MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, , Md., October 5, 2014 — Here we go again: another NFL season in the Nation’s capital, and after only four games, things don’t look good. A listless RG III was replaced after injury by Kirk Cousins. Captain Kirk doesn’t appear to be doing well. After winning one game and losing two close ones, he was intercepted frequently by the Giants in another embarrassing loss.
Washington is one of the cities most committed to its football team. Its owner has spent liberally to bring talent to the team and the players appear to have the incentive to win. Washington is one of the premiere media centers of the country if not the world.
Other cities with fewer advantages have winning teams year in and year out. A good example is Baltimore. After a heartbreaking divorce from the Colts in the 70s, Baltimore adopted a team from Cleveland that promptly went all the way to the Super bowl and has been competitive almost every year since.
Other teams in the city, even the Wizards, who usually resided in the bottom of their conference, have had good seasons and made the playoffs. In addition to the Wizards, DC United, the Nationals and the Capitals head for the playoffs at the end of their seasons with some regularity.
College sports are also normally successful in the area. While basketball is the most talked about, football is also a successful college sport in Washington.
Many football fans would give up success in the other sports if only the Skins were consistent winners. Those fans and others have been heartbroken for decades now, with a few good years in between. The years when Washington was considered a probable candidate for the extended season are long gone and don’t seem to be returning any time soon.
This season started with unaccustomed hope. RG III was healthy and while not brilliant in the off season, he had demonstrated enough to make fans hungry for the season to begin. After a lackluster opener, he got hurt in a scramble with no apparent participation by the opponent.
RG III, while a fantastic athlete, appears to be to prone to injury unless his role is changed in the offense.
Captain Kirk entered the game and was soon throwing touch downs and winning the game. The talk around D.C. was that an effective starter had been found. This lasted only two games. After the spanking by the Giants, no questions had been answered.
It isn’t for lack of trying. Over the years we have seen a parade of all types of coaches through Skins’ park. Formerly successful coaches, both professional and collegiate as well as innovative whiz kids have been sought out by Snyder and his management team with less that happy results.
Players who were successful on other teams and some who would later be successful were brought to Washington; most didn’t work out.
The draft has added some very promising athletes that for the most part haven’t been very successful. Rare players like Alfred Morris, who always appear to be giving it their all, do not appear to have made the difference in the win/loss column.
To the fans it sometimes seems that the players are not ready to win. They appear to give up on plays too soon. The coaches appear to give up on the running game too soon to send in plays that are easily diagnosed by the opposing defense.
The defense can’t be totally blamed. For the most part they appear to be giving a good effort. However, they don’t always have the players to defend properly.
The Skins have reached a point in the season when it could easily be chucked off for another year. With a record of one win and three loses, things look desperate. To add to these woes, the Super Bowl champ is coming to D.C. with a national audience.
The game on Monday against the Seahawks will tell us how the rest of the season will go. The Skins have a very difficult opponent and unless every player is willing to do whatever is needed, another season will end in disappointment for the capital’s team.
We the always loyal fans in Washington will be watching to see how badly the team wants to win and whether the highly remunerated staff will plot a winning plan and implement it.
If another year goes by with mediocre results, it is time to look within and probably purge the management staff. Of course one of the possible causes may be the owner, and he can’t be purged.
Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, is a diehard Skins fan. He has been one since 1957 when he saw his first professional football game. He is in Twitter (@chibcharus), Google+ and Facebook (Mario Salazar).