By Dan Gillespie
So, for the first time since 1967 — two years before Vince Lombardi came to town! — the Redskins failed to sell out a home game last Sunday.
On ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon discussed what Sunday’s announced crowd of 57,013 and the end of Washington’s home sellout streak dating from 1967 meant.
“This is a big deal locally here in Washington, D.C.,” Kornheiser said. “They couldn’t announce [a sellout] because there were 30,000 empty seats. The top deck [Sunday] looked like the Miami Marlins’ games. It was awful. For 50 years, they owned Washington, D.C. There’s a combination of a bad team, a dull team, a terrible in-game experience, a sense that you’re being gouged and unresponsive management. And Mike, this is beginning to feel like the beginning of a revolution.”
“Tony, like you, I turned the Redskins game on yesterday,” Wilbon said. “Having sat through many of those 50 years’ worth of games, I used the word ‘astonished.’ I could not believe it. All of those things you said have led to this. The home experience being better than the in-game. The Washington Redskins’ game day experience, at that ballpark, has been the worst in the league. I know that because I’ve been to all the stadiums, and wow, people just said ‘no.’
The number of empty seats at a Redskins home game in September is astonishing…
The Team 980′s Steve Czaban suggested that those Redskins fans who said “no” on Sunday won’t be saying “yes” again anytime soon.
“Here’s another bit of hard truth to anyone that is still in denial about this,” Czaban said on his podcast. “Those fans are never coming back. They’re not necessarily going to root for the Cowboys, but they’re never coming back to FedEx Field. Those fans who are now gone might come back to the new building in eight or nine years, depending on where it is, depending on how good the team is, but I can say with confidence, those fans who have left are never coming back, no matter how crisp the chicken fingers are now, no matter how good the pyrotechnics are, no matter how many emails that the Redskins ticket people send out to their former holders. They’re gone, and they’re never coming back.”
On his new podcast, Kevin Sheehan said seeing thousands of empty seats was disturbing, but not shocking. He also called for the end of “Business Friday,” which Trent Williams and his teammates on the offensive line debuted Friday when they wore white dress shirts and black ties under their pads and jerseys at practice. Then the Colts’ defensive line gave them the business.
“I’m not going to make a massive deal of this, but Hogs 2.0, Business Fridays, trying to bring attention to yourselves after a great performance [in] what turned out to be another in a long line of sort of premature self-congratulation,” Sheehan said. “Just get ready for the next game, and understand the optics of all the other stuff. Business Fridays? The O-line got its a– kicked by the Colts, start to finish. For the love of God, let’s wait until we’re 12-4 and have a first-round bye before the next Business Friday.
I mean, the intent, I’m sure, is innocent. I’m not saying that’s the reason they lost. . . . When are they going to recognize that it’s just bad optics when you suck and you’re out there doing stuff like that? Top-five rushing attack was last year’s training-camp promise. How’d that work outAs for the game, former Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall suggested Washington didn’t make the halftime adjustments necessary to beat the Colts” I think we as a team, and Jay [Gruden] it seems like, we just get stuck in, not our ways, but just stuck in doing things that we’ve prepared to do,” Hall said Monday during his weekly interview with The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan. “Just because we’ve practiced it all week, if it’s not working, we got to get rid of that. We’ve got to figure out something else. We’ve got to go in at halftime and say: ‘Hey, look, guys. I know we did this all week, but this is the reason we do training camp. This is the reason we have such a long offseason, is we put in everything. Yes, the game plan this week was to do this, this, this. But look, we weren’t expecting them to do this. They did this, so we have to change what we’re doing.’ ”After Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson combined for 21 yards rushing on 15 attempts, Clinton Portis said the offensive line was to blame.
“I think it was just a bad scheme for the offensive line against that D-line,” Portis told Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan. “For the movement that D-line was bringing and the stunts that they were running up front, we missed a lot of blocks. We missed a lot of blocks. … There was a lot of confusion caused by the Colts that shouldn’t have been confusion.”