SNIDER: It seems WFT is beyond shame


The Washington Football Team is out of gas with two laps remaining. And, it's going nowhere much like the past 30 years since winning a Super Bowl.

If the WFT was the 300, it would be 16 guys, including some fat farmer named Larry from Sparta Heights whose shield was a turtle shell found on the beach during vacation. Winston Churchill had "nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." Coach Ron Rivera offers nothing but weak excuses and biting retorts while his locker room is obviously burning.

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Band of brothers? Maybe stepbrothers at the reading of a will.

That two players nearly ignited a civil brawl on those nice benches trucked 1,300 miles wasn't the biggest of deals. But that Jonathan Allen, as a team captain and the only Pro Bowler on this dismal underperforming defense, showed no composure is not what a leader does. That wasn't passion – it was poison. Surely, Allen and Daron Payne will work it out. They were college teammates before spending the past four years standing aside in Washington. But, it was an ugly look on national TV.

The fight was remindful of Washington assistant coach Terry Robiskie and receiver Albert Connell in a similar showdown on the Philadelphia sideline in 2000 . . . in a victory. These things happen, mostly by this franchise.

And then there was quarterback Taylor Heinicke on all fours after a devastating hit in the 56-14 loss to Dallas. Heinicke was trying to get up. Teammates were inches away and nobody, absolutely no one, tried to help him. That tells so much. When Jeff George was dragged by a Dallas defender just weeks after the Robiskie-Connell confrontation, not one offensive lineman came to the passer's aid for what normally would have caused a brawl. Teammates hated George. Heinicke's teammates love him. They just don't have the passion left for a fight.

The first full year under owner Dan Snyder in 2000 was one of the more turbulent seasons ever. Despite spending a record $94 million recruiting aging mercenaries like Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith and George, that team lacked a late fight in the 8-8 finish that claimed coach Norv Turner with three games remaining.

Now 21 years later, the same fight has been beaten once more from the team in what won't be Snyder's last season. Oh, Covid and injuries can be blamed in great measure, but it's also a culture that's not working. It just seems that way sometimes because the past decade was even worse.

Coach Ron Rivera entered with a reputation as a butt kicker. Sadly, it seems Rivera saves his ire for pithy answers when asked for postgame accountability.

It used to be all about the games. Block the outside world for three hours. Now, a world of insanity that included a fatal car accident involving a player on Friday has gutted this team.

It won't get any better. It simply ends in two weeks and then half the roster will be flipped, a new name will arrive and everyone will pretend things will improve with a new first-round quarterback or a retread free agent.

But, remember who still runs this franchise despite double-secret probation. It's the same person who thought it would be cute to send benches to Philadelphia and Dallas where the season's playoff hopes ended at the hands of division rivals. The same person who has picked quarterbacks over his staff's objections.

Churchill at least helped win a war with his words. Washington is beyond such inspiration.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.

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