Thursday, January 24, 2008

To Sir, With Love

It’s fairly obvious that I’m a passionate (lunatic? irrational?) Red Sox fan, and baseball is by far my favorite of our major sports. That said, the calendar’s got 12 months, and I’m also an unrepentant sports fiend, seeking vicarious competitive fixes in all corners of the athletic universe. On the gridiron, I root for the Washington Redskins, having moved into the National Capital area as Joe Gibbs’ squad awakened regional passions by claiming the franchise’s first Super Bowl championship in 1983. And while my level of interest in the Burgundy and Gold has waned since my younger days, a combination of reduced daily exposure to my like-minded friends, competing personal priorities (annoyances such as wives, kids, and work do tend to distract), and, frankly, the Red Sox’ ascendance pushing the ‘Skins further and further down my list of priorities, I still consider myself a fan. The Boston Celtics can’t lay claim to even that any more.

Oh, and there’s one other minor reason for this increasing apathy towards my NFL mistress, chronicled in high dudgeon by our friends at Jerry’s Wheelhouse. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has systematically eroded my love for the team through his money-first policies towards fans, his fantasy-football roster stylings, and his megalomaniacal insistence on involving himself in nearly all facets of the team’s football operations. This month’s coaching traveshamockery is but the latest evidence of Little Danny Starfucker’s abuses.

It occurs to me that my tolerance for Snyder’s wanton incompetence would be greater but for the fact that I’m a Sox fan. The differences between John Henry’s organization and that of Snyder are so stark as to be polar in their distance. I’ve had the unique and distinct pleasure of watching my favorite baseball club become a standard-bearer for organizational excellence, using deep pockets to fuel an extraordinarily disciplined and focused pursuit of every advantage. In the meantime, my football team has used similarly deep pockets to fuck up in every way possible, overspending on players, gleefully milking money from fans, and creating discontinuity as an organizational strategy. The camel’s back has been broken, the final straw shredded, the Rubicon crossed. I’m done with the Redskins, at least while Snyder remains in control – and he’s a very young man.

So I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Theo Epstein and his staff for helping me through this difficult period. Breaking up is never easy, but I think the Redskins and I will both be better off. At least I’m certain that I will, and, at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

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