We're talking about a franchise that undermined its starting quarterback over the summer, a franchise that sued financially strapped ticket holders during a recession while swearing to the longest waiting list for season tickets in professional sports, a franchise whose fans resorted to booing during and after the very first home game of the season, even though it was a victory.

So what do the upper reaches of management do? They tacitly tell the salary-supporting, skybox-filling, Bentley-providing fanbase to shut up. That's right: Signs have officially been banned. Scream all you want, just don't show up with a message that could land on television screens or in media photos. If you bring them, security will insist you check them with the garbage bin attendants. And if you sneak them, you’ll be booted out of the stadium.

"Hail to the Redskins" blares through FedEx Field's speakers as a nostalgic montage of black-and-white photos and faces appears on the video boards. The good and loyal fans, the people who now pay for memories more than a game, stand in unison. They sing and pump their fists to the heavens. For a few brief moments the last line of those lyrics -- "Fight for old D.C.!" -- almost transports them back to Pleasantville.

Many players were upset that Portis felt emboldened enough to make such a request [asking for Sellers to be benched], sources said, but the incident also served to highlight an apparent broader unhappiness with the running back among many of his teammates, who believe he holds himself to a different standard than them and often has simply chosen not to practice. These players say that Portis's behavior stems in part from his close relationship, at least in prior seasons, with Snyder.

The Redskins have never had much sense of timing during the Dan Snyder years. They either do things too early or too late - one of the marks of a mismanaged franchise.