Sporting A Lasting Relationship

Published 1:43 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2011

They didn't handle the firing of their former head coach with any appearance of dignity.

They have spent millions on free agents who were apparently looking for a big payday and a place they would no longer have to be productive to earn their pay.

They have made losing the norm, rather than the exception.

And yet, for all of that and more, I just couldn't quite let go of a relationship I've been involved in now pushing 40 years.

I couldn't end it; couldn't let go of the good memories the Redskins have given me in better times, though they date to pre-high definition TV. Guess I'm jus…committed. When I sign on, I sign on. No turning back; no taking the easy way out and giving up or switching teams.

Oh, I thought about terminating the relationship and becoming a free agent-even talked a bit about it. But I just can't be like fans that flock to the winner and claim them as my own or pick a mainstay like Pittsburgh and enjoy the playoffs every year and a more than occasional Super Bowl.

Why, oh why? am I still around as things get worse and worse?

I don't know, but I just can't seriously look at another team, though I can enjoy and appreciate good football. I just can't bail on the Redskins. We have history and the remnants of a personal bond.

It's sad, I know, to be so locked in to a single team. But it could be worse-I could be a Detroit Lions fan. The Lions have never won a Super Bowl and (except for this year) are perennially awful. The last time they won an NFL championship-which pre-dates Super Bowls-was 1957.

Or I could be shackled to the Minnesota Vikings or Philadelphia Eagles, who do get to an occasional Super Bowl, only to lose. There's nothing worse than being jilted at the big dance. You arrive, only to be sent home.

But they still have loyal fans.

At least, well, I have the way things were-the good times to draw upon in this elongated season of desert drought. But, boy is it starting to get really, really dry.

As I write, the team is in a five game tailspin with a Dallas date coming up. Injuries have ravaged the Redskins starting lineup, the quarterback position is a mess, the coach is probably wondering why he came out of retirement, and the bandwagon that fans would normally jump on is looking like something Kyle Busch nudged into the wall on turn three.

Sadly, any prospects of playoff rings under the Christmas tree next month are faint at best even for the delusional-even in the weak NFC East Division. It looks like another broken engagement and an empty box and not so much as a pretty ribbon-just what any true football fan wants, more free time over the holidays.

The gift that keeps on hurting.

Oh, faded love, where hast thou gone?

And, yet, we know the truly devoted don't give up on 40 years. We can draw upon that storied past and the faithfulness of the afore-noted Lions fans, who finally have some hope to go with their second place team.

Hope. What a wonderful thought. Hope, indeed.

And we can have it again, too. If we only keep believing.

Remember in these dark days how good things once were. Down times only make one appreciate the up times much more. And, besides, there is always the draft and the promise of next year.

Or the year after that.

Or the year after that.

Or the year after that.

Or the year after that.