“He won’t eat his dinner,” Tanya Snyder said to her husband, Dan, as he walked into the Snyder manor front door.
“How was he with his tutors?” Dan asked, pushing his glasses up onto his nose and crossing his arms.
Tanya’s head tilted toward Dan, her eyes staring at him bleakly. Apparently, it hadn’t gone well with his tutors.
“Again?” said Dan to the air, shaking his head. “What did you feed him?”
“I tried everything and nothing works. First, he asked for…”
“Let me guess,” Dan interjected, “Chicken fingers.”
“Chicken Crispers, Dan. Chicken Crispers, from Chili’s. I set that next to him and he didn’t budge. Then I ordered the bottomless pasta bowl from Olive Garden.”
“As if he had been there himself, right?” Dan said as he took off his suit jacket. He walked upstairs to his bed room. Tanya followed.
“Right. He wants as many bowls as he would have gotten had he actually ordered it in the restaurant,” she said, gesturing from behind Dan as they walked into the east wing of the manor. “So, I set five bowls of pasta next to him. Nothing.”
“Well, it is game night, honey. You know how he gets.”
Dan plopped one leg into his R-Words sweatpants, then the other.
“You decided not to go to this one?” Tanya asked.
“No, I’m going to let my double handle it. Don’t feel like making the trip this time. I’m going to go check on Dan Snyder Jr.”
“Alright, but no toys until after dinner.”
“You got it. I promise I’ll clean the whole plate,” Dan said with a smirk.
“I meant Junior!” said Tanya, slapping Dan on the shoulder, giggling. Dan grabbed her and held her close.
“No smear the queer tonight, Danny. I’m too,” said Tanya, bopping Dan on the nose with her forefinger, “tired.”
“Well,” Dan’s voice got husky, “Just don’t let me see you carrying any of my balls around the house.”
When Dan Snyder approached his son’s closed bedroom door, he heard muffled cheering that sounded like it came from the throats of thousands. When he knocked on the door, the apparent crowd fell silent immediately.
“Who is it?” said a low, monotone child voice.
“Dan Snyder Jr., it’s your father.”
There was no answer.
“Son, you need to let your father in.” Dan’s voiced donned a fatherly tone.
The door suddenly unlocked. Dan Snyder pushed the door with his fingertips to find the room dimly lit, with R-Words paraphernalia covering the walls, the bedding, and floor. The carpet was green and was designed white lines, hashmarks, numbers, and end zones. It was a miniature football field. Dan Snyder Jr. sat in the middle of it, cross legged, holding an R-Words player action figure, his back to his father. The number on the figure was 16.
“Hey, are you playing with your new Colt McCoy figure, Dan Snyder Jr.?” said Dan in chipper tone.
“Why are you interrupting me when the game is about to start?” Dan Snyder Jr. said, still low and monotone.
Dan Sr. strolled into the large room.
“Aw, hail!” Dan said, grabbing one of his shoeless feet in his hands. He had stepped on something hard and bluntly sharp. He looked down to find another R-Words action figure, this one with “X’s” on its eyes. He picked it up to see it was wearing number 8 and the back read “Cousins.”
“Dan Snyder Jr.!” he said, “You need to keep your room clean. And eat your dinner for once! Your mother is very upset.”
Dan Snyder Jr. continued to stare at his Colt McCoy action figure.
“I’m getting bored,” said Dan Snyder Jr., almost to himself.
“No, no, no, son,” replied Dan. “it’s just a new one, that’s all. You’re not used to it yet. You just need to give him more time.”
“I’ll play with him tonight,” said Dan Snyder Jr., looking up at his father, “but that’s it. Then I need something new.”
“Son,” Dan’s father tone returned, “You need to learn to enjoy what you have. Two years ago, you said you would never ask for another toy again. Remember? You said you wanted to play with a toy that was like Michael Vick. You said you wanted one that was black and fast, remember? And I told you I would get you a fast one, and you got in trouble for assuming that meant black?”
“He was very expensive. Where is your Griffin, Dan Snyder Jr.?”
Dan Snyder Jr. pointed to his bed, still sitting and looking down at his McCoy. Dan walked over to the bed, and found a miniature Robert Griffin III laying there. He picked it up. It was missing a leg.
“The problem is, Dan Snyder Jr.,” Dan started, “you don’t get bored with your toys. You hate them. You loved your Griffin for a whole year. Then you decided to rip his leg off. I remember hearing you yell, ‘don’t look at me like that!’ across the house.”
“He thought he was better than me. He started telling me what to do,” Dan Snyder Jr. said, looking up at his father.
“Everyone was too happy. Fear is the only way to stay in charge here, father. I don’t!” Dan Snyder Jr. began to scream these last words as his head swiveled over to the shelf against the wall, which were covered with all the other 51 R-Words figures, “let them tell me what to do!”
“Well, if you hated him, why did bring him everywhere you went with just one leg? Why didn’t you just throw him away?”
“I’m not done with him yet.”
“The leg. Where is the leg now?”
“I’ll never tell,” he said almost lyrically, like a mockery of a song.
“But,” Dan Snyder Jr. began again, “We must give them hope now. Tonight will be your night.”
Dan Snyder Jr. looked down at his shiny McCoy, and began petting its head.
“Son, who are they?”
“They’re everywhere,” Dan Snyder Jr. said, his voice dropping to a whisper. “I hear always hear them. Sometimes, they cheer. Sometimes, they sound angry.”
“They talk to you?”
“It’s okay. I control them now. They do as I say,” Dan Snyder Jr. whispered, then sang mockingly: “They’re here,” dragging out the last word.
An alarm sounded on Dan’s phone. He pulled it out of his pocket.
“Oh, it’s game time, buddy. Gotta go watch,” Dan said quickly, jogging towards the door. “Eat your food. Clean your room. Do your homework.”
Before he exited, Dan turned back and said to his son: “Hey, Dan Snyder Jr., let me know if you ever want to watch the real football game with me. Someday, you might prefer the real thing to the toys. You can come downstairs if you want, pal. Up to you.”
As closed the door, he heard his son whisper, “Hail to me!”
After he closed the door, the muffled cheering began again.
“It’s like a hollywood script!” NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger said during the post-game highlights. “It has all the ebbs and flows.”
Good, Brian. Very good.
The brilliant, progressive mind pulling the strings behind the R-Words has done it again. With an overtime victory against their arch rival, the C-Words, the R-Words have regained their fans’ hearts. The dying coals that was once a blazing hot rivalry between the two teams, only still alive due to their fan bases, got a slight stoke on Monday night, more like a nudge. The embers reacted, emmitting a puff of heat and a blink of burgundy and gold. And there we are, rubbing our hands together over it like homeless people.
Two weeks ago, the R-Words were 1-5. Kirk Cousins was laying captain’s log on top of captain’s log. RGIII was still weeks away from health, and no one knew whether we would be any good anyway. The fans had given up. It was a repeat of 2013. The R-Words did would any villain would do: it gave its fans hope to poison their souls. Luckily for the R-Words, Washington fans only need a two game win streak to have hope again.
And, “take a look at their upcoming schedule,” Steve Young insisted after the game, “The R**skins all of a sudden are winning games, and their next two games are Minnesota and Tampa Bay.” It was at this point, he started to get that crazy look in his eye. “If they get a couple wins here.” Young then grabbed Dilfer next to him on the shoulder like a hysterical woman who needed an emotional crutch, “I don’t know!” He didn’t know what he was saying. Steve Young, steely, cool-headed hall of fame quarterback, had, for one instant, succumb to the palpable poisonous hope we R-Words fans swim in every day. 5-5 has now been written on our hearts.
Reasons for Hope (Poison)
Rookie Baushad Breeland played like Darelle Revis. Kevin Durant, huge R-Words fan, had tweeted “Breeland Island” after the game, and he wasn’t wrong. Breeland, due to the constant blitzing Jim Haslett was calling, had to cover one of the best freak receivers in the league and possibly the most dangerous C-Word of them all, Dez Bryant, one on one. And he was beating him. He won the game with a near interception against Bryant and had won two end zone challenges against him before that. Bryant had three catches for 30 yards.
The defense flashed looking formidable. They sacked C-Words quarterbacks five times. Much-maligned Brandon Meriweather got two, and Ryan Kerrigan stayed in the top five in the league in sacks with one of his own.
DeSean Jackson remains the best deep threat in the league. His 20.8 yards per catch dwindles any other receiver in the league with at least 25 receptions.
Colt McCoy completed 83% of his passes, and actually got better after he threw an early interception, when Captain Kirk had consistently fallen apart.
Alfred Morris was a threat again, be it a mild one.
Tyler Polumbus was finally benched, thank God.
Finally, on a two game win streak, with two bad teams bracketing a bye week, RGIII is returning.
Reasons for Depression
RGIII is returning. No one knows what that means. It’s possible he returns next week against Minnesota, and he’s taking the reins of a team that’s feeling confident. We don’t know, unfortunately, how he’ll do. Will he run the team into the ground while he figures things out? This is make or break for Griffin. Forget about playoffs. Either he plays his way into being the 2015 starter, or he plays his way out of Washington.
Alfred Morris was only a mild threat. At one point, Gruden even gave third stringer, Silas Redd, a shot in the game, a sign that maybe the coaches think the underachieving is being done by Morris, not the offensive line or the game plan. He’s on pace for barely breaking 1,000 yards for the season, which is way below par for him. Or above par, I guess. Whichever one is worse when used as a metaphor.
Pierre Garcon is being wasted.
Brandon Meriweather was flying all over the field, getting two sacks and a forced fumble. He admitted that his mediocre play this season had been a result of being worried about getting fined or suspended again, and Haslett had urged him to be himself before the game. So, expect him to get fined or suspended next week.
Week 9 Outlook
As prophesied, Robert Griffin III returns. It comes in the blink of an eye, like a thief in the night. Trumpets sound as he arrives on his own personal cloud. The dead rise. Rocks cry out. Non-believers (the media, and all of you who were begging for Cousins for the last year) are burned in an eternal fire. Kirk Cousins, former beloved teammate, flees after attempting to betray Griffin for a large sum of money; ie, the R-Words starting job at quarterback. Colt McCoy paved the way for him against Dallas, telling the media all last week that he is not the chosen one, that one is coming who is greater than he, whose helmet he is not fit to unstrap. RGIII tries his hand at being humble, and praises Colt McCoy to the press, saying, “What did you go out to Dallas to see? A reed shaken by the wind? I tell you there is no one born of women who is greater than Jordan Reed.” Being humble is not easy when you’re a savior; you might forget who were you trying to praise. Against Minnesota, a voice from above (the color commentator) cries out that this is Robert Griffin III, with whom he is well pleased.
And Washington is saved.
Washington 24, Minnesota 13