- The Washington Times - Monday, December 2, 2013


A deep voice carried through the locker room’s gloom.

“It hurts. It sucks,” Brian Orakpo said. “What else can I say?”

Used training tape, bits of turf and an orphaned white sock decorated the faded gold carpet under his feet.

Late Sunday night, the locker room at FedEx Field emptied as fast as Redskins could shower and dress after the 24-17 loss to the Giants. No one said much. A couple blamed referees. Players offered the requisite sound bytes about frustration. No anger. No lashing out. Just resigned looks as they hefted backpacks and tugged suitcases through the debris of a lost season.

“There are no positives,” Orakpo said.

No answers, either.

The last-minute controversy over an errant down marker didn’t matter in a game that mathematically eliminated the Redskins from playoff contention. That was another excuse, an easy target to deflect attention from the three and a half hour advertisement on national television for a franchise that discovers new ways to lose each week.

By the dumpster-diving standards of these Redskins, nothing particularly unusual happened Sunday.

They blew a two-touchdown lead in a second half that could charitably be described as cornea-searing and, afterward, some players couldn’t do better than intimate that referees have been against them all season.

Redskins football. Live it.

We’ve seen this game week after week this season. That’s why you could pick up a ticket on the secondary market for $7 before Sunday’s kickoff, why the sprawling parking lots resembled those at a preseason game. Sure, the Redskins announced their 383rd consecutive sellout. But empty seats, thousands of them, gashed the stadium.

That’s the sorry state of a franchise in free-fall.

In the days before the Sunday’s game, players and coaches insisted the team’s myriad problems were fixable. The cliche-ridden boasts about the team being better than their record, about showing character, about fighting out of the hole they’ve dug disappeared under a flurry of yellow flags and dropped passes.

The shoddy discipline that’s dogged the Redskins all season returned as they had opportunity to put away the Giants and begin the long process of making this season something less than a unadulterated debacle.

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