The Washington Redskins are a franchise that has seen better days, but a decade under a tyrannical, greedy, and possibly imbalanced owner has left fans with the sinking feeling that they may never see those days again.
The past year has seen the team lose a coach, a GM, loyal fans, and a lot of football games, but not money—helpfully supplied by those fans against their will—and certainly not Daniel Snyder, the heartless despot who rules over football in our nation's capital. As long as he remains in control of the franchise, hope is a flickering candle, dying with the light. But hey, Jason Campbell made a couple of nice throws this year!
Join us, as we look at the continuing death spiral of this most racist of sports icons.
Just hours after the free agent signing period officially begins—and a few weeks after laying off 20 employees—the Redskins offer one of the most expensive contracts in NFL history to DT Albert Haynesworth, a seven-year, $100 million deal. He records 30 tackles and 4 sacks in 12 games during the season. In March, Haynesworth is indicted on traffic charges and later sued due to a car accident the previous year that left a man paralyzed.
A pedestrian (and presumed Redskin fan) tears a Dallas Cowboys flag off a car that is stopped at a traffic light in Washington, D.C. The driver of the car gets out, knocks the pedestrian unconscious with one punch and drives away.
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A article in the Washington City Paper reveals that the Redskins are sending unsolicited season ticket offers to local individuals, despite recent claims from the team that their famous ticket waiting list has over 200,000 names on it.
In May, the U.S. Court of Appeals rules in favor the Redskins against seven Native Americans who claim the team's trademark name and logo are racist and offensive, because the plaintiffs waited to long to file their challenge. The larger question of whether the term "Redskins" is offensive to Native Americans goes unanswered. [Image via]
In the first preseason game against Baltimore, the nameplate on running back Ladell Betts' uniform is spelled wrong.
In September, A two-part Washington Post investigation into the Redskins ticket office reveals that employees signed contracts allowing hundreds of season ticket packages and thousands of individual game tickets to be purchased by ticket brokers who then resold the seats for more than face value. The stories also include interviews with several season tickets holders who were sued by the team after not fulfilling multi-year premium seat contracts, even though many of those tickets were later re-sold to other buyers.
Week 2: The Redskins win their first game of the season, 9-7 against the St. Louis Rams (who finish the season 1-15.) After the game, reserve linebacker Robert Henson reacts to boos heard during team's home opener by referring to fans as "half-hearted" "dim wits" on Twitter.
Week 3: The Detroit Lions end a 19-game losing streak—which included the first ever 0-16 regular season—by beating the Redskins, 19-14.
Week 5: Angry internet scribe Drew Magary (not pictured) declares Washington "the most hopeless franchise in football'. On Sunday, leading 17-2 in the second half, the Redskins surrender 18 unanswered points and lose to Carolina, 20-17.
Week 6: The Kansas City Chiefs defeat the Redskins, 14-6, becoming the fourth team to record their first win of the season against Washington. All six of the Redskins opponents were winless entering their game against the Redskins and four of those teams—the Rams, Lions, Buccaneers and Chiefs—would combine to win eight more games the rest of the season.
Week 7: After the Chiefs game, head coach Jim Zorn is relieved of his offensive play calling duties and replaced by "consultant" and bingo caller Sherman Lewis. In the following game, the Redskins are beaten 27-17 by the Eagles. During the game, numerous fans report being ejected from FedEx Field or otherwise harassed by security for holding up signs or starting chants critical of owner Dan Snyder.
Redskins fans dressed as pigs in women's clothing accuse another fan of violating their registered trademark by dressing as a pig in women's clothing and impersonating a "Hogette."
Week 9: Washington loses to the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome, where fans are free to hold up anti-Snyder signage.
Week 15: Vice-president of football operations Vinny Cerrato resigns, thanking all the head coaches he worked with during his tenure, except current head coach Jim Zorn. Cerrato is immediately replaced by Bruce Allen, despite the team's apparent failure to abide by the "Rooney Rule."
Forbes reports that the Washington Redskins have the highest yearly revenue of any sports franchise in North America. Despite three winning seasons and just one playoff win in the 10 years since the guiltless and infallible Dan Snyder became owner, the organization has doubled in value.
Week 17: The Redskins lose their final three games of the year to finish, 4-12, last place in the NFC East. After arriving home from San Diego at 3:00 a.m., coach Jim Zorn is fired. He is immediately replaced by Mike Shanahan, despite the team's apparent failure to abide by the "Rooney Rule."