- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 11, 2002

As this week unfolds, or whatever it is that weeks do, we are going to be bombarded with reminders not to go nuts just yet over the Almighty Redskins. You know the routine: Everybody and his mother beats Arizona, it's only one game of 16, let's see how they do against tougher opposition, blah, blah and more blah.
Balderdash, I say. It's perfectly proper to go batty, especially considering the state of other athletic pursuits in Washington and environs.
Next Sunday indeed will be a day of rest. But come Monday night, let's strap our Hog snouts back on, paint our faces and huddle around the TV as though $20 bills were issuing forth.
Redskins vs. Eagles from beautiful downtown Landover, complete with Michaels and Madden. This is a B-I-G game, hopefully the first of many, and what's wrong with taking an early trip to Bonkersville?
And now a word from Steve Superior, the man who just may be in the process of creating the biggest breakthrough hereabouts since Ronnie galloped into town from California nigh onto 21 years ago: "Shucks, I'm just a ball coach."
That's OK, Steverino a touch of humility never hurt anybody, particularly you. And by the way, my friend Anthony suggests it's high time to change the name of the darn team. All in favor, sing "Hail to the Redgators."
Now, I'm not saying that we should devote all our waking hours to worshiping our burgundy behemoths after all, some of us have little distractions like houses, spouses and children. But not to worry. If you've been hitched at least since the Joe Gibbs era, your (Semi) Significant Other will understand.
Don't worry about overkill either. I mean, what else is there to concern us? Elections? Iraq? Inflation? Hey, baby, first things first. It's fall in the nation's capital, and football is king something we may have forgotten during the Dark Ages of Petitbon, Turner and Schottenheimer.
Even those of us who make a living from sports or the reporting thereof have allowed ourselves to be sidetracked by other issues in recent months. But now
Washington isn't going to get the 2012 Summer Olympics or perhaps major league baseball anytime soon. After playing surprisingly well for 4 months, the Orioles realized they have mostly minor league personnel and are performing accordingly. A baseball strike has been averted, but how many people still care in light of the game's problems? And the Wizards and Capitals are gearing up for another winter of our discontent when they will play like the Wizards and Capitals, meaning non-winners.
Did I mention that Michael Jordan can't or won't make up his mind whether to rejoin the fray? Or that Wes Unseld remains the Wizards' GM, which is a little like having Slick Willie as your marriage counselor.
You have to give Caps boss Ted Leonsis all the credit in the world, though, for bringing in Butch Cassidy. Now all he has to do is find the Sundance Kid.
Of more immediate concern are the Maryland Terrapins, who got skunked by Notre Dame in their opener and then Zipped by Akron last week. Up next is Florida State, which has nipped the Terps by an average of 36 points in 12 previous meetings. Maybe Bobby Bowden, understandably overconfident, will dispatch his scout team to College Park on Saturday night. Otherwise, Maryland's chances appear slimmer than coach Ralph Friedgen's comparatively svelte new shape.
And then there's Navy, winless a year ago, which apologized for its opening victory against SMU by dropping a 65-19 heartbreaker to N.C. State. Has anybody in authority at the academy thought about scheduling Akron? Maybe the Mids can lure George Welsh out of retirement before they take another trip to Davey Jones' locker.
So you see, there really isn't anybody or anything else to fill our sporting minds other than the Redskins. I don't expect them to play all season like the best of the Gibbsian teams that would be asking too much but at least Coach Superior has made them fun to watch again. Owner Dan Snyder rightfully expects more than that for his $25million, but even he seems willing to wait a while before his gang makes the Super Bowl, say until January 2004.
What about next January? That seems a little too soon, but with Steverino, you never know what's coming next. Which is all the more reason to think Redskins from now until the Christmas bills start darkening our doorsteps.
After all, what else is there?

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