Okay, I’ve got to address two HUGE items of Washington Redskins discussion to make news today.
First, Chris Cooley’s comments regarding Tony Romo, and Dan Graziano’s reaction. For those of you who didn’t get a chance to read Graziano’s thoughts or see what Cooley said, click here.
First of all, I really enjoy reading Dan’s work on the NFC East blog on ESPN (and I hate 99.9% of everything ESPN does), so I was a bit shocked at his approach to Cooley’s comments and suggesting Cooley apologize to Romo for his actions. I was also baffled by his incredible exclusion of the fact that this is a rivalry!
Chris Cooley should not be offering words of encouragement to a division rival, and a rival that transcends the division, the conference, the NFL altogether. When people talk about the greatest rivalries in sports, they talk the Redskins vs. Cowboys in the same breath as the Yankees vs. Red Sox, Michigan vs. Ohio State, Celtics vs. Lakers, Bears vs. Packers.
Chris Cooley is the product of Joe Gibbs, who took the Cowboys vs. Redskins rivalry to all new heights. Coach Gibbs instilled a hatred of the Cowboys in his players, and Cooley has always been vocal against the Cowboys. When asked about Romo choking, Cooley’s response indicated that all of the blame shouldn’t be put on Romo, but also the coaching staff, but he made it a point to suggest that Romo’s turnovers were also his fault.
Cooley should cheer for his rivals to fail, especially division rivals. As long as the Redskins are in the hunt, the Cowboys’ struggles do nothing but make the Redskins’ hunt easier. So being upset by the enemy struggling would be ironic.
Now the second bit of what I want to address is all of the Redskins fans who take Tim Hightower’s expectations of winning a Super Bowl as being outrageous. The only thing outrageous is that anyone (including Redskins “fans”) expect our players who are “underperforming” to not talk about wanting to win the Super Bowl.
In the NFL, there should not be one player, coach, owner, or fan who does not want to see their team win a Super Bowl… and it should be an expectation (realistic or not) every single season. Last year (2010-11 season) the national media all had the Dallas Cowboys favorited to win the Super Bowl at the beginning of the year. When Aaron Rodgers first taunted with the imaginary belt, the Packers weren’t even in position to enter the playoffs and had more injuries to starters than a plane crash could have caused. Well, at the end of the year, those who laughed at Rodgers’ outer-worldly ambitions were silenced faster than the man whose vocal cords ruptured.
Point being? Hightower, who was asked what his goals for the 2011 NFL season were, said he expects to win a Super Bowl, and showed he’s got his focus on the right prize. As farfetched and outrageous as the expectation may seem to a lot of people, it’s still the goal everyone invested in any capacity to a football team should have, and I commend Tim Hightower for making it clear that he expects he and his teammates to perform at the highest level.
Anyone who thinks Cooley should apologize or never should have said what he said about Romo and the Cowboys, should not be watching football. Rivalries make this sport. And anyone who has a problem with a fan or player expecting a Super Bowl, no matter how out of favor it is, should not be involved with the sport. What Chris Cooley and Tim Hightower did today, respectively, is enhance their positions on the team in the eyes of the true fans, and show us that there is a goal and camaraderie that exists in Washington that has seemingly been absent for far too long.
Hail to the Redskins! Hail to Chris Cooley! Hail to Tim Hightower!