It may be the middle of winter but the heat is on the Washington Redskins.
Tomorrow, there will be a Super Bowl victory parade that will end at M&T Bank Stadium, located 32 miles from FedEx Field. It will be Baltimore’s second such celebration in the last dozen years.
A year ago the party was further away geographically but in many ways the Giants’ celebration of their Super Bowl XLVI title hit closer to home for the Redskins than this one will. The Giants are a division rival and the Redskins had beaten them twice in the regular season. It was New York’s second championship in five years.
With the 49ers’ appearance in the game, the Redskins are one of only five NFC teams that hasn’t made a Super Bowl appearance since 2000. The others are the Vikings (last appeared in 1976), Cowboys (1995), Falcons (1998) and the Lions, who are the lone NFC team that has never made it to the Super Bowl.
It is getting to be time for the Redskins to have their own victory parade. Maybe not a year from now. But at some point Bears fan Barak Obama should have to witness a Redskins victory parade in front of his house. That means some time in the next three years.
Not only are their rivals getting it done but the Redskins are nearing a point in their evolution as an organization where they should make their move. They will be going into their fourth year of stability with the same general manager, head coach, and offensive and defensive coordinators. The lack of stability in the first decade of Dan Snyder’s ownership of the team has often been cited as a reason for their lack of success.
The team’s inability to secure a franchise quarterback has also been a reason for the team’s inability to reach the top and that is no longer an issue. Whether Robert Griffin III is ready for the start of the 2013 season or not, he demonstrated the ability to be a top quarterback in the league for at least the next decade.
But the Redskins don’t have a decade to wait. If they do, they may well be alone on the list of NFC teams without Super Bowl appearances in this century.
In some places in the NFL there is not much pressure to win. An occasional playoff appearance will keep fans in many cities happy. But Washington is not one of those cities. The natives are already restless and parades so close to town you can almost hear the band playing if the wind is blowing the right way and if fans of other teams in the division are wearing championship hats will stir them up even more.