Lets set the scene: It’s a beautiful fall day in the nations capital. Fans throw on their Sean Taylor jersey and plop down on the couch with some beer, pizza and faith that their football team will get a big fat W. The Washington Redskins take the field and the game begins. Offense looks flat, defense looks unprepared.
Everyone watching is still clapping, shouting at their TVs. “C’mon guys! get it together! Make it happen! THREE AND OUT!” As if they were on the sidelines and could actually be heard. Suddenly the other team makes a huge play. Gut punch. D-league commentators bring up some garbage about past Offensive/Defensive issues we’ve endured and slaughter the name of some out of the league Redskin we once over-paid. “I’m gonna get more chips, anyone want anything?”
Suddenly your offense has life. A perfectly thrown, down the field dagger has been caught. Your QB just dropped a dime and everyone goes crazy. The confidence sky-rockets. Everyone knew their team wasn’t that bad. No way could they suck when on paper they’re stacked. Half-time comes. You hear the retired analysts talk about what needs to be done. “Penalties are killing them!” “They’re lucky they are still in it after all those first half mistakes”
Third quarter. Everyone settled back in. Your team gets the ball first. The offense promptly drives down the field and scores as if it were practice. No struggles, no mistakes, pure efficiency. “HELL YEAH SKINS!” “There we go! C’mon!” But wait — Your defense forgot how to play football. The opponent quickly retaliates and you find yourself in a a close game that shouldn’t be so close. “If only he made that damn catch/tackle!”
Fourth Quarter starts. Everyone is freaking out. “Not again. Please GOD just let us wrap this thing up.” “Dude, just once I want us to take the field for a victory formation”
Now that the scene is set, we can begin. For those not familiar with the Redskins and how every damn game goes, it ALL comes down to the last two minutes. Every game is an emotional roller coaster that ends with a terrifying, heart pounding, nauseating drop that you aren’t quite sure you can survive. Enter the Eagles in Week 1. More importantly, enter the Curse.
“The Redskins were trying to get a desperation drive together to salvage the game. But on a play from the Washington 32, Cousins was hit as he threw and the ball popped out. Brandon Graham, the defender who sacked Cousins, scooped up the ball and ran 20 yards for a touchdown. The play survived a replay review, putting the game away for the Eagles.” — Rich Tandler; CSN.
It happened so fast. The Redskins, just like that, right after the two minute warning, had their chance. The entire game meant nothing. 58 minutes of football meant nothing. Mistakes didn’t matter, fumbles no longer mattered, missed tackles, runs, passes, drops — all didn’t matter. Within seconds of the offense taking the field, SOMETHING insane happens. Something so random and extraordinary that if it happened to any other team everyone would be shocked. Not the Redskins. Not to their fans. To us, its just another Sunday in the nations capital.
The Redskins constantly find themselves in these close, nail biting games. Maybe they feel they play better with their backs against the wall. Like a college student who crams for an exam the night before. The issue is, even though it may work at times, you can’t keep it up for the whole semester, let alone an entire NFL season.