We are officially less than a month before the start of the NFL season, so it's probably time to start previewing the monster. The key to the NFL's success — other than fantasy football and gambling, of course — is the rabid nature of its fans. That is to say: You don't see a lot of people painting their faces for their favorite golfer.
We asked a gaggle of writers, from the Web, from print, from books, even a TV guy or two, to tell us, in as many or as little words as they need, why My Team Is Better Than Your Team. This is not meant to be factual, or dispassionate, or even logical: We just asked them to riff on why they love their team so much, or what their team means to them, or whatever. We will be running two a day until the beginning of the NFL season.
Right now: the Washington Redskins. Your author is Matt Pitzer.
Matt Pitzer is the fantasy football expert for USA Today Sports Weekly. His words are after the jump.
1. God has a crazy running back again. Joe Gibbs was dangerously close to losing his status as the Big Man in DC last year when the Redskins dropped to 5-6. The Redskins' rally to the second round of the playoffs seemed like nothing less than divine intervention, which is why Gibbs still is Him (with a capital 'H'). And He has another wacko running back. The first time the Redskins won a Super Bowl, it was with John Riggins. Now, it's Clinton Portis, aka Southeast Jerome. Neither would appear to be sympatico with the straight-laced, high-pitched, giggling Gibbs. But He loves CP, mostly because Portis seems to love running through walls — and getting his arm torn off making tackles after preseason interceptions. When the Redskins win another Super Bowl, it'll be because of Portis — and because Gibbs loves him.
2. With all of these head coaches, how can they not win? Gibbs has morphed into the CEO (which is also how he won a NASCAR title). And several of his vice presidents once were in charge themselves: Gregg Williams, Joe Bugel, Al Saunders. None of these guys were good enough to win on their own, mostly because they're each crazy. Psycho coaches (other than Jon Gruden) generally don't win because there is so much corporate crap they also must deal with it. But freed of those responsibilities, they can go back to being mad scientists. Williams appears to have gone especially crazy, but the more insane he is, the better his defense plays. He is more likely to be committed to a mental facility before getting another shot at a head-coaching job.
3. The smurfs are back. They're not quite the same as Gary Clark, Alvin Garrett and Charlie Brown, but Santana Moss (5-9), Antwaan Randle El (5-10), David Patten (5-10) and Brandon Lloyd (6-0) are wiping out the theory that wide receivers need to be giants these days. These little midgets will be too small to cover.
4. I haven't said anything about Daniel Snyder yet. And that is a good thing. No Jeff George signings. The Daniel has been spending his time figuring out how to add another 35,000 seats to FedEx Field. He's keeping his mind on his money — and off the field. This is the longest he has gone without firing a coach since buying the team in 1999.