Rick Snider: Washington fans faced with a tough decision

By |
Sports,NFL,Redskins,MLB,Nationals,Rick Snider

Sunday brings a hard choice.

Washington fans may not leave the couch for five hours between the Redskins and Nationals games. But somewhere in between, Robert Griffin III will be passing while Bryce Harper is swinging.

What will you do?

Washington's return to baseball's playoffs for the first time since 1933 creates an October showdown between the Nats and Redskins. Finally, fans must choose their favorite. Oh, you could switch during commercials, but that won't be easy. You want to leave Harper battling a 3-2 pitch with bases loaded or Griffin running near the goal line?

The Nats' 3:07 p.m. start means the games will overlap by at least one hour. That's a long time in limbo.

It's easy to say it's just another Redskins game so go with the first baseball playoff game. But even watching the Redskins game until the end might only mean joining the Nats in the third inning. However, it may be 4-0 by then, and the drama may already be gone.

It was easy for locals to be fans of both. The Redskins are the market's No. 1 team, but baseball fans are mighty loyal and will stay with the Nats here.

If the Falcons are way ahead of the Redskins come opening pitch, it's easier to watch baseball. But since when does that happen anymore? Washington led 21-3 against Tampa Bay on Sept. 30 before the Buccaneers rallied late for a 22-21 lead. Naturally, the Redskins came back to win in the final seconds, making every moment of the game meaningful. That's just what the Redskins do.

The Redskins-Falcons game figures to be a shootout. Both teams can score, but neither has a good defense. This will likely be decided at the end, so it will be difficult to watch the Nats game without missing something important in the Redskins game.

Griffin has quickly exceeded even high expectations and delivered a comeback victory against Tampa Bay. He can't be discounted, which means there's no early exit to the Nats. It's not like last year when there was no way Rex Grossman or John Beck could score late.

What might take the real hit in this head-to-head is the attendance at FedEx Field. It's supposed to be a cold, rainy day. Who wants to endure that mess when they could be home watching high-def of both games? With the Redskins losing seven straight home games and being 4-13 in Landover under coach Mike Shanahan, fans may not feel attendance is mandatory.

Certainly, there won't be many Falcons fans filling seats, either. It could be another 50,000 day at FedUp Field. At least fans will escape parking lot jams to get home for the final innings of the Nats.

Examiner columnist Rick Snider has covered local sports since 1978. Read more on Twitter @Snide_Remarks or email rsnider@washingtonexaminer.com.

View article comments Leave a comment
Author:

Rick Snider

Sports columnists
The Washington Examiner