Being negative is a defense mechanism.
There are things to like about the Washington Redskins. Intriguing second year players, the continued growth of their youth, the shiny new free agent acquisitions. That palpable feeling of joy once the air starts to turn crisp and football is being played. It’s hard to stay unhyped and low key, even if you’re the most negative of Nancies. But some fans manage to build that wall, to keep from getting exciting, to use the past experiences to stomp down that indelible hope that creeps into each new season.
It’s not that they want the team to lose. That’d be dumb, why root for a team that you want to lose? It’s that they expect to lose, and would rather be pleasantly surprised when they win or exceed expectations. They hope to win, but guard themselves against what they feel is the inevitable. If they win, great. If they lose, well of course they did.
The Washington Redskins lost last night, and not one bit of it felt surprising. They didn’t even lose in a new, amusing way. This was a team that looked exactly like the team that got embarrassed by the Green Bay Packers, only a year older and with a ton of new expectations that they promptly went about not living up to.