For several years, the mention of Redskins Park could make one think you were talking about an amusement park in Ashburn, Virginia that features expensive rides along with the promise of thrills and a return to the days of yesteryear but sadly left those who attended with a feeling of emptiness and overall disappointment. For many it could be described as the same feeling you would get if you went to Hershey Park (a.k.a. “The Sweetest Place on Earth”) and after standing in the long lines and smelling that beautiful smell of the greatest chocolate on Earth…you were given a cheap chocolate substitute.
But alas, the keys to Redskins Park have been handed to someone who knows that the fans of one of the most storied franchises won’t tolerate anything less than the best. For too long, the fans have taken it on the chin while the front office continued to throw money at a problem that may have had less to do with the talent of the players than those coaching the players. The coaching situation was put to a much needed rest with the return of Joe Gibbs and seemingly so has the careless spending on players. In the second off-season under the legendary Hall of Fame coach, Gibbs has orchestrated one of the quietest Redskins off-seasons in recent memory. Outside of the exchange of receivers with the Jets, there were no flashing free agent signings, none of the usual spending sprees we have grown accustomed to and no frequent flyer miles logged on Redskin One. If it wasn’t for Sean Taylor, the news coming out of Redskins Park would be minimal at best. The meatiest of the news is the league’s investigation into their workouts being “too physical” following the videos that the Redskins themselves placed on their website. Judging by the early accounts, it seems the Redskins have decided that last years’ team needed to improve and they have started to work on that. What makes this even more welcome is that none of the players called the league, like the Giants did last season, but rather players have defended the “spirited” workouts.
It is too early to tell if this “new” approach to Redskins football will pay off when it really matters but considering we have seen how the other approach fared, fans should at least be willing to trust a man that has shown that he knows what it takes to build a championship caliber team. For not only has he done it before in the NFL, he has also done it twice in NASCAR. Gibbs and his coaching staff need to be given time to get their system in place and to have the players buy into it. Once that happens, we may not need to go to Hershey Park for sweet smells, for the sweet smell of success will be wafting through the trees around Redskins Park. Then, maybe the Redskins front office could start an amusement park, perhaps something like Lombardi Land, where those in attendance would need to wear sunglasses to protect them from the glare from all those beautiful trophies.
Yes, I am a dreamer. But deep down inside, aren’t we all?
Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Les Barnhart