The #FireBruceAllen movement is a start, but can it be enough?
For a franchise that has been dangling in the wind since 2000, no one could have seen this coming. After all the losing seasons, December heartbreaks, and free agency mismanagement, it’s amazing this hasn’t come sooner. What was it that took the Redskins fan base to the brink of boycotting all financial investment into the Redskins?
The end of a six week stretch that saw Brian Lafemina and three other business operation professionals relieved of their duties.
None of the local media, or people with a close relationship with the organization, have been able to get a comment as to why this decision was made.
Was This Inevitable?
According to 106.7 The Fan’s Chris Russell, Brian Lafemina was planning on resigning after the season. The speculation among the media and fans is that Bruce Allen, President of Football Operations, helped expedite this situation. But, without any response from Owner Daniel Snyder, the weight of blame will fall on Mr. Allen and rightfully so. This follows on the backlash the organization received from signing accused domestic abuser Reuben Foster, the handling of Montae Nicholson, and the untimely cutting of D.J. Swearinger. Although many in the front office reportedly felt indifferent about claiming Foster off of waivers, it is alleged that Mr. Allen forced the issue and strong armed the situation.
This discontent with Mr. Allen did not start six weeks ago or at the beginning of this season. Since Mr. Allen has been hired as President of Football Operations, the Redskins are 74-95-1 going into this weekends’ game against the Eagles. The Redskins have only 2 division titles while running through 3 Head Coaches and 6 starting Quarterbacks. In comparison, the Philadelphia Eagles have an 88-71 record with 3 division titles, 4 playoff appearances, and a Super Bowl despite having 3 Head Coaches and 7 Quarterbacks in that same time span (the Eagles can make it 5 playoff appearances with a win and Vikings loss on Sunday).
So why is it that a team like the Eagles have been nearly continuously set-up for success over the past 10 years while the Redskins have been floundering in a dumpster fire? It all starts at the top with those that oversee football operations.
Redskins fans have started to recognize this over the past few years. So why won’t Mr. Snyder relieve the current cockroach that is living at Redskins Park? Because, Mr. Allen is a “yes man” who will always stroke Mr. Snyder’s plumage at a whim. We have seen what happens to those that voice their disapproval of Mr. Snyder’s decisions. D.C. sports writing legend Thom Loverro called the dismissal of Lafemina when he was hired to take over the business operations.
The Signs Were There
But there have been signs prior to this that have gone mostly overlooked. It was evident that it would come to this with:
Former Head Coach Norv Turner who pushed back on bringing in Jeff George in 2000 despite having a Super Bowl caliber team.
Gregg Williams who should have been the one to succeed Joe Gibbs, but enjoys being able to share his own thoughts and opinions without someone’s hand up his…
Scot McCloughan who knows more about football than Bruce Allen will ever forget.
And, running Sean McVay out of town along with the opportunity for Wade Philips to run the teams defense.
Now, we can add Brian Lafemina and his crew to the ugly body count of competent football personnel unceremoniously ousted.
What Else Could It Take?
It may have to take more than fans getting #FireBruceAllen trending on Twitter for an organization that refuses to let its communications and public relations department do their job. Rather, it may take tens of thousands of season ticket holders to refuse renewal next season and minority owner’s such as Frederick Smith, CEO of FedEx, to push back on their investment that is losing them money to force such a move.
As fans can all agree, this is not how a football franchise should be run. It is not some toy for a boy with a Napoleonic complex to play with. A football franchise is supposed to bring out fans from all walks of life to enjoy an entire Sunday with one another. Something that an entire city can get behind and cheer without hesitation. What the Redskins have become is a second fiddle to the Washington Capitals and could instantly become third fiddle to the Washington Nationals if this slide into football purgatory continues. The #FireBruceAllen movement will continue, but it is unlikely Mr. Snyder will have the testicular fortitude to do anything about it and bring the people necessary to make the Redskins a perennial contender.