Friday, January 4, 2008

Why It's Obvious the Skins Will Win, and We Welcome Back an Old Friend (at least for this week)

Thomas Boswell came out firing in this morning’s paper with the kind of optimism he usually reserves for baseball’s Opening Day. Seriously it’s as if he’s trying to single-handedly revive the defunct Manny Acta Optimist of the Week Award. Maybe he misses receiving MAOs of the Week and this is his attempt to pad his mantle with our virtual trophies. If so: success! Boswell is our Optimist of the Week. Even though it doesn’t appear to be a “weekly” award anymore, it’s still a fine, noble recognition. It’s also a reflection of my personal bit of thanks, since this wonderful piece helped pull me out of post-Orange Bowl despair around 1:30 this morning.

It’s not just the overall theme that “of course the Redskins will win tomorrow” permeating every pore of this article that lands Boz the distinction, it’s his seemingly uncalled-for complete evisceration of everything the Seahawks have “accomplished” (see, even I’m doing it) this season. Rarely have I seen a DC-area media-type so thoroughly trash a non-rival. Not even a non-rival; a team that basically doesn’t exist in the minds of area football fans who do not have Matt Hasselbeck on their fantasy squad. The Bucs would evoke a more passionate response. That’s why it’s so marvelous in it’s apparent unprovoked hostility.

Some highlights:

- Snootily referred to Washington State as the “other” Washington
- Classified Seattle’s schedule as “lame”
- Condescendingly called the Seahawks “a pleasant 10-6 team from a weak division.”
- Called Seattle’s opponents “patsies” and their road to the playoffs a “a marshmallow roast”.
- Wrote off of four Seahawks’ wins as victories over “chumps” (49ers, Rams)

Later, Boswell’s delightful statistical gymnastics (his wheelhouse), resulting in the conclusion that the Skins have one of the NFC’s best defenses and the Seahawks possibly the worst in all of football (since they “only played strong defense against lousy teams”), were a stroke of tear-jerking brilliance.

I only wish he would have spent some time slamming Seattle’s blandly cliched “12th Man” gimmick. Ugh. How much longer must we suffer a team in any sport referring to its crowd as the “x” man (12th in football, 10th in baseball, etc.), with each offending team somehow thinking they have exclusive claim to overdone and non-original premise. And a “12th Man” flag on top of the Space Needle? Just when it couldn’t get any dumber…
Also, Shaun Alexander stinks.

In the end, Boswell’s optimism would seem to wane a bit when he says this magical Skins’ run will end, though he definitively states (in case we missed the point of the preceding paragraphs) the end will not come at the hands of the Seahawks. We know better, however. Just as we’re confident of a win this weekend, we’re equally confident that, next week, Boz will be back with a list of reasons the Redskins can’t possibly lose in Dallas. We look forward to that, as well as to the wealth of Boswell stat-twisting conclusions the matchup could offer. We throw out this one to chew on: why Todd Collins should replace Tony Romo in the Pro Bowl. Go at it, Tom.

Update: Dr. Z agrees regarding The 12th Man, etc. Perhaps he, like Boswell, is trying to recapture some of that past glory.

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