'Redskins Smug' returns as D.C. again in the NFL spotlight

Photo: Associated Press


It has come to this.

It’s hip to be square.

Right here in D.C., of all places.

Same as it ever was.

With all due respect to Huey Lewis and his 1986 hit song, “Hip to be Square,” a ditty about hippies becoming yuppies, the real meaning of the song has been felt throughout the Washington region this past week.

And the credit belongs solely and unequivocally to the Washington Redskins, who behind a wunderkind rookie quarterback and a re-mystified head coach inexplicably have won seven consecutive games to win the NFC East and will play the Seattle Seahawks today in the first round of the NFL playoffs.

Andrea Mitchell signed off her Washington-based MSNBC political talk show Friday with a resounding, “Go Redskins!” Mentions of the Redskins tip-toed across the tail end of last Sunday’s political talk shows, and did so again today.

People are giddy. And that’s because smug is back. Redskins Smug is back.

What, might you ask, is Redskins Smug?

(And the people who remember Redskins Smug will understand completely).

Redskins Smug is living in a place where the world’s attention is on you every day, and you understand you live in a place of global importance, and, not only that, but your NFL team is the talk of the NFL world. So you pretty much have it all.

It’s been 20 years, of course, since Redskins Smug was hip. Mostly it has been Redskins Shrug.

A popular topic to bring up on area sports-talk radio is that D.C.-area teenagers and those younger have no clue as to what the Redskins used to mean to the area, about the pride the Redskins bestowed upon a town mostly used to getting beaten up by politicians and the like.

Those three Super Bowl trophies? To them, perceived ancient history.
But now they have a taste. A taste of Redskins Smug.

Mike Shanahan won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos yet all he has is Elway Smug. Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III already is one of the more electric players in the league yet all he has is Heisman Trophy Smug.

No more. They will come to embrace Redskins Smug as The Best Smug – especially if they win today.

For good or for bad, the Redskins are and always will be a religion in the D.C. area. We’re not New York and we’re not Los Angeles. But we have the White House, and we have the Redskins.

We have the Washington Redskins.

Been a long time. Redskins Smug is back.

It’s hip to be square.{ }

ABC7’s Skip Wood covered the NFL for the better part of 15 years while at USA TODAY.