Browsing all articles tagged with FedEx Field
Oct
19

The worst game of all time

So yesterday, I had the joy of going to the Redskins game. I was excited, I had received the tickets as a birthday gift. I know it has not been the greatest season, but they were playing the Chiefs. I mean the Chiefs. Surely, they can’t lose to both the Lions and the Chiefs in the same year right?

This was the third game I have been to in the last four years, going to about one a year. I have to say that this game was disappointing on so many levels. The forecast was calling for rain, but it was clear all day. We didn’t get loss or stuck in traffic on the way to the stadium. We made pretty good time in fact.

The disappointment was  to come. The Stadium was not full at all by kickoff. It looked to be a quarter empty, possibly more. The crowd never got loud on Defense. Some fans would try, but most fans just sat there. Well, sat there and complained and heckled both the Chiefs and the Redskins. The other times I have been to the stadium the visiting offense had false starts or had to burn timeouts because of crowd noise. That was not a problem this time The crowd was almost as loud when the Chiefs were on D.

There was plenty of booing, both the Chiefs and the Redskins. Campbell was booed but so were other players. There was booing at the playcalls, particularly the ones at the end of the the first half. The loudest cheer was probably when Todd Collins entered the game. Which struck me as unfair; is it Campbell’s fault Stephon Heyer was falling down, committing false starts, and only giving Campbell one second to throw? And yeah Campbell overthrew Moss slightly, but Moss had his hands on it he should have caught it. Of course there are other receivers to pass to then Moss and he had to throw the ball away not scramble during a two-minute offense.

But there was plenty to boo about. I cannot recall a game in which the Skins played worse. There offense could get nothing done all day, except for two big plays. And after moving deep into Chiefs’ territory with those big plays they could not get it in the endzone. Special Teams was atrocious with a blocked punt and bad punt returns. The Defense played decent, but let’s be honest – the Chiefs’ receivers dropped plenty of passes. The Skins got in Cassel’s face a few times, and played good bend-but-don’t-break D. But everyone in the stadium wanted to see more aggressive D. There were constantly calls for “Pick 6″! Because the crowd knew the offense was not going to score.

By the time the Skins had ball backed up in their own endzone, down 12-6 with precious little time left in, most of the fans had left. Then Todd Collins was sacked for the saftey on the very first play of that drive. After that we, along with nearly everyone else, also left.

This was a huge disappointment to me on so many levels. The Skins went out there and proved that they are probably the worst team in football. They looked like they did not care, and there did not seem to be any hope for a turnaround any time soon. I have been a Skins fan since I was a kid, and I remember them being bad for many years. I do not remember them ever looking this hopeless, this much of a lost cause.

The Skins were not the only disappointment, the Skins fan were as well. People have every right to stay home from a bad game, to boo and heckle their team but its just sad when a home game does not mean an advantage. FedEx Field is one of the biggest and loudest stadiums in the NFL, and Redskins fans are among the most diehard. But you might have thought the Redskins came into the game losing and 2-4 the way the crowd reacted yesterday.

Obviously, a lot needs to be done to both improve the team and improve the fans’ mood. It looks so hopeless now, I do not really have any suggestions.Here’s hoping we have something to cheer about later this season.

Sep
21

When Fans Boo (Why, Player Perspectives, and My Opinion)

The Washington Redskins beat the St. Louis Rams today at home, 9-7.  But you wouldn’t have known it by the sounds of fans.  The Skins were booed multiple times in their win against the Rams.  There were three times in particular the booing stood out.  Once was before halftime when they were down 7-6.  Another was when Zorn called a conservative running play on third down when the team was when backed up near their own end zone.  The last and most telling time was in the closing seconds of the game as Campbell kneeled to run out the clock.  It’s not often teams get booed when they win, so what the heck is going on?

Why The Fans Booed

  • Expectations were high for today’s game. The Skins were favored by 14 by some and the Rams seemed like a perfect opponent to get into an offensive groove.  The Rams last week lost to the Seattle Seahawks 28-0.  Of course, even with Matt Hasselbeck back, the Seahawks are not an offensive juggernaut.  Surely, the Skins could put the points on the board after playing a suffocating Giants D last week, right?
    • The fans weren’t the only ones who thought this game would be different.  One of the best analysts of the NFC East, Matt Mosley with the NFC East Blog on Espn.com wrote in his NFC East: Final Word:

Santana Moss is about to go off on the Rams: There, I said it. I think Jim Zorn will take more shots downfield, in part, because Jason Campbell should have more time against the Rams’ front four…But the Redskins will roll in this game. Clinton Portis goes for 115 yards and a touchdown and Moss goes for six catches for 127 yards. Trust me on this stuff.

  • Last year’s loss to St. Louis is still fresh. The Redskins were on a roll last year before the talented but poorly executing Rams surprised the Skins at home.  Along with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Rams game was one of the “should have won games” that  could have put the Skins in the playoffs.
  • Coach Jim Zorn’s play calling has been blamed for the offensive drought.  The fans aren’t the only ones voicing concerns.  Mike Wise of the Washington Post, wrote last week that Zorn’s trick FG play was an act of desperation.  Sonny Jurgenson also supposedly called out Zorn on the 4th and short play where Portis followed Sellers to nowhere and was stopped.
  • You don’t go to FedEx Field to cheer on Shaun Suisham.  Okay, maybe there are a few of you out there.  But you go to see Moss, Portis, Campbell and Cooley score touchdowns.

What the Players Thought of Being Booed

Dan Steinberg of Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog had some great quotes in his piece, “So is it really time to boo the Skins?” Here are some highlights:

Chris Cooley: ”You take a win when you can get it. And there’s a lot of good players, and there’s a lot of good teams in this league. I think Washington prides themselves on being the best fans, and I think that they should try to be the best fans. We won. I understand they wanted us to beat the Rams by 40, but we still won, and we if we continue to win games, that’s great. Booing’s unnecessary.”

Antwaan Randle El: “We appreciate them, and everyone has freedom of choice,” Antwaan Randle El said, “but for us as a team, we play better when you don’t [boo].”

My favorite was really Fred Smoot and Steinberg’s conversation:

“They’re the fans; if they want to boo, let them boo,” Fred Smoot said. “They should have booed.”  I asked why he thought fans should boo; “because they wanted to,” Smoot said. “You can’t control them, you can just control what we did on the field.”

My least favorite: Redskins Linebacker Robert Henson from his twitter account: “The question is who are you to say you know what’s best for the team and you work 9 to 5 at Mcdonalds.”

(Agents, do you know where your clients are?  Here’s a hint to Henson: don’t try and apologize or defend yourself to everyone.  Put up a tweet or two to everyone and call it a night, let it blow over!)

Why I Wouldn’t Have Booed

  • We won.  Yes it was ugly.  Yes, Zorn could have called some better plays.  Sellers dropped a TD pass, as did Devin Thomas on plays called by Zorn.  But we’re tied in the NFC East after the Eagles and Cowboys lost today.
  • This is DC (or the DMV if you prefer), not Philly.  I hate to say it but who else boos their team when they win?  Philadelphia Eagles fans are known as being some of the most critical fans in sports. However, Redskins fans have a tradition of being the most loyal fans in the NFL and all of sports.  The fan base has taken a toll in recent years due to ticket prices, sparse playoff appearances and free agent acquisitions that  have only teased it.  What a drop off from the rocking days of RFK?  Let’s not pull a Philly here and boo a winning team at home.
  • There should be an advantage to being at home. Why not cheer for them and not against them?  Having one of the largest stadiums in the NFL should haunt the visiting team, not the Redskins.
  • This is a dangerous precedent. I kind of understand the booing at half time, but after the game is over when you win?  Is there a certain point differential you need to have to not get booed?  Do you boo through the third quarter if they are still losing?  Often the fans can be instrumental in shifting the momentum between teams.  It can provide the energy or optimism players can use as that “spark” to do things like this.

What Washington Sportsjam Twitter Followers think:

nunyabeeI think the final score & the fact that we didnt destroy the Rams irritated the entire fanbase 2day. I dont see any improvement

nunyabee@dcsportsjam I personally dont & didnt boo but I cant really blame the fans that did. We need 2 c a better product on the field IMO.

WithAView@dcsportsjam Maybe I’M a “blind homer”but booing like a Philly crowd doesn’t make a “12th man”. Not telling them anything they don’t know.

jbeardsley@dcsportsjam My take – fan frustration at playcalling, poor execution, owner and playing down to lesser teams. For years. Not player focused

dcborn61@dcsportsjam players, coaches are professionals. Getting public feedback goes with the territory. Fans would much rather cheer

Other follower tweets:

Hensen, who isn’t on the 53, should practice hard and keep his mouth shut. When he produces on the field, he can talk.

Maybe I’M a “blind homer”but booing like a Philly crowd doesn’t make a “12th man”. Not telling them anything they don’t know.

What Do You Think?

Do the Skins deserve to be booed?  Does it matter?  What do you think about Robert Henson’s idea that those that booed are fake fans and haters?