Six Pack: Season Wish List
The nice, if obvious, thing about the start of the NFL season is that nothing is written … except this sentence … and the next one … and all of the following ones. OK, some things are written but insofar as the NFL is concerned, the slate is blank. We, as fans, can feel legitimate excitement about what the coming season holds. We can be optimistic without having to ignore certain and wholly inconvenient realities that do not mesh with our idea of an ideal season.
Hope springs eternal … until it’s snapped by a clumsy defensive lineman crushing your quarterback’s leg – and with it any aspirations of success.
Football is unique among American sports in that your team’s fate can solidify or unravel in the course of a few weeks. That’s what makes the start of the football season so unique, it’s the opening chapter of a relatively short story and you know rather quickly if you’re reading a tragedy, a comedy or something altogether triumphant.
So, in the spirit of doe-eyed optimism, here are my wishes for the coming season.
-That the Redskins offense rise above the dull and predictable mediocrity of seasons past. I’m not asking for the ’91 Redskins or the ’07 Patriots, I’m asking – begging, pleading – for an offense that can score, at a minimum, 24 points a game. And by that I do not mean two weeks of an explosive offense followed by 4 weeks of a mediocre one. I want to watch an offense that is a threat to score on a consistent basis.
-That the Redskins master the art of the replay challenge. Other teams seem to do this with ease and, frankly, it isn’t that hard. Granted, you will occasionally issue a challenge that, on review, goes badly as it becomes evident the initial call was correct. I can live with that so long as the bulk of the challenges are winnable. Granted, you are then asking that the same idiots who made the mistake in the first place are willing to admit to that mistake. (I believe the review should be handled by an official in a booth independent from the crew, he has no vested interest in the call and can be counted on to be more impartial.) But give the idiots a chance – just be certain it’s the chance with the best possible odds.
-That (and this goes hand in hand with wish 1) Malcolm Kelly or Devin Thomas or even Marko Mitchell become a legitimate threat at the no. 2 wideout spot. Seriously, this has become ridiculous, the NFL gods have deprived us long enough.
-That I never (or at least very rarely) have to hear “illegal formation, offense” or “false start, offense” or “it’s the Redskins, we just assume something went awry, offense.” I know that penalties happen in the course of a game but they seem to happen with a disturbing frequency to the guys in burgundy and gold. That gets so very tiresome. In what I would like to think is a calm, rational way, I actually believe the Redskins become the victims of their own reputation here. They commit one actual penalty after another and the officiating crews become hyper-sensitive to this. They’re then forced to pay the wages of both their actual sins and their assumed sins.
-That we get a season of relative health. I’m almost reluctant to even put that in print since the cruel caprices of sport mean that I’m just as likely to see someone tear their MCL/ACL in pre-game warm-ups as I am to see them play all 16 games. But, as this is a wish list and not a demand list, I feel like I’m not tempting fate in any egregious way.
-That we see more fumbles and tipped passes end up in the hands of Redskins players. For all of the legitimate hand-wringing about the team’s inability to force turnovers, even the pessimists would have to admit the Redskins have seen their fare share of unlucky bounces. To whatever invisible force we’ve angered, we are sorry. Surely we have paid our penance by now. Also, SACKS – lots of them. I want to watch several 3rd and longs result in the opposing QB being buried under a sea of frothing mad Redskins.
-Bonus wish: that whoever schedules commercials comes to the brilliant realization that running the same poorly thought out, unfunny, irritating 30 seconds of crap makes me – and every other thinking person – that much LESS likely to buy your product.
Advertiser: "Hey man, I made a little 30 second video that manages to be both insultingly stupid and incredibly annoying, would you like to watch it?"
Me: "I appreciate your asking and my answer is unequivocally no. I will actively boycott your product if you force me to watch it and I will develop an unnatural hatred toward your company."
Advertiser: "Show it 350 times in the next 16 weeks, gotcha."
Some of these wishes are clearly more realistic in terms of their being realized but none are impossible. Except the commercials one, that’s not going to happen. That, my friends, is why the DVR was invented. That and legs since you can, ya know, just walk out of the room. So here’s to wishes coming true or at least close to true. I don’t need a perfect season, just a really fun one.
This article was released on 2009-09-11.
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