Midseason Review For The 'Skins
By Ronald Guy
I hate throwback uniforms. Like leg warmers, boom boxes, half-shirts and short-shorts, they were cool once upon a time, but in Washington D.C., at least, the thrill is gone.
Admittedly, I missed the seismic news that the ‘Skins were going to wear old-school, real burgundy and gold (as opposed to their current red and yellow color scheme) threads against the San Diego Chargers last Sunday. I greeted the sight of the pre-World World II reproductions with an exasperated, high school girl-worthy roll of the eyes. The jerseys were okay, but the ‘Skins didn’t bother to choose from a plethora of vintage helmet option, opting instead to simply remove the stripe from the middle of the current lids. Frankly, it looked cheap. Owner Dan Snyder packs the stadium for every home date, sells $9 domestic beer swill, and he couldn’t splurge for unique helmets? I’d rather the team skip the annual stroll down memory lane, but if you’re going to do it, go big (see the helmet-for-every-week Maryland Terrapins). The 70-year old jerseys with the butchered, mismatched modern-day helmets looked as natural as Hugh Hefner with his latest 20-something bunny.
But a shameless fashion faux pas isn’t why I hate the sight of ‘Skins in vintage gear. The results are what bother me. Last season the ‘Skins rolled out the throwbacks for a home date against the Carolina Panthers and promptly played the most listless game of the season. In 2002 the team celebrated its 70th anniversary and the beginning of the Steve Spurrier era by wearing the “spear” helmet from the 1960s. After a 7-9 record, the only spears being thrown were the mental ones in the direction of Spurrier’s Saturday fun-n-gun turned Sunday chuck-n-duck offense. Worst of all, the last game Sean Taylor played was in the circa-1970 uniforms with the yellow “R” helmet.
With that background can you blame me for my retro-uniform hate and for assuming last Sunday’s “best” would result in the team’s worst? Alas, the ‘Skins survived their wardrobe malfunction, defeated the Chargers and ran their first half record to a disappointing but NFC East relevant 3-5. Still, it’s enough already. Just stay with the current uniforms and the stern, Native American’s profile on the helmet … at least until the owner wakes up and re-brands the team.
I’ll seamlessly transition from that substantial tangent with this admission: I’m an idiot.
Last week I sat Tom Brady, passed on trades for Keenan Allen and Brandon Marshall and failed to see the un-seeable and left Chris Ivory on my bench. Refer your opponent this week to me for hack fantasy football advice. Long before those unfortunate fantasy maneuvers I wrote two daring real world preseason articles: one breaking down Washington’s schedule and the other predicting the outcome of every game. At the season’s halfway point, it’s time to review my work. That’s right, I am willfully exposing myself like a streaker hoofing through the outfield. Let it not be said that I practice idiocy absent accountability.
Here’s the bottom line up front: I had the ‘Skins 5-3 at this point. I nailed Robert Griffin III’s injury hangover and loss in Week 1 to the Eagles, but little else from my preseason glimpse into the future has invited praise. I, along with anyone with a detectable football I.Q. had the ‘Skins beating the Raiders and Chargers and losing to the Broncos and Packers. Where I failed those poor souls who either invested their time or scratched their gambling itch using my “wisdom” was in predicting the ‘Skins would beat the Cowboys and Lions. Ugh. In my defense, the ‘Skins certainly could have beaten the Lions and frankly should have beaten the Cowboys. Of course, I also tapped the Chargers game as the “easiest” of the season. Uhh, if you define “easy” as an overtime win following a goal-line stand at the half yard line, then, as Doc Holliday said, “I’m your huckleberry.” What’s that I hear? Crickets … figures.
One would think I’d be humbled by my first half performance. Nonsense. Having consulted with the ghosts of Professor Marvel and Jimmy the Greek and having channeled the sidewalk psychic on Duval Street in Key West that I befriended one night well past my bedtime and with a belly full of liquid libations, I’m doubling down on my preseason predictions. In the second eight-game stanza I credited the ‘Skins with four wins (Cowboys, Eagles, Giants and Falcons) and four losses (Vikings, Giants, Chiefs and 49ers). I’m not changing a thing. After playing like fresh, smoldering dung in Dallas, defeating the Bears in a dramatic shootout, getting freight-trained in Denver and recovering to win a classic against San Diego (all in consecutive weeks), what on Earth would lead you to conclude that this ‘Skins team is capable of anything but Cowboys-like inconsistency?
On the other hand, considering the ‘Skins’ ridiculous luck with injuries this season (hardly a single starter has missed time due to injury … and, yes, I’m knocking on every available wooden object), is a 6-2 finish possible? What about a 2-6 debacle that ignites Snyder’s inner meddler and prompts sweeping changes that send Mike Shanahan and his boy wonder jetting back to Colorado? Well, what do you think? Did you watch any professional football games this weekend? Of course both scenarios could be reality in a just a few weeks. Anything is possible in the NFL. That’s why we can’t look away. That’s why you clicked on Football.com and the link to this article. Assuming, of course, that you weren’t just surfing the web because your village needed a new idiot.