Redskins Are Playing Politics; Not Football

by Chuck Sapienza

Chuck Sapienza is the former Vice President of Programming of Redskins-owned 980 WTEM-AM. He’s currently the Executive Producer of Navy Football and a blogger at Breaking Burgundy. On Twitter at @chucksapienza

It’s that time of year in the Nation’s Capital where the two political parties will do anything necessary, no matter how underhanded, to prove their side is correct. No, I am not talking about Democrats and Republicans. I’m talking about the two warring factions inside Redskins Park.

On one side, you have the group that believes Kirk Cousins is the quarterback of the future and should have been given a long term contract. I call this the “Pro-Cousins” movement. On the other side you have the group that believes that Cousins hasn’t shown enough to be a franchise quarterback and the Redskins would be better off with someone else under center. I call these the “Never Kirk’ers.”

From what we know, the “Pro-Cousins” movement consists of the head coach, the offensive coordinator and the general manager. The “Never-Kirk’ers” consist of the team owner, the team president and members of the non-football side of the front office.

In pro sports, being correct means capital, and capital means power. If Gruden, a staunch member of the “Pro-Cousins” movement, is correct about his quarterback, he can lobby for more decision making power. If Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen, staunch “Never-Kirk’ers,” are correct about Cousins, they have more say in football related decisions without fan backlash. Like most political battles, we the voters — fans — are the real losers because neither side actually cares about winning games as much as they care about being correct.

If the NFL gave out trophies for chest-thumping, the Redskins would actually be the San Antonio Spurs. The reason this franchise has struggled for so many decades is because for many working in Ashburn, winning is third. Being correct is most important, with making money being a close second. After those two you would need the Hubble space telescope to see winning, a light year away in third place.

The reason I say this is because I don’t believe for one second that the locker room is complaining about Kirk Cousins after two weeks. Yes, Kirk has played poorly, but so has the defense. No player in their right mind could look at this 0-2 team and place all the blame on the quarterback. I think this narrative was leaked by members of the “Never-Kirk’ers” party to embarrass and put further pressure on members of the “Pro-Cousins” party. Remember, being correct is more important than winning.

While such action by the “Never-Kirk’ers” should make Redskins’ fans’ skin crawl, the “Pro-Cousins” movement is equally as guilty. They are attempting to have Cousins put up monster numbers to prove they are correct. In doing so, they are ignoring the running game and causing this team to lose. No coach in their right mind throws the ball 76 percent of the time. The 1981 San Diego Chargers, under Don “Air” Coryell, “only” threw the ball 57 percent of the time. The NFL record for most pass attempts in a season is 740 by the 2012 Detroit Lions. That year they threw the football 65 percent of the time (on their way to a 4-12 record). The Redskins are currently throwing it at a 76 percent clip with Cousins on pace for 728 pass attempts. The only reason to throw so much is to prove Kirk is the man. It’s certainly not to win games.

Here we are once again. An election year in D.C. and a losing football team. As a fan, I demand change during this cycle. I don’t care who is under center as long as winning games FINALLY becomes a priority. Until then, all we can do is shake our heads knowing we aren’t watching football, we are watching a political debate unfold before our eyes which will result in no real winner and many losses come November. All I ask is for both “political” parties to get along so we can “Make Washington Great Again.”

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