In the turmoil that might be the worst season in recent Redskins history, new lows are being achieved. The Wall Street Journal wonders if the team is losing Washington. In short yes. It's hard to judge. Real fans don't drop their teams because of a bad season. But a bad decade could set the fan base back a bit. I have been a Redskins fan for a long long time. But the Snyder ownership era has worn on me. Once upon a time, season tickets were the coveted treasure of the fan base. But now? I had my opportunity to buy regular season tickets the past two seasons. Ultimately I declined, and now I go to the end of the wait list. And that's OK, something likely I would not have said just a few years ago. Maybe it's the increase in capacity of the stadium, or the rising price of tickets, but the drop in interest in the team has something to do with the lack of urgency for tickets.
In other great news, in a Harris Interactive poll from October, the Redskins are the 17th most popular NFL franchise, dropping 8 slots from the last poll. Also a sign of Snyder? Living in the Washington Metropolitan area my entire life, it's hard to understand how team popularity exists for other towns, other teams. But I know die-hard lifetime fans. I consider myself a big fan. That should not waver. It's not like we are the Cleveland Browns. What about the NFL teams who still have yet to win a Superbowl? The Redskins have three championships. Yet the popularity is dropping?
In the end, you wonder what causes the drop. Winning and losing seasons are cyclical, especially in the salary cap era, so that should not really affect fandom. There are teams in more dire straits (re: Oakland Raiders). Ultimately the owner is responsible. I don't question Dan Snyder's fanatical spirit. I question his ability to lead and guide the team and the fans. Look at Bud Adams, with the Tennessee Titans. He's so fanatic, he flips the bird at games. Sure it cost him $250,000, but I'm guessing if you ask the average Titan fan, they are proud of their owner. You ask 99% of the Redskins fans about Snyder? Let's not go there.