The Landry Hat has been in a festive mood lately. First, I allow vicious Redskins fan GeHenna to participate in a QandA. Then, I invite Dave at Riggo’s Rag over for some fun. Now, I bring to you the bitter Andrew Iden, a lifetime Washington Redskins fan who hates America’s Team. I’ve known Iden since 2001 when we worked together at a small newspaper in Virginia. That was my first newspaper gig. He would wear those ugly Redskins hats to work, and I’d often vomit. Luckily, we were pals when the Dallas Cowboys started the massive winning steak the team has enjoyed for eight beautiful years. Iden is now some big-time producer for CNN in Atlanta, Mr. Moneybags.
I feel bad for Redskins fans. They just stink. I don’t want Gehenna or whomever to complain I am not a nice guy, or I can’t give credit when credit is due. Iden asked for some space to moan and whine and write about his favorite team. I said fine (for a bottle of whiskey). This Redskins fan is going to put his manlove for his team in perspective. Anyway, here it is, in its unedited form:
I’ll start by saying that I clearly don’t expect many of the readers of this blog to understand anything I say from here on out. However, it is good to be able to penetrate enemy lines unimpeded, and be able to just give the perspective that those of us on the burgundy and gold side of the world see, no matter how warped those in Cowboy nation feel we are. Because, after all, Redskins fans feel exactly the same way about Dallas fans, the star makes us ill at the sight, Jerry Jones makes our skin crawl, and Texas Stadium is by far the ugliest building in the NFL (Editor’s note: ummm, we get a new stadium in 2009, plan. You try spending $1 billioN!!). All that is moot however, because for the first time in more than 10 years, the days leading up to the Dallas/Washington game actually means something. No more 8-8 Redskins teams, playing the 10-6 Cowboys in a game that means nothing, serving only as a symbol of all that went wrong in the season. This, people, is a game that has some substance to it. (Editor’s note: Substance for you. We already have home-field advantage.I think you don’t realize we are 13-2).
Clearly this year has been one of tragedy and change for the Redskins-And two months ago, I would have thought Joe Gibbs would be roaming the sidelines for the last time this coming Sunday against Dallas. I thought he was as good as gone, be it resignation or termination-but certainly a number of things have changed in the last two months. Gibbs, always a man focused on the team, clearly has used the death of Sean Taylor as a catalyst to turn this team on it’s ear, and play with more purpose and determination than they did prior to his death. Gibbs-who has been knocked for a number of things in the last 3 and a half years-has never been knocked for a lack of focus, and if ever there was a time in which they had focus, it’s now. A playoff berth on the line, playing their best football of the year, and at home against Dallas, if there ever was a coach who understood the ramifications, it’s Joe Gibbs. This folks, is a game the Redskins will refuse to lose.
For the past 10 years, I’ve sat and watched the Redskins continually raise expectations, only to see them lowered by the deflating feeling that every season brings, as they stumble through their schedule, with 9-7, 8-8, and even an 5-11 thrown in for good measure. And watching as the Cowboys franchise heads in the opposite direction certainly doesn’t make things any easier to stomach. Redskins fans have been crossing their fingers for years to get a game like this. A game that late in the season, when it’s frigid outside, and the playoffs are around the corner, still has some form of meaning, and can result in something great for Redskins nation. We have, at long last, gotten to that game. And Dallas is on the other side waiting.
A win this week is certainly conceivable-In fact, if the Redskins can’t manage to put a game together, then everything I thought about Joe Gibbs and his motivational abilities is clearly incorrect. But no, they’ll find a way. With or without Tony Romo (Editor’s note: and Marion Barber, Terrell Owens, half the defense), this Redskins defense is going to figure out how to do just enough to make it into the second season with a win over the Cowboys. Arrogant or not, Gregg Williams certainly has a proven track record of designing game plans to stop big time offensive squads like the Cowboys, and this week will be no different. With this much on the line, it can’t be any different.
The Redskins offense, which sputtered throughout most of the season has suddenly found somewhat of a groove, with receivers open in space, and Todd Collins-yes, Todd Collins-finding holes and showing why Al Saunders was so intent on having him as the #2 quarterback. This offense, folks of Cowboys nation-is not the offense of a month ago. It isn’t pretty either, but it’s pretty enough, and in this NFL, that’s all that matters.
So to the people of Cowboy nation-before you sweep us under the rug, dismiss us as a mere roadblock in your path to the Super Bowl, and a fly on the face of your season of domination, hold on. If thee is a team in the league that can find a way to beat Dallas, it’s the Washington Redskins. Because Dallas fans know just as well as we do, records mean nothing when these two kickoff-the only things that’s relatively sure is the it’s going to be a tight game. Redskins fans are certainly ready-we’ve been waiting for along time to play Dallas with something on the line. So with or without your stars, it makes no difference. Beating Dallas is still beating Dallas. Unless a post season berth is on the line. That puts it up on the board with all the throwdowns between these two teams over the years. And despite the rest of the world thinking otherwise, the Redskins will find themselves on the right side of the fence this time.
Andrew Iden is a freelance writer based in Atlanta, and also does TV news production work for CNN and CNN Headline News. A lifelong Redskins fan, and native of the Washington DC area, he began working in journalism at 17, and eventually crossed paths with Dan, the editor of The Landry Hat. Despite not having seen each other in close to ten years, the two continue to bicker, argue, and generally loathe the other’s allegiance to their respective NFL franchises. Despite the hatred, they still maintain somewhat of a mutual respect for the allegiance. But of course, Dan is still wrong.
Editor’s Note: No, Andrew, I am not wrong. I am 100 percent right. Always.