The Six Pack: Much Better
After a great come from behind 29-24 victory by the Washington Redskins, here is this week's Six Pack:
1) Hey, that was a lot more fun. A mere 10 days after putting a sizable portion of the Redskins fan base on suicide watch, the team bounced back with a thrilling win. Jim Zorn went from incompetent to gutsy, Jason Campbell went from disaster to "hey, I could get used to this" and my dog went from sleeping to scared for her life when Santana Moss scored on that beautiful bomb. Buy, buy, buy, right?
2) Not exactly, in the same vein that it was foolish to draw too many conclusions from the week 1 win, it would be irrationally optimistic (what up Greenspan?) to get giddy about week 2. That seems obvious but it's a lesson it took me quite some time to learn. What is worth getting excited about is that the team showed progress from week 1 to week 2. That trend, more than any other, is what will ultimately define this season as a success or a failure.
3) Obviously, the most important thing here is how this influences the Redskins standing in the approximately 47,000 different power rankings, which exist on the Internets. There is no more reliable way to objectively gauge the potential of your team than an opinion-based list. Just like the best dressed lists, worst dressed lists and my hottest neighbors list* that we all rely on to make crucial decisions, power rankings are an essential part of life.
3) Power rankings are utterly worthless; they are a silly exercise in an attempt to drive traffic to the sites that feature them. Putting aside the odd notion that one can even rank power, they are based on opinions. The crew over at Pro Football Outsiders does a nice job of putting together the closest thing I have seen to a factually based ranking of teams but most of these things are meant to spark outrage. When you get angry, you visit the site that outraged you and you interact with said site. The more people who do that, the more money the site makes.
4) Stop being the sucker, if it makes you feel better, create your own list. Post it on your fridge and yell at it in the morning while you eat breakfast. Imagine how great it would be to have this conversation at work:
Coworker: "Hey man, you look angry, what's up?"
You: "Oh, nothing, my stupid refrigerator has the Eagles ranked above the Redskins, I hate that thing so much."
Coworker, moving away nervously: "Yes ... I can see why that would upset you."
You: "If it happens again next week, I'm ripping out the ice maker. That's not an idle threat."
5) See, the idea that certain people are football experts bothers me. ESPN has a commercial where it's football crew is "hilariously" asked to testify on global warming and we are "hilariously" reminded that is not their subject of expertise. Chris Berman sits on that panel. Really? In what world is he an expert? Steve Young, Tom Jackson and Mike Ditka, fine, they can legitimately be assumed to have some expertise. But Berman? Why? This is a guy who has mastered the art of talking about sports without saying anything of substance. Hold on a second ... OK, I'm back, I had to punch my fridge for calling me a hypocrite.
6) Next up are the somewhat surprising 2-0 Arizona Cardinals. I saw somewhat surprising because 2-0 loses its luster a bit when you consider they've beaten the 49ers and the Dolphins thus far. That isn't to say I take the Cardinals lightly, their wideouts -- Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin -- are a nightmare match-up and Kurt Warner is a solid veteran. But this is also a team that has played two opponents in rebuilding mode and has already surrendered five sacks on the season. This game will present an interesting litmus test for both franchises. Given that the 'Skins travel to Philly and Dallas for weeks 4 and 5, getting a win here would be a great way to hit the road.
*Honestly, this list lacks candidates, please encourage any attractive women you know to be my neighbor.
This article was released on 2008-09-17.
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