It Ended Badly


You can now add “fired our GM on the first day of free agency” to the list of “that didn’t really happen, did it?” moments in Redskins history.

It goes up there with….

– “Hired a retired bingo-caller mid-season to call plays on offense.”
– “Allowed an old USFL coach to give a pep-talk at a press conference.”
– “Shut down a starting quarterback mid-season so he could prepare for the off-season.”
“Had a head coach resign from the golf course”
“Allowed the GM to Host A Weekly Radio Show”

And I am only including football-related self-inflicted wounds here, since the longer list of franchise mismanagement is already well known. (i.e. suing old ladies who try to cancel their season tickets).

I don’t know who to believe in this latest drama, and it really doesn’t matter. The only metric I use is this: Was whatever happened “good” and are you proud of it? Or nah? Did the move do anything to help you win football games? Or nah?

This is a big fat “double-nah.” This was bad AND embarrassing. Now the net-net might be non-existent in football terms. It IS possible McCloughan was over-rated from the jump, and was a mere middle-manager to larger, better decisions made in collaboration by Bruce and Jay.

I say it’s “possible.” The established consensus paints a different picture. Most who report on the team say it was McCloughan and Jay who stood on the table to finally end the disastrous RG3 experiment. And there’s chatter that McCloughan tried as hard as he could to talk Bruce and Dan out of the “Tag and Wait” strategy on Kirk that has now painted them into a corner.

I just don’t know, and I just don’t care. We are, where we are.

It would be prudent for Skins fans to start girding themselves for a long Buffalo Bills-ian walk into the non-playoff wilderness. It could be a decade before we see January again. Don’t scoff. These stupidity-induced comas exist in the NFL. This could well be the start of something very, very, bad.

Bottom line: it’s a failure, plain and simple. If the team wants to spin it as “hey man, we gave Scot this golden opportunity, and he blew it again, despite our best efforts to help him” they can surely play that record.

But the failure belongs to the Redskins, and specifically Bruce Allen. If you hired a guy who couldn’t hold onto the job, then the BLAME may go to Scot. But the FAILURE is yours. YOU hired him. YOU wasted two years of organizational direction and energy. YOU now have to spend precious time and energy finding a SOLUTION to the mess that is in your lap.

Make no mistake: when McCloughan was hired, Bruce Allen said it was a VERY IMPORTANT move, and one that would help BRING GREATNESS to the Redskins.

“Today’s an exciting day for the franchise, because we really feel today the Redskins are going to get better,” said Allen at the introductory presser. 

“I’ve known Scot for a long time. It’s absolutely my recommendation to bring him in. I think he’s the right person for this organization right now to help us win.”

The team also said – in no uncertain terms – that they were fully aware of McCloughan’s ONGOING relationship with alcohol.

Their concern level for a relapse into full blown alcoholism that would affect his job performance?


“I was aware when Scot was going through his situation. I did talk to him about it, and we had a very forthright conversation. We’re here to support him, and he would not be taking this job if he thought that was going to be a concern.”

And…. SCENE.

Bruce Allen is a lucky man, and a very bad liar. Lucky because most executives who made horrible hires, that explode in a company’s face like a cheap cigar, end up going down with the bad hire.

Not here.

And the preposterous “Nanna McCloughan” cover story from two weeks ago, is now obviously “no longer operative” as they say in military terms. I still wonder what Allen was thinking when he CHOSE to do that radio interview with a Nashville station at the combine? What was that little fib going to accomplish? How long did he expect it to survive? A week? A month? Until the draft is over?

We will soon enter a new phase of “How The Redskins Are Run” under Dan Snyder’s ownership. So many versions have now been tried. They include…

1999-2000: Norv Turner/Vinny Cerrato: Compliant coach, stooge GM.
2001: Marty Schottenheimer: All powerful dictator coach/GM.
2002-2003: Steve Spurrier/Vinny Cerrato: College hot-shot, stooge GM.
2004-2007: Joe Gibbs 2.0/Vinny Cerrato: Legend returns, stooge GM.
2008-2009: Jim Zorn/Vinny Cerrato: Unqualified coach, stooge GM.
2010-2013: Mike Shanahan/Bruce Allen: Total control coach, powerful team president.
2014: Jay Gruden/Bruce Allen: Compliant coach, powerful president/GM.
2015-2016: Jay Gruden/Scot McCloughan/Bruce Allen: “True GM” model
2017- : Jay Gruden/Bruce Allen… and…. ?????????????

The best you can say about the McCloughan era is that it was a waste of time, and a huge embarrassment. A worse outcome would have to reveal itself in the years to come.

Whatever mode of operation emerges from this latest experiment, the overall culture of the organization is such that it seems geared to produce only modest success, and in brief spurts.

This is not my opinion, this is the factual record of what 18 years of the current ownership has produced. In those 18 years, the team has never made the playoffs in back to back seasons, and they have never won as many as 11 games.

In short: it’s been a wild ride, but ultimately the quality of football has been unimpressive and fleeting.


  1. Truly LOL, thank you for the sanity and enabling fans to occasionally enjoy our front-row seat to this GOT-like “Red Wedding” of an offseason.

  2. Completely confusing me. I thought it was GM who wasn’t sold on Kirk. Now he’s fired and Kirk won’t sign long term deal as long as Allen remains prez? Is this Kirk wanting Allen gone or is Kirk looking at the dysfunction, knows owner won’t fire Allen, and is just doing this to force a trade bc he wants out of dysfunctionaland asap?

  3. This hysterical voyage with Scot was doomed from the start. So there’s an alcoholic ticking time bomb that no one else in the League will bring their Hurt Locker crew near, right? But the REDSKINS “organization” are like, “We got this.” This long strange trip has entered the next dimension. A new species of fan is emerging. I find myself hate-rooting this ownership on to the next bloodbath. You know, for gory giggles.

  4. The Redskins have turned into the Raiders with Snyder playing the role of Al Davis and the only thing that will change the Redskins fortunes is the death of Snyder.

  5. I figured out why McCloughan looked familiar. Do an image search for “Jake Query” our Indianapolis sportscaster. Pretty close, accounting for age difference.


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