Browsing all articles tagged with Jon Jansen
Oct
16

Boycotts and "Revolution"

Pardon the time between posts here at Washington Sportsjam, I’ve been a little too depressed to write lately.  There has been a lot going on in this area the past two weeks and it hasn’t been pretty.  Where do we even begin?  Should we start with the weekly questions about Head Coach Jim Zorn’s job security or perhaps with the fact that Redskins have not scored 30 points or more in the last 22 regular season games?  How about with the boycott plans for this Sunday’s game against Kansas City?

There have been efforts lately to organize people in various ways to try and get a message across to Redskins owner Dan Snyder (who many feel is responsible for the current problems of the team).  These have included wearing brown bags at home games (back when we were 1-2, yeah, 1 AND 2!) as well as not showing up at games/selling tickets, or booing at home games when the team doesn’t produce while defensively stating, “we’re not booing the team, we’re booing the owner”.  Riiight.  The most difficult aspect of showing frustration towards the owner is that more often than not the team suffers and becomes the object of the attack.

BURGUNDY REVOLUTION BOYCOTT

Now, there is another move that is gaining some ground that is hoping to be more effective.  A blog by the name of “Burgundy Revolution” has started and is planning a “Black Sunday” for this week.

The purpose?  The organizer from Burgundy Revolution says “… to hopefully show Snyder there are a lot of us, and to hopefully draw more people into the movement.”

“I can’t speak for everyone that is anti-Snyder, but for me, I don’t expect we will actually get him to sell the team; the team is too valuable.  What I am hoping for is that he wakes up and admits that he does not know how to run a football team.  If Dan Snyder will openly admit/apologize his past mistakes, fire Vinny Cerrato and bring in a REAL GM, and finally promise to not impose his will into football decisions, then I have no more reason to push for revolution.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I/we SUPPORT THE TEAM.  Any actions that we are taking are directed at the management not at them.  If any player sees people in black, please know that this is not about you; don’t take it personally.

As for WHY do I am I behind this? I am behind it because I am tired of hurting.  I love the Redskins and have since I was a little kid.  When we win a game on Sunday, it just makes my week; when we lose I am always saddened.  Lately the losses have been hurting more and more because they just keep happening AND we keep getting our hopes up.  A loss in which we are competitive hurts, but at least I can hold my head high at the office on Monday.  This year, I have had trouble holding my head high after we win!  I don’t see the situation getting any better until there is a serious change at the top.  Firing Zorn is not the answer, replacing Campbell is not the answer.  These may or may not be a part of the solution, but they alone will not do it.”

My Thoughts on the Planned Blackout or “Black Sunday”

Honestly, what Skins fan can’t relate to that last paragraph?  I remember my face hurting from smiling the whole day after the Monday night miracle (you remember the amazing passes by Mark Brunell in the last five minutes in Dallas to Santana Moss who thereafter would be called “the cowboy killer”?).  I was working at a YMCA in Hampton Roads and some of the old women asked me why I was so happy, I couldn’t even explain it without laughing or tearing up a little.  Yeah I probably looked like the most idiotic lifeguard anyone had ever seen in Virginia Beach, but I felt like a billion bucks.  Of course the opposite has been true, I’ve invited people over to watch Skins games and have ended up throwing chairs and pillows, ripping newspapers to shreds, yelling uncontrollably and having a week or more completely ruined.

The Premise of the Argument

While I can relate on the emotional level of the highs and lows of being a Redskins fan, I cannot agree to the premise of the argument which seems to be that Dan Snyder is the ultimate and end all reason for the demise of the franchise.  He is one of the problems and he has the power to rectify the dysfunctional culture that has riddled the team.  But the way some fans view him seems to be that he’s possessed by Satan himself and is hell bent on destroying the team.  There are certainly times where it looked like he was (back when Brad Johnson was benched in favor of Jeff George and when Brian Mitchell was released but Deion Sanders was signed).  Unfortunately, most fans that hate Snyder spend much of their time calling him “Danny” and releasing a tirade of ad hominem attacks that end up sounding little more than a five year old having a temper tantrum.

Let me be clear on this, Dan Snyder does not  hate the Redskins. He does not value money over winning.  His track record speaks to exactly the opposite of that.  What we have here in Washington is an owner who wants to win and will spend whatever money he can to do so.  The problem is that he’s been spending his money unwisely and has hired people that are more open to his involvement than carving out a name for themselves.  He has made poor decisions in the past and as Mike Wilbon of the Washington Post writes in his article “Snyder Must Lead Redskins by Getting Out of the Wayhe needs to make a smart decision on someone to oversee football  operations and leave it to that person.  That’s the only way out of this mess.  We’ve seen what Vinny Cerrato can do and what shape the offensive line is in (anyone besides me still miss Jon Jansen???).

Will it Right the Ship?

At first I was on the fence about the Blackout for Sunday.  I’m not talking about the logistical problems of getting 90,000 people to get on board (or even 10,000 for that matter).  I’m talking about the implications of the act.  I talked to a waitress last night in a small town off I-70 in Maryland about the idea after I found out she was a die-hard Skins fan whose family was a long time season ticket holder.  Her response really resonated with me.  In essence it was the following, “Why wear black?  If you’re going to the game to cheer on the Redskins, you wear Skins colors.  You deck yourself out in the burgundy and gold and you actually cheer them on.  You don’t boo, you support the team.”

Now, I understand that people are frustrated right now.  I know people want to let Snyder know they are disappointed and angry at the personnel and player decisions that have been made the past few years that have led us to where we are now.  That’s okay.  But broken down, these are the implications I see when fans come wearing black on Sunday:

  • If you’re wearing black, you are not wearing burgundy and gold. As mentioned above, this is kind of a simple idea: are you in or are you out?  To me it’s a little like those that booed when the Redskins beat the St. Louis Rams and said, “I’m not booing the team.  I’m booing ownership.”  Really?  Is Dan Snyder on the field?  Is Vinny Cerratto playing offensive line?  Who do you think that reflects on when the game switches over to a national broadcast and football watchers all over the country see a team beating their opponent and getting booed by their home fans to get off the field?
  • Will this get to Dan Snyder anyway? If enough people do this, it might get some attention.  I know Dan Steinberg with the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog would cover it if there are enough people.  Other than that how’s it going to make it past the bleachers and up the stairs?  If I’m Dan Snyder I’m thinking you’re mourning the loss of the season and I need make another knee-jerk reaction to change things up (such as getting rid of Zorn, hiring Gruden and letting chaos start a new chapter).
  • Is there another approach that might be more effective? Granted, this is activity number 1 for the Burgundy Revolution (did I mention the name itself sounds great?  Because it does…) and it could be just the beginning of a larger and more creative plan for change in D.C.  Mark Newgent, a Redskins fan and writer for the Examiner seems to think the Cincinnati Bengals fans have a good strategy for change in their “Who-Dey Revolution

Listen, I’m not hatin’ on this “movement”.  If it works, heck, great job and great idea.  I think Redskins fans are a broad array of folks united for a love of the great franchise that we used to see and still support.  The rest of the season definitely seems bleak with the offensive line in flux, Zorn’s job on the line, an underperforming defense and a no-show offense but it’s also a time where the bandwagon fans drop off the map.  I appreciate the effort being made by fans that care to restore the franchise to its once prominent place in the NFC East, the NFL and in the sports world.  I disagree as to the method but I wish them good luck, and if you err, err on the side of supporting the team.

If you want to Blackout on Sunday here’s the final instructions from the Burgundy Revolution organizer:

“1) Wear black to the stadium on Sunday.
2) Don’t spend any money on concessions.  If you need drink, do it outside before the game!
3) Cheer loudly for your players.  Whether they play well or not, they are your players.
4) Spread the word.  Not about my blog or twitter handle, but about the movement in general, about others carrying the torch such as @boycottSnyder, @savetheskins, @selltheteamdan, @letsbuytheskins, @redskins_fans and their blogs”

Your Thoughts

Do you support a “BlackSunday” against the Chiefs?

Am I off base and naive about Snyder?

May
30

Jansen Cut, Skins Right Tackle Competition b/w Big Mike, Heyer and Bridges

Jansen Cut Today

Career In DC.

This morning Jon Jansen was cut by the Redskins after Zorn didn’t see Jansen in the Skins’ future plans.  Snyder flew Jansen into DC from his Michigan home to tell him of the situation in person and Snyder offered Jansen the chance to retire a Redskin.  Jansen rejected it and preferred being cut.

Jansen was here with the Skins for 10 years and had a pretty solid career here.  The past few years he had injury problems but it was hard not to like him.  He was drafted by the Skins in 1999 in the 2nd Round out of Michigan and was steady for the majority of his career.  If you remember, Jansen has been a major force to be reckoned with on the O-line for the majority of his career, especially in the running game.  Last year he was benched before the season started in favor of Stephon Heyer.  After Heyer got injured last season, Jansen found his way back in the lineup and held onto the position for the remainder of the year.  Out of 126 games Jansen played in, he started in 123.  Also how can we forget when he battled on the front lines with not one, but TWO broken thumbs?!

The Reasons.

Injuries and Youth-  As noted above, Jansen has had injury issues the past 4-5 years.  After rupturing his achilles tendon in 2004, fighting with 2 broken thumbs in 2005,  and other injuries the past few years, Jansen’s body has taken quite a toll.  The Skins want to get younger on the offensive line and you can’t develop potential star Stephon Heyer if he’s second string.  Jansen wasn’t keen about being benched last year in favor of Heyer (how could a warrior such as Jansen ever be fine with losing a spot?).  Zorn and Joe Bugel apparently tried to work him as a center and guard as a backup option but didn’t like what they saw.

What do the Redskins Gain and Lose?

Gains

  • Roster Spot and Extra Evaluation time- The release of Jansen allows for Offensive Line Coach Joe Bugel to spend more time evaluating new potential answers for the spot, Jeremy Bridges and Mike Williams or Stephon Heyer.  This also allows the Skins another spot to use on the roster before cuts come later in the offseason.
  • A Younger Line- The Skins are aging on the Offensive line and many believe that even though it’s a tough thing to lose Jansen, this is a step in the right direction.  Guys like Stephon Heyer and Chad Rinehart should get more playing time.  Heyer earned it in his first year and has put in some major work this offseason to make sure he’s ready to roll.

Losses

  • Veteran Leadership- Jon Jansen was a 10 year pillar on the line for the Skins.  Always the fighter and warrior, his grittiness earned him the nickname of “Rock“.  He also hated to lose more than most on the team.  It’s too bad the Skins didn’t get further with him here in DC.
  • Salary Cap Flexibility- There have been different reports on the effects of Jansen’s release.  We’ll see what the specifics are but it appears that the Skins are going to take a hit by cutting him.

What now?

For the Skins-  The fight for the Right Tackle spot gets a little less crowded but not less competitive.  Zorn is keeping an open mind  and I think he’s hoping to see Mike Williams drop some more weight to be a real factor.  If I had to bet money on it, I’d put my money on Heyer.  

For Jon Jansen- Jansen scored a deal with the Detroit Lions hours the same day he was cut by the Skins.  This is a great situation for both sides.  Jansen gets to finish his career in Michigan and the Lions get a veteran guard with some fight still left in him for the veteran minimum.

Thanks Jansen for your hard work and blue-collar approach to a tough job, good luck in Detroit, they really need your help!