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Why Your Team Sucks 2019: Washington Redskins

Photo: Will Newton (Getty)

Some people are fans of the Washington Redskins. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Washington Redskins. This 2019 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: Pathetic.


Your 2018 record: Does it even really matter? The Skins could go 14-2 and they’d still bear the stigma of being the most disgraceful sports franchise in ORIGINAL North America. They are a fucking tumor upon the landscape: growing and metastasizing and sprouting jagged toenails and calling into Grant and Danny to explain why signing Reuben Foster was actually a sneaky masterstroke that the Internet Outrage Mob doesn’t understand. The Skins will never be anything other than deeply repulsive. Don’t believe me? Well then you must be one of the six people left who still enjoy this spreading pool of charred vomit. Lemme do that thing where I run down the Skins’ interminable list of offenses from the previous season:

They led the division past midseason only to finish 1-6.

They failed to sell out their home opener, despite reducing the seating capacity there to roughly 400. The rest of the stadium is bandaged up in FedEx tarps. Anyone who actually attends these games is only there to unfurl a SELL THE TEAM DAN sign so they can get kicked out in the first quarter and beat traffic home.

They sold team-branded 9/11 gear. And Sean Taylor plushies. Every public sales pitch and/or statement from this team was evidently composed by Kellyanne Conway after she’s got two bottles of Barefoot chardonnay in her.

They got protested by their own beer vendors for low pay.

They signed Paul Richardson as a deep threat and SURPRISE he got hurt. On this franchise, Richardson somehow represented a well-managed injury case.


Stud back Derrius Guice got hurt and so the team took a flyer on proven child beater Adrian Peterson, who ran for over 1,000 yards. Heartwarming.

They stopped offering their cheerleaders as grope fuel for VIPs. For now, at least.


They paid Alex Smith $71 million guaranteed only to watch him have his worst season in AGES and have it end prematurely when J.J. Watt snapped his leg like a chopstick. Smith required a second surgery on that same leg when the first surgery got botched.

Backup QB Colt McCoy, maybe the most talented person on Earth at getting injured at pivotal times, got hurt immediately after Smith got hurt, and ALSO had to have a corrective second surgery after the first one went awry.


They started Mark Sanchez without bothering to teach him the playbook. They would go on to lose to an imploding-via-controlled-demolition Giants team 40-16.

They started Josh Johnson.

Josh Norman, who is beyond washed up, shat on the fans for not giving a crap about them.


Michael Thomas shat on Josh Norman.

Everyone shat on this tweet.

Taylor Lewan ALSO shat on them, which is remarkable because Taylor Lewan would otherwise blend in PERFECTLY with this jackass fanbase.


One of their safeties got charged with assault. In a nice change of pace, he was charged of beating someone WITH his girlfriend, and not beating the girlfriend. Meanwhile…

They grabbed Reuben Foster after a second DV charge got him dropped by San Francisco. GM and glorified casino floor greeter Doug Williams defended the pickup thusly:

You know, we got people who are in high, high, high places that have done far worse if you look at it realistically, and you know they’re still up there.


I know! He’s right there in the owner’s box! Foster has since blown out his knee and been placed in career hospice.

They traded D.J. Swearinger to Arizona after Swearinger publicly criticized the team’s laissez-faire approach to preparation.


The D.C. councilman who promised them a stadium turned out to be brazenly corrupt. And not even in a fun way. Maryland also told them to take their stadium proposal and wipe a dead cow’s ass with it.

They watched their former OC win the NFC.

The current head coach’s kid got tagged for public drunkenness. And NOT at the stadium! Big upset.


They fired Brian Lafemina, who was brought in to improve the team’s stadium experience and its relationship with fans, almost certainly because Lafemina had the gall to admit that the season ticket waiting list was a sham and that the team’s public image hovered somewhere just below that of Rob Porter. According to Chris Russell, a local beat guy who made his bones here by licking the team’s boots before turning against them, dozens of other front office employees followed Lafemina out the door. I don’t trust Russell for shit, but for this post, I’ll eat up all the negative press I can heap onto my plate.

Though I am programmed to mentally catalog all of this team’s ongoing atrocities, I’m sure I’ve managed to forget a few on that list. The Skins are just that prolific. There’s a reason this was the favorite team of the American Nazi Party in the early 1960s.


Your coach: It’s Jay Gruden, whose entire run here feels like a deep, audible sigh that has lasted five years. This is a dead plumber walking. Even he knows it. That doesn’t mean that Jay Gruden will mail it in or hang out by Bruce Allen’s kegerator all season long. He’s still gonna study tape until o’dark thirty and throw his players under the bus in press conferences and put in his usual, middling Jay Gruden effort. But this is the end for him. I know it as surely as I knew Dirk Koetter’s coming ouster was inevitable a year ago.

This is the only fun part of tracking the Skins. On any given day, they’re brusque, racist, and stupid. But when they fire a coach, you get to watch in wide wonder as Dan Snyder loads up on Crown Royal, hops aboard his orgy boat, and makes failed overtures to sexy names like Dabo Swinney and John Harbaugh before he’s forced to settle for an also-ran like Marvin Lewis or an underqualified assistant named Gary O’Blarry or something. No lie: this makes for extremely compelling viewing, especially when the Dead Tree Crew instantly eat up whatever shit they’ve been shoveled and call into 980 being like, “Mike McCarthy is gonna change how business is done here.”


Your DC is still Greg Manusky because no one else will work for this piece of shit outfit.

Your quarterback: In between doing ice luge shots, Team President and guy who looks like a defrocked priest Bruce Allen traded for Case Keenum, who genuinely deserves better. The Skins also got lucky and watched Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins fall to them in the draft at No. 15.


But before you get excited about that, please note that the Skins have a noted history of lucking into players who slid in the draft, only to end up crippling them with the kind of injuries you usually only see in a World War I documentary. Also, Dan Snyder was ECSTATIC when Dwayne Haskins fell into his lap, not because Haskins has a bazooka of an arm, nor because of his unflappable demeanor, nor because of his controlled elusiveness in the pocket. It’s because Haskins went to the same dipshit private lax bro academy in Potomac that his kid went to.

In fact, Snyder was so obsessed with Haskins that he made a point of personally meeting with him prior to the draft. GREAT GREEN TURDS. Whenever Dan Snyder gets cozy with a player, he may as well carve a pentagram into their flesh. My man has already thrown a pick-six and got stiff-armed during it for good measure. Haskins gets to wear Joe Theismann’s old number, maybe even try on his hairpiece for a bit. But it’s all over for poor Dwayne. He’ll get to hop onto the same post-career gravy train where all Snyder favorites reside, but not before ending up in traction after having his pelvis removed from his body by an oncoming defender.


As that all happens, Alex Smith is still here. True, he did finally get that layer cake of halo braces—tastefully cropped out of every single team-issued photograph of the man’s recovery—removed from his withered leg. He’s also still eating up enough cap space to make even Joe Flacco shake his head. Oh, and Colt McCoy is still here too! Four QBs under contract and yet it’ll be Rex Grossman starting games for Washington by November.

What’s new that sucks: Congratulations! You guys won Training Staff Of The Year!

I guess that’s what happens when your trainers have to work trauma ward hours all season long. They certainly did the MOST trainering, that’s for sure. This team was No. 1 in players dispatched to IR for the second straight year. That’s not just bad luck. These guys couldn’t keep a fucking goldfish healthy. Did I mention that cornerstone tackle Trent Williams now refuses to play for them because they employ medieval barbers to practice medicine in Ashburn?


Williams has been the rare bright spot for this team for so long that fans here act like he’s won five Super Bowl titles individually. But even he can’t abide by this horseshit anymore. Can you blame him? They get everyone hurt. They ran Zach Brown out of town. They cut leading tackler Mason Foster loose right before camp, right when his ability to find a new job was at its lowest. They signed Landon Collins away from the Giants, but I promise they’ll still find a way to ruin him. Why bust your ass for the Sinclair Media of football? Trent Williams came to this epiphany far, far later than most of the roster usually does. Usually, new arrivals figure out that the well has been poisoned by their second day.


If Williams gets traded, his potential replacements are Donald Penn and—and I swear they really did this—historic Giants draft bust Ereck Flowers. Everything this team does serves as proof that former GM Scot McCloughan was the LEAST drunk person in charge of things.

What has always sucked: No one involved in this equine digestive tract of an organization will ever grasp that he’s a fucking chump. Not the players. Not the coaches. Not team-purchased media stooges like Larry Michael. Not Bruce Allen. Not the fans. And definitely not Dan Snyder. Since Snyder arrived, he has built and nurtured an entire battalion of clueless shitheads. He’ll pay you money when you walk in the door and then ply you with bad whiskey and then plaster your face on the inside of every Papa John’s toilet stall. Then, once you’ve lost enough games for him, he’ll give you some cushy no-show job like every other ex-player around here has. Ancient ex-Skins are the only people unconditionally admired around here because they’re the only people who have actually won something.


And so the way it’s set up for the Skins, everyone is allowed to live inside their own ass and never leave. No one here takes a loss graciously. No one is ever wrong. No critic ever has a salient point. Anything bad that happens is someone else’s fault. It’s just an endless cycle of self-denial and belligerence. I went to a game this past fall and after every whistle they would bring out a troop, an ex-player, or a Native American to salute. All of those people are used as public human shields to protect Dan Snyder from being interrupted as he huffs his own poop fumes.

How DARE anyone question the motives of Danny Snyder, a guy who got rich in part by illegally switching people’s phone providers without their permission? How DARE they cry foul over his team’s boring, racist-as-shit nickname? How DARE fans complain about having to shell out $874 to park two counties away on game day? How DARE anyone believe this team is operating in bad faith? Do they not understand that this is all about pride and heritage?! It’s a fully operating ecosystem of assholery, and I hope to live long enough to see it all burn to the fucking ground. Fuck this team with a tomahawk.


Josh Doctson can’t play. Jordan Reed will never be Jordan Reed again. Sonny Jurgensen was blind and clueless and senile, and fans didn’t notice because Sam Huff was even more blind and clueless and senile. The fight song is fucking stupid.

What might not suck: Well, Greenland is melting, so we’ll all die soon. The Skins’ll die with us. I don’t mind the tradeoff.




I have a Redskins tattoo. People ask me if I lost a bet.


Two of the top three YouTube result autofills for “Redskins quarterback” are “injury” and “breaks leg.”



First year fantasy football players could manage a team better than this. Dan Snyder makes me want to smash my own skull in with a hammer. Also, fuck Charlie Casserly with Heath Shuler’s bad foot.



My first experience of this team was a 3-0 loss to the Jets.


I have, on more than one occasion, turned down free game tickets in a suite with free food and booze because I preferred to take a nap instead.



Remember when they signed Reuben Foster and claimed all his ex-Bama teammates endorsed the decision, only to be contradicted by literally everyone?



This fucking team won’t even let me listen to John Riggins on a podcast without making him do PR work for Koch Industries.



Come late August, the thought of another inevitably embarrassing Redskins season beginning makes me wish baseball season was just a little bit longer. My favorite baseball team, you ask? The Mets.



Dan Snyder, if you’re going to be a racist poisonous toad, at least win games.


The fact that someone hasn’t punched Danny Boy in the face by now seems like a miss. Like, if you’re near him, just punch him. Seems pretty straightforward.



Screw this wretched franchise that has taken a previously loved team and debased and cursed it in every conceivable way.



The world would undeniably be a better place if Dan Snyder dropped dead.


DC sports teams are blessed with generational talents like Alex Ovechkin and Max Scherzer and I would wager the naming rights of my future children that Chad from Bowie, MD will pull onto the shoulder of the Beltway and call the Sports Junkies only to talk about what would’ve happened if RG3 didn’t turn his knee into oatmeal in 2012.



Fuck literally everything about this team. Fuck their racist name, fuck their mini Trump wannabe owner, fuck their legacy-admission alcoholic GM, fuck every fan that still drags their XXL ass into the worst stadium experience in the country, fuck our stupid rivalry with Dallas that literally nobody outside the DMV gives a shit about, fuck Alex Smith’s glass leg, fuck Raljon, Maryland, and fuck every sports radio jock Skins humper who wants to do a deep dive on our backup right guard situation rather than give almost literally any other local sports team a half breath of air. Holy fucking shitballs do the Skins make it easy to not turn the TV on every glorious autumn Sunday afternoon.



Daniel Snyder is the worst owner on the planet. You could tell me that he rapes baby seals before murdering them and I would say that’s not even in the top ten worst things he’s ever done.

I truly hope my kids decide to cheer for the Ravens.


I live in Richmond, VA where the Skins have training camp. The city paid for the facility and has no chance whatsoever of making back the money it spent, let alone turning a profit.



They gave Albert Haynesworth $100mil and he couldn’t use any of it to buy a new kidney.

I somehow ended up with a McNabb Skins jersey and I don’t know how the fuck that happened.



Each year when the new schedule is released I painstakingly search and bookmark all of the web site/streaming app/radio stations of the ‘Skins opponents because I would rather jab rusted ice picks into both of my ears than listen to Larry Fucking Michael.



I want it all to burn down... but I also don’t, and that makes me sick.


We hired an alcoholic GM and fired him for being an alcoholic. But when our new quasi-GM publicly dismissed domestic violence as “small potatoes,” we gave him an extension. And our coach is what you’d get if you took one of those face morph apps and uploaded George W. Bush, Sean Astin, and a cheeseburger.



This is the absolute most visibly incompetent franchise in football. It is staffed exclusively by sycophants and yes-men. The overriding principle for the organization is to make sure the worst owner in pro sports isn’t confronted with that fact. I guarantee you that there’s some poor intern in the Skins front office that is sending you takes from different email addresses bashing everyone associated with the team EXCEPT Dan Snyder. That way he can turn around and blame everyone else.

RG3 should be allowed to take a sledgehammer to the knees of Snyder and Shanahan.



Every player on this team who has surgery either has an infection or complications that require additional surgeries. In the last 12 months alone: Derrius Guice, Alex Smith, Colt McCoy, and Trent Williams. ONLY this team would take what are now considered pretty routine surgeries (at least in the case of Guice & McCoy) for professional athletes and turn them into career-threatening situations. I could sterilize a wound using only my unwashed hands and a rusty ax better than this team’s medical staff.



I am a coward. I don’t want them to change the name. It’s not because I’m a dipshit stoolie or a MAGA chud, but because that would mean that I have to get new team branded clothing and I just don’t want to give Snyder any more of my money ever. Oh sure, I could just quit and root for literally anyone else but then I wouldn’t have as much fun shitting on Little Danny’s grave when he hopefully dies soon.



I swear to God, after Josh Johnson won his first professional game after 11 years in the league, my father looked me dead in the eyes and said team’s playoff chances: “You never know”.

I hope Albert Haynesworth gets a kidney donation and it gives up on his body in the red zone.



Driving by a deserted FedEx field on a bright summer morning really brings home how dilapidated the place is. It’s like someone took pre-gentrification Coney Island and turned it into a stadium.



Noted supporter of Native American culture, Dan Snyder, invited tribal groups to “bless” the dodgy field at FedEx before the game against the Texans. Having been invoked, the Spirits assessed Dan and his character and meted out the appropriate reward: Alex Smith’s fibula shattered like a plate at a Greek folk dance.



This might as well be a form letter. This team is remarkable for never having any solutions to its problems. Usually it’s just a new crisis replaces the older one.

Dwayne Haskins is going to start because there is no one else and once he goes down before the end of the first offensive possession, Bruce Allen will be outside Morgan Boulevard Metro asking everyone if they have good health insurance and whether or not they’d like to be Washington’s next Quarterback. Two completions and a first down later, this person will be hailed as the future, Haskins will be disgraced for having the gall to be made of only flesh and bone instead of adamantium, and new Quarterback John Doe will be promptly killed by a falling IMAX projector on Dan Snyder’s yacht.



This massive pack of drooling imbeciles, pumping their fists, strutting their superiority, and belching their pride as if they actually played on the team. It’s horrifying. This horde of Marvel Comic goons continues to swell its collective chest with the expectation that the ‘Skins deserve to win the Super Bowl every goddamn year, despite having won a precious zero in nearly thirty years now.



Accidentally found a way to fix my Harper jersey.



Over the last few years of my life, I’ve tried to convince my friends and family that the Skins are the worst organization in professional sports. I explain the racism, human trafficking and genuine mental defects of the team’s Top Men. None of them believe me, because the team goes 7-9 every year and “is close to the playoffs, at least!” This team is a cyst on the face of the cancerous society we live in and has corrupted even the most rational of us.

I don’t care whether they win or lose anymore. I don’t care if Haskins becomes Jesus Christ incarnate or he decides to retire and becomes a South American pastor. I sent in one of these in each of the last few years, but honestly, what’s the point? Hating the Skins is like hating Trump: Everyone knows how dogshit they are, but they’re just going to keep smelling their own farts and telling everyone how great things are. I hope they move to London.

This idiotic clusterfuck of a horseshit team has won. I don’t hate them anymore. I hate how they make me hate myself.



I attended a game last year. Panthers visiting Skins. The Skins are so bad people don’t even fight anymore. The team couldn’t sell out the 9:30 Club, let alone the world’s biggest bidet, FedEx Field and no one cares enough to fight.

It’s just eerie now. You drive up the gooseneck to the stadium, you buy your expensive beer that takes ten minutes to pour from a very well-meaning person, you get to your seat. No one is sitting in it, or even in the vicinity of an aggressive fart. You sit. You’re miles away but can still see the discount sod rumpled like freshly laundered hoodies on all ends of the brown field beneath. You see more open seats than full ones and the dreary, beaten-in burgundy seats; this is the moment you learn that plastic can somehow get basal cell carcinoma.

The biggest problem now is the white boy West Potomac High School junior wearing gas station Oakleys, fueled on his first belts of Pinnacle vodka, forcing cheers upon you. He leaps to his feet at 8:43 in the second quarter and runs up and down the aisle, screaming “Here we go Redskins, here we go!” You can recreate the same sad sound at home by turning on your vacuum cleaner and yelling into the hose. After four or five tries with no victims, he gives up and flips off the section. There’s not even a response to that. This future-Supreme Court justice might decide your life one day.

The Skins march into the tunnel at halftime to boos. An equal number of cheers greet the visitors as they enter their own tunnel. You start talking to the guy next to you about local beers in Raleigh-Durham. In the distance, someone vomits into his girlfriend’s souvenir cup.

By the end of the game, you’re looking around at all the red netting over the once-occupied seats than Dan took away to keep up the sellout lie. You see the ruins of glory never attained, the spoils of loss. A breeze hits your face. The leaves are about to change. Trent Williams hyperextends his knee digging through our Serta™ football turf and stubs his toe on the right engine from Air Florida Flight 90. The crowd makes the sound of a lawnmower that munched its last blade. Eventually the game ends and you don’t even look at the scoreboard.

On your way out, you see West Potomac High School Junior. He’s still got the glasses on, but his eyes are closed. His arms are crossed and he’s passed out, waaaaay out. There’s a big wet spot in the crotch of his pants and no one, not even his friends, are claiming him as their own.


Submissions for the NFL previews are closed. Next up: Carolina Panthers.

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About the author

Drew Magary

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.