As we are mere days away from the start of training camp, it came to me that there is no other time in the entire year (with exception to draft day) where fans of all 32 teams can be completely excited. This is the only time where all 32 fan bases can feel anticipation for the start of the year. This is the time of the year where all fans can have one thing that will dwindle as the season starts and will be completely gone for most as we get to February. That my dear reader is Hope.
Hope comes in different forms for different people.
For the Lions fan, hope is an 5-8 win season (although I would guess many would be happy with 4 wins) and the hope that the worst franchise in the league that has been stewing in mediocrity since the 2000 season is finally starting to turn the franchise around.
For the Texans fan, hope is finally making the playoffs and possibly toppling the Titans and Colts in the AFC South (this year may be their best chance to do it).
For the Vikings fan, hope is that Brett Favre quits jerking the team around and makes his decision to come back and play for Minnesota.
For the Packers fan, hope is that the Packers make Favre regret that probable decision.
For myself, being a Redskins fan, hope is a tricky proposition. Especially after the end of the 2008 season, I was convinced that 2009 would be a mediocre season. But then the offseason comes and the burnout and frustration goes away. Haynesworth, Dockery, Orakpo and the re-signing of Hall helps.
Then came the whole Cutler/Sanchez/Campbell saga. And while it was frustrating to see this whole debacle, I actually think the figurative hot seat for Jason Campbell may push him to the level he needs to be to succeed as a starting QB. Sometimes, the "I'll show you!!" attitude makes people do things that they couldn't have done with pampering and support. Trust me, it works. It got me through college.
Of course, some fans have hope that players like Mike Williams (a former 1st round bust, out of football and now fighting for a roster spot) will be the next Pro Bowl tackle. He's a great story and I hope he does well, but I think you're drinking way too much Kool-Aid if you think Williams will be the best right tackle in the league and dominate after years of struggling and being out of the NFL.
Redskin fans are stereotyped by other fans that we think every year is a Super Bowl year even if Danny Wuerffel and Trung Candidate are heading a Steve Spurrier offense. For some people, that may be the case, but some Redskin fans don't see it and I'm one of them. I don't see it right now for this team.....but guys please prove me wrong. I'll be proud to have a nice big bowl of crow stew if the Skins could do something like win the NFCE or go deep into the playoffs (I'm talking NFC Championship game).
Anyway, here what I hope for with the Skins in the 2009 season.
1. I hope the O-line can stay healthy (this will be a huge storyline throughout the year).
2. I hope Jason Campbell has figured out what he needs to do to get points on the board and not make mistakes.
3. I hope that Thomas, Kelly and Davis have gotten healthy and figured out what it takes to be a productive NFL player.
4. I hope that Albert Haynesworth is worth every penny in his contract (remember, I wasn't initially that happy about the move).
5. I hope that the Redskins know what they're doing with Brian Orakpo.
6. I hope Jim Zorn figures out what he needs to improve upon as a signal caller and head coach and can get the job done.
7. I hope that the fans can come to FedEx and see the Skins at least win at home.
8. I hope that I'll be seeing my first playoff game at FedEx this year.
Hey, one can hope right?