Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Benchwarming Scrub Says Something Stupid on Twitter? What a Shock

Robert Henson is the genius on the left...

Media professionals and public relations workers all throughout the NFL--and the other sports as well--need to solve their Twitter problem, ASAP:
On Sunday afternoon, Robert Henson was a mostly unknown reserve linebacker for the Washington Redskins, a first-year player who had never played in an NFL game and was best known for being the son-in-law of television pastor T.D. Jakes.

By Sunday evening, a few hours after Washington's unsightly 9-7 win against the St. Louis Rams, Henson had taken up an online battle against a segment of disgruntled Redskins fans, calling them disloyal "dim-wits" who "work 9 to 5 at McDonalds."

Almost immediately, Henson became one of the anti-heroes of a game he had watched from the sideline, doused with criticism and insults on sports-talk radio shows and Internet message boards. And by Monday afternoon, Henson sheepishly exited the team's Ashburn training facility, accompanied by several team spokesmen, to apologize for a Twitter-enabled diatribe against fans that provided him his first moment of NFL fame.

"This is exciting," one television reporter joked.

"No it's not," Henson said. "It's the negative kind of media you don't want."

It was also a particularly 2009-vintage media storm, fueled by the pent-up frustrations of Redskins fans and the temptations of Twitter. The Redskins haven't hosted a playoff game in this decade, and have yet to score 30 points in 18 games under Coach Jim Zorn. Hosts on the radio station owned by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder openly speculated about Zorn's successor on Monday, and one of the team's official radio analysts, legendary quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, told Zorn during a postgame interview that he would have disobeyed one of his play calls. The team was booed throughout Sunday's win, including during the game's final moments, a time when victorious home fans are more frequently whooping than whistling.

Anything that gets your name in the papers is a good thing, right?

Well, maybe not. Invoking the paternalistic outrage of a dying, irrelevant cadre of sports writers comes at a time when we just haven't quite kicked them to the curb. Ever been to Washington D.C.? Well, the most ignorant thing about Henson's diatribe is this--no one who works at McDonald's could ever afford the pricey tickets, jerseys, and costs of actually sitting in the stands at Fed-Ex field for more than one or two games a season, so they're really not the ones booing. The Washington Redskins require one thing--money--and the fans MUST supply that money, and they must do so without ever having the benefit of seeing their team succeed. Don't get me wrong--the entire NFL is a license to print money. The difference is, the New York Giants fans actually get to see success. The Redskins fans don't.

Never mind that Henson was right--the Redskins fans deserve what they get, which is abuse and the back of the hand from an organization that prints money and gives them a substandard product. However, in defense of the Redskins--they're 1-1 and it's not even week three yet--what are you complaining about? Sure, they have idiot players who do things like throw the American flag on the ground--so what? It's not like the fans are going to stop buying home and away and vintage jerseys, right?

Wise up, Redskins fans, and start putting paper bags over your head, or, better yet, quit spending so damned much money to reward failure. Perhaps the Redskins really should play a home game in front of thirty or forty thousand Steeler or Eagle fans--what would be the harm in sending that message to the organization?

Your chances of having a viable team to root for diminish every day that Daniel Snyder is allowed to escape financial accountability for the terrible way he has run the team. The only way to change that is to stop handing him wads of bills every week.

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