Necessary Roughness

Necessary Roughness, Week 9: F*ck Mike Shanahan!


Necessary Roughness - Dave Brockie - 2012

WARNING: Today I am going to write about the Washington Redskins. If you aren’t interested in the Skins, skip it. But if you generally enjoy this column take solace in one fact: it will probably be the last time I write about them this year. Maybe I can make it semi-interesting for you by starting it with a bang:


Yesterday sucked for watching games. We were in Hollywood and I had a full day of press and meetings. So I got my friend to text me the score and saw that the Redskins were in the midst of losing at home to the 1-6 Carolina Panthers. I got back to the bus just in time to watch them run some fucking idiotic play as RG III pitched the ball out to Brandon Banks who ran around a bunch in the backfield and then fell down as time expired. Skins lose 21-13, and go into the bye with a 3-6 record.

I just got snippets throughout the rest of what was a full-load work day for GWAR. Most Sundays I can lounge around the bus and watch football for hours, but GWAR in LA at the Sunset House of Blues is a freaking madhouse! We had an amazing show and then it was off to the Foundation Room (House of Blues’ everywhere have a super-awesome VIP area called the “Foundation Room”), where we had some drinks, hugs and laughs with our friends and fans. Then I realized my phone was missing! Fuck!

We searched everywhere but it was bus call and I had to bail. Arrrgh! I was so pissed! So I drank a bunch of beer and seethed, and waited for the paper to arrive. East coast morning papers usually come out by four a.m., and I have a Kindle reading tablet that the Washington Post magically appears on every day. Out here on the West Coast, you get the morning paper at one a.m.! So as soon as it shows up I eagerly bust open the sports section, ready to devour every detail of the Skins loss, which I assumed was essentially another noble learning experience for the rookie QB RGIII. I was very alarmed by their loss to a 1-6 team (2-6 now, and tip of the helmet to the Panthers for snapping a five-game losing streak) and as a fan I wanted to know why!

Well, if I thought I was pissed after losing my iPhone, I was about to enter another level of piss-dom entirely. At the post game press conference, Shanahan, head coach of a 3-6 NFL team  with seven games to go, said the following:

“When you lose a game like that, now you’re playing to see who, obviously, is going to be on your football team for years to come. Now we get a chance to evaluate players and see where we are at.”

What the fuck did you just say? I don’t care if you immediately begin back-pedaling, I don’t care what the fuck you say at the next press conference to distance yourself from what you said… you said it. The first sentence acknowledges that after this loss, “now” something fundamental has occurred, and Coach is looking to NEXT season and the seasons beyond. At least that’s what it sounds like to me. The second sentence just doesn’t make any fucking sense. Aren’t they always evaluating players? Oh, I see what he means now. It means he can evaluate like he does in the off and pre-season, making it his priority and essentially giving up on the rest of this season. And no matter what Shanahan will say over the next week to squirm away from it, that is exactly what he meant. And as a fan, to hear a head coach say something like that about the men he claims to lead is like a dagger in the back; they are out there giving it their all, putting their life and limb on the line, and the coach is more interested in the highlight reel so he knows who to hire next year? I will tell you one person who is sure to keep his job is Mike’s idiot son Kyle, who only has his job of offensive coordinator because of his dad, a coach who is such a moron that he called a play last week where RG III actually went deep as an unprotected receiver and then got his clock cleaned. I mean, this is a guy, your brand new star quarterback, who usually has a wall of human flesh protecting himself from a squad of eleven monster-men who would like nothing more than to hurt this man — physically assault, injure and potentially remove him from the game — and you are sending him on a deep fly route?

I have always hated Shanahan. He really is one of the most hated coaches in football. His face looks like a scrunched-up tangerine and he’s a nepotist, and the most over-rated coach out there. Even when the Broncos were winning under him, I couldn’t stand him… he just didn’t seem like a good leader of men, and he always looks pissed.  Kyle isn’t qualified for that job, and the players know it, so they don’t respect him. That is bound to extend to the man that gave him the job, dear old dad, especially after dad just told the world that the rest of your season was essentially an audition to see whether you had a job next year.

The Skins are 3-6. Last year the Giants went to the Super Bowl with a 9-7 record. And people have entered the playoffs with worse. The Skins are also entering a bye-week, giving them a chance to heal and maybe get their shit together for a run. Crazier things have happened in the NFL. WAY crazier.

But guess what? It won’t. Because the Redskins suck. And I am not talking about the guys out there breaking their necks or at least putting them at risk. Specifically the Redskins coach and owner both fucking suck. Shanahan and Dan Snyder can go fly off to Jamaica on Danny Boy’s jet and burn in a tragic accident, and I would laugh. That is how much I hate them. It’s exactly what I was afraid of, and my only comfort is that I didn’t finally succumb to RG III fever until game four, when it looked like maybe they had a chance. But the team just sucks. And don’t give me their laundry-list of injuries. You know why I think some teams inexplicably suffer tons of early-season injuries? Poor conditioning in the off-season, caused by lack of discipline, which comes from having no respect for your coach, who is an asshole.

I’m disgusted by what Shanahan said. Where’s the fire, where’s the fight? What kind of message does that send to your team? My only hope as a Skins fan is that the players are so pissed at what he said that they decide to win just to spite him. Because I’m still rooting for my favorite team, even if the coach isn’t.

Congrats to the Falcons, Bears, Broncos’, and Colts on big wins. Steelers too. They are looking tough. And the Texans continue to impress. I think we are headed towards a great post-season. I’ll have a full-on breakdown next week, and I promise you won’t have to listen to ONE word about the Redskins. But now I gotta go to the phone store.

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