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Fight for Old DC is a blog covering all sports in and around the District. Main focus will be on the Capitals, Redskins, Nationals, Wizards, United, and Hokies (I know they aren't DC, but it's my alma mater). Enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Virginia Tech @ Miami Live Blog

Blog will be updated every 10 minutes throughout the football game. Please feel free to comment!

First Quarter Thoughts:
  • Lame opening return by Roberts, let's see what the offense can do from their own 28.
  • Nice pass and catch by Glennon/Coale. Nice play call by Steinspring. Did I just say that?
  • And repeat. Tyrod did a good job of breaking the pocket and finding Coale on the outside.
  • Terrible call to go for it on fourth. In a game where points WILL be so valuable, Beamer comes out looking the fool. Let's see what the defense can do.
  • Nice three-and-out for the defense. Didn't like that coverage on third down but a key drop gives the Hokies a break.
  • I think that was a catch. I'm trying not to be a homer, but Boykin had that ball and control was never in question until he had both feet on the ground and turned up the field. Bullshit call...
  • Defensive line looks to be getting good pressure but Foster also seems to be a little afraid of the big play, only rushing 3-4 guys at once. Playing against Freshmen QBs should call for lots of heat, and I don't agree with Foster only bringing his front four.
  • Roughing the passer was bullshit as well, Miami's got the refs on their side so far tonight...
  • I don't have a good feeling about this game after the fumble bounces right back to Miami. Karma just isn't working in our favor right now.
  • Following Robert Marve slipping out of a "devastating sack" by Cody Grimm, James punches it in from two yards out. 7-0 Canes, thanks to the refs and poor tackling down the middle of the defense.
Second Quarter Thoughts:
  • Marve finally gets punished. He was bound to get hit sooner or later. Looks like the defense can't hold again though as they give up a long screen on third and 10.
  • BIIIIG turnover with the forced fumble by Bonesaw and recovery by Kam. What can the offense do with the opportunity?
  • I like the blocking effort by the receivers on these screens. Unlike the typical Steinspring calls, he's allowing his guys to have some blockers out front. Unfortunately, Miami is matching our effort and athleticism on the defensive side so far.
  • Nick Marshman looked SLOW on that sack he gave up. Just a terrible one-on-one effort. Thanks for killing the drive Nick.
  • GREAT defensive series against Harris. The offense needs to finally capitalize on some good field position (own 47).
  • So karma goes the other way. I think Darren Evans obviously fumbled on the play, but I'll take a break where we can get it.
  • Glennon has looked fairly poised (crosses fingers) but Evans just has to get some blocks up front to be successful.
  • And just as I write that, Tyrod gets a nice block from Boykin, then gives the 'U' a big "PUSSY" sign. Gotta love 15-yard penalties. Let's see if it was worth it (I'm glaring at you kick coverage unit).
  • Block in the back bails them out. Over/Under on big returns for the rest of the game for the Canes? Two.
  • NASTY hit by Macho. Probably should have been a helmet-to-helmet call.
  • Evans finally converts on a third down.
  • Why the hell doesn't the clock stop on an out-of-bounds play any more? One of the stupidest rule changes ever. It just completely changes the scope of a two-minute offense, and I don't like it.
  • Jarrett Boykin = your heart out David Tyree.
  • If our offensive line can't protect better, we have no hope of winning this game.
Halftime grades:

Offense: (C+) Some nice individual efforts and a decent passing game has been negated by poor protection and run blocking. O-Line is the reason we aren't up by at least one score.

Defense: (B-) Decent effort, but they need to capitalize more on the pressure they've been putting on the QBs. Some bad penalties helped Miami score, but the middle of the defense must tighten up in the second half.

Special Teams: (D-) Bowden's pinning Miami keeps this out of the doghouse, but big returns for Miami, poor ones for us, and a missed field goal don't look good so far.

Third Quarter Thoughts:
  • Poor tackling on these screens for the Hokies. They're taking poor angles and not wrapping up.
  • Poor angles again on Marve's run down to this six. The linebackers have regressed tonight so far.
  • Defense makes up a little bit by holding Marve out of the endzone on that 3rd down play. Good discipline. They need to keep that up. 10-7 Miami with the field goal.
  • Terrible first series by the offensive line in the second half. Can't block for shit.
  • Nice shank by Brett Bowden. Don't you love that Cortez Kennedy can't string two words together, but got out a nice national championship prediction in the next two years for the Canes? They may have had swagger back in his day, but obviously not brains.
  • Again the defense gets beat down the middle. Nice catch by James, poor coverage by P-Stump.
  • Nice hold again by the defense. Worlids gets a lot of credit for fighting through that separated shoulder all night. He's been in the backfield quite a bit but that was a big sack. 13-7 Miami.
  • Ed Wang is playing a TERRIBLE game. He still no brock werr...This is the old offense we all know and hate.
  • The defense has to come up with a turnover. The only way to turn the tide of this game is to shift the field position right now.
  • Our defense is exhausted right now, and regardless of whether or not Miami scores here, we need a long offensive drive to even have a prayer for the rest of the game.
Fourth Quarter Thoughts:
  • First of all, nice SORENSEN reference Mr. Anonymous.
  • Jason Worilds' arm looks like it's just going to fall off.
  • What a lucky freaking bounce for Miami. First and goal. Go figure.
  • O.K. Defense, nice hold. 16-7 Miami. The offense has to do something and now.
  • Not nearly enough intensity from the offensive front and a conservative second half game plan equals -8 yards to this point for the offense in the half. Only a turnover will give us a chance at a win at this point.
  • At least Jason Worilds has some heart. Nice sack.
  • Dyrell Roberts just blew it. Freshmen.
  • Nice run by Tyrod. Again. I hate these clock rules so much.
  • We need to keep this thing going. And just as I write that Tyrod gets off a bad pitch. Why aren't we at least calling pass plays? Option hasn't worked all night.
  • Nice touchdown T-Mobile. Even if we can't come back in this, it's really encouraging to see Tyrod take charge of such an important game. It's a shame it may be too little too late. 16-14 Canes.
  • Time to earn your scholarships defense. This is the game in the next three plays.
  • By the way, how big are the three points Beamer opted to leave on the field on the first drive? WHY DON'T WE EVER TAKE THE POINTS?!
  • O.K., good stop D. Let's see a nice return and some offense.
  • So much for that return. Here we go Tyrod.
  • Smart play by Tyrod on that throwaway.
  • Terrible call by Steinspring on third down. Lost the game. Who calls a draw there?! That should be his job right there. It's amazing to think what we could do with some decent play calling. I don't mean to take away from the fact that our offensive line is terrible, but those kind of calls are inexcusable. I loathe Bryan Steinspring.
Offense (D-)
Defense (B)
Special Teams (D-)

I know this wasn't a big deal to a lot of you, but let me know if you at least enjoyed it (despite the loss). Comments on how bad Steinspring is are welcome.

Hokies @ Miami: Pregame Thoughts

According to DeAngelo Hall, this Tech team is worth him talking shit to his new Redskins teammates. For the first time in the last three years, I'm actually proud that he was a Hokie. As much as I love Portis, Moss & Co. now, I sure as hell hated them when they were 'Canes. I hope his "boys" as he called them back him up tonight on National Television

This is a monster game for our young Hokies. Going to Miami is never easy, but as we've all read this entire week, the road team has won 3 of the last 4 matchups in this series. I believe that will continue tonight. I'm going to keep this short and sweet, but I believe that our offensive line SHOULD be able to overpower a stout Miami front seven, that's been good, but not great against the decent offenses they've faced this year. Last Thursday looked a lot like 2004, and I think this game will be along the lines of that '04 season finale in the O.B. Tech will get a big special teams play, give up a big running touchdown, but get just enough from the defense (i.e. timely turnover, sack or safety) to pull this one out. This game will look a lot better than the last time we travelled to Dolphin stadium.

Virginia Tech 23
Miamuh 21

I'll be live blogging the game, so check back up throughout the game for my thoughts! Feel free to comment as well

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Olie Given Nice Tribute...and a Loss

Image Courtesy of

Last night marked the return of everyone's favorite Cap, Olie the Goalie to Verizon Center. It was also my first game since last year's Boston Massacre in early March. Before I get to the breakdown of the game, I wanted to include a few thoughts on my experience in Verizon last night.
  • It was nice going over to the game alone, since I was able to do what I wanted to, and was able to go down and watch warm-ups for the first time in years.
  • Although I've seen them live, seeing Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin warm up from ice-level is breathtaking. I am really glad I'm not an NHL goalie that has to deal with those shooters on a nightly basis. Ovie put 5-6 pucks right at my face and I couldn't help but flinch every time. He also seemed to be able to place the puck WHEREVER he wanted to on every shot. I have every expectation that this offense has unlimited potential moving forward with that raw ability on the roster.
  • Alex Semin seems to be skating much smoother than I remember him skating in March. He's got a nice swagger about him with the puck.
  • I made sure to donate to our many military families by getting a new "courage cap," which are awesome. Classy philanthropy guys.
  • "Unleash the Fury" NEVER gets old. I love Tom Green.
  • I wish we could bring back the C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS chant more often. Seems to get lost in the shuffle a bit now.
  • What's with the middle sections being completely empty? Verizon was full of energy, but I couldn't help but notice some COMPLETELY empty club-level (correct me if I'm wrong) sections.
  • Classy tribute to Olie, it's just a shame it had to come after a 2-0 lead. Not that I wasn't happy about it, but it couldn't feel that good to Kolzig. Props to the crowd for the standing-O.
The game obviously started out pretty well, with Olie giving up two goals on the first two shots, but I have to say that I'm actually pretty disappointed with the effort for the last 2 periods. As Gabby pointed out with the post game media, it seemed as though Ovechkin and Semin were being way to cute with the puck after the first period. There were at least four cases where we made one-too-many passes and could have scored with some more selfish play. I liked the shorthanded efforts as well, but we could have easily put up 6+ goals last night.

Hustlers: Brooks Laich, Brent Johnson, Tom Poti
Boneheads: John Erskine

If the Caps can keep this run going, they can build a lead in the Southeast, but we'll learn a lot tomorrow night @Carolina. Hopefully Erskine won't have any stupid turnovers like last night, because the Canes will capitalize.I f we can put in a full 60 minutes, we should have no trouble coming out on top.

Kudos go to...

Brent Johnson for being the NHL's third star this week. He should continue to start over the underachieving Theodore, and his GAA would be even better without last night's garbage goal.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Caps Drop Two to Northeast, Other DC Sports Notes

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So in my week hiatus, the Caps have dropped two straight to Northeast division foes. They looked terrible and lackluster in a 5-0 beat down in Buffalo, and seemed to shape up a little bit last night while picking up a point in a 2-1 (OT) loss in ScotiaBank Place. There are some important things we can take out of the two losses:
  • Accountability: After the awful effort in Buffalo, the Caps lost their day off and were given sprints instead (a la Disney's Miracle, I'm sure...). The defense looked terrible in Buffalo, but the effort seemed much better last night against the Senators. Boudreau needs to continue to promote accountability, and stress it with ice time. If players are not giving the effort or performing up to scratch, they need to be handled accordingly. I'm not talking Ovechkin's slow start, but I am referring to Backstrom (came into camp out of shape) and Clark (who is just not the same player since missing 60+ games last season). The effort seemed better overall last night, but the team isn't in sync. Maybe a kick in the butt will put them into a higher gear.
  • Poor Defensive play: On the defensive side, I still don't understand the Erskine deal, and with Morrison's poor play of late, I'm concerned for this team over the next few months. It looks like the only likely help could be coming out of Hershey, but it's disconcerting to see such lackadasical play so early in the season. Unless we consistently put up 3-4 goals per night, we'll be a .500 team at best.
  • Goaltending: Johnny deserves to be the #1 guy right now. Jose has allowed too many early goals, as well as poorly-timed momentum shifting goals. Part of this has to do with the defensive effort, but Johnson's 41 saves last night were certainly heroic (even with the defense he has in front of him). We're also paying Theodore enough money to perform at that level on a consistent basis. The only time he's earned his paycheck was in the 3rd period of the Penguins game last month.
I think the guys will come out of this funk, but they need to find themselves soon, or they'll have a hole to climb out of against the 'Canes for the next few months. Time to put the big boy pants on and live up to your potential young Caps!

In other DC Sports news:

The Steelers game was a debacle, so I'll just chalk it up to a tired mid-season let down. I think the team looked worn-down, and I thought the game plan catered to a Pittsburgh pass rush that destroyed our old/exhausted/beat-up line. We're still a 6-3 team at the bye, but playing Dallas next week will go a long way to determine how the rest of this season will play out. Hopefully Tony Womo's wittle pinkie wont huuurt so much. Oh, and Kudos to Redskins management for putting the Meast in the Ring of Fame. I'm going to try my damnedest to be there on Nov. 30 for that one.

What the hell is Eddie Jordan doing? I've seen some of the most cluster-f*&ky lineups ever in the first 2.5 games this season. I know we're banged up, but I should have some sort of idea of what the rotation is going to be. I mean, really? In light of the puzzling coaching decisions, Nick Young is starting to look like he just might be a star. I really like the kid.

New Nats uniforms are being revealed tomorrow for the 2009 season. Will they cover up the stench of 100 losses any better than this year's unis? Maybe not, but rest assured they'll make money off jersey sales. That's all that matters, right?