jva1 | September 23, 2009 1:48 PM
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My last moment of true joy as a Redskin fan was when we recovered that floater onside kick against the Seahawks in the 2007 playoffs. We had just scored and it looked we were going to do it again (boy was I wrong courtesy of our inept offense and Suisham's golden foot). I let myself think for a second that maybe after all the frustration of that season and ST's death, we could turn it on for the playoffs. Maybe all we had needed was for Todd Collins to manage games Rypien style. That game ended up being the most depressing game I can remember for at least the last 10 years. Being a redskin fan is like being in bad relationship: you remember everything and you can't help but hold a grudge.

Posted by: Andymr | September 23, 2009 1:44 PM
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I was born and raised here. Some of my best memories as a kid were watching the Redskins win three Super Bowls. Mixed with that tradition of winning was the recent (salary cap era) awareness that any team can win year in, year out with parity being the norm. But that hope for me, is long gone, replaced with an 8-8 best-case reality. When you pay millions to all these supposed play-makers who can't make plays, have the worst game-day experience in the league, and sue your fans ... you reap what you sow.

Posted by: Rhino20 | September 23, 2009 1:36 PM
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Yo Redskins, I'm happy for you, and I'mma let you finish - but the Detroit Lions is the most frustrating NFL Franchise of ALL TIME!

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 23, 2009 1:36 PM
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The last joy was very late on a Monday night when Mark Brunell and Santana Moss handed the Cowgirls a gut-wrenching loss.

Posted by: robfar | September 23, 2009 1:35 PM
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Wilbon, the question is simple...This franchise went from winning tradition, but a tradition that I can barely remember. I find myself every Sunday wondering, will we ever be a contender again?

Jason, Charlotte

Posted by: martinta3 | September 23, 2009 1:31 PM
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I went to my first Redskin's home game in 1968 when I was 4 and my old man had season tickets. We'd go to most every home game together.

By the time I was a freshman at a N.Va. High School in 1979, my friends and I would head to RFK for every home game. It was a wonderful time for all, with lots of great memories during Gibbs 1.0...

I now have a 13 year old son who loves Chris Cooley and when we lived in the DC area we'd go to a few games and cheer loudly together. I drove him to Darrell's last camp so I could show my son not just a great athlete, but a great man (we never got to say hello, but it was a joy to see him on the field, practicing)

And when we moved away I used to get DirectTV so I could watch them from wherever I lived, but I stopped that in '07.

Now I live in Seattle and I stopped paying to watch them because of the sorry state Dan Snyder has brought them too.

My analogy is that paying to watch the Redskins play is like handing a $100 dollars to the crack-addict, bum rushing you on K Street. You knew he was gonna blow it on something bad and so the best thing for him and others was to not enable him.

It is a business for Dan. And only when the market rejects his product will he even begin to think of changing his ways. Like Chico13, the powers that be have killed my joy for the team.

I really like most of the players and wish them the very best. But I hate what Snyder has done, and I wish him nothing but diminishing returns to the point he off-loads his bad investment and we can all move on before I am very bitter old man!

Posted by: erthdog | September 23, 2009 1:30 PM
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My joy as a Redskins fan has come from the ability of the players. Sean Taylor played the position of safety more beautifully than anyone else ever has.

Ramsey Baghdadi

Posted by: songofroland | September 23, 2009 1:28 PM
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As fans we see everything from the outside looking in. So it's hard for us to really understand anything other than how the team looks on Sunday, and what the media let's us in on. With that said; as a loyal fan and season ticket holder for 5 years, it's just heart breaking! I have been a Skins fan since I was a kid, and fondly remember the Gibbs glory years. So the Snyder era has been tough to swallow. I really wish Snyder would sell the team to a more competent owner. I will still cheer and boo Snyder or not!

-Kevin Alder
kevinalder1@aol.com

Posted by: meepres | September 23, 2009 1:27 PM
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The anxiety of being a Redskins fan has grown over the years due to Daniel Snyder. The problem was with the amount of change, frivolous spending, and coaching changes. It's like with the economy these days, if your company was/is laying off people and "re-structuing" no one in that office feels comfortable - that's how it is with us. After Spurrier and the Freee Agents and firing Marty after winning the last 5 games of the season - what can you expect. Well, the answer is more mediocrity because nothing has been allowed to build around here (except frustration, ticket pricing, and a seething hopelessness) under Snyder's ownership. Now, hiring Gibbs against was a coup for Snyder but there was obviously no contingency plan in place for when Gibbs left. I mean, management had to know a man of Gibbs' age wasn't go to be around for more than two/three years - they run a business, and you have to plan for these things. Hiring a QB coach from the NFC West was not planning (although I like Zorn and would love to see him successful). So, to sum it up - the anxiety comes with having a unopredictable owner whose decision have made the organization a cash-cow but a mediocore team. The fans know that and don't see light at the end of the tunnel. You can't fire the owner so we are hoping something will give and that hope mixed with dread makes us who were are.

Posted by: wcn55 | September 23, 2009 1:27 PM
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I personally believe that U.S. American Redskins fans are unable to find the joy because, uh, some, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our team, like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the New England, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our Owner and EVP in charge of the stuffs over here in the Raljohns should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help the fans, and should help the coaches and the players, so we will be able to build up our team, to ease our anxiety.

Posted by: MsTeenSouthCarolina | September 23, 2009 1:25 PM
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Skins haven't been fun to watch for a very long time. My humble opinion says it comes down to 2 things. O&D Line. They were fun when? When they had the Hogs. When they had Mann/Manley/Grant and Big Dave Butz on the D-Line. It all starts up front. Address the O-Line NOW! One more thing. Pressure the QB!!! Did anyone watch the Jets pressure Brady and make him look like an average QB? #4 ranked D my butt. Put the QB on the ground.

Posted by: BiloxiSkinsFan | September 23, 2009 1:24 PM
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The greatest joys for Skins fans these past 10 yrs have been graciously provided by QB Tony Romo. Watching him achieve low-light after low-light for the hated 'Boys is "priceless". If he isn't dropping the ball during FGs, or stinking up the joint in front of his gf, he's throwing to the wrong team to make the opening of his own $1.15 billion dollar stadium truly special! Thank God for Tony Romo.
Ajay Gupta

Posted by: agupta1 | September 23, 2009 1:23 PM
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I could leave my house in Burke at 12:00 and be in my seat at RFK for kickoff. Try doing that at FedEx. And that was either taking the Metro or driving.

Posted by: CHICO13 | September 23, 2009 1:19 PM
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The only joy I get out of cheering for this team is on a single game basis. The few times they have actually made the playoffs the past 15 or so years, they haven't had a realistic chance of making it out of the first round. As a result, the only joy I get out of watching the Redskins is seeing them occasionally win a game they shouldn't have, which is rare.

Ken Flory
flory718@yahoo.com

Posted by: REDneckSKINhead | September 23, 2009 1:18 PM
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@chico13 yeah, there was NEVER any traffic at RFK [/sarcasm]

Posted by: jf317820 | September 23, 2009 1:16 PM
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I became a season ticket holder the year Gibbs II started, a lifelong dream as a DC native who never had seen the Skins play when tickets were impossible to get for RFK. The wasted draft picks, the free agent mistakes, the traffic, the parking, the beer prices, the ads in-stadium, the experience is not what I had hoped it would be. Like your love of the Bears though, I don't have it in me to reject the team.

Posted by: dcborn61 | September 23, 2009 1:14 PM
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"tell him your thoughts.."

We have no thoughts. Only opinions.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 23, 2009 1:09 PM
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I haven't experienced any joy since the team left RFK. The blaring rock music, explosions, cost, traffic and mismanagement (which is actually sad seeing how we don't have a General Manager) is too much. Now I watch them on the tube and I'm happy if they do well, that's about it. The powers that be killed my passion for the team.

Posted by: CHICO13 | September 23, 2009 1:08 PM
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