Saturday, September 29, 2007

Two and One, Baby!

Hey, thanks for all the well wishes ... but let's talk about something important: The Redskins are 2 -1. This makes me very happy. I did not see the Giants or Philly games, but the word is that the 'skins fought hard in both. And while there's a controversy about the finale of the New York battle, I'm feeling pretty good about my team right now. So have our naysayers come around a little? Or am I still in that post-wedding afterglow with bluebirds on my shoulder and Redskins in the playoffs?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Good Times...

"Good Times.
Any time you meet a payment. - Good Times.
Any time you need a friend. - Good Times.
Any time you’re out from under.
Not getting hassled, not getting hustled.
Keepin’ your head above water,
Making a wave when you can."

So, okay, the Good Times theme song doesn't exactly convey my emotions about the events of the past few days, but it does continue on the theme of the blog post, as well as the theme of this week in Washington sports and the Sandy, Baby family. Lil Bro hears wedding bells, and is off to the land of Aristotle and fraternities with wife NASAGirl, the Nationals are ruining her family's favorite team's season in true pull-it-out-of-your-ass fashion, and the Skins have a solid win on national television, and Minor Thread and I are back at school.


Sunday, September 16, 2007


Lil Bro got married to the love of his life!
He deserves such happiness!
He now goes on Loosen Up assignment covering Greco wrestling for two weeks.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lessons Learned

So, what did we learn from the Redskins win over Miami?
1) Jason Campbell has a great arm (but not so good judgement)
2) The Betts/Portis dynamic duo can be a steam roller (but I predict egos will hurt this partnership)
3) The D is better than last year (but the secondary needs WORK! Fred Smoot, you could have been a hero!)
4) Antwaan Randle El is a threat -- 5 receptions for 162 yards, though admittedly one catch was a freak play. ... and B. Lame? ZERO for ZERO! Hello, Reche Caldwell.

We need to play a whole lot better to beat Philly. Even dum-dum Dan Dierdorf could see that. But as long as the loss of Jon Jansen (get well soon, big man) doesn't mess up the O-line and we stick to Gibbs football (power running and the occasional long ball) I say the 'Skins have a shot at 9-7.
What say you oh brothers of infinite wisdom?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Beijing 2008 Preview

Jeremy Wariner winning the 400 meters despite a fast challenge by LaShawn Merritt over the first 300.

Allyson Felix en el 200 metros del Final Mundial...
Indications are that Felix can pull off the Michael Johnson double with her untapped 400 power. The Stockholm soundtrack has got to be the nuttiest I've heard. Runners introduced to a Thriller sample followed by the tension-building whistling of Bobby McFerrin? Don't Worry, Be Happy when you're rigging up, dropping anchor, walking backwards over the last 100?

The men's 1500 final, best served in silent. All the better to see Asbel Kiprop's brave last to first surge, Webb getting himself in perfect position, Lagat's kick, Ramzi ticked off, the three Spainards trying to figure out what went wrong...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Baseball messiah

I don't follow baseball much. I do however enjoy the occasional song parody (okay, I REALLY enjoy a good parody, but please, please, do not call me Weird Al.) Ollie's post below inspired this ditty about the Nationals.

Jesus Flores Superstar (as sung to "Superstar" from Jesus Christ Superstar)

Every time I see you hit I don't understand
How the Nats line-up got so out of hand.
Acta would have managed better if he'd had a plan.
Why'd he choose Brian Schneider who is such a strange man?
If you would lead today we could reach the post-season.
All your fans in Venezuela would be a Chavez-hating legion.
Don't you get me wrong.
I only want to know.


Jesus Flores, Jesus Flores,
Who are you? What have you sacrificed (bunt)?
Jesus Flores Superstar,
Do you think you're what Ollie says you are? (Nats Messiah)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I'm back and with some baseball fellas...Barry Svrluga, beatwriter extraordinaire is the first professional to, subtly, point out a fact that Capitol Punishment and every other Nats fan has (have?) been railing on: Brian Schneider is not very good. And he makes a lot of money (for a cheap ass team).

"Which leaves the Nationals with an interesting question. Schneider, a veteran with two years and $9.8 million left on his contract, is struggling offensively, hitting .228. Acta said last night that Flores would likely play more over the final month of the season, but he also continued to praise Schneider's work with the pitching staff."

And after last night's win, the question is, why not make Jesus Flores, Superstar, the starter? Manny certainly seems to have a mancrush on him:

"...Acta believes in Flores's long-term potential as a power hitter.

"I've been wrong before, many times," he said, "but I do think this kid's going to be a good player up here."

Not to mention, the SvlurgBlvurg had a nice little position comparison that pretty much destroyed the notion that Schneider is irreplaceable because of his defensive and game-calling skillzz. I can't find it anymore on the Post site, and I'm too lazy to crunch the numbers myself. But the staff ERA with Flores behind the plate was something like a full run less than for Schneider. And Schneider is due $9.8 million over the next two years. But hey, at least he's got a hot bat.

The days of Jesus Flores, Superstar look imminent.

World Champs Wrap-Up

Bernard Lagat brought home America's second distance medal, this time in the 5000 meters. This double is quite difficult, especially considering all the extra rounds Lagat had to run to qualify for BOTH the 1500 and 5000 final. The story here is that the other runners served the race to Lagat on a silver platter. Having already run the 1500, and having the best miling credentials in the house, Bernie must have been in disbelief when no one else pushed the pace to try to run away from him. He threw down a killer 1:51 last 800 meters (one-half of a 3:42 mile, folks) to eek out the win. Slideshow here. Matt Tegenkamp had an impressive 4th place finish for the American team, as well.
Other runners in the 1500 and 5000 have one year to work on a strategy for taking both races out hard, so Lagat can't sit-and-kick again. With the heat of Beijing (+ the smog) it will take someone willing to risk last place.

Another Beijing storyline will be the Chinese female distance runners vs. drug-testing technology. China wants this Olympics to be its coronation as the center of the 21st century universe; will a wave of dominant female distance runners (and swimmers, and bikers...) emerge suddenly to be the heralds of a new age? Cue Galactus music...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

1 Second...

...separated American teammates Bernard Lagat and Alan Webb. One gets feted as the first American winner of the 1500 ever in an Olympics or World Championships, the other roasted as an over-hyped also-ran for his 8th place finish.

Lagat, cited constantly as a wonderful ambassador for the sport, wins his first championship medal at age 32, having spent years laboring in the shadows of Hicham El Guerrouj and Nourredine Mourceli. The second-fastest 1500 meter runner in history (3:26.34 in 2001), he is seen as an athlete on the decline, far-removed from his best times. But Lagat had more than enough speed to take charge of the last 100 meters of Wednesday's final, just holding off defending champion Rashid Ramzi. Lagat goes for the 5000 meter double on Sunday, along with fellow Americans Adam Goucher and new wunderkind Matt Tegenkamp (look for Ethiopia's Bekele and Australian Mottram to run with a lot of guts).

But while "Bernie" is an honorable champion achieving an important first for American distance running, rooting for him feels like rooting for a Daniel Snyder free agent brought in to help the team. This former Washington State runner's connection to the US is heartfelt, quite unlike the cynical repatriation of other Kenyans to Middle Eastern countries offering cash. And yet, and yet...

Alan Webb put himself into position to win over the final straightaway, but his newfound speed failed him. There are rumors of a cold, antibiotics, perhaps peaking too soon to go for the American record in the mile. Maybe a more extended kick over the last lap would have been harder for his opponents to cover. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Webb waxes philosophical about Beijing and the rest of the season in this Flotrack interview.