Just Tank Baby: A Fan’s Dilemma

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Nov 22, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) runs for a touchdown after catching a pass in the third quarter against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins are currently 6-7 and firmly in the race for the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs. However, this team has bigger issues to focus on rather than making the playoffs. With the recent uncertainty regarding the quarterback position, along with key players lashing out on social media, the team would probably like to end the season right now. It’s a unique situation for a potential playoff team to be looking forward to the offseason, and it leaves fans with an interesting question.

Should you root for your team to tank?

For those who aren’t familiar with the phrase, “Tanking” refers to the act of purposely failing or collapsing. It sounds ridiculous but many sports franchises have used this tactic effectively. And it’s not something that is limited to the NFL, as the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers recently went through a tanking phase to help build the core talent the team has now.

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Tanking is a very controversial phrase in the sports community. When a team deliberately forfeits or loses a game(s), it could possibly damage the integrity of the sport. Some also view tanking as an excuse for the NFL to fix match-ups.

I will never root for my team to lose, point blank. But Hey, I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy. I will not respect a team that forfeits a game to better its draft pick or waiver position, though I would applaud a team who sits a star player in a meaningless game.

There’s a certain art to praising a team that deliberately loses. If the team somehow sneaks out of the contest with a victory, celebrate that win all week. When the team loses, you can appreciate the positives that come from it.

The bottom line is this: You should always hope your team comes out with a win, but if it happens to lose and there are obvious benefits resulting from that loss, don’t feel ashamed to be excited about them. 

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