Even with the playoffs in doubt.By Chad Dukes

Editor’s Note: This is an unfiltered version of Chad Dukes’ article, first seen in The Washington Post.

The first thing you should do before reading the rest of this is get a hold of yourself; we are men of science.

“Rooting” for something or someone means nothing. Football games are won with the massing of draft picks by savvy front office personnel. Successful seasons are built by fiscally responsible free agency periods and prudent drafting. Division championships are acquired by balanced play calling and ball security. Talent, preparation, and health. Give me that 1000 times out of 1000 over what team you’re pulling for [while jamming Cheetos, dusted chicken, fries into your mouth] on Sunday afternoon. Great, now I’m starving.

With all that said, the devil is in the details. It’s what allows you to sleep comfortably at night. It’s what your fandom means to you. We still choose to support our teams, whomever they may be.

I’m guessing I’m not like you. I don’t support my team based on how flashy their Color Rush Uniforms are or how many Lombardi trophies they have hosted in the past 15 years.

I will not root for the lifelong nemesis of my team. Not now. Not ever.

The reasons are twofold (one being obvious): the Redskins controlled their own destiny — they had a wild card spot. All this team had to do coming off of 10 days’ rest was beat a sub .500 Cardinals team that was desperate for its season to end. That’s how Dad did it. That’s how America does it, and it’s worked out pretty well so far.

That’s what a PLAYOFF team would do. Instead, the Redskins chose to sleepwalk through the first quarter, vomit on their sweaters (Mom’s spaghetti) and promptly give up their spot in the postseason as quickly as they acquired it. You will NOT force me to bake Cole Beasley themed cupcakes this week for Tampa Bay vs. Dallas because YOU couldn’t stop the longtime doormat of the NFC East on third down.

This is where we arrive at the second and most important reason Dallas, and all their proponents, can pound sand for all of eternity. I’m not going to then cheer for a team whose obnoxious fans have irritated and tormented me for my 38 years on this planet.

It’s very difficult being a Redskins fan. First off, you’re a racist (clearly). If you haven’t capitulated the fact that the only possible reason that this team is still named “Redskins” is because every single football fan in the greater D.C. area is a hateful bigot? Well, you’re just a caveman or a moron whom Bob Costas has great contempt for.

You’re also stupid if you’re a Redskins fan, because you haven’t done what it feels like half of this country does now when a team they root for struggles; which I can only guess that includes taking the 3 or 4 best teams traditionally and currently, tape their logos to a cork board at your office and throw darts until you hit the one that has the “cleanest uniforms.”

I continue to support my local franchises through prosperity or derision. That doesn’t seem to be something that’s valued by many in 2016, as it’s so damn easy to just head on over to the Warriors website and pick up a new KD alternate jersey.

The most difficult part about being a Redskins fan for what I’m guessing is fifty percent of people reading this could possibly be: Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland area Cowboys fans.

I have no quarrel with Cowboys fans from Texas, Oklahoma or even Las Vegas. Who I do take issue with is “Johnny Terrell Owens Jersey Wearer” from Woodbridge, who chose to root for the Cowboys to get back at his father, who chose to attend Wizards/Magic contests wearing a Cowboys letterman jacket because he knows it will irritate people. You know “Johnny.” He kept #CowboysGotDez trending on Twitter in DC for 3 straight days in 2010.

We, the Redskins fans, are surrounded by Philistines. Clowns that cannot differentiate between negative and positive attention. Fans of a team that they cheer for because that team won a grip of Super Bowls in the 90’s – or just because it will irritate as many co-workers as possible on Fridays when they wear their Jason Witten jersey into work. It certainly doesn’t seem like many of them were birthed in Christus St. Michael, coming from 3 generations of West Texas Dust to East Texas Rust.

These people are terrible, and they plague the good Redskins fans from the 400 section of FedEx Field all the way to Glory Days Grill in Centreville. They show up when the Skins play the Vikings, or when the Nationals play the Brewers. They are omnipresent. There aren’t enough Tony Romo back injuries, or Randy Gregory suspensions in the world to keep these petulant iconoclasts from screaming “How ’bout them Cowboys” because their stand up career didn’t pan out — that their YouTube channel only has 7 subscribers — or their egg avatar has been blocked by Steve Czaban. They’re-gonna-show-us.

There is a movie I love called “A Few Good Men.” It stars Jack Nicholson as a Marine Colonel and features lots of slurs and profanity. What’s not to like? Now, I’m soft body who likes to bloviate. I have no right to compare myself to even FICTIONAL Marines, but there is a quote that seems to make sense here. During the film, a couple of Marines are accused of murder when they break into a member of their units room and haze him. The hazing victim dies, and Tom Cruise is charged with defending the two Marines that administered the “Code Red.” During one scene, Cruise is insisting that the accused “Lance Corporal Dawson” take a plea deal. He’s asking the Corporal to admit wrong doing to obtain a lighter six month sentence, instead of years in prison. Dawson responds thusly:

“… I believe I was right sir. I believe I did my job, and I will not dishonor myself, my unit, or the Corps so I can go home in six months… Sir.”

… Seriously, it’s a great movie. Stop reading this tripe and go find it on the Netflix.

For those still here, the point is this; the Redskins could finish 10-5-1, in which case I believe they will be in the playoffs. They could finish 8-7-1, in which case they won’t. Either way, I will not cheer for a team that I hate simply because the Redskins weren’t good enough to get the job done themselves. I won’t give those disingenuous local Cowboy fans the satisfaction. Like my grandfather, my father, and my brother, I will root for the Redskins to win all of their games, until the day I die. That is my sworn oath to the Washington Redskins and my oath ends there. It certainly does not include groveling at the hem of divisional opponents.

Now pretty please, with sugar on top, go beat the Carolina Panthers.

Follow @ChadDukes on Twitter


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