Sunday, October 18, 2009
FedEx Field Trip: All The Misery In The World
I went to the Redskins game against the Chiefs on Sunday. I had out-of-town guests, and the Goettler’s of Columbus Ohio joined me on the trek to the big ol’ funnel of concrete and gaudy FedEx colors in the Squire inspired quaint lil’ town of “Raljon” Maryland.
Me, John, his two sports loving bush-eared sons Henry (12) and Peter (8).
We made it to the Caps-Predators game the night before. They saw three, awesome, genuine Alex Ovetchkin goals, including the game-winner in a shootout.
I joked – and I really did think it was a joke – “you know, that’s pretty neat you got to see the league MVP score three goals. Tomorrow, you might get so see (insert exaggerated voice) a REDSKINS TOUCHDOWN!”
Well, I knew I shouldn’t have teased them with such fantasy.
Driving in to the game, we encountered two orange jacketed parking lot attendants. I swear to god, they were performing a comedy routine. Standing no less than 10 feet apart, IN THE WAY OF INCOMING CARS, they proceeded to point in FOUR different directions, with each one of their four arms.
I am not making up one scintilla of this anecdote. Swear on my momma’s life!
Thankfully, there were color coded parking lot signs. I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys don’t have friendly wagers with each other over who can mis-direct the most cars, or cause an accident.
The stadium was dingy, poorly marked, and half empty.
My guests wondered how old it was. I winced when I said it had just turned 10 a few years ago.
The game experience is dreadful, and I haven’t yet begun to discuss the currently awful football team.
The video screen is small, square, and screams “Hello! I’m from 1997!” I almost think it sits in a giant built-in cabinet, so the bulging picture tube behind it can hide flush inside the bowels of the stadium.
Replays are sporadic. In Green Bay, you get two angles for EVERY play. I know. I was there two years ago.
The speakers are too loud, and the announcer is smarmy. He kept making fun of kicker Ryan Succup, by punching the name “suck-up!”
Only fitting then, that the guy single-footedly beat us. Stadium announcers need only to give yards gained, who made the carry or tackle, and the down and distance. They need not, and should not, be smartasses.
There were absolutely NO in-game presentation of key statistics. Anywhere. Only when Portis went over 100 yards on a generic plunge up the middle, did smarmy announcer man intone that Portis had made some fantasy geeks happy. Great. Shows you what’s important with this franchise.
Out of town scores?
Ha. Sure. They ran a full panel score run down once in the first half. It was of games from WEEK 2 in the NFL! Nice job. They ran updated scores once more, maybe, in the 2nd half. You also got a few scores on the video screen.
Not a single highlight from another game.
And while I understand you have to get in commercials and such, there was plenty of downtime, injury time, and extended TV timeouts where you could fit them in.
Eh, why bother? Right? We’ve got these suckers and their money already. That is going to change, people. Trust me. One helluva storm is coming to Danny’s ticket base.
The “Hail to the Redskins” song, when – ONCE AGAIN! – we were being shutout, was insulting to the core. The fact that the video showed all these images of great Redskins teams and players and coaches and moments from well over 15 years ago… before Snyder had made – and lost – his first million bucks marketing free product samples... was patently ridiculous.
The loudest cheer all day, was when it was announced that Todd Collins had replaced Jason Campbell. Those cheers didn’t last long.
Fans around us in the Club Seats… said very little. Cheered even less. A guy behind us started making cracks about all the obvious topics…. Zorn incompetence… woeful O-line… Campbell inaccuracy… DeAngelo Hall being totally over-rated, and overpaid….
But otherwise, the fans just sat there like they were all embarrassed to be sitting on some of the most over-priced seats in the building.
I saw and felt a fan base that had given up.
(For more on this, please read Dan Steinberg’s excellent account at the DC Sports Bog here…)
So I wonder. When will Snyder say what two words simply need to be said: “I’m sorry.”
When will he say: “This is not what I want to give our fans. And I am committed to getting it right.”
He doesn’t need to say anything else. He doesn’t need to DO anything else right now.
Nothing can be done. He can’t go back to the 2008 draft and trade the three worthless WR/TE’s for 3 young o-linemen.
Firing Zorn, will feel good someday. He’s a rare triple blend of arrogance, paranoia, and ineptitude. But that feeling will last maybe 2 days. Then the team will be even worse.
Just come out and say it: “I’m sorry.”
It won’t be accepted by many fans as even genuine. But it will be a start.
And if he ever wants to make the “in-store experience” better for his paying customers, he can call me. Fixing that, will be much easier than fixing his team.