Rookie offensive lineman Edwin Williams –a former Maryland Terrapin — grew up a Redskins fan. One of his childhood idols was Chris Samuels. So Williams is as familiar as anyone with the enthusiasms and frustrations of this particular fanbase. Now, though, he’s part of the team, active roster and everything. So, I asked him — not at all from personal experience, really — does this double the pain and frustration of losing games?
“Yeah,” he said. “It just hurts just because, you know, there’s so many questions. Especially people from this area that are totally behind the team, coming to me, like, ‘What is the PROBLEM? What do WE need to DO?” And I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah, I know exactly what’s going on, but …'” He trailed off. “Everybody thinks there’s such a cut-and-dried reason, like ‘so-and-so should go!’ or ‘this should happen!'”
Well? Should so-and-so go? Is there a specific thing that should happen? Do you still have those kind of feelings?
“Before, you’d be like,” — loudly — “‘Yeah! What the…?!?’ But now it’s kinda like,” — in a much more serious, thoughful voice — “‘Man, I disagree. That’s not the issue.’ So I’m now way more behind the team than I even was as a fan. Because sometimes as a fan, you’ll be like, ‘Ehhhhhh.’ But now, you’re all in it. You’re in it to win it.”
And, like all of us, Williams has those people who call with completely specific suggestions for what to do. “My father is always trying to think of the lighter side. He’s like, ‘You guys should just do it like this.’ Like, ‘Run the ball up the middle, that’s what you should do.’ “
Williams says he’s got a pretty simple fall-back response to those questions: “Yeah! We should do that!”
I thought Williams’s father might suggest that they put in that young, untested rookie offensive lineman out of Maryland, but Williams looked at me like I was crazy when I suggested that. “Nah,” he said. “He’s a rational person, so it’s not like that.”
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