Dear Mr. Allen,
I hope that you don't mind if I call you Bruce. Formality is called for out of respect, but it's because of the family atmosphere that you've restored to the franchise that I wanted to specifically thank you.
I can't read the Redskins Blog anymore without bringing a hankie. If it isn't a reunion dinner and a rousing We Want Dallas speech, then it's backroom employees clapping for the team after practice.
You've united us, Bruce. You have gone out of your way to be so inclusive, so involving of this entire franchise and fan base. We feel united. We feel restored.
While the media chases the bigger stories: Albert Haynesworth, the planning and preparation for Dallas, it needs to be said that we out here in the Redskins universe are noticing -- and so grateful -- for all the little things that you are doing that make us feel so proud.
We all want a great season in 2010. But I think we all would agree that having a long-term plan and creating a focus and mission statement for the years ahead supersedes that. We want to know that what was once can be again. That what your father and Joe Gibbs accomplished will rise again with the team that Mike Shanahan now leads onto that field.
Players want to be leaders again. Everyone is buying into the plan. Our core values are where they should be: family, love of the game, personal integrity, competitive desire. When those fundamentals are in alignment, hope for the future shines bright.
I'm sure you'd be the first to say that the praise needs to be shared. It partially belongs to Mr. Snyder (hey, he's the boss) for taking stock and realizing that cooler heads need to prevail when it comes to personnel. He saw what was necessary and made the right moves at the right time. That took guts. No matter what critics might say about the man, nobody dares fault him for lack of caring. He learns. He tries. There's nothing he wouldn't do to restore this franchise that he loves.
And then there's the stellar coaching team that's been assembled. From Mike and his son to Jim Haslett and the core of guys that are teaching our troops a new scheme from the inside out. It's quality and discipline and a chain of command that leaves no questions about accountability at the start and end of each day.
We have no idea yet about the wins and losses, the outcomes that will judge this season and take precedence in the minds of all when the games have been played and the tallies are taken.
So I want to say this now, when optimism is in the air and nobody can hold up a win/loss record to proclaim otherwise: we are proud, we are strong, and we are restored because of who you are, what you've done and the principles you stand for.
Please know that we stand fully behind you. And if you beat Dallas on Sunday, well... let's just say that while your brother has had to run for office, the keys to this city are yours.