Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Answers from the ATL


The parallels are eerie.
  • The Washington Redskins and the Atlanta Falcons have identical 65-77 records in the 21st century (Ever wonder how far down the sports totem pole we've fallen ? -- Atlanta has never in their team history had back-to-back winning seasons).
  • Both teams had owners accused of being too involved in the day-to-day operations of the franchise, with Arthur Blank palling around with players down on the sidelines and Dan Snyder's well-documented foray into team management.
  • Both faced GM and coaching searches last year, the Falcons after their disastarous 2007 season that featured a dysfunctional organization with a quitter for a coach (Petrino) and sniping players who took public shots at the direction of the team.
  • Here the parallels end.
  • The Skins hire the owner/Vinny as GM and Zorn as coach.
  • The Falcons hire GM Thomas Dimitroff from the personnel department of the Patriots and Mike Smith, Jacksonville defensive coordinator as coach. Blank distances himself from the day-to-day operations of the team.
  • Coming off a 9-7 season Skins flounder after a fast start, winding up 8-7 with one game left.
  • Coming off a 4-12 season, the Falcons rise to 10-5 with one game left.
  • Dimitroff is touted as NFL executive of the year.
  • Vinny/Danny are not.
  • Mike Smith is discussed as a possible coach of the year.
  • Zorn is not.
What did the Falcons do?
  1. The owner becomes detached from day-to-day operations. Hard to take dad seriously if mom is always open for complaints. An owner getting too chummy with players encourages the coach to do the same to curry their favor. Jim Mora was canned by the Falcons for doing too much of this, the same Jim Mora who the Seahawks will likely give the keys to the kingdom to after Mike Holmgren leaves instead of in-house QB coach Jim Zorn.
  2. Hire an unglamorous, football saavy GM, giving him the power and independence. He hires a similar coach.
  3. Make football moves that benefit the team, regardless of sentiment or star power: The mercurial bad apple DeAngelo Hall -- gone. All-star tight end Alge Crumpler -- gone. Warrick Dunn, great character guy but done --gone. All ties cut with Vick. The result was a team with less talent but more character. Portis? Campbell?
  4. Build through the draft. Of course it helps to draft perhaps the best rookie QB ever in Matt Ryan. But all the rookies for the Falcons have contributed. The Skins draft was crap, full of guys who either shouldn't've been drafted, or have claimed they have had trouble adjusting to living on their own.
Gotta tear it down before you really build a contender. Hire Cowher and Colbert. And Danny should back the hell off.
A reminder of Cowher's resume:
15 years.
11 winning seasons.
10 trips to the playoffs.
161-99-1.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Collapse

No other word for it. The Redskins are as bad as the economy. They are the Lehman Bros. of football; the stock market of sports teams. Cash out! Cash out!
It's sad, really. And we should blame ourselves for getting too excited at 6-2. I watched Sunday's game like a rubber necker on the highjway, just pure schendenfreude (yes, I speak bad German).
Not enough fingers to point at all the problems. Vinny? Danny? Zorny? etc. I just keep thinking one more season, one more season. But reality is we are far away from becoming an elite playoff team.
Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

As the Burgundy and Gold Turns...


So while Clinton Portis acts like a petulant 3-year-old, here's Buffalo's Marshawn Lynch wearing his big boy pants:
Lynch taking blame for Bills' struggles: Most teams drown in a sea of finger-pointing when their seasons spiral toward oblivion. But an unusual thing happened in the Bills' locker room Wednesday. With Buffalo still mathematically in the playoff race, running back Marshawn Lynch threw out a life preserver to his teammates and beleaguered head coach. "You're looking for the right person to blame it on, I'm right here," said Lynch, who had just 31 yards on 13 carries in the Bills' loss to Miami on Sunday. "I'm the feature back here, and I don't feel, as the feature back, I've played like it." Lynch said that when he watches film of himself, he sees opportunities he has missed to make better plays, noting in particular that if he were just a little more patient at times, he could have broken open for big runs. Of course, there's another theory floating around Buffalo these days -- that Lynch simply isn't getting the ball enough. It's one of the many complaints being directed toward Dick Jauron, but Lynch is defending his coach. "Thirteen is more carries than zero, so therefore, I had the opportunity," he said. "I just have to capitalize on it." -- Rachel Nichols from ESPN.com
The Skins have stayed relevant these past 15 years by being a soap opera, not a contending football team. The drama starts at the top, where the boy-owner insists on running the show, leading to all kinds of dysfunction over who's in control. Remember this?
"This is Marty Schottenheimer's organization from the standpoint of the final word," said Snyder, who introduced Schottenheimer at a news conference at Redskins Park. ". . . We needed a proven leader. We needed a proven winner."
Whoops.
The soap opera got a minor reprieve by jumping the shark with the return of Joe Gibbs.
But, like grains of sand through the hourglass, that euphoria was quickly pulled down into the mediocrity that is the modern-day Skins. Does this soap opera remind you of any other franchise?
In a recent interview with Daniel Snyder....

WSJ: Are there owners you admire?

Mr. Snyder: I admire Pat Bowlen [of the Denver Broncos]. He has a tremendous desire to win. And in the offseason, I get along great with Jerry Jones [of the Dallas Cowboys]. We have a lot of fun times together with our wives. We vacation together. But during the season, we are definitely enemies.
Here's the heart of the problem.
The owner of the Skins emulates the meddling, hands-on, fantasy football ownership style of the hated Cowboys. Ever since we poached the Cowboys' offensive coordinator, neck gaggle and all, we've gone downhill. Every soap opera needs its queen bee, the offensive diva that thinks everything should revolve around them. Dallas has theirs, and we've got ours.
So the Skins are emulating an organization that hasn't won a playoff game in
TEN.
YEARS.
That is in the middle of its latest December swoon.
Whose old-school savior couldn't save (Parcells) them much like Gibbs couldn't save us.
Let's go to the videotape:
Cowboys record since 2000 -- 70-67
Redskins record since 2000 -- 65-77
Cowboys playoff wins since 2000 - 0
Redskins playoff wins since 2000 - 1
Cowboys division championships since 2000 - 1
Redskins division championships since 2000 - 0
Cowboys coaches since 2000: 3
Redskins coaches since 2000: 5
Jerry Jones so wants to prove he can assemble and manage a championship team. 13 years later, he still hasn't done it.
And here we have the model for Dan Snyder. It's not working in either place. When the ownership has a too-close relationship with players and day-to-day operations, it creates a dysfunctional organization. Terrell Owens and Pacman Jones get away with destructive behavior because they know the coaches are too weak to stand up to them when the owner, the guy who acquired them in the first place, has their backs. Same with Portis, who bragged about his close relationship with Snyder.
Nothing will change with the Skins until Daniel Snyder steps away from day-to-day operations and lets them be handled by strong, independent football people who are given the space and power to run a functional organization imbued with accountability and measured, informed decision-making. That means a front office that won't try to buy up its media coverage in order to be able to project a party line that everything is copacetic when it's the organization that needs to change. That won't duck call-in shows after the season takes a turn for the worst.
A functional organization doesn't need a Ministry of Truth spinning its ownership's 65-77 record.
The Cowboys have always been the Skins opposite numbers. Both teams often spoil excellent seasons the other is having. But now we are emulating our nemesis, with predictable results.
If the Cowboys represent the problem, what's the solution?
The Atlanta Falcons.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

JC


Build around Nick Young, Crittenton, Butler, JaVale, Blatche, McGee. See what Arenas can bring when he gets back.
Hollinger's analysis of Javaris Crittenton on espn.com:
2007-08 season: Crittenton was only 19 and didn't really know what he was doing yet, so despite the low PER I took a lot of encouragement from his rookie season. For starters, Crittenton showed NBA athleticism in a few different areas. He ranked sixth among shooting guards in free-throw attempts per field-goal attempt and eighth in rebound rate, and he showed he can create offense -- he actually had the second-highest usage rate on the Grizzlies behind Rudy Gay. Additionally, Crittenton's biggest negative is really a positive. His turnover ratio was positively awful, ranking 60th out of 63 shooting guards, but young players with high turnover rates tend to progress much further in future seasons than those who do not. Note that I said "among shooting guards" above. Most of Crittenton's minutes came last year at the 2, and despite his being labeled a point guard coming out of college I think this is almost certainly where his long-term future is. Even as a 2, Crittenton ranked third-worst in pure point rating, and at 6-5 he'll probably have to play the wing for defensive purposes anyway. Scouting report: A quick guard who handles the ball very well for his size, Crittenton only played one year of college ball and thus has to do quite a bit of on-the-job training in the NBA. He still doesn't always know where to be or where to go and he seriously needs to improve as a shooter -- he was 14-of-51 on long 2s, 10-of-37 on 3s and only 69.2 percent from the free-throw line. Crittenton is also thin for his size, which might change as his body fills out but could be a liability if, as I suspect, he ends playing most of his career minutes on the wing. 2008-09 outlook: I don't think Memphis necessarily has to trade one of its three point guards, because Crittenton seems to be more of a 2 to me and I wouldn't be surprised at all if he ends up being O.J. Mayo's primary backup at that position this season. He has the ability to become a very good player, but whether he will or won't depends heavily on how much progress he makes as a shooter.

Monday, December 8, 2008

We lost

I almost made an early exit from the game last night ... then two turnovers ... then two scores ... then ... we lost again. I don't want to be too down on the team, but I guess after feeling excited by the first half of the season, it's harder to face reality. It was also hard to watch the Steelers beat the Cowboys and Philly beat Giants. I mean, I cheered on both winners of those games, but watching the teams move the ball, actually score more than one touchdown, and fight with heart, I realized how far the Redskins need to go.
May be next year? May be a year after that?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sandy, Baby's New Mancrush

Allow me to steal Minor Thread's thunder and start up this blog's next mancrush.

Rey Mauluga:



The first 2 minutes of the above video is from the Rose Bowl last year, where he almost single-handedly destroyed Illinois. He had three sacks, including my personal favorite where the running back picks him up on the blitz and he still knocks over Juice "Not the One doing 6-18" Williams. With one arm. While being blocked. And Williams weighs 235 pounds.

He had those three sacks and an interception, and a helluva lot of of tackles. IN THE FIRST HALF.

So yeah, he's pretty beastly.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

#21

I was a little let down with the loss to the Giants today. I really expected the Redskins to remain competitive against a tough team with the emotion of the anniversary of Sean Taylor's murder. (I also though the Palaxico distraction wouldn't hurt either.)
I didn't really expect a win, but a tight, close game would've been nice. Instead, we got the same old stuff -- lack of offense and a failure to execute. I thought our secondary would play a lot better. I still think we can end the season well, may be even win three of the last four games. But I think playoff hopes are unrealistic at this point.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ball Hawkin' the Sea Hawks

Thanks Goodness our secondary develop some hands against Seattle. It helped turn an ugly game into a win. At 7-4, I am still hopeful that the Redskins can make it to the playoffs. But man, I am still not sure they deserve it.

I mean, they fight hard, play well (at times), but when will they dominate?

Monday, November 17, 2008

???

Should I be worried here? Has our head of steam evaporated? Under Gibbs the team surged in the second half of the season, have we reversed that? Tell me it ain't so Zorn.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Prognostications...

Killing time as I watch the Dallas game...hmmm...maybe DeAngelo wasn't that bad a pick-up -- at least he can hang onto interceptions thrown right at him. If a strong locker-room culture can teach him the right way to approach, well, being a professional, being a team player, being a positive human being, he's got some skillz.

Too often fans act like the road to the playoffs starts in week 16 when talking heads begin considering playoff possibilities. But we pretty much know by now how tough different teams are, and it can be easy to give some...
NFC PREDICTIONS -
Team last 6 games final record
Division Winners
NY Giants 4-2 13-3 best team in the NFL; meaningless loss to Vikings at end
Tampa Bay 4-2 11-5 this should count as going .500 as they tee up on the Lions and Raiders
Arizona 3-3 10-6 a dangerous team...
Green Bay 4-2 9-7 Aaron Rodgers is the anti-diva
Wildcards
Carolina 3-3 11-5 rough schedule; 2nd loss to Tampa makes them a wildcard
Skins 4-2 11-5 losses to Giants and either Ravens or Eagles

Also-rans
Dallas 3-3 8-8 jinxing this with an in-game prediction...
Atlanta 3-3 9-7 great turnaround but still a year away
Minnesota 3-3 8-8 hate to say it, but Favre could've helped

It's clear that:
the Skins won't catch the Giants, so wildcard is their only route in
they currently are in the driver's seat at 6-3
it could come down to best division record with Carolina

Beating Carolina out for the #1 wildcard could mean the difference between facing Green Bay, then Tampa Bay OR the much harder road of Arizona, NY Giants
Let's assume the Skins eek out a better division record

1st round of playoffs:
Washington 24 Green Bay 13
Carolina 17 Arizona 14

2nd round:
Ny Giants 21 Carolina 10
Washington 27 Tampa Bay 20

NFC championship
NYG 23 Skins 17 - we have a chance to win, but just miss out

Giants beat Tennessee, 13-7 in the Super Bowl

2nd round

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Zorn, Horton, Portis, Campbell get love


From the ESPN NFC Blog, giving some love to the Zorn-again:

The halfway coach of the year: And our first Middie goes to Redskins first-year head coach Jim "Z Man" Zorn. Tom Coughlin has done a phenomenal job of guiding his players through some adversity (Osi Umenyiora, Plaxico Burress), but Zorn is the one who's caught everyone by surprise. When I talked to Joe Gibbs on Monday (you like how I did that?), he couldn't stop talking about the job Zorn has done. Zorn had the good sense not to blow up everything and make a bunch of changes. He's secure enough to surround himself with Gibbs holdovers, and he does a great job of empowering his staff. If you thought this team could be 6-3 after that opening game in the Meadowlands, meet me in Vegas next weekend. Zorn is the rare head coach who doesn't try to act like he has all the answers. His postgame news conferences feel like brainstorming sessions. I'm pretty sure he asked a reporter Sunday how he liked the Redskins' burgundy on burgundy look. That alone makes him worthy of a Middie. Rookie of the (half) year: Before the season, you thought Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson and Cowboys running back Felix Jones were the best candidates for a Middie. Neither of those players has disappointed, although Jones has missed three games with a hamstring injury. But for my money, no rookie has had a bigger impact than Redskins seventh-round draft pick Chris Horton. Fortunately for executive vice president of Danny Snyder's football team, Vinny Cerrato, Horton has helped take the attention away from those three second-round picks. If anyone spots Malcolm Kelly, send him back to Redskins Park. But the seventh-rounder Horton has been the team's best playmaker on defense -- outside of maybe London Fletcher. A scout told me recently that Horton was a "poor man's Troy Polamalu," which was definitely meant as a compliment. Horton is not particularly fast, but he always ends up near the ball. Watching him throw his body at Willie Parker on Monday was pretty entertaining.

Most improved: This one's always a little awkward. It sort of sheds light on the fact that a player may have struggled in the past. For instance, we've eliminated Clinton Portis and DeMarcus Ware from the "Most Improved" category. And our winner is: Jason Campbell of the Redskins. Despite his poor performance Monday against the Steelers, Campbell has been rock solid for much of the season. He makes plays when the game is on the line and he has embraced Zorn's West Coast offense. Campbell's biggest strength is his knack for remaining calm at all times. You can't tell by his demeanor whether he's won or lost -- and that's a good thing. The MVP after nine weeks: Clinton Portis is a no-brainer. A running back can set the tone for a team, and Portis' rugged style resonates throughout the organization. He committed himself to getting in better shape this past offseason and it's paying huge dividends. If the season ended today, Portis would be the odds-on favorite for league MVP. Who else are you going to pick? Albert Haynesworth? Nope, Portis is the man and he's poised to take home the MVP hardware.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hall of Shame


This guy is bad news. It's a mistake to throw this guy into the mix with a new Zorn-again culture forming in our locker .
Stay medium? Don't think so.
All you need to know is that my hometown Falcons dumped him at the end of last season. A franchise that was circling the bottom of the bowl in an unprecedented way simply had no use for him. A franchise that has rebuilt impressively behind the solid front office leadership of Dimitroff and coaching of Mike Smith, that has proven they know what they are doing, kicked him to the curb.
I know, I know, one person's trash is another's treasure. And we did get him for a Filene's Basement price. But like a Filene's Basement bargain: attitude high, prices low.
A short review of MeAngelo Hall's attitude is in order. Let's go to the videotape!!!
Getting outrun by a one-shoed Hines Ward.
Getting burned time after time after time - Jay Cutler
Diva-distraction.

The gamble here is that the Skins lockerroom culture can somehow teach MeAngelo to control his divisive, negative behavior that morphs into a monster at the drop of a hat.
But given this ownership's track record with free agent superstars (see 1999-2005) I think it's a bad fit. And dumping a Torrence instead of draft pick Tryon (wasn't he the nemesis in Teen Titans?) or putting one of the out-of-shape injured receivers on IR for the year... the team attitude pendulum just went a couple ticks from postive to negative. We'll see...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

John Milton Laments Redskins Loss to Rams




THE ARGUMENT

In which The Author illumines the root causes of the Downfall of the Wearers of Burgundy and Gold this past Sabbath, and predicts their future Redemption.







Hail holy Zorn, offspring of Heav'n first-born

Providential play-caller, those foul beasts

Charybidis and Scylla could not stop

Thy reverse play-action run-pass option;

May I name thy faults unblam'd from thy wrath?

Th' Quarterback of Soup excells under thy

Tutelage; Choirs of Hogettes sing thy praise

"Hip, Hip, Hoo-Ray, Chosen of the Danny!"

But thou and thy bright Host art fell tempor'y

To those animals over whom Man may

Hold Dominion justly; Rams not these

Sacrificyal but rather rapt in one

Win over thee; their methods from thou not

Hidden but rather wrapt Incognito.







Play-calls passive, the Ultimate Sin of
Turnover, abundant. Pride of Four and
One cometh before the Fall.
And yet there

Is Redemption written in the emp'real
Celestial lights of the orbs of Heaven,
Spelled Cleveland and Detroit, fraudulent signs
Of professional teams both. Hail! O Sons of
Washington and restore thy blissful seat! ('Skins by 10)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ouch!

A gimmie victory, huh? Well, the Redskins got overconfident Sunday against the atrocious Rams and went down in the closing seconds. Sure, fluke fumbles and weird plays contributed to the loss (Pete Kendell -- YOU ARE NOT A RUNNING BACK!!), but it was primarily a case of expecting to win, instead of playing to win.

Now, I've been enjoying the Skins's new-found swagger under (All Hail) Zorn, but it went too far last week. I mean what were Chris Cooley and Clinton Portis thinking when they dressed up to go -- I kid you not -- Ram hunting last week in a video featured on #47's blog?

I guess the answer is, even with swagger, Stay Medium.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Spoon-Fed Receiver


Now that B. Lloyd be gone, I have to have a new target. And you know, while this Redskins season is going great, I really don't have to look too far .. DO I DEVIN THOMAS!?!

Listen: You may be more talented than Lloyd and even a more profound rapper than than the lyricist who brought the world "I Get the Chedda" but damn, man, quit with the interference calls!

On the Wash. Post Redskins blog (All Hail) Zorn said about Thomas: "He's a tremendous talent. But he's not ready, really, to take on any kind of responsibility, to be honest with you. We're having to spoon-feed him there."

Yes, spoon-feed! Devin, before we dub you the Spoon-Fed Receiver, play in a game and don't break the rules!

And for those out of area bloggers, are we all keeping up with the latest Eastern motors ads -- discussions between CP and Randle El about ligers and Chris Cooley in his short-shorts. I tell ya, we got a team with swagger now.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fire Up the (Copyright Infringing) BlogWagon!

Ollie saw many BlogWagons on his trip to India. Hopefully this one will smell less like urine and curry.


Chris Samuels Re-Enacting R.Kelly's 1996 Hit "I Believe I Can Fly"


Great Kornheiser's Corpse! People are actually talking about the Redskins for reasons other than Captain Chaos showing his hee-ha all over the inter tubes. When Danny Warbucks hired Encino Man...I mean, Jim Zorn, everyone thought that it was going to be a Al Davis sucking-the-life-out-of-the-souls-of-the-innocent-type situation (sweet hyphenation, huh?). Personally, I thought he was the villain from this:



Somehow I can't see a Born Again saying "Prepare her for our pleasure"

We were wrong. Zorn isn't in over his head. He's not Spurrier running up the score in Osaka with a bunch of backups and then blowing harder than Leperchaun: Back to the Hood. He's not Herr Schottenheimer, locking grown men in their rooms after 8. Dare I say, he's not even Gibbs (II), running plays that harkened back to the days of the wishbone.



All Hail Zorn! All your non-divisional games are behold to us!



(Every time Dan Snyder gets excited, an Angel gets its wings)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Karate Chop YO!


We all know Santana Moss is the king. So far this season, he is second in the NFL in yards receiving and tied for third in receptions. After running cold for a while, what's the deal?

Better connection with QB Soup? Being healthy? More motivation?

Sure, may be. But I think it's -- hiiiii-yah! -- his new embrace of the ancient Asian martial arts. (Cue gong and windchime)

According to this AP story, Master Moss took up Tae Kwon Do in the off season (because, like, running, swimming and lifting weights wasn't enough). The Korean fighting style perhaps gives him more poise, center, focus -- and straight up badassness!

Undoubtedly he will follow in the footsteps of Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, Bolo Yeung, Sammo Hung, Sonny Chiba (uhm, perhaps I should stop here ... ). And of course, the best of them all -- Jim "Black Belt Jones" Kelly.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Llllllllllloyd!!!"


(Fact: Above person actually better wide receiver than Brandon Lloyd)



The Wide Receiver is No More

Woo Hoo!!!!1

I like this first line of the second paragraph of J.La's article:

"His release, long anticipated..."

You bet your ass it was.

Here's Le Wide Receiver's Redskins Tenure Recap (Per Redskins Insider):

"
The final stats: 25 receptions, zero touchdowns. For $10 million in guaranteed money."

Well, that was well worth it.


Somewhere in Koln, Deustcheland, Lil Bro's yodeling and clogging for joy in his lederhoesen.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Adventures of Zorno

Well, it's time for some Hardcore Zorn.
Not the best choice in my mind, but not the worse. I like that he comes from a well-managed team and has helped coach up young quarterbacks. And The Post mentioned that Zorn and Campbell have hit it off when they met.
But what about running a West Coast offense now? And are Vinny C-word's fingerprints all over this decision? And how many seasons -- if any -- until we expect results?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sumo Hazing Death


A 17-year-old wrestler was beaten to death by stablemates and his stablemaster, supposedly as punishment for "sitting wrong." The International Herald Tribune has more details. The alleged crime took place at Tokitsukaze stable, with the wrestler, Tokitaizan, dying the next day during training.
And I was just getting psyched for getting reinterested in sumo after rereading David Benjamin's classic, hilarious The Joy of Sumo.
Of course, heartless tragedy can happen in any country, and frequently in the US. But, having seen Japanese ijime (bullying) firsthand in schools, I think the Japanese still-feudal subservience of junior to senior, employee to boss, "koohai" to "sempai" makes these situations more possible. All societies are going to have sociopaths, but Japan is more prone to having bystanders who do not question the abuse of the senior/junior relationships. Everybody is quick to blame Confucius for this mess, citing his analects promoting fidelity to the natural harmony of relationships, but everyone forgets that Confucius held the authority, the emperor, head of household, sempai, accountable for acting as a just leader:
If the people be led by laws, and uniformity among them be sought by punishments, they will try to escape punishment and have no sense of shame. If they are led by virtue, and uniformity sought among them through the practice of ritual propriety, they will possess a sense of shame and come to you of their own accord.” (Lunyu 2.3)
Problem is, everyone has forgotten about this side of the equation. Questioning an unjust leader, even rebelling, was permissable in the analects as part of restoring the natural harmony of things. Over the years, though, the institutions of power across Asia have deemphasized the responsibilities of the leader, resulting in an interpretation of Confucian values that leads to blind obedience. See Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
And poor Takashi Saito, age 17.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Right on, Sister

I like the idea of the Giants defensive coordinator being the new Redskins coach. But for all the reasons stated by Sally Jenkins in her Post column, I am afraid Snyder will screw it up. Again.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hey, How 'Bout That?

In honor of the Giants and the several fans of theirs in the family.



You were so right Carl...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Open Letter to Daniel Snyder



Redskins Park
Landover, MD 28902

Dear Mr. Snyder,

I know we've never had the best relationship. I've derided you as The Danny, the owner who pays too much for over-the-hill players like Bruce Smith, fired Norv Turner in the middle of the season, and only seeks coaches who make you giggle like a school girl during a Brad Pitt movie.

But I've always known you're a passionate Redskins fan and I praised you when you raised Joe Gibbs from NASCAR purgatory. I thought such an act washed you clean of your previous sins.

Now with the decision to bypass Gregg Williams as head coach let me be absolutely clear with where I stand: f#!k you.

Never in a thousand years should you have passed over Gregg Williams for the top job. Never. The team is still recovering from a roller-coaster season, needs stability, and Gregg is the man. You apparently did not even heed the advice of your idol Joe Gibbs. I know technically Gregg departed on his own, but only after you treated him poorly.

Who knows what the future holds. Perhaps you'll find a great coach (not Fassel!). Perhaps we'll do well next season. But from here, it seems you have destroyed the team chemistry built under Gibbs and have made the team a mockery in the league.

If I'm wrong, I'll admit it here. But I am tired of you and what you have done to my hometown team.

Sincerely,

Lil Bro

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Back for More Links

Your faithful blogmaster is back with some linkage, but first I'd like to commemorate our 100th posting (which happened last month) with this special behind the scenes insight into the Sandy, Baby blogging process:




Now back to a regular post:



(from BlackSportsOnline (obviously) via Deadspin).

I'm praying that image isn't doctored, I think Chad Johnson can talk a little bit too much but he seems to be far from a Terrell Owens or as bad as Randy Moss can be. The Skins biggest need probably is wide receiver as well, as Santana and Randle El are good but were inconsistent and injury prone this past season. That and a solid young defensive back would be nice (but who doesn't need that?). Why not trade a first rounder for a sure thing? Wish there was some more reporting on this.

This is about the funniest thing you'll read for a while.

"Yes, yes!
Cry your tasty tears of overreaction UNC fans!"



UPDATE: Here's an important and breathtaking video somehow taken from Hitler's last days in power. Amazing video quality for such an important piece of history.

(via Kissing Suzy Kolber).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Choking Points

  • Tony Romo and Yoko Romo: I love it! A local radiohead observed that current high school seniors have never seen the Cowboys win a playoff game during their entire school careers. America's team is back! On the couch, watching the playoffs on TV. Of course the Skins have mustered, cough, TWO playoff wins in that timeframe, so let's not be bragging too hard. But let's revel just a bit in the worst choke job by the Cowboys since, well, last year. Any reason to think the Skins, with an upgrade, can't take these guys next year?

  • Speaking of the Skins, I think I'm off my Saer Sene-like infatuation with Bill Cowher as the next head coach. Let's bring in Double-G and see what he can cook up in 3 years, say. Always a chance to change it up then.
  • Pros: constancy, tough guy, great D, player support, the annointed one(?)
  • Cons: offense change imminent(?), poor communicator (freezing players out w/o explanation), not so hot run in Buffalo
  • Would love to see an in-dpeth look at Double-G's time in Buffalo -- what he did right, what he did wrong. That could tell us a lot.
  • How bout them Wizards? Just as the Celtics seem like the second coming of the 72-10 Chicago Bulls, Caron and the guys hit them in the mouth not once, but twice. Suddenly Boston finds itself 30-6, and I don't see them going 43-3 to break the record. Almost time for the '96 Bulls to pop some champagne... And this just when it seemed like the absence of Arenas's finishing ability was catching up to them. It will be interesting to see them blend Gil into their newfound team concept. As I told Ollie before the season started: this team will be at its best with Arenas averaging 23 points a night and getting others involved more often. Clearly DeShawn, Mason and Haywood are ready to pitch in regularly, with Nick Young needing just a bit more maturity before he can be relied on night-in and night-out.
  • A story that has flown largely under the radar of major media has been the controversy surrounding sprinter Oscar Pistorius, who moved up from the 100 and 200 meters to race the 400 as a paralympic athlete. The "blade runner" raced 46.9 this past summer to come within shouting distance of times that would qualify him for the Olympics. To be competitive at the world level a runner must be able to break 45 seconds, and American Jeremy Wariner is on track to make a go of trying to break Michael Johnson's 43.18 world record. The point of contention is Pistorius's prosthetic limbs, his "blades" and how much advantage they give him. Selena Roberts of the New York Times wrote this editorial this summer in support of Pistorius competing against an open field, decrying the IAAF's concern about possible advantages he might have.
  • They uttered the preface of false sensitivity — “with all due respect” — as the sport’s officials launched into an insolent logic that ended with a warped depiction of a disabled athlete as the lucky one:

    Your technology is such a gift that it cheats our human triumphs. Our image of courage is undermined by your annoying persistence. Now, if you could kindly retreat to the Island of Misfit Toys so our vision of an athlete will remain unthreatened...
  • Well, research done at the bequest of the IAAF, by Professor Peter Br├╝ggemann at the German Sport University in Cologne (perhaps Lil Bro can get a Sandy, Baby exclusive interview?), had determined that Pistorius has great advantages conferred by his Cheetah prosthetics. The excellent analysis by blogspot neighbors The Science of Sports breaks this down.
  • Analyzing Pistorius's advantage or disadvantage is complex stuff. Equipped with the Cheetahs, he has some disadvantages (like a very slow start) that must be figured into the equation. But even to a novice track aficianado like myself, it was apparent from early on that his races were run like no other 400 meter runners. Typically Pistorius would start slow, then gain on competitors over the final 100 meters. While so many other 400 meter runners were fighting to slow down the least, Pistorius was still going strong. Br├╝ggemann's research showed that the carbon-fibre prosthetics convey a number of different advantages that leave Pistorius with more gas at the end of the race (The Science of Sports estimates possibly an advantage of 5-10 seconds). While supporters of the blade runner's bid to compete in the Olympics, like Roberts, want him able to participate because of the great, heart-warming, inclusive story it would make, the implications of the impact of technology on fair competition clearly have been shown to be severe. The best analogy, that no one I've read has brought up, is that of wheelchair racers. They compete on the track, on the roads, in marathons, but the advantages their wheels give them would make it patently unfair to throw them in a race against runners. Pistorius's prosthetics throw him into the same class. This, surely, not the last time new technology will raise complex questions about sport.
  • The sad truth is that we will never know how fast Oscar Pistorius would run with legs; it all ends in conjecture and guesswork. We know how fast he can go on his Cheetahs, and it is a marvel. But the playing field must remain level, or it's unfair to everyone. No matter how good the story.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sunday, January 6, 2008

We all go down together

This was a tough one. I don't think I've been this defeated since Super Bowl XVIII.
I watched the game in a bar with a pack of Seattle fans in front of me. One had this whistle-holler yell he let out each time his team put Collins on his back or scored. I got so sick of it.
So in those glorious few minutes in the second half, when the Redskins did seem to have a charmed life -- or at least a guardian angel looking out for them -- I was thrilled to have silenced the Seahawk fans. When we appeared to score our third touchdown on the kickoff, I was out of my seat, high-fiving other 'Skins fans, Hail to the Redskins started to come out ... and then it was called back ... and then Suisham missed a gimmie field goal ... and Landry's second interception didn't do anything ... and then the whiny joy of that Seattle booster returned.
At this time we usually start the What-the-Team-Needs-in-the-Future chat -- should Gibbs stay, how do we improve the O-line, do we keep Collins?
But instead, for now I'll just marvel that the team got this far. And honored their friend so well.