“Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.”
–Hunter S Thompson
Thompson was and will always be, more eloquent on a variety of topics that range from sports and politics to gambling and guns. He loved gambling and he knew the premise of luck and fortune all too well. He understood that luck, good or bad, was dangerous and was not to be trusted for too long.
The Washington Redskins luck ran out this week but hot damn where they close to getting away with stealing a victory in the last minute. Redskins fans everywhere felt like the getaway driver in a heist when Kirk Cousins rumbled in for a 19-yard touchdown with 65 seconds left in the game, and thought let’s get the hell out of here.
Happiness quickly turned to nervous anxiety when they flashed some statistic for Matthew Stafford that said he had orchestrated something like a 1000 comeback victories in his still young career. I cursed the intern that pulled that stat and instantly hoped they would suffer some sort of awful personal life statistic, something like number of days of eating ramen (300) or days they cried themselves to sleep in the last month (26).
My voodoo witchcraft had no effect as Stafford threw for big gains against a “prevent defense” that only prevented the Redskins from winning the game.
When Stafford found Anquan Boldin for the game winning touchdown with 16 seconds left, the proverbial getaway car that Redskins fans had idling made a loud bitter noise and sent obnoxious fumes into the air like someone leaving the Golden Corral’s All-you-can-eat buffet.
We all felt ill.
The truth is the Redskins gave away this game and the bounces they were getting the last 4 weeks started going the other way. If it wasn’t cornerback Bashaud Breeland covering Golden Tate and having the pass bounce off Breeland’s back and caught by Tate, it was kicker Dustin Hopkins missing a field goal off the top of the upright and bouncing out.
Those were the first signs that the football gods were in a foul mood and had decided that the Redskins were going to suffer and the gods were going to love it.
Then, as if the bounces weren’t enough of a challenge, the Redskins offense felt the need to turn the ball over and running back Matt Jones’ fumble problem came roaring back to life again.
Redskins fans might have to enter the league’s concussion protocol after the number of self-inflicted slaps to the forehead related to Jones’ numerous fumbles at this point.
While most football pundits talk about the 4 or 5 points of contact to keep possession of the ball I prefer the more savvy zero points of contact by having Jones benched, immediately.
The three-headed running beast cannot operate with this sort of ineptitude and expect to be feared. The beast should be running over its enemies and devouring yards and flesh. Throwing aside defensive linemen like rag dolls from its ghastly jaws.
On social media, Redskins fans cried for mercy and for Robert Kelley to relieve Jones of his duties once and for all. Jones suffers from a malady called “Fumblitis”, and as such, he is like a sick ant in a colony who must be removed at once so as not to infect the others.
Nature and professional football have something in common with its level of cruelty.
I caution those fans who want to blame this loss on the defense, they played admirably and should be commended for keeping the game tight when it very easily could have been a blow out by the Lions. With Josh Norman knocking himself out on the turf, the defense played as well as it could have given the injuries in the secondary.
This loss was about luck and poor play.
The Redskins had too much of one and not enough of the other this game. They didn’t deserve to win. They were not the better team on Sunday. Yet, they almost won and took one anyways. I still think this is a very strong team even with this loss and I’m sure luck will favor them again.
It makes me wonder about exactly how much luck the Redskins need to have to win, which begs the obvious question.
“Do ya feel lucky, punk?”
– Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry
After 4 straight wins and now 1 close loss, I believe I do.
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