I'll always remember October 27, 1991, when you were 7-0, but the Giants took a 13-0 lead into halftime at the Meadowlands. That douchebag friend of ours called to rub it in, and we all knew what was going to happen next. You rolled New York in the second half on the strength of two Mark Rypien to Gary Clark touchdown connections and a Chip Lohmiller figgie. We gleefully transposed that very same douchebag's name into any premature jinx from that day forward. It was probably my favorite moment in our relationship.
I loved the championships, too, it goes without saying. In your day, you were something to behold. You were so classy, so loyal, so...Gibbsian.
But in May 1999, you changed. I tried hard to rationalize it, to ignore my gnawing doubts, to focus on what should have been important. But that asshole you started hanging out with changed you. Where once you valued doing things the right way, you started looking for shortcuts. Where patience and persistence once reigned, flash and cash became your currency. After the litany of Deions and Georges (soooo not Gheorghes) and Smiths and Ol' Ballcoaches, you almost seemed to recognize what you'd become.
And then there was Donovan. And Beck. And Rex.
I didn't change. You did.
Today, sadly, you finally went too far. As The Washington Post's Mike Wise eloquently notes:
For every bad move, every moment of utter chaos in Ashburn — for every Albert Haynesworth, Adam Archuleta and all the other bad actors, for every impulsive free agent buy, draft pick or Jim Zorn hire that Snyder regretted, for every tight end or offensive lineman suspended because of a positive drug test — Cooley became the one, true thing fans could rely on every Sunday.(Man, I'd almost forgotten about Zorn. How could you?)
Cooley. You let Cooley go. I resisted this for so long. Against my better instincts, I continued to care, even as you reduced the sainted Joe Gibbs to a confused timeout machine, as you turned Mike Shanahan into a hack, as you blithely trashed your good name again and again and again. But Cooley, man? Cooley.
So this is it. I'll always remember the good times. But I'm done. You're not my team anymore, and I'm not your fan.
See ya, I guess. Hope you have a great life. But it's better for both of us this way.