Art Monk wasn’t the only one making history this weekend.
On Saturday, pro football’s all-time leading receiver broke Rep. Steve Largent’s (R-Okla.) mark for consecutive games with at least one reception, amid way too much fanfare. Monk’s longevity is surely impressive, but the hoopla surrounding his chase to meet or beat the Seattle legend’s mark is just as surely contrived.
Monk and Largent are/were receivers, aren’t/weren’t they? If a receiver suits up, shouldn’t he have at least one reception? Do bakeries keep stats for consecutive workdays in which a baker bakes at least one baked good?
Monk’s exploits took attention away from the marks his former team set Sunday. Real records. Real bad records.
You want streaks? With the loss to the Arizona Cardinals, for starters, the Redskins established a record for most consecutive losses within a division in NFL history. Since beating the Cowboys on opening night last year, Washington has not won a single game against an NFC East opponent, a string that’s now at 15. The Houston Oilers held the old mark.
Seeing that the Skins’ remaining games are against Tampa Bay this Sunday and in Anaheim on Christmas Eve—neither an NFC East contest—that skid rolls over into next season. The 1994 Redskins have also tied their 1961 and 1993 counterparts for the most losses in a season: 12 and counting. Not that the Bucs or Rams are powerhouses, but given that this year’s model has yet to record a two-game winning streak, it’s a given that that mark’s toast.
The team record for home losses in one season—seven—is now secure, set two weeks ago against the New York Giants. That mark, however, will be in final jeopardy when Tampa Bay comes calling Sunday. Another loss to the streaking Bucs (winners of, believe it or not, three in a row) will make the Skins the third team in league history to go winless through an entire eight-game home schedule.
Other records likely to fall before year’s end:
Most points surrendered by a Redskins team in a single season. The current mark is 392, set by the 1961 bunch. After 14 games this year, the Redskins have already given up 374.
Fewest rushing touchdowns in a season. The team has only four rushing TDs. Perspective: John Riggins rushed for 24 touchdowns by himself in 1983.
Though the Redskins can’t run for themselves, people are having no trouble running from the Redskins. WTEM-AM, the low-rated all-sports station that has been the flagship of Washington’s radio network for the past three seasons, recently announced that it had no intention of renewing its broadcasting contract.
Right around the same time that announcement was made, “The Team” jettisoned most of its on-air talent, attributing its sorry financial state to the affiliation with the Redskins.
The local cuisine scene also provides bountiful food for thought about how an association with the Redskins isn’t the meal ticket it once was.
Two years ago, for instance, Guest Services thought it would be a neat and lucrative idea to pay Richie Petitbon for the right to put his name on a suburban fern bar, and Petitbon’s American Grill & Bar in Arlington was born.
The joint folded a few weeks ago.
Another restaurant bearing the deposed coach’s handle is still afloat in Fairfax. But, based on the meager number of people (“fans” wouldn’t be the right word here) who showed up at the Fairfax Petitbon’s to watch the Redskins/Cardinals tilt on Sunday, look for that eatery to go the way of former Skins hangouts like Rick Walker’s Scoreboard and the short-lived Jay Schroeder’s All-Pro Restaurant. (Good riddance: Only one of three television sets in Petitbon’s bar was tuned to the home team’s game at kickoff.)
Petitbon’s bistros may be going belly-up, but even so, the boiler-bellied ex-coach must be on about the same emotional page as George Bush these days. Sure, both were ripped from positions they coveted, but some peaceful, easy feelings must come from watching their successors suffer through even more brutal times.
Speaking of broken records….Another loss in the final minute! This whole year has been like Groundhog Day. By this point in the season, the death scene played out in the Arizona game was almost cliché.
Could this be the moral payback for GM Charlie Casserly’s wicked handling of Charles Mann, Brad Edwards, Earnest Byner, and, yes, Art Monk?
Even if the game’s outcome was preordained, what the hell was Ron Lynn thinking?
Fourth and one with a minute left, the game absolutely on the line, and nobody covers Garrison Hearst! It’s fourth and one, Ron! Didja ever think: “Hmmmm….Maybe the ball’s gonna go to the running back!”
By the time Lynn’s boys tackled the ball carrier, he’d rambled 29 yards down the sideline to the 6-yard line, and the game was lost. Patty Hearst was easier to apprehend.
But the Redskins don’t have the league’s worst defense, and one of the poorest in team history, for nothing. Norv Turner should’ve paid a tad more attention to the line on Lynn’s résumé that reads “Defensive Coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals” before hiring him.
Now comes the rematch nobody’s been looking forward to: another date with the Redskins’ inauspicious rivals, the Buccaneers.
Thankfully, the scheduling oddity that called for poor teams to play one another twice in the same season—the bonus for finishing in fifth place the previous year—will become a thing of the past when the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars suit up for 1995.
Indianapolis and Seattle were accorded the same dubious honor in the AFC this year. The Seahawks lost both games to the Colts. On paper, there’s no reason to expect the Redskins to garner a result any more favorable. Two weeks ago, Washington was done in by an offense that managed just 10 yards rushing on 12 carries.
And that was with Jim Lachey playing! This time around, Lachey, far and away the team’s best lineman, won’t even be in uniform, having suffered a horrendous leg gash in the game against Arizona. Lachey’s highly touted young backup, Tre Johnson, turned an ankle and will also miss the latest Tampa Bay matchup.
By the way, 10 yards’ rushing for an entire game is another record owned by the 1994 Redskins….