Says the New York Times:
When negotiations to keep the federal government open through Christmas collapsed last week, so did the latest attempt to build a new NFL stadium in Washington.
The federal government is perhaps the rare entity in the nation’s capital that is more dysfunctional than the region’s pro football team.
At 7-8 before they play the playoffs-hungry Eagles this Sunday, the Redskins will miss the playoffs for the 15th time in the 20 seasons since Dan Snyder bought the team in 1999.
Alex Smith, the 34-year-old quarterback the Redskins signed for $111 million this off-season, fractured his tibia and fibula in November, then spent a month in the hospital fighting off an infection. The team’s current quarterback is Josh Johnson, who had last started a game in 2011 before taking over for Mark Sanchez — who had last started a game in 2015 — in Week 15.
With precious little salary cap room, next year’s outlook on the field isn’t any rosier. But it is also the constant self-inflicted, off-the-field controversies and indignities that have drained many fans in Washington of any enthusiasm they once had for the team.
“The fan base is just worn down, frustrated, completely fed up with the front office,” said Eric Bickel, a longtime fan and host of the “Sports Junkies” morning radio show in the area. “This was once a proud, heritage-filled franchise. There is a large percentage of the population here that has no experience with that.”