Friday, October 28, 2005

From Inflection Point to Bandwagon in Less Than a Week

Wow, who would have thought that the Redskins would be media darlings this soon after passing the inflection point.

Sean Salisbury on the Redskins versus Giants on ESPN Sportscenter this morning (I paraphrase):

The Redskins will win this game because their strength is on defense and the Giants is on offense. Weaknesses: the Redskins have none. The Giants are weak on defense.

Joel Magaraci, writer for the Newark Star Ledger (largest circulation in NJ), who is normally a Giants Homer and Redskins detractor:

...I'm going with the hard facts and they tell me the Redskins are the better team. The Redskins can beat you in so many ways. Offensively, they can trample you on the ground with Clinton Portis, or attack you through the air with QB Mark Brunell and WR Santana Moss. And defensively, they are second to none.
He surprised me.

From the DC Examiner, a list of changes of opinion:

A Different Tune
Media Darlings


Examiner Staff Writer

ASHBURN - ... The national media, including TV analysts, have swung towards the Redskins, who are becoming one of the fashionable teams in the NFL.

...Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, and FOX Sports have them as the seventh best team in the NFL. The Sporting News senior NFL writer Paul Attner wrote, “[Coach Joe] Gibbs has them in playoff contention, and who would have thought that?”

Apparently, before the season, very few people. Gibbs is now the target of we-were-wrong stories when it comes to sticking with Mark Brunell. So said King and FOX analyst Terry Bradshaw. Not that the players cared then, or now...

...The Redskins see themselves as a team of castoffs, players who few teams wanted, especially on defense. It keeps them grounded.

“We’re an underdog-type team,” safety Ryan Clark said, “and we’re trying to revel in that and not get too high now that people are actually rooting for us.”

One TV analyst is sticking by his lofty prediction. Joe Theismann, of course, picked them to reach the Super Bowl.

“[People] thought I was being a homer,” Theismann said. “Sean Salisbury thought I was the biggest idiot in the world for picking them. He said something about how he would walk from Dallas to New York naked if they did it. I’m going to hold him to it.” (Ed. Note: That is the same Salisbury who now says the Redskins do not have any weaknesses).

And the number one reason why the bandwagon is likely to get more passengers is Joe Gibbs will not let his players believe the hype; he never did before:
"Gibbs has been around too long to know what could happen with a couple losses...You get talked up one day and talked down the next,” Gibbs said. “It can go in a hurry. This week, if things don’t go well, I know what’s coming.”


At October 31, 2005 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

36-0 does all the talking for me.


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