Shutdown Corner - NFL

There are hundreds of insults you could lob toward Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder (literally), but this may be the worst: Things have gotten so bad this year that some of the team's fans will be rooting against the 'Skins in tonight's Monday Night home game against the Philadelphia Eagles. It doesn't get much worse than that.

The thinking is that if the Redskins win after a week in which he stripped Jim Zorn of playcalling duties and handed them to a guy who joined the team three weeks ago, it will only embolden Snyder. He's always had a "me against the world" attitude, so a victory could further that refrain. You can picture him squawking to Vinny Cerrato about it tomorrow: "You see? YOU SEE?! We won! We know what we're doing. Not the Washington Post, or ESPN, or those snotty fans. We do! Our plan worked! (Chest bumps Cerrato, knocking over the replica Super Bowl trophy on his desk.) Now, get me Don Coryell's number and start scouting college wide receivers, STAT!"

To some fans, the idea of ever rooting against your team seems sacrilegious. To others, a pragmatic approach could provide certain situations when doing so might be appropriate. For instance, if your squad is fighting for the No. 1 draft pick it makes sense to pull for a late-season loss to ensure that you get a can't-miss prospect like JaMarcus Russell(notes). (Or something like that.)

Doing this doesn't mean you actually have to cheer against your team though. The 'Skins fans who'd rather teach Snyder a lesson tonight won't be wearing Donovan McNabb(notes) jerseys and clapping when Laron Landry(notes) extends an Eagles drive with a 15-yard personal foul. It will be more of an apathy kind of thing.

I polled 10 of the biggest Redskins fans I know this weekend to see what their feelings were about tonight's game. Three responded that they'd be rooting for the 'Skins as much as usual. Five said they wanted a win but had to qualify their remarks with things like "but I really don't care" or "only because it's against an NFC East team". The remaining two people said that, while it pained them, they'd prefer the Redskins to lose. (And these are ten huge fans, mind you.)

As a 'Skins fan myself, I don't know where I stand. It's complicated. I had zero desire to go to the game tonight, mainly because I hope and anticipate FedEx Field being empty and filled with Eagles fans. Not going is my little protest. The best way to get at Snyder isn't on the field, but in the wallet. An empty stadium stands a better chance of getting his attention than another pathetic effort.

I never want my favorite team to lose, but I also certainly wont be upset when if they do. Best case scenario, I guess, is that the defense scores some points, the offense is embarrassed enough that Snyder realizes he's an idiot and Marty McFly drives the Delorean back to 1999 and makes it so Jack Kent Cooke's son buys the team.

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