One of the NFL's most storied franchises, the Washington Redskins are stuck in a glitzy, draft-pick wasting malaise that has spanned the last three presidential administrations. Fans still show up, of course, but usually end up turning on the home team when they inexplicably lose a key late-season game to an inferior opponent. This isn't sitting well with some players, who told The New York Times how tough it is to play in a town where people get mad if you don't beat the Vikings without Adrian Peterson.
There are many factors — the stadium's size and location, fickle and negative fans, the thousands of visiting fans who always seem to get good seats, the team's overall poor play throughout the decade — but the sobering fact is that only the Detroit Lions have a worse home mark among NFC teams than Washington's 42-44 record at FedEx Field since 2000.
"That's not good company," veteran defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday said Wednesday, "when you talk about what Detroit has done."
"There were a lot of Vikings fans," linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. "I don't know how the visiting fans keep getting in there. Any time we play somebody who's even kind of close to us, it seems like a lot of the opposing team's fans are there." ...
"You get so bashed at home for any little mistake you did," Rogers said. "You come the sideline, the bench, it's cussing, it's this, it's that — and we're just in the first quarter. It's like, 'Are we at home or are we away?' ... Me and some guys were talking about it: If you don't like the team or you don't want to support us through the good or the bad, why come out to the games? We still need that support. We're already down, we're already losing, then to hear some of our fans, it's not helpful."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.