Redskins Players Criticize Fan Base For Bad Attendance, Attitude
Redskins S D.J. Swearinger said that the team's home-field advantage at FedExField is "as nonexistent as any he’s seen," according to Matthew Paras of the WASHINGTON TIMES. Swearinger said, “I played on four different teams, never seen it that bad with other teams’ jerseys in the stands, with the boos.” Redskins CB Josh Norman said the fans “boo everything,” and added that they "sulk when things go wrong." He said that other fanbases "cheer for their team 'regardless of good or bad or indifferent.'" The Redskins' attendance and "energy level from fans have been debated for years, but it’s been particularly relevant this season with the team struggling to fill the stadium." The Redskins "rank 26th in attendance," averaging "61,201 per home game." The team is also "dead-last in terms of capacity" at 74.6% and had their "self-proclaimed 50-year sellout streak end." Swearinger said that he "would rather play on the road" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 11/13). In DC, Scott Allen wrote Norman and Swearinger "make valid criticisms" but there are "good reasons that more and more Redskins fans have decided to stay away." Redskins LB Mason Foster suggested that the fans "have provided a home-field advantage at times." Foster: “The fans play a big part in the way defenses can play and the atmosphere.” Norman and Swearinger "aren’t the first Redskins players to comment on the home crowds this season." After the team's loss to the Colts in the home opener, RB Chris Thompson said that he "wasn’t a fan of the boos he heard from the crowd" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 11/12).
NOT SO FAN-FRIENDLY: In DC, JP Finlay noted there are "always a lot of visiting fans" at FedExField. Some of that "might be that Washington is a transient city, but some of it is also because other fans have determined that it's easy to get tickets," in part because there is "not much sizzle" at FedExField. The area "doesn't have shopping or restaurants around it like many newer NFL stadiums," and the traffic is "awful." The stadium itself is "underwhelming; old and lacking character." The Redskins are "working hard to overhaul the game day experience," but "some fans have soured on the idea" of spending the day at FedExField, and that will take time to fix, "probably years" (NBCSPORTSWASHINGTON.com, 11/12).