Capital Poor: The Reality Show That Is The 2010 Washington Redskins

I’d rather not put this in writing but I must be honest, even if facts revealed completely betray your trust in my judgment……I like reality shows.

The drama, catfights, backstabbing, anger management class dropouts, jealousy, and inability to handle any slight bit of adversity without a confession room is classic train-wreck humor. And I love it.

There’s something about watching other people struggle with life’s problems, and honestly, the dumber they are the more entertaining it is.

For this reason alone, my can’t miss reality show has been Jersey Shore.

(if you’re still reading – I envy your dedication, or, am frightened by your masochism. either way….)

And, for those very same reasons it’s been just as fun to watch the 2010 Washington Redskins.

First there was the melodramatic loudmouthed figure that threatens to leave the show but for reasons unbeknownst to everyone, doesn’t.  In Jersey Shore this character is Angelina, on the Redskins it’s Albert Haynesworth.

Haynesworth never fit the Washington Redskins system, and, he never tried to. He knew he was an outcast, this was evidenced by him admitting he let his $21 million signing bonus check sit in his house as he contemplated whether or not he should cash it in. He knew the repercussions. Angelina is the same, she knows nobody in the house likes her, in fact, she goes out of her way to ensure this is true at all times. Whenever any semblance of a friendship is forged, she sabotages it, then whines because nobody likes her. Haynesworth sabotaged his entire season by picking and choosing which defensive packages he’d play in, then once finally declared inactive due to his refusal to play, he takes to the radio to voice his displeasure and paint himself a victim. Classic Angelina. She pretty much lives in the confession room recreating reality and keeping Kleenex in business.

However, for these characters to thrive they need to be enabled. Mike Shanahan was more than willing. He had numerous chances to cut, waive, or trade Albert Haynesworth yet refused. Instead, he played the game. From the fiasco of the conditioning test to the ‘he said, she said’ finger pointing through the media, it was surreal, but entertaining.

Angelina finally left because her threats to do so were met with less and less resistance until she had no choice but to make good on them. Shanahan took the decision away from Haynesworth but played the same game. He threatened all season to kick Albert off the team but for reasons unbeknownst to everyone, he waited, until now.

Why wouldn’t Shanahan accept the trade the Tennessee Titans had on the table for Haynesworth? A 4th round pick was the best offer they were likely to get for a player that was on the field for less than half of their defensive snaps and showed no interest in doing much more.

Whatever the reason, I’m glad he didn’t, the continuation of the storyline was far more important to the show.

Another Jersey Shore staple is the ongoing saga of Sammi & Ronnie’s incredibly flawed relationship. Nothing exemplifies this more than the forced partnership of Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan.

Ronnie continuously cheats on Sammi but his insecurities and selfish needs for affection keeps him with her. And, obviously, because she allows it. Sammi is the hopeless romantic who wants to see the good in somebody even when it doesn’t exist.

This is the perfect example of the Shanahan/McNabb relationship. Shanahan has a desperate need for control. He won’t rest until he finds the second-coming of John Elway, even if it means cheating on McNabb just to see what John Beck (an NFL journeyman whose never taken a snap in a game) can do.

This move has been brewing for some time. When it was hinted at midseason Dan Snyder and the Redskins PR department went into panic mode after local backlash exploded. They decided to offer McNabb a $78 million publicity stunt, err, contract extension that is completely irrelevant if Shanahan gets his way at season’s end.

However, the stunning irony of Mike Shanahan’s decision is that the highest ranked dimension of the Washington Redskins is their passing game-10th overall. Even ex-Denver Broncos assistant Gary Kubiak has made a star out of Arian Foster and the Houston Texans rushing attack. Yet ex-Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan currently has the Redskins rushing game ranked 26th overall.

And McNabb is the problem?

If I can fault McNabb for anything at all it’s his propensity to (like Sammi) smile and read company lines while he’s being abused. Hell, even 49’ers QB Alex Smith groaned about his benching. McNabb opens himself up to consistent mistreatment by quietly accepting his demotions. He did so in Philadelphia when Andy Reid thought Kevin Kolb gave the Eagles a better chance to win. Reid benched McNabb and told him very bluntly that the decision was “best for the team”. Donovan smiled, did his awkward moonwalk to the bottom of the depth chart and held the clipboard. Precedent set. All Shanahan had to do was copy & paste.

I’m not condoning creating controversy but I am condoning demands of respect.

Donovan McNabb seems unaware of his prior accomplishments, and, that the one area of the team that’s doing well, he’s responsible for. Not being aware of your own worth is the most fatal of flaws. Until Sammi & Donovan learn this they’ll continue to settle for abusive relationships and mistreatment while rationalizing to themselves and anyone around them that everything’s okay.

As long as Dan Snyder believes every dollar he spends gets him closer to a Super Bowl, he’ll continue to fill his team with selfish reality stars willing to make clowns of themselves for a paycheck.

Mike Shanahan was supposed to be the veteran leader to bring stability to the Redskins. Instead he’s divided the locker room, alienated players, and consistently put the team in the worst possible positions to win. GTL may stand for ‘gym, tan, laundry’ in Jersey Shore but in Capital Poor it means ‘grim, tanned, loser’. If Dan Snyder wants to move forward he’ll side with McNabb and tell Mr. GTL that it’s ‘T-shiiiirt tiiiiime’. In other words, demote him to fan.

I doubt very seriously any of this will happen, which means I SO can’t wait until next season’s episodes.

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One thought on “Capital Poor: The Reality Show That Is The 2010 Washington Redskins

  1. I love the comparison to “Jersey Shore”! You are spot on but I know a team that should garner even more scrutiny and entertainment than the Washington ‘DeadSkins’! It is the hapless Dallas Cowboys and their clueless owner/GM, Jerry Jones! You’ve got to take this ridiculous excuse for an NFL team to task… Jerry is singlehandedly destroying the NFL’s greatest and most profitable franchise while we fans watch in abject horror! What kind of nonsense is it when you admit on “60 Minutes” that you have failed, and in the same interview insist on staying the course??? How silly is that? So, go ahead, get after them with as much fervor as you went after the reality show that is the Washington Redskins. I’m looking forward to the blog…

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