Fans
By: Les Barnhart 
Posted: 2002-10-22
Category: Washington Redskins News
I hate to watch the Nittany Lions lose. I hate watching the Redskins lose. Hell, I just hate to lose. The only thing that I hate more than losing is the so-called "fans" of the Redskins. I know that it happens with every team, but for now I will focus in large part on the Redskin "fans".

I understand that losing breeds contempt but this year seems to be an exceptional year for it. I guess it started with the great run that the team had in the last 11 games of the 2001 season. We caught a faint whiff of the playoffs and our collective mouths began to water. Yet at the end of the season, many of the same fans that cheered on the Redskins were calling for Marty's head. So, out with Marty and in with Coach Spurrier. More naysayers... no way that he can coach in the NFL. Everybody and their brother had to admit that Spurrier was an intriguing choice for the next coach of our Redskins. But, with that we as fans had to expect some growing pains. I mean, you are giving a new coach a roster that is still paying for mistakes that the organization made. With a new system, new coaching staff, new philosophy, new players and TONS of pressure from us, the fans, apparently we (the fans) still expect great things. That is great! We should never "settle" for anything and should always be striving for the best. But sooner or later, reality has to take over and then you realize that the lofty expectations might just be...too lofty.

What bothers me is those fans that constantly harp on all of the Redskins shortcomings. I am not such a homer that I don't acknowledge the shortcomings, I just refuse to allow it to dominate every Redskin related thought or conversation that I have. I am a member of an email chat through the Webskins site and I have to admit that I have gotten so angry, at times, forced by the constant barrage of negativity from a surprising high number of fans that I stopped reading the posts for a period of time. Keep in mind that this is as painful as anything because there is nothing better than talking about the Redskins with my Brother and Sister Hogs.

Now there are two types of fans, the first being a knowledgeable, diehard fan that is capable of expressing their thoughts about their team as well as others in a positive manner and then you have the second kind.... which is the type that I seem to be encountering in masses. They are the kind that are never happy unless their team goes undefeated every season, shut out all their opponents and score 50 points per game. They feel that the team is always managed poorly and they can ALWAYS do better.

As a fan, you are entitled to question your team, sure. But to constantly berate the front office, players and coaches is simply ridiculous. This year's team was never expected to win the Super Bowl, hell they weren't even expected to make the playoffs. We have a high octane offensive that is being pumped full of diesel or kerosene. Why? Because one off-season isn't enough to get your team fully immersed in this system! We have no cap room to go out and sign top notch players at all the skill positions, so unless we have one huge ham sandwich sale to raise cap money, we are stuck this season with who we have. I hear people talk about how greedy professional players are, but I would counter that with the "selfish fan". It doesn't matter if this season could be parlayed into several good or great seasons, they only see the losses and the struggles that the team is having. It is easy to throw shots at the Redskins organization, Mr. Snyder, Coach Spurrier and the cast of characters on our 2002 roster. The question I have is why would a true fan of the Redskins want to do that? Loyalty is a must in my mind. When some of you do nothing but continually spew out negativity it drives a wedge between us as fans. We all watch the games, read the stories and listen to the interviews, do we have to bombard our conversations with what we aren't doing or what we don't do correctly?

And don't even waste your time questioning the leadership of the Washington Redskins. We have one of our own at the top of the Redskins organization in Daniel Snyder. He is a lifelong fan of the Redskins and would never, ever do anything that he didn't think was best for the Redskins. He has the job that many of us dream about at night, and he put himself there. Yet, some of the "fans" continually take shots at him. Why? Because he is an easy target and no one likes to see someone succeed. Has he made mistakes as the owner of the team? Absolutely. He would tell you that himself. His mistakes have been made in an attempt to get this team back to the "glory days" that we all love and desperately want to return to. There is no one I would rather have in that position than him, as a fan, someone who has been through the good years and the bad. Question anything that you want about this team and this organization but don't ever question their heart. I used to believe that we had the best fans in the world. Now, I don't question the direction this team is heading, I question where the fans are heading.

I have said it before and I will say it again.... when it comes to the Redskins, you are either with the team or against the team. That is the way I see it. If you are with us, leave the constant complaining and negatively at the door. If you cant, I hear the Eagles and Cowboys are always looking for fans. This is no time to start cannibalizing your own team. So, for most of you, I know where you stand. For the rest of you, what will it be?

The Wingman
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