Necessary Roughness, Wild Card Weekend: The Agony and the More Agony
SUCK! Suck, suck, and more suck! That was NOT the way this was supposed to happen!
The weekend dawned for Redskins fan unlike any weekend had since the year 2000; the Skins were actually hosting a home playoff game for the first time since the 1999 season and spirits were high. I cleaned my house, stocked up on cheese dip and prepared myself by drinking beer at 10am. But first I had to get through three other games, three of the most boring games I have ever seen/slept through in my entire life. Not to take anything away from the victors, but I kept falling asleep and waking up, only to find the game, despite several minutes (or even quarters) elapsing, was basically of the same disposition. Points were scored, leads were held, and eventually somebody won.
First up was the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals. I don’t really have any feelings for either of these teams other than a slight feeling of pity that the Bengals are from one of the most crime-ravaged, decrepit, dangerous cities in the USA. It’s a great GWAR town, for sure. I remember like it was yesterday the time some random girl burst into our dressing room at Bogart’s, claiming her boyfriend had been shot (he had been). I was rooting for the Bengals for no other reason than the fact that Cincinnati folks (who are great) need something to cheer about! But that was not to be in the 19-13 snore-fest that followed. The Texans stifling defense shut down the Bengals all day, and the offense, behind star back Arian Foster and despite having trouble finishing drives all day, proved too much for the Bengals, whose mascot returned to slangin’ rock just around the corner from Bogart’s. Ever buy crack from a tiger? Pretty cool.
I had higher hopes for the evening game featuring the Green Bay Packers vs. the Minnesota Vikings. And of course they were dashed as soon as I heard that Christian Ponder wouldn’t be playing. It’s a sad thing when the fate of your team rests on a QB of such questionable abilities. I mean, Christian Ponder is an OK quarterback, but he’s no RG III… ulp… I mean Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers and his Packers (just what exactly are “Packers”, anyway? I mean, I guess they “pack” something… hell, help me out here…) put 24 points on the Vikings and the game was never close. The Packers are in cruise control and are my pick for the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Sunday finally arrived and there was only one more game to get through before my beloved Redskins took the field. But before that I had to stomach “The Ray Lewis Show.” Barf. I don’t know if many of you guys remember how Lewis came into the league but I do. You say you don’t remember how Ray Lewis was actually charged with the murder of two men outside an Atlanta nightclub in 2000? Maybe this will refresh your memory. I don’t really like Michael Vick, but at least he had the guts to stand up and take responsibility for his crime, which is way more than what Lewis did. At every phase of the legal process, Lewis and his lawyers obfuscated and misled the investigation (for instance, the bloody white suit worn by Lewis that night was never found), with Lewis finally offering testimony against his friends that was so ambiguous that nobody was ever convicted. I just think he’s a big, fat liar, and a complete fake, and completely self-obsessed. When he runs onto the home team field he doesn’t scream this is “our house” while doing his asinine dance… no, it’s “his house.” And as far as him leaving the league to pursue more time with his children, well, that’s a load of crap, unless he wants to murder them. I’m just saying if you say that in the morning, and then announce your giant deal with ESPN in the afternoon, it really doesn’t seem like you are lining up for a lot of free time. Ray “Murderer” Lewis is as fake as the grass in the Ravens stadium, but the Ravens are winners, and I am not going to vilify the entire team because of one dude I find extremely sketchy. Joe Flacco, possibly the most maligned winning QB in the history of the league, hooked up with Anquan Boldin for 145 yards on five receptions as the Murderers, I mean Ravens, ended Andrew Luck’s dream rookie season and the Colts’ unlikely return from last year’s abysmal 2-14 season. I just pray the Ravens lose next week and we’ll get to stop hearing about how great Ray Lewis is. I don’t watch too much ESPN.
And now on to the heartbreak of the Redskin nation. The Skins went down yesterday in the battle of the rookie QB’s, and today the papers and TV will be abuzz with the whether or not Shanahan should have benched Griffin when it was perfectly obvious that he was playing in intense pain. It was a tough call to be sure, and from where we sit we will never have the perspective to make an accurate assessment. All you can do is congratulate the Seahawks, and hope that Griffin is not as injured as it looked like he may be. As long as RG III is not completely fucked, and seeing that he was still walking under his own power after the game, it’s a good hope that he will return older and wiser, and be able to play without using a walker. And Maybe Shanahan will have the balls to stand up to his star player. OF COURSE RG III is going to say that he can still play… he’s the ultimate competitor and it’s the freaking playoffs. But even I (and my living room full of buzzed friends) could tell that RG III was in bad shape… he couldn’t even plant to throw. He should have been taken out, and we might have won that game. As it went, the Seahawks, behind Richmond homeboy Russell Wilson (so they are my team for the rest of the playoffs), notched a 24-14 win over the Redskins. It was an ugly end to a season that was a big step forward for the Redskins. Hopefully they learn from their mistakes, add some more pass defense, and will be right back in it next year.
Boy, reporting on these games sure got a lot easier considering the vast majority of the league isn’t even playing anymore. I am looking for a Seahawks/Broncos Super Bowl, with a victory for Peyton and co. In the meantime, I, like legions of other Redskins fans, am awaiting the MRI of Robert Griffin’s knee. The severity of the injury will have everything to do with how much shit Shanahan catches. No matter what happens, it was great to have a season where your team actually mattered for the first time in years. Let’s hope for the best for RG III, and may the rest of the play-offs be as injury free as possible.