This is the type of thing that usually elicits a pretty strong response from fans. A millionaire athlete, playing on a pretty disappointing team, not understanding why his hometown fans choose to voice their displeasure. But I don't think Carlos Rogers' comments are that unreasonable. Here's what Rogers had to say about the crowd on Sunday, via John Keim of the Washington Examiner.
Me and some guys were talking, if you don't like the team or you don't want to support us through the good or the bad why come out to the games? We still need your support. We're already losing, then to hear some of our fans it's not helpful. We try to block it out."
It sounds bad to ask fans who paid good money to hide their true feelings for the better of athletes that make 10 times as much as they do. But if you put the whole thing in context, it isn't as incendiary as similar rants in the past have been.
Here's the part of Rogers' sound bite where he redeems himself.
"I love these fans," he said. "We have good fans, good supportive fans. I guess they're hard on us and we do give them a reason to be hard on us. We're not winning. At the same time you do want that support and encouragement that you call can turn it around."
That doesn't seem so bad. He isn't saying that the fans are bad themselves. Instead, he's recognizing that they are being negative to the team because the Redskins have given them the excuse to act that way. But at the same time he is saying that the relationship between the fans and the players is a mutually beneficial one. The support from the fans helps the players play better, which gives the fans more to cheer about. Or at least that's how it happens on a good team.
Let's be honest for a second. Rogers' request wasn't as bad as what a Florida player said this weekend
, because he understands Redskins fans are the kind that really care about the outcome of the game. He knows that the Redskins need to give them more to cheer about, but he also wants the fans to help create a true home-field advantage that may help them achieve success. Like I said, the relationship between fans and players is mutually beneficial. Both parties need to be at their best for it to work. The Redskins haven't been very good at home recently, but who does all the negative cheering really help? The players play worse and the fans have more to be upset about.
Rogers needs to understand that turning this relationship around starts with better play on the field, but I think he knows that. As long as that was his intent with these comments, I have no problem with them.