WGMU Director of Sports Media
September 14, 2015
What did I learn this weekend and week one of football season? Ever heard the expression “it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?” While being a Washington Redskins fan has been nothing short of excruciating. Meanwhile, being a Giants fan has been just as painful. Giants and Redskins fans are on the same boat. You could argue that at least the New York Giants have won two Super Bowls in the last 8 years making these past seasons more bearable. But the fact is, the Giants love to lose in the most fashionably embarrassing ways. It must have been one heck of a super bowl after party because the hangover New York has suffered is one that seems to be one they just can’t get rid of. As for the Redskins, fans have learned to deal with losing ever since Robert Griffin’s rise to fame began it’s decline.
Since the decline of Robert Griffin began, Washington fans have grown to expect nothing spectacular from their team. The bar was set at almost ground level thanks to the last two seasons after Griffin’s injury during the playoff game against Seattle. The circus act that was Robert Griffin in the off-season and the naming of Kirk Cousins as the starter along with the Instagram post, and who could forget the “I feel like I’m the best quarterback in the league” comment only brought the bar even lower weeks before opening day. So coming into week one, it is safe to say that they were the underdogs. Miami did not look as good as I thought they would have. The redskins actually had the lead for a part of the game. And as soon as Washington had some momentum, Cousins picked up where Robert Griffin left off and turned the ball over to set up Miami for the win. The best player the Redskins have that gives them a chance to win is the consistent running game. Alfred Morris is the savior and the face of the franchise Robert Griffin was deemed to be.
Having won two super bowls in the last 8 years, New York Giants fans have held Eli Manning to high expectations, as they should. Especially now that he has just been resigned for a 4 year, $84 million contract extension. So leading up to the 2015-16 season, the expectation was make it to the playoffs and take care of business against Dallas week one.
Last night’s week one match-up between the Giants and the Cowboys was not the first time the Giants have lost to not only an opposing team, but a division rival in the last minute and or seconds of the game. Whether it be due to atrocious play calling, or the punter decides to punt to one of the most dangerous return men in the NFL. Last night’s “performance” was absolutely abysmal on both sides of the ball for the Giants. Yes, the defense created a few turnovers, but Tony Romo looked as if he was playing against a bunch of children when it mattered the most in the final drive. No pass rush, no middle linebacker to lead and call plays, injury prone defensive backs are where the Giants are suspect. Not to mention wide receivers made of glass (Victor Cruz) and a quarter back who cannot seem to be consistent. These are reoccurring themes in Giants camp and Giants fans are sick of it. The days of Michael Strahan and helmet catches are gone, and the sooner New York Giants fans get over those days, the easier it will be to sleep after losing in such devastating manner.
Giants fans have had the taste of championships recently. But the aftertaste has not been what was expected. A possible dynasty was anticipated. Instead, 4 years of heartbreaking losses have followed suit. Even Redskins fans have a taste of success, making it to the playoffs during Griffin’s rookie year. That after taste I could imagine is just as bitter. It is one thing to have many holes in the roster and lose. It is another thing to have all the pieces of a solid NFL team in place and still lose.
So who has it worse? Well, this weekend I learned that regardless of whether you support the Redskins or the Giants, you should not expect any miracles this season. Otherwise you will not enjoy much of football this season. Fans can agree that these past few years of watching Philadelphia and Dallas make the playoffs have hurt deep. So as we watch them win the division, Redskins and Giants fans alike will suffer together in agony watching their quarterbacks and defenses let them down week after week. It will be a long time before either team get over the hump. In the meantime, I recommend starting a fantasy football team, that way your weekends aren’t a total disaster.