— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) December 8, 2013
Laughter is the best coping mechanism. There’s little scientific evidence of why it’s true, but it is — we smile instead of cry in all sorts of inappropriate instances. Freud’s famous example of this cites a prisoner being led off to execution on a Monday. He turns to his guard and says, “Well, this is a good beginning to the week.” Freud argued that laughter liberates us from the reality of painful situations, making it easier to eventually accept the truth.
So, on Sunday, I laughed. A lot.
I laughed as Sav Rocca’s first punt line-drived its way just 33 yards downfield into the arms of Dexter McCluster for a 57-yard return, just a sign of things to come. I laughed as RGIII telegraphed yet another pass, reminding us that he is still very much a work in progress. I laughed when Rocca’s third punt — this one actually traveling a respectable 58 yards — was returned for a touchdown; I laughed harder when the kickoff following the Skins first, and only, touchdown was brought back 95 yards for six points.
When it was finally, mercifully over, Washington had lost its tenth game, 45-10. Another one to throw into the dumpster fire that is this season — possibly the worst of my 31-year lifetime. A new low to top the many lows of the Dan Snyder Era.
I poured myself a tall glass of whiskey, the second-best coping mechanism, and settled in to watch the postgame press conferences. To see what Shanahan would have to say about the report earlier in the day, suggesting he was ready to quit last year. And to see how RGIII would handle rock bottom.
Griffin was clearly frustrated — he even said as much — but his body language and responses were strange. When asked if he knew anything about Shanahan clearing out his office last year, he looked around for a couple seconds with a sarcastic smile before saying, “No.” He said the report wasn’t “relevant to my life.” And, of the organization in general, he said, “Some things are allowed to happen. We can cut a lot of it out and it’s not being cut out. It’s very unfortunate. That’s all I can say and all I will say.”
And then there was Shanahan, who was peppered with questions about the report, but refused to deny any of it, only fueling speculation that at least some of the report is true. Not that it matters either way — Shanahan is done in Washington now, so his intentions of staying or going after last season no longer matter. But they speak to the larger issues around this team — the behind-the-scenes bullshit that always seems to involve Dan Snyder, the one constant here. That even on a team which won the division last season, the owner could still find a way to cause distractions and dissension in the locker room.
But perhaps the most hilarious part of this all is that the Skins still have to play three more football games this year. There are so many more laughs to come before this season is dragged out to the gallows and finally put to death. This is a good beginning to the week.