Column: Once the pride of DC, Redskins are now a punchline in their own town

D.C. sports just had a weekend for the ages — and the Redskins were not only the odd man out, but plenty of the fun also came at their expense.

The World Series champion Washington Nationals had an incredible downtown parade on Saturday. The Nats spent Sunday at Capital One Arena doing another victory lap with the Capitals and then (for better or worse) took the party to the White House on Monday, all the while reveling with their fellow professional sports entities on social media and in person.

There was one very notable exception: The Redskins. Sure, the team was on the road to suffer its latest indignity at the hands of the Bills in Buffalo, but any trace of them on the parade route was, well, not very flattering.

Fans brought a sign to the Nationals’ World Series parade celebrating championships for D.C.’s Nationals, Mystics and Capitals while teasing the 1-win Redskins. (Courtesy Danielle Sharrocks)

Seeing people celebrate D.C. sports on perhaps its greatest day, while simultaneously tugging at the low-hanging fruit of teasing the woebegone Redskins, drove home a point that’s been years in the making: The Redskins used to own the hearts and minds of D.C. sports fans. Now, they get mercilessly clowned in their own town.

If you think a few signs mocking the ‘Skins were the depth of their despair, you’re sadly mistaken. Bradley Beal, who last I checked plays for the Washington Wizards and not the Baltimore Bullets, was at the Ravens game hanging out with Ed Reed on his big night with a full co-sign by the Wizards.

Beal has only been to a Redskins game to support his fellow Florida alumni Jordan Reed and Quinton Dunbar. No, “Go Redskins!” No, “We need this win!” Just coming out to see his college guys. While not as bad as fellow Wizards guard John Wall famously wearing a Cowboys jersey to FedEx Field a few years ago when Dallas came to town, it’s fairly notable for Beal to proverbially step over the black sheep of the D.C. sports scene to go up to Baltimore and represent like it’s the local football team.

The slight further drives home the point that the Ravens are everything the Redskins used to be during the Joe Gibbs era and currently aren’t — and that Baltimore’s path to prominence has come via the sort of honest self-evaluation that the Redskins breathtakingly lack.

The Ravens’ existence has run almost concurrently with the Dan Snyder era in Washington, and during that time, the Ravens have successfully reinvented themselves three times. From the era of the dominant 2000 defense, to the John Harbaugh/Joe Flacco pairing that led to the Super Bowl XLVII title, and now the era of the transcendent Lamar Jackson. It’s almost a cruel tease for the (few remaining) Redskins fans to see Jackson backed up by RG3, who was supposed to be Jackson before Jackson.

It usually takes something drastic like announcing a team is relocating to get this level of vitriol aimed in the direction of a local sports franchise. Have you seen the Redskins’ social media accounts? It’s easier finding Waldo than it is a Redskins tweet without #FireBruceAllen somewhere in the replies.

Oh, did I mention there’s actually a beer begging Snyder to sell the team?

It’s truly remarkable to see. Over the last two decades, cities like Cleveland and Detroit — where their teams have just as many losses and embarrassments but none of the yesteryear Super Bowl success — haven’t totally turned on the Browns and Lions, despite dysfunction capable of producing 0-16 seasons for each. They’re simply lovable losers, not an awful stain on their civilization.

It feels like Washington has reached a boiling point where the Redskins changing their ways and turning their fortunes around is such a pipe dream that the only way to coexist with the franchise is to distance itself from it and shame them into going away. Forget being mad at the Redskins — we’re way past that. Apathy set in years ago. Now, people in their own city are kicking them while they’re down. It doesn’t feel like that’s going to change anytime soon — if ever.

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