Thursday, July 31, 2008
Okay, so I've let you down again. I really haven't had an opportunity to write my receivers' preview, but I listened to something today that made me want to post. I have been a Redskins fan since I was five, and a Cowboy hater just as long. On my way home from work today, I was listening to the guys on ESPN 980 broadcasting from Ashburn, and they had Malcolm Kelly on the show. The crew asked Kelly the standard questions for a rookie wide receiver (i.e. where do you fit into the lineup, what's different about the pros, did they make you sing your fight song, etc.). The interesting point of this interview was when Kelly was asked about his Texas roots and his loyalties. Malcolm replied with "I USED to be a Cowboy fan." Impressive. The guy's only been around 3 months and he knows what to say. I wouldn't expect anything less from a true Redskin, and it's nice to know that The Rivalry lives on.
This leads me to the point of posting. I disagree with people that say rivalries aren't possible in the modern NFL. I believe the Redskins and Cowboys still hate each others guts, and there will always be events in the rivalry that will pass the hatred on for generations. Even in rivalries that turn one-sided (of which I've been a part of both ends), the rivalry continues to burn on both sides. Here are my two examples:
As a Redskins fan in the 90s and early 00s, Dallas had our number for a long time, but by beating them more in the last 3 years, it just makes me hate them more and the victories that much sweeter.
As a recent Virginia Tech grad, while it's become almost a given that we beat UVA every year, I still love rubbing their stuck-up Wahoo faces in every loss we deal them.
I think that the importance and intensity of a rivalry comes from its history, and the Redskins and Cowboys have that. I'm sick and tired of hearing Eagles fans talk about how they are a part of the "real" NFC East rivalries. I have a little note for Eagles fans: No One Cares About Your Team. You still haven't won a Super Bowl, and losers speak in Division Championships. The reasons the Redskins and Cowboys have a legitimate, classic rivalry is because they've played for the aforementioned championships (a la the 1982 "We Want Dallas" episode), and have been relevant in the football world (whether or not they're good) for decades. The Eagles are important in their own minds and to their own fans, and beyond that no one cares. While I HATE Dallas, I know that I have to respect that they have five Lombardi Trophies. The NFC East now combines for 11 total, of which the Eagles have none. That says enough. The ONLY, and I mean only reason I hate the Eagles is because I hate the city of Philadelphia and the way their fans carry on. Beyond that, I could care less whether they were in the NFC East or the Big East.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I think the Madden Curse this year is on the entire country, not on Brett Favre, because we have to continue to see his mug on TV. I'm sick of hearing about him, and yes, I know I'm contributing to all the noise out there about him right now, but really, just retire. I don't even want him to play because I'm just tired of hearing about him. If he plays this year, it means his waffling comes up again next offseason. Do us all a favor Brett and just walk away for good. Sorry for the short post, but I'm going to (finally) review the wide receivers tomorrow, so stay tuned!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
We all know that the blog is an invention of the current internet generation, and their success or failure typically depends on how interesting, or in some cases how controversial their commentary proves to be. Things like Stuff White People Like, and Deadspin appeal to specific crowds, but also light a fire in the belly of certain readers. Even though readers can be hateful (and comment boxes provide them the means to act in such a way), the controversy typically attracts readers, and thus propels the popularity of the blog. Maybe that's why this one is only read by my 7 friends and commented by another 3-4 (those few comments are GREATLY appreciated by the way).
The reason I was compelled to post tonight was triggered by my daily lunchtime blog check-up. I usually check the staples, but in light of training camp starting this week, I've also made it a habit to check up on Gary Fitzgerald's timestamp updates on Redskins.com. The new addition to the 'Skins official site this year is their official Blog, written by 31-year-old, life-long fan Matt Terl. The guy moved his family here from MD to be paid zilch to cover the Redskins from a new angle. If anybody follows the Redskins regularly, especially during their yearly preseason hype period, they understand that Ashburn is constantly overrun with throngs of media and fans throughout training camp. Typically, in a year when Danny Boy brings in a novelty act, these numbers are higher (which is almost every year nowadays). That being said, each media outlet seems to cover the same things, the same players, and the same coaches. There isn't a great deal more to be said about Jason Taylor beyond his daily reps, Jason Campbell's progress, or our aging offensive line until they begin taking live snaps in the preseason. Terl's responsibility is to bring his readers some of the ins and outs of training camp that fans don't get to see by lining up 25 yards away from the players in the heat.
However, Terl seems to be getting destroyed by his "readers." Today, he was completely blasted for his commentary on Brad Berlin and the Redskins Equipment Room. Personally, I feel like that's something not many people get to see, or hear about, and might be interested in. The logistics of keeping an entire 80-man roster stocked up through an entire training camp, let alone an entire season are mind-boggling, and that's something I'd like to hear about. People are griping that Matt should write about camp and the players, but there's only so much he can report on that other members of the media that haven't already covered a hundred times over. He's also being accused of stuffing the comment boxes, which may or may not be true, but I thought I would post this in support of him, and say that I think it's nice to see a change-of-pace official blog on my favorite NFL team. Maybe the controversy will bring about more readers for him, and hopefully pull up some supportive ones. So this one's for you. Keep up the good work Matt!
Monday, July 21, 2008
As you may or may not know, I'm a big fan of Paul Lukas's Uni Watch Blog, which makes the occasional appearance on ESPN.com. Like I've said before, I find the presentation of sport to be almost as interesting as the sport itself at times. That being said, I'm going to address new developments from Blacksburg and Ashburn with a Uni Watch Spin.
The acquisition of Jason Taylor brings a lot of certainty to the Redskin defensive group, but some questions as well. Not the least of which will be who rocks the #99 jersey this year. Andre Carter has worn it throughout his tenure as a Redskin, but wore #96 as a 49er dating back to 2001. Taylor has worn the number throughout his career, and has apparently expressed interest in buying the number off of Carter. It should be interesting to see the bounty that #99 will bring in this year. These issues are not new to the league (a la Jeff Feagles), or the Redskins (a la Clinton Portis v. Ifiyani Ohalete), so it should be interesting to see who comes out on top. My prediction is that Taylor will take the number and Carter will enjoy having the relief from another legitimate pass rusher on the line with a side of free vacation.
On a more serious football note, there is a legitimate debate about who will play on the left side for the Skins' defensive line, as both guys have played there for the majority of their careers. Odds are that Taylor will make the move into Daniels' vacated side, since he's spent more time over there, and has more natural pass-rushing ability. Regardless, his presence on either side should free up Carter and Marcus Washington to make a Tony Romo sandwich more than a few times this year. Maybe I should just shut up about Jessica's boy toy or I might upset TO more...
On a different note, the annual ACC Football meetings just concluded, with my beloved Hokies being picked to win the Coastal Division and to finish 2nd to the Clemson Tigers in the league. I'd have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with this pick. While we lost what seems like 8,000,000,000 seniors from last year's ACC Championship squad, we still have exponentially more talent than UVA and the other schlubs in the Coastal by default (sans Miami, whose talent won't live up to their billing while Randy Shannon retains his headset in Coral Gables). However, I believe that our strategy this year was given away too quickly at the meetings. As you can see above, our primary objective this year is to blind our opponents with horrifyingly hideous uniforms, and then take the extra time we bought to find some skill players (that haven't yet hurt themselves). In all seriousness, as much as I love my Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange, I identify that they really don't go well together, and in any case, Orange should be nothing more than a complimentary color. That being said, the new home uniforms use WAY TOO MUCH orange down the sides and bordering the numbers. The white jerseys aren't horrible, but I felt like Nike is ruining a perfectly good thing we had going with the old jerseys. We should stick to the all-white for night road games, all-maroon for night home games. Oh well, Jim Weaver, Beamer and the bunch are all slaves to Nike and their lack of taste.
Oh and Sean Glennon still sucks...
Posted by The Miz at 6:56 PM
Sunday, July 20, 2008
That smell you just noticed is Tony Romo shitting his pants as we speak. If I have to read one more press release about how the Redskins acquired an extremely talented ballroom dancer, I might throw up. Yes, this trade has brought me out of my "new job vs. blog" slumber, and I couldn't be happier. This trade makes a previously thin Redskins front-seven into a force in the NFC. Jason Taylor is still a top-5 pass rusher in the NFL, and teaming up with Andre Carter's double-digit sack ability, Cornelius Griffin's presence (when he's present), and a solid tandem of young defensive tackles makes the Redskins defense scary. There are still a lot of 'ifs' present with this group, but any secondary problems could be completely irrelevant if the opposing quarterback can't get rid of the ball. This move makes Marcus Washington a better linebacker and Fred Smoot, Shawn Springs and Carlos Rogers exponentially better. If Jason Campbell can take a step forward, this team could be a force in the playoffs. As John Clayton put it, 1-2 wins in the toughest division in football is EASILY worth a second rounder. While it's not a guarantee, I like the move. Condolences to Phillip Daniels, who I've always found to be a class guy that has never gotten his due, as this probably spells the end of his career in Burgundy and Gold, if not totally. Hats off to a solid locker room guy, a good leader and a true Redskin. The rest of the previews will be coming in the next few days, now that wedding season is coming to a close. Expect a full report from the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in two weeks!