Open Letter to the Fans
By: Les Barnhart 
Posted: 2002-12-11
Category: Washington Redskins News
So here we are again. Another season drawing to a close with the Redskins "playing out the string". With three games left in the season and the playoffs well out of the picture, the Redskins should start to prepare for the 2003 season. It is hard not to look around the league and compare our team's situation to other teams that had "disappointing" seasons. Some will say that the Redskins "suck" or they "are terrible", some have even called the organization "a circus". It is easy for the media to target the Redskins for many, many reasons. Some hate Dan Snyder, some hate Steve Spurrier and then there are the people who just love to lament the fact that this team is down.

While the practice of watching teams other than our beloved Redskins get ready for the playoffs has become all too familiar, it has not become acceptable. I have continually beat the drum of how disgusted I get when I hear so-called "fans" turn on this team as soon as the weather changes. I will always accept my fellow fans fair criticism of this team and their performance but I will never accept the irrational arguments that are put forth by many others. If a person truly believes that all of those involved in the operation of this team are not putting forth effort to return this team to the level that we were once accustomed, then I really have to wonder what I am missing. What I do see is an owner that is a lifelong fan of the Redskins and a Head Coach that is obsessed with winning. I see a team that is cash strapped and as such is forced to run players out on to the field that aren't suited to the system. I see fans that are starved for the days when the playoffs where always within reach and 11 and 12 win seasons were the norm. But a funny thing happened along the way since then... new owner, new coaches, salary cap restrictions, revenue sharing, free agency, league expansion and realignment.

It is a new NFL and we are still a team looking for its niche. We can't keep falling back to the old argument about "how good it was in the Gibbs' days". Dammit, we are NOT Steeler fans that always have to throw out how good they were in the '70s. Guess what, gas was cheaper then too, do you complain about THAT every time you fill up your car? We all know how good we had it with Coach Gibbs versus how we have it today. Now, we have fans who act like spoiled rich kids because we aren't the greatest team in the league. So what? Is the organization sitting on their laurels? No. We have a coach that can win and WILL win. The problem is, we brought the current coaching staff in during the worst of circumstances. You can't send an army into battle with pop guns and a broken compass and expect them to win the war. The organization is trying to rebuild but that takes time. If you can't handle it, I'll give you some taped Redskins games from the Gibbs era. Good weather follows every storm, and my brothers, we have weathered some storms. The good times are soon to follow.

Call me the eternal optimist or whatever else you want, but don't ever call me unfaithful. I believe that we as fans reserve the right to question the moves of our beloved Redskins but I refuse to stand by and listen to people trash this organization with irrational arguments or continually harkening back to the "good ole days" of Coach Gibbs. Cut it loose and appreciate that Coach Gibbs and his teams are just part of the tradition of this organization.

Let's go Redskins...I am still behind you and always will be.

Be sure to come back next week for more from the Cheap Seats.


The Wingman
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