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Patrick Hruby

Petyon Manning: Just say no to the Washington Redskins

Somewhere on a sunny tarmac, Redskin One already is taxiing. Somewhere in the collective fever dream of Dan Snyder and Mike Shanahan, Peyton Manning is leading the Washington Redskins to a Super Bowl title. Heck, more than one. Followed by Joe Gibbs tapping Snyder on the shoulders -- right, then left -- with the blade of a burgundy-and-gold sword.

Somewhere, too, a baby unicorn just got its wings.

I've said this before -- repeatedly, in fact -- and I'll say it again: Washington, DC is the End Zone. The place where sports saviors come to die. A wing-zapping bug light to athletic promise. The good night Dylan Thomas was trying to warn us about. The nation's capital is an inescapable swamp of sporting decrepitude, the place where Alexander Ovechkin looks fat. Where Deion Sanders looked slow. Where Mark Brunell looked old. Where Donovan McNabb looked even older. Where Jeff George looked like, well, Jeff George. Where Heath Shuler was better off running for office than for first downs. Where Bruce Smith, Sack King T-Shirts remain unsold. Where Steve Spurrier will always have Osaka. Where Mitch Richmond aged faster than Deborah Harry Lindsay Lohan. Whee Desmond Howard began his journey to Super Bowl MVP honors ... with the Green Bay Packers. Where Michael Jordan - Michael Jordan! - got fired. Where Vinny Cerrato couldn't get fired. Where Chamique Holdsclaw became the Michael Jordan of women's hoops, albeit the Jordan who wore a No. 23 Bullets throwback jersey. Where Jaromir Jagr tanked harder than Bear Stearns. Where Kwame Brown was more memorable in his Whole Foods promotional life-sized cardboard cutout incarnation than on the court. Where Freddy Adu was less memorable than Kwame Brown. Where Steven Strasburg's Tommy John surgery was as inevitable as gridlock, both the partisan and Beltway kinds. Where Clinton Portis took the money and ran, though not particularly well. Where Brandon Lloyd took the money and caught two passes. Maybe three. Where Eddie Jordan went from coaching in the NBA to coaching middle-schoolers. Where Jim Zorn was usurped by a retired bingo caller, and rightfully so. Where Abby Wambach's team folded. Where Mia Hamm's entire league folded. Where Gilbert Arenas mistook the locker room for the set of a Sergio Leone film. Where Antawn Jamison was happy to be traded to Cleveland. Where we trusted in Gus Frerotte and he returned the favor via self-administered concussion, long before NFL brain trauma became fashionable. Where Paul Gascoigne took one brief look and had the good sense to self-destruct somewhere else. Where Albert Haynesworth was badly outclassed by shuttle cones. Where even Saint Gibbs managed -- thanks, BountyGate! -- to tarnish his sterling reputation. Where President Obama, the leader of the free world, the city's ultimate symbol, arrived promising hope and change ... and then threw out the first pitch at a Natinls Nationals whatever game wearing a Chicago White Sox cap.

But sure, Peyton Manning: pack your bags and your orthopedic surgery team and come play for the Redskins. This time, things will be different.