It’s the home opener Monday Night for the ravaged Cowboys, and look who’s coming to their doorstep: those pesky upstart Redskins and their saucy QB, Rex “The Sex Cannon” Grossman. Now, Rexy is new to the whole Skins/Cowboys thing, but he made it clear in a radio interview this week that’s he’s already been towing the company line about how much this game means. From Dan Steinberg:
When you’re talking Redskins-Cowboys, it’s the biggest rivalry in football. So Monday night, the whole thing, we’ll be ready.
In fact, a whole bunch of Redskins took to the air to talk about the “rivalry,” including LB London Fletcher (“We hate the Cowboys around here”) and more. I’ve lived in the DC area for a few years and one of the bizarre things about the Redskins is how provincial some of their fans are, particularly the little fan who now owns the team. On its surface, this is just another regular season game, albeit a divisional game, which is important when considering tiebreakers and all that fun stuff. But Skins owner Danny Snyder, when not drunk dialing Shanny at 4AM for a sleepover, has made beating Dallas some kind of high priority, as if this is some dopey college rivalry.
That’s why you have Grossman and the like parroting lines about what a great rivalry this is and how much they hate Dallas (“It’s Dallas Week!” is always a big one). That all comes straight from the top, from Mr. Snyder stomping around with his rattle and letting everyone know that the Dallas game means more to him than any other game. It’s an odd fixation, given that we’re talking about pro football. In college football, it makes sense to have big rivalries, because there’s no playoff, so your rivalry game acts as your championship game by proxy (often being the last game of the regular season). But the NFL isn’t anything like that. The NFL is for grownups, which means you don’t go around treating certain games like they’re special and all that nonsense. These are professionals.
But since Dan Snyder is anything but professional, you get his team blabbing on like it’s the Army/Navy game. It hasn’t helped them much. Since 2000, the Skins are 7-15 against their rivals. In fact, it’s not much of a rivalry at all. But don’t tell Dan Snyder that. He’s too busy fluffing his pom poms.