On the eighth day of Gheorghemas, Big Gheorghe gave to me:
Eight Wins Worth Noting
Seven Traits for Winning
Six Facts O'Ghoogling
Five Lasting Images
Four Things to Think About
Three catastrophe 'staches
The Finest Holiday Duet in History
And One Hell of a bloggy Par-ty
On September 5th, I formally renounced my allegiance to the Washington Redskins, and pledged my fandom to the post-Bountygate New Orleans Saints. This decision, years in the making, was met with derision, amusement, confusion, curiosity, and a surprising amount of understanding.
Wheelhouse Geoff was both understanding and confused, commenting "rob, this seems like an incredibly dumb time to make an incredibly reasonable and justifiable move. I don't get it."
Mayhugh offered this counsel, "Week 1 gives us great opportunity to see if this journey was real or
imagined. I tried to start rooting for the Panthers maybe 5-7 years ago
and the second I watched a skins game I was back. So it will be quite a
testament to your commitment to your new team if you can actually root
against the Redskins. Frankly, I just don't see it happening. At least
not this suddenly. Hard to just flip the switch. It's like Macho
Grande - those wounds run... pretty deep."
Dave, predictably, was baffled, saying, "this is a fascinating experiment. will rob be able to summon the
visceral "that's my team" feeling on demand? i consider myself a logical
guy, but i certainly can't explain the gut-wrenching emotions i
experience when watching giants game . . . i think it might take a long
time to switch your allegiance. but, how are we to know what rob is
experiencing subjectively (unless we waterboard him right after the
In their way, all of these comments were both on the money and wide of the mark. Ultimately, one of the brightest (and humblest) in our number intuited the core challenge most accurately. That commenter was me, when I wrote, "i think disdain for the synderskins will be easier to generate and
sustain than will passion for the saints. hell, i've been rooting for my
fantasy team players against the skins for a few years now. in fact, i
think that was the first sign i was open to a divorce."
Week One, as Mayhugh guessed, was an interesting study. I watched with bemused dispassion as RGIII exploded on the scene, shredding the listless Saints for 320 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns and leading the Redskins to a 40-32 win. I found it hard to get really fired up about the Saints, but I really had no issue rooting against - or at least remaining neutral - about Washington.
That pattern continued throughout the rest of the season. When I watched the Saints play, I pulled for them, but I confess that I haven't generated much passion. Nor have I sought out information about the team proactively. I'm interested, but only moderately. The dismal 0-4 start didn't help.
At the same time, I never had cause to regret abandoning the Redskins. I've enjoyed watching Griffin's emergence, but only because any fan would - he's remarkable, the most exciting NFL quarterback I can remember. Even with that, I haven't seen an entire 'Skins game this season. I'm not sure I've seen any complete NFL game, to be honest. I know a shitload more about W&M hoops than I do pro football this season. My fantasy football opponents thank me for this. (My fantasy CAA Hoops opponents, though, are fucked - I picked up Benimon late, and have Hagins and Beasthoven. I'm dominating.)
All that said, I'm legitimately thrilled for my pals who pull for the Burgundy and Gold. You've waited a long time to have real hope. When the Redskins win, it makes me happy - because it makes you happy.
But it also makes Dan Snyder happy, and that's a bridge I remain unwilling to cross back over.
Tomorrow gives me a real opportunity to work up some pro-Saints spirit, as they take on the Cowboys in a game that has real meaning for Dallas (technically for New Orleans, too, but c'mon). I still have no problem hating Jerry Jones' team, so all of you in Skins Nation can count on my exuberant support of the Black and Gold.
Gheaux Saints, and best of luck, Redskins fans. I'll be pulling for you guys. But I probably won't be watching.