Dec
22

Giants Game Recap: Santa Claus Isn't Real

Courtesy of riptheskull on Flickr

I remember one summer curiously asking my parents for probably about the 20th time in my young life, “Is Santa Claus real?”  When my mom told me, “Go ask your father.”  I was shocked.  She had always said yes.  My dad was doing work outside, and perhaps being detached from the holiday season was taken aback by my question.  ”Um, yeah, why?”  I told him that Mom had told me to ask him.  He then told me to go ask my mom.

I was so confused and felt that my whole life was changing at that moment, changing more than I had ever wanted it to.  After the back and forth, it was revealed to me that Santa wasn’t real and that he hadn’t been real (Saint Nicholas was real of course, but I couldn’t understand it at that moment and I don’t think I would have cared for that explanation either).  I sat there on the kitchen floor staring into the wall, wondering aloud “How is this even possible?  If Santa isn’t real, what else is a lie?”  I think I asked my mom if she was my real mom, if I *actually* lived in Maryland and if they had any other lies up their sleeves.  After all of that mess, while I’m still trying to grapple with this personal earthquake, my mom tells me, “Matthew, just don’t tell your sister.”

That’s kind of what happened last night.  Losing to the New York Giants, a divisional rival, with a score of 45-12 was bad – but what was worse is what some of us believed.  ”The Skins are getting better!” and “The offense is getting the system, it’s turning around!”  and “We’ve found our way, it’s a competitive fighting team.”  That this Washington Redskins team was competitive, that was our Santa Claus.  Last night, it was similar to finding out that Santa as we knew it didn’t exist.  But really, it was more like finding out that Santa didn’t exist while everyone in the country was watching, laughing and throwing our presents out the window.

In light of this painful but important epiphany, it’s important to understand what we do know, for sure.  As a kid I found out that I was actually a family member to the parents that had raised me and I was indeed a Marylander.  What do we know about the Redskins after last night’s atrocity of a game?

1) It was all a mirage, we do not have flying reindeer.

Beating Oakland was fun and being close to Dallas, New Orleans, and Philadelphia (to a reasonable extent) was but it doesn’t count for anything.  Many people thought we’d see the Redskins for who they really were against the Giants (optimistically believing something amazing would happen last night).  Well, the bad and good news is that we did and we do not have flying reindeer.

    • The offensive line that looked like it was coming together the last few weeks almost looked like it was TRYING to get Jason Campbell killed last night.  Not only that but rarely did you see an offensive lineman try to help him up after he was thrown to the turf.  (Hey guys, ignoring the problem, doesn’t make it disappear)
    • Defensively, with so much “talent” how in the world can you let Baby Brother Manning put up 45?!  There was no true pressure on Eli Manning for most of the night and few passes were defended.

2) Bruce Allen has to feel like he got a lump of coal for Christmas

The last few weeks the Redskins looked like a competitive team that needed direction, a stronger leader and some new play calling.  Last night it was hard to figure out which pieces to keep of this crappy puzzle.  It is oversimplifying it to say that Mr. Allen has a lot of work ahead of him.

3) Jason Campbell may not be our “Last Action Hero” but he’s a heck of a fighter.

Statistically speaking, Campbell didn’t have a strong night: 15/28 192 yards 2 interceptions, 2 runs for 36 yards and 1 touchdown toss.  That being said, he was the only one who looked he gave a reindeer’s tail during the majority of that game.  He kept pulling his mangled self off the ground, commanded the offensive unit that was betraying him and kept fighting.  That is, as Gibbs would say, “a true Redskin” in my mind, someone who doesn’t complain, doesn’t quit and gives it his all.

4) Jim Zorn is on the “Naughty List”, the debate is over

Whether there is a Santa or not, Zorn’s on the naughty list.  He’s done here.  All of the Zorn apologists and the ones’ that faintly cried, “it’s all coming together, don’t break up the system” are gone.  They are in hiding at the North Pole and no one can defend him after that debacle last night.  45-12 at home against a division rival on national television is beyond unacceptable.  It’s reprehensible and a joke.

The Silver Tinseled Lining

There are a lot of things to love about the Holiday Season, even though it felt like my life was over when I found out about Santa, it wasn’t.  I just operated differently.  Now that we know what the Skins aren’t (competitive, good, able to keep it’s starting quarterback upright for more than three plays in a row…), we can adjust our lives accordingly.  There’s a lot of work to be done for next year, and in the meantime enjoy Dallas week before they actually have to play the game.

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