City Paper is not for tourists
The Rams were lousy, but the Redskins were lousier. And, of course, older. A whole lot older.
Mr. Obvious’s Point No. 2: This season’s debacledom, and the lack of hope that things will get better, can all be traced back to Dan Snyder. He’s the one who delegated Bruce Allen to lead the team’s ticket marketing operation.
Allen was the first guy given the general manager title since Snyder bought the team. He’s also the first GM in NFL history to be a franchise’s main pitch man. While other personnel men were handling personnel men matters, Allen spent the 2010 offseason hosting a series of wine and cheese klatsches for Snyder at FedExField. His main duty was selling club seats for the boss.
Allen’s a great barker, and the excitement that fans had heading into the 2010 season is a tribute to his performance at those ticket-selling meetings and Allen’s other morale-building exercises (organizing alumni gatherings, etc.).
But the equal and opposite byproduct of Allen having to take on salesman duties comes in the performance of the football team. The defense, as we’ll hear all week, is now ranked last in the NFL. Allen didn’t bring in any bodies to aid the transition to a 3/4, so each week network commentators giggle at Andre Carter getting juked trying to cover a running back on a pass route.
Clinton Portis, who was reaching Larry Brown status among the fan base for taking so many hard hits—he had three brain-crunching collisions early in last week’s loss to Houston—looks like he will take no more forever. Rightly or no, that clip of Portis taking a dive in the open field yesterday will follow him all the way to the waiver wire.
But there’s nobody to spell Portis; Allen’s big backfield signings—Larry Johnson and Willie Parker—were old and in the way before they got here and are already gone.
On the plus side, the club level looked real full for that Dallas game. Didn’t it?