There's Always Hope
Hello folks. My name is Mike W Lunsford. You might remember me from the article I wrote a few months ago about being cool with others in the comic book world.
I'm a writer (shameless plug for Ethan Stone P.I.) but I am also a huge sports fan. I grew up in the Washington D.C. metro area so I live and die with the areas teams...which means I die often. No DC team has won a championship since 1991. I was a young boy when the football team last hoisted a Super Bowl Trophy, and this was their second Super Bowl win in 5 years! I was convinced they were going to be great all the time!
Unfortunately, reality was much crueler that I had hoped. The Washington Football club has been average to horrible for the last 20 plus years. This coincides with Dan Snyder purchasing the team and turning my beloved football team into a laughing stock. He signed ill-advised high-priced, washed-up free agents. Later he created controversy by refusing (in all caps mind you) that he would NEVER change the believed-to-be racist team name. He's alienated certain players while offering preferential treatment to his "favorites", and has attacked the fan base by suing season ticket holders. He even filed a defamation suit against a small local paper for a trumped up reason, which just made him look like a bully. But as long as they made a big splash in the off-season, ol' Danny boy was happy.
All that being said, I still root for this team. I still get angry and turn the TV off in disgust when they play like garbage...which they do often.
You may be asking yourself, "Why do you continue to watch them and root for them when they play so horribly and their owner is possibly some form of caricature of a younger Mr. Burns from The Simpsons?" I often wonder why myself. The answer to that question can be answered with the following image.
This lovely burgundy clad gentleman is named Colt McCoy. He is the 3rd string Quarterback for Washington. The team he is deftly running from in this image is the arch-nemesis of said Washington Football Franchise: The Dallas Cowboys. As a born and raised Washington fan, I despise the Cowboys. The fact that they have the nerve to call themselves "America's Team" makes me want to vomit. Going into this game, they were 6-1 and Washington was 2-5...more vomit. If you watched the NFL pregame shows on television, every "expert" picked the Cowboys to win Monday night's contest and it wasn't even close. They laughed at Washington. They said there was a snowballs chance in Hell they would come out of Dallas with a win. There's a funny thing about predictions; you still have to play the game.
And this is why I'm writing this article today. Despite their horrible owner, despite the constant distraction of a nickname that many have said is racist, despite being beset with a plague of injuries on both their offense and defense, this 3rd string Quarterback, a Texas native and self-admitted childhood fan of the Cowboys, marched into Dallas' flying-saucer-lookin' monstrosity of a stadium, and gave those silver and blue caballeros all they could handle. In fact, after the game went into overtime tied at 17, Washington managed to shock the world and kick a game winning field goal, pulling off a 20-17 upset. The team that has been a disaster all season managed to step up and put on a fantastic performance. They were not perfect. There were stupid penalties, awful mental lapses, head-shakingly inept decisions, but they were able to overcome all of these things and make all Cowboys fans feel like this Tuesday morning.
This is why I'm still a fan: when the lights shone the brightest, when hope was at it's lowest, a backup's backup was able to play lights out and beat the heavily favored Cowboys. Washington may not win another game this season, I accept this as highly possible. But this was the kind of performance that shows a team's fans that they are not pushovers. They're not just in it for the paycheck. It's inspiring and gives me hope that this team might be able to turn things around.
Today the water tastes a little sweeter at the water cooler, the sky seems a bit clearer and everything, for at least one day, in the DC sports world, is alright.