Redskins fans love to burn jerseys. A 32-48 record in the last five seasons will do that to a fan base.
Still, it’s surprising to see how readily ‘Skins fans will burn just about any jersey. It would be one thing for a Red Sox fan to burn a Johnny Damon jersey after Damon signed with the Yankees, or for Phillies fans to burn a Billy Wagner jersey after the closer signed with the hated Mets and shared a few choice words about his former teammates and the Philadelphia fans.
But Burning an Albert Haynesworth jersey? OK, I get it. Your team signed the defensive tackle for a bajillion dollars over 48 years. (I’m kind of fuzzy on the exact details, but I think that’s about right.) He absolutely stunk. He’s moved on to New England, where he’s at least passably effective, and even static mediocrity would be an improvement over what he provided in his two years in Washington.
In the big picture, Haynesworth’s ineffectiveness in D.C. didn’t have much of an impact, though. If he’d stuffed a few more runs on defense, it wouldn’t have kept the ‘Skins from having the sixth-worst offense in the NFL in his one full season.
The impact of jersey-burning in the capital has lost its oomph, anyway. A few years ago, Redskins fans burned a Donovan McNabb Eagles jersey in the parking lot at FedEx Field, as Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog points out. McNabb was a great quarterback and played for a division rival, but I can’t remember him ever ripping the hearts out of the Redskins’ chests. The Redskins were never relevant enough for McNabb to even have that opportunity. This is like Bills fans burning a Tom Brady jersey.
Seriously, if you saw a Brady jersey in flames in Buffalo, wouldn’t you be puzzled? What would be the message of that little stunt? “Down with Brady! If it wasn’t for him, we could have won five games last season instead of four! Burn, baby, burn!”
It’s possible there’s something between D.C. and Haynesworth the rest of us just wouldn’t understand. Kind of like Boston and Doug Mientkiewicz, maybe. (Are we still supposed to dislike him? I’ve lost track.)
The thing is, a fan base is only allowed so many of these irrational hatreds. Guess what? A lot of free agents don’t pan out (especially if you’re the Redskins). In some cases, jersey burning might be acceptable. In most cases, get over it.
Fun fact: If you try to set a Darrell Green jersey on fire, the D.C. football gods smite you. But those Haynesworth jerseys light up like kindling.
Photo: Screengrab from YouTube via SBNation
“He had a small package, and it was impressive how it got a lot bigger in the middle of the game.”
– Giants quarterback Eli Manning on how Brandon Stokely was able to be effective during Monday night’s game
This was only marginally clever the first time. Thanks for tweeting it twice, because upon further review, the play stands as called: Not funny.
This jersey originally sold for $284.95. And now it’s ashes. Solid investment by this guy.