Everyone who follows the NFL knows that the Redskins are struggling (and Joe Namath couldn’t care less). After seven games, they’ve won only two — one by two points at home against the 0-7 Rams and one by three at home against the 0-7 Bucs.
But with coach Jim Zorn supposedly sticking around for the rest of the year and a crippling schedule awaiting after the bye (Falcons, Broncos, Cowboys, Eagles, Saints, Raiders, Giants, Cowboys, Chargers), there’s not much more that can be said about the team.
There’s plenty that can be said about the manner in which the team is — or isn’t — dealing with the criticism that goes with the territory of being terrible.
For starters, the team has implemented a new “no signs” policy, which makes sense since the signs will be increasingly unflattering as the losses pile up.
Now, WUSA-TV (via Dan Steinberg’s D.C. Sports Bog) says that the team is prohibiting television interviews of tailgaters.
Said anchor Derek McGinty on Tuesday, “Tonight the Redskins have seemingly escalated things again; they’ve
banned media interviews with tailgating fans on FedEx Field property. They told our sports director Brett Haber that this has always
been team policy, but when he pointed out that we and other stations,
including their very own broadcast partners, have in fact always talked openly to tailgaters, there was, well let’s just say, no further explanation.”
The situation got even more tense when Redskins General Counsel Dave Donovan spoke with Mike Wise of the Washington Post on Wise’s radio show at 106.7 The Fan in D.C. (SportsRadioInterviews.com has the link to the audio.)
The far better approach, in our view, would be to let the fans vent during the bad times. Heavy-handed tactics will serve only to increase the sense of frustration — and will ultimately alienate hundreds if not thousands of paying customers.
UPDATE: Redskins blogger Matt Terl has put together a partial transcript of the Wise-Donovan debate. Donovan separately told Terl that fans are permitted to wear T-shirts critical of the team, as long as the shirts contain no profanity. Then again, in the eyes of many Redskins fans, the words “Snyder” and “Cerrato” currently are regarded as profane.