By Deron Snyder

It’s not bad enough that Washington’s last back-to-back playoff appearances were 1991-92.

It’s not bad enough that the franchise has won 10 games just three times since Dan Snyder’s purchase in 1999.

It’s not bad enough that poor personnel decisions affecting the front office and roster have made the team a laughingstock since the last playoff victory (2005).

Instead of letting that sorry litany speak for itself in solidifying their reputation for ineptitude, the Skins insisted on going a step further. They used a stunning, visual display Thanksgiving night to hammer the point for a national TV audience.

Aerial shots of the turf at FedEx Field showed what one Twitter user referred to as “a big brown skid mark.” A writer said it looked like somebody put a strip of sandpaper down the middle. On Kirk Cousins’ pick-6, it appears that the turf grabbed his left foot as he threw.

Whether the field impacted the level of play on either side, Cousins is absolutely right about one thing: “It probably doesn’t look like a professional NFL field should,” he said Friday on the “Grant and Danny Show” on 106.7 The Fan.

Why should it resemble a professional field?

The Skins seldom resemble a professional organization.

“It’s dirt and they spray paint it green,” former Washington kicker Kai Forbath told reporters prior to returning with the Vikings for Week 10. “It’s just not good grass. … I had an issue with it when I was there, and I’ve heard it hasn’t changed much.”

Despite the eyesore that was clear during Thanksgiving, the Skins are denial.

“Our field was in good condition Thursday night, although a recent freeze made the Bermuda grass turn brown between the numbers,” team spokesman Tony Wyllie told The Washington Post. He called the entire matter “a non-issue.”

The organization can claim that turf talk is meaningless. But perception matched reality in 2015 when Sports Illustrated queried experts in field quality. The playing surface at FedEx ranked 26th in the league.

Somehow, teams with natural turf in cold-weather climates such as Denver, Kansas City and Cleveland ranked in the Top 11. It’s not like freezes are nonexistent in those places.

According to the SI article, “Natural grass is wonderful until owners don’t spend the money to keep it pristine – it will cost about $100,000 to $125,000 for a full re-sod of a field, often needed in cold-weather environments.”

Regarding FedEx Field specifically, the article said: “The warm-weather turf has turned to nearly all hard dirt during past winters, a process easily navigated through with money allocated for re-sodding. A wealth of turf farms in the area should mean that Washington has a better natural field, but the fact they don’t is on the ownership.”

Add that to the list.


Follow Deron on Twitter @DeronSnyder and email him at


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