- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 7, 2002

Easy does it, Washington.
You are slobbering all over the innocent tourists.
Down, boy. Down.
Keep this up and your daily Milk-Bone biscuit will be withheld.
Here it is, barely August, and Washington is all atwitter after the Redskins beat up on a bunch of third-stringers, nobodies and future service-industry employees in the Far East last weekend.
It seems offense sells tickets, defense wins championships, and the Fun 'N' Gun produces 38 points in a meaningless preseason game in Osaka, Japan.
So now, logically, the road from Osaka leads to Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego, and Washington already has made its travel arrangements.
The date is Jan.26, the site Qualcomm Stadium. See you there. Remember not to drink the water on your excursions to Tijuana in the days leading up to the big game.
Never mind the small matter of the 16-game regular season, plus the playoffs that follow. Never mind that a lot can go wrong in the months ahead, and usually does, starting with uncooperative opponents.
This is the gasbag capital of the nation, and gasbags don't need a reason to talk, just an audience.
The tone has been established. We're going to the Super Bowl and you're not. That includes the old rivals from Philadelphia, New York and Dallas. Forget about it, guys. Don't even bother coming to the place formerly known as Raljon this season. You'll be wasting your time. You can't stop the Fun 'N' Gun. You can't even hope to contain it.
Drumroll, please.
A listing of the great Super Bowl tandems is in order: Terry Bradshaw-to-Lynn Swann, Joe Montana-to-Jerry Rice and now Danny Wuerffel-to-Darnerien McCants.
Wuerffel goes to Japan with the weakest arm in the NFL and returns as the best precision passer in the NFL who has not attempted a pass in the last three regular seasons.
What can you say, except it is the system, Steve Spurrier's Fun 'N' Gun?
The rush to push Spurrier and the Redskins to the head of the NFL is prompted by a strong sense of desperation.
The franchise has been stuck in recovery since the retirement of Joe Gibbs following the 1992 season and the ascent of the Boy Owner in 1999.
That comes out to one playoff berth in nine seasons, a number of broken promises, Gus Frerotte injuring himself after head-butting a concrete wall and Deion Sanders performing the cha-cha under a punt before the ball ricocheted off his facemask. That comes out to a lot of unrequited passion.
Is there a doctor in the house, preferably a psychotherapist?
Washington needs a big hug, if not two aspirin and a bowl of hot chicken broth.
What happens if the Redskins bury the Panthers this weekend? That would make the Redskins 2-0 in preseason and put Spurrier in position to have his name placed among the ring of stars inside the bowl by the Beltway.
If Spurrier goes undefeated in preseason, he probably will command his own 24-hour cable channel instead of the usual talking-with-coach fare that fills the local airwaves.
What does the coach think? Why, he is going to pitch the ball around a little bit, leave the defense to Marvin Lewis, play a little golf in his spare time and see what happens.
Steve Mariucci, coach of the 49ers, was left in a spot by Spurrier's down-home playbook and the run-up-the-score charge that was raised. The teams meet in the third game of the season, the date no doubt circled on Mariucci's calendar.
"I know the Redskins wanted to start off with a bang and come away feeling good, and getting the organization and the players and the fans excited," he said. "By playing their [first-string] guys a bit longer, they tried to accomplish that. The teams had two different goals in mind, I think."
Mariucci wanted to be on the first plane out of Japan, Spurrier the second plane after first trying to score 100 points.
What do you take from it?
If you're Washington, you take a flying leap to San Diego, panting every nautical mile along the way.
If it matters, playoff tickets possibly will go on sale after the Fun 'N' Gun puts the preseason hurt to the Panthers.

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