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As Shanahan quote took on a life of its own, context got lost

Mike Shanahan AP

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said last week that “anything short of the Super Bowl is a failure,” raising a lot of eyebrows and leading to quite a bit of criticism of Shanahan. But the context of the Shanahan quote suggests that his critics were off base.

As I noted when I wrote about Shanahan’s comments, the Redskins’ official Twitter account quoted Shanahan saying that Redskins players have set the expectations that anything short of a Super Bowl is a failure.

But the Redskins’ tweet didn’t make clear that Shanahan was talking not about his own team, but about former Redskins players. Shanahan was saying that the great Redskins teams of the past had raised the bar, not that his current players expect to win the Super Bowl.

“You’re with a football team that has won Super Bowls,” Shanahan said. “People are in the Hall of Fame — players as well as coaches. And you know that they have set the standard for this organization. Anything short of the Super Bowl is a failure, and that’s good. That’s good. Because there’s only one team that’s happy at the end of the year. Our players know that if you work and you do the little things the right way you’ve got a chance to accomplish that.”

As Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post details, the quote took on a life of its own, culminating in a segment on Pardon the Interruption in which Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon ripped Shanahan for saddling his team with overly high expectations.

That wasn’t Shanahan’s intention. All Shanahan was trying to say was that the Redskins are a storied franchise, and that their fans have come to expect the best. Not exactly a controversial comment. Once read in context.

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27 Responses to “As Shanahan quote took on a life of its own, context got lost”
  1. danny136200 says: Aug 28, 2013 2:59 PM

    Mike Wilbon and Skip Bayless should have their own show together.

  2. bucrightoff says: Aug 28, 2013 2:59 PM

    Well maybe its me, but I always thought that for everyteam the goal at the start of every season was to win the Super Bowl. Not sure someone has ever said “Well if we make the playoffs and maybe even win a game, thats a successful season”. Pretty sure its always Super Bowl or bust.

  3. butchhickory says: Aug 28, 2013 3:00 PM

    Sounds like he realized he made a mistake with his words and now he’s backtracking.
    Too late Shanahan. Your foot is already in your mouth.

  4. cletusvandam says: Aug 28, 2013 3:02 PM

    He should have just said “Dream Team” and left it at that.

  5. redskinfansince82 says: Aug 28, 2013 3:03 PM

    Labeling idiots as “The Media” is problem number one. These are talking heads nothing more. They are not reporters who actually do their job… report the news. These talking heads have an agenda and it’s not the news. It’s more about how to call attention to myself not the truth.

  6. ravanator says: Aug 28, 2013 3:04 PM

    “You’re with a football team that has won Super Bowls,” Shanahan said.

    I forgot the R-Words ever won a Super Bowl. It’s been so long since the team was relevant, I was just a young lad last time anyone was talking about this team winning anything. Recently the franchise is known for producing a losing product on the field, a first round pick at QB that turned out to be a bust, and a bandwagon fan base that all changed to Ravens fans during the playoffs last year. Enjoy!

  7. danfitzger says: Aug 28, 2013 3:05 PM

    These types of corrections happen far too rarely. Glad PFT cares about more than (contrived) controversy.

  8. vicnocal says: Aug 28, 2013 3:10 PM

    It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when 90% of what the sports media focus on these days is what someone said about someone or something else.

    Nothing but gossip queens straight out of The View. Let’s talk instead about the game and what actually happens out there between the lines. Of course, that might actually require a little work and knowledge.

  9. whatnojets says: Aug 28, 2013 3:11 PM

    The bigger question, who will be the starting quarterback be for The New York Jets???

  10. reporterofthetruth says: Aug 28, 2013 3:11 PM

    I kinda liked it better when Shanahan was an ass.

  11. allhailkingflacco says: Aug 28, 2013 3:12 PM

    Past, present or future that statement applies to every sports team in the world not just football.

    WTH ?

    so sick of these fabricated non-debates

  12. s0merand0mguy says: Aug 28, 2013 3:18 PM

    cletusvandam says: Aug 28, 2013 3:02 PM

    He should have just said “Dream Team” and left it at that.
    ————————–

    Said the guy that combined the name of a Simpsons character with a professional wrestler and actor. Wrong team to even mention “dream team” slick and irrelevant being that said team has a new coach, staff, and players. Everybody has moved on but you managed to find whatever shed of light shined through the hole in the ground you have been living in for the past year and climb your way out and utter those words. Now we know why you’re name is Cletus.

  13. delmonte55 says: Aug 28, 2013 3:20 PM

    This only took 5 days for the media to correct.

  14. baddegg says: Aug 28, 2013 3:20 PM

    Hahahaha! Go back and read all the snarky comments attached to the other article and see how many people were trying to attack Shanahan. Now you all look stupid. HAHAHAHAAHA!

  15. seattlecoug says: Aug 28, 2013 3:20 PM

    I’m sure RGMe is doing jumping jacks trying to figure out how to get another press conference to himself. Overrated, diva, hack of a QB.

  16. therealsmiley says: Aug 28, 2013 3:36 PM

    Get off the guys jock. Hail!

  17. hawkwind8 says: Aug 28, 2013 3:48 PM

    Crowanator– You either have a short memory or you are still a young lad. You dont seem to remember that it was just last year when the Skins took down your precious team…

  18. NotoriousKDV says: Aug 28, 2013 3:48 PM

    I don’t care if the Jags come out and say it’s Super Bowl or bust, they shouldn’t get ripped for it. That should be their goal. Even it it’s not a realistic goal it should still be their goal.

    The media wants to act like these kind of public comments add pressure to teams but the way I see it, comments like this should only give players a boost of confidence. If the head coach is willing to say this kind of thing publicly then he must have a lot of confidence in his team which I would think the players would appreciate, instead of looking at it as some kind of a burden.

    But that’s the media for you. Trying to turn every little thing into a negative. They try to create more stories these days than report on them. And then they wonder why people like Belicheck are the way that they are.

  19. jamaltimore says: Aug 28, 2013 3:53 PM

    Did Shanny talk to RG3 before he made those comments? What’s RG3 think about it? What’s RG3 plans for dinner tonight? Whens RG3 gonna put his helmet on?

    As all of us have figured out over the past year and especially after last night you can’t spell or even utter the word superbowl without SUPER BOB!!

  20. skinsfan2013 says: Aug 28, 2013 3:54 PM

    “I’m sure RGMe is doing jumping jacks trying to figure out how to get another press conference to himself. Overrated, diva, hack of a QB”………….but was kicking the Seapigeons butts with 1 leg.

  21. officialgame says: Aug 28, 2013 4:07 PM

    To bad the story started with a racist owner and ends with the most disliked owner in football Dan Snyder’s bad Karma overwhelming the talented like RG3.

  22. stunzeed5 says: Aug 28, 2013 4:18 PM

    Source: BALTIMORE SUN Rhonda Ellis “Ravensbeat”….random interview of 50 Ravens fans after the Superbowl; “who would you rather have at QB, RG3 or Flacco?”….all 50 said RG3. WOW. Class dismissed kids.

  23. gzinn18631 says: Aug 28, 2013 4:18 PM

    ravanator says: Aug 28, 2013 3:04 PM

    “You’re with a football team that has won Super Bowls,” Shanahan said.

    I forgot the R-Words ever won a Super Bowl. It’s been so long since the team was relevant, I was just a young lad last time anyone was talking about this team winning anything. Recently the franchise is known for producing a losing product on the field, a first round pick at QB that turned out to be a bust, and a bandwagon fan base that all changed to Ravens fans during the playoffs last year. Enjoy!
    ————————————-
    Bandwagon fan base? lol. You will never see the Redskins team move from the DMV in the middle of the night by a moving company. Your team was built in Cleavland, and if there are fans that jumped from the Redskins to the Baltimore Browns, then you deserve them. They were never truly Redskins fans to begin with…HTTR

  24. tennesseeoilers says: Aug 28, 2013 4:33 PM

    cletusvandam said: “He should have just said ‘Dream Team’ and left it at that.”

    The “dream team” jokes still coming after every Vince Young article have become worse than a broken Yanni record. This one, however, caught me off guard–in a good way. Thanks for the laugh, cletusvandam.

  25. jamaltimore says: Aug 28, 2013 4:42 PM

    Source: BALTIMORE SUN Rhonda Ellis “Ravensbeat”….random interview of 50 Ravens fans after the Superbowl; “who would you rather have at QB, RG3 or Flacco?”….all 50 said RG3. WOW. Class dismissed kids.

    —————————————————-

    Did you ask them do they want a qb who does nothing but win and now owns a superbowl MVP compared to a broken down sideshow who hopes he can play in more games a year than the durable Mike Vick?

    Flacco laughs at polls and jokers who keep underestimating him.

  26. baddegg says: Aug 28, 2013 4:44 PM

    jamaltimore says:
    Aug 28, 2013 3:53 PM
    Did Shanny talk to RG3 before he made those comments? What’s RG3 think about it? What’s RG3 plans for dinner tonight? Whens RG3 gonna put his helmet on?

    —————

    Better question: what does McNabb think?

  27. orivar says: Aug 28, 2013 8:58 PM

    Took on a life of its own? You mean like “Dream Team” from the 3rd String QB that was asked a question on what it’s like to be on a team with so many high profile players?

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