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It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. The year was 1979. Dr. Hook and Little River band, each had two of the top 100 songs and Nicole Richie’s dad was still a Commodore. Nothing was coming between Brooke Shields and her Calvins, and Americans were worried about exploding Pintos, Three Mile Island, and Iranian radicals (glad that’s worked itself out). For Redskins fans it also marks the last time the Redskins faced the Cowboys on the final week of the season, to decide the NFC East.
How great it is for anyone to actually give a damn about what the Redskins do, less than a week from the new year. Add to that they’ll face mortal enemies, the Dalls Cowboys. I am terrified and excited at the same time. The ending of this game will offer fans the highest of highs or the lowest of lows. But that’s what it’s all about. That’s why we are fans. It allows us the emotional release, that if we were fully human, we would get with our spouses and children. But a playoff run, and plenty of brown liquor, provide a close facsimile to the feelings of real relationships. Perhaps I’ve said too much.
The names a different now. Instead of Theisman and Riggins v Staubach and Drew Pearson, it’s RGIII and Alfred Morris v Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Who by the way is in full beast mode right now. But it’s what we’ve wanted for 20 years. To root for a relevant team again. With a loss, from a big picture standpoint I think many fans will be happy as we look to the future, but will hurt in the short term. But a win that sends the Cowboys home will be fantastic. Now if John Mara’s Giants stay home too, I may not wear pants for a week. Now pour something tall and strong, and shine up your K-Car. It’s 1979 all over again. (Yes, I know the ‘Boys won that one in ’79, but allow me some poetic liscence.)
I’ve tried to figure out why my motivation to post on this has been at absolute zero for the last six months, and I have finally come to a conclusion. Robert Griffin and the improvement this season, have wiped away my fan angst, and thus my desire to vent on a weekly basis. However as my childlike optimism approaches Christmas Eve level excitement, I once again feel compelled to write. Please forgive me if I start taking victory laps, and point out that maybe Bruce Allen and the Shanahans may actually know what they are doing.
So let’s begin the Worldwidebleater renaissance with a few predictions for Sunday’s tilt against the Eagles.
1- Robert Griffin will burn down the stadium. Figuratively of course. He is one of the most competitive guys in the league. And make no mistake, he is not without an ego. While it is not arrogance or boastfulness, he thinks the world of himself and his abilities. He has now spent the last seven days listening to various media outlets speculate about Kirk Cousins’ trade value. As well as the fact that Cousins’ 329 yards last week against the Browns was more than any of Griffin’s totals. He’s also heard what a genius Kyle Shanahan is, and how he can do it with anybody. My guess is that he has spent the last week in a Michael Jordan like fugue state. Imagining slights, disrespect, and enemies that don’t exist. We will see a quarterback prepared like no other. He will put on a clinic this week.
2- At some point Chris Cooley will have a breakout game. Nobody expects him to do anything other than block. He didn’t sudenly forget how to play football. I will concede that he has probably slowed down, but when your are ignored you can be lethal. Much in the way that Darrell Young reels off a 25 yarder form time to time. I predict that the next time he is targeted, he will score a touchdown.
3-This defense will be in the top ten next season. They have improved markedly since the bye week, and this is a very young team. I think Crawford will continue to improve, especially since he’s going to be active every week returning punts. Jarvis Jenkins in starting to show the promise we were, uh….promised. Add to that, I belive that if Chase Minnifield gets healthy for next season, he’ll be really good. That’s a gut feeling only. Kind of like the winning lottery ticket, on which I I have yet to check the numbers. Carricker will be back, and hopefully Orakpo will be able to fully recover. I underestimated his impact on the pass rush, and considered him to be a tad overrated by the fan base. Redskin fans have had a tendency over the last ten years or so to call guys who don’t suck, great.
Anyway, let’s enjoy the ride. As I emailed one sports radio guy last week: Allow yourself to love again. This is fun. Don’t worry about getting your heart broken. You’ll know when it’s “the one”. Robert Griffin is the one. HTTR!!
Wow! What a freakin’ week for Redskins fans. A $36 million kick in the fellas, Pierre Garcon, Atogwe cut, and Josh Morgan. Huh? Oh yeah. We traded up into the second pick in the draft to get some guy named Robert Griffin III. Off-season champs? Business as usual? Will this work? Nobody. I repeat, nobody knows. However, for the most part, I believe the Redskins are making good moves. Some thoughts on the recent news:
Damn. Just Damn. More to come.
Among the Redskins faithful, there has been much gnashing of teeth since Robert Griffin III, performed at the NFL combine last week. The voices have been loud in the “Should they/ shouldn’t they” argument. The argument against is largley this: He will cost too much in the form of surrendered draft picks, and thus will cripple them going forward. That leaves me with two questions. What is a franchise quarterback worth? And is now the time to go all in on the guy, regardless of who he may be?
In regard to the first question. If there is somebody among the littany of QB choices this year, that the Shanahan/Allen regime believes is absolutely the guy, then they should pay whatever the price may be. It’s become a cliche’, but this is a quarteback league. Teams simply must have a top tier QB to succeed at the highest level. And by that, I mean play in a Super Bowl. The NFL has tweaked and twisted the rules to make quarterbacks ever more important.
People love to immediatley blurt out “TENT DILFER” when it is pointed out that a great QB is essential. But look at the facts. Since Dilfer won 11 years ago in 2001, there have been 22 starting QB slots in Super Bowls. Of those 22 slots only five were not filled by guys who, at some point in their career were in the Hall of Fame conversation. Rich Gannon, Brad Johnson, Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Delhome, and wait for it…. Sexy Rexy. The other 17 have been top level guys. Before you scream, “McNabb is not top level!”, back it up Skippy. Yes, the last few years have been tough for McNabb. But prior to his decline, he was NFC Player of the year, NFC offensive player of the year, a 6 time Pro-Bowler, and went to 4 NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl.
More recently, you have to go back to ’07 with Rex to see anyone in the big game, who is not a stone cold asassin at the QB position. Simply put, no team is going to be great without a great quarterback. So keep all the draft picks you want. Without a sniper behind center, it’s all for naught.
Lately I keep hearing “why all the ugency now?”. Two reasons, really. First, they hit rock bottom in 2011 with Rex and Beck. Second, they have not, in the last 15 years, been in a better situation to make the move. They have tons of cap room if a free agent is the answer. But more importantly, draft-wise they are in the best position I can remember.
In order to draft in the top two or three positions, you generally have to have 3 or fewer wins. It is hard to be that bad. But at number six, with 8 picks this year they are as close as they may get for a while. RGII may cost as much three first rounders, but that really means two. They’re going to swap number ones this year and lose two of the next two. The leaders have shown me enough, to have faith that they can find talent in the later rounds. Plus, consider this. The addition of Leonard Hankerson and Jarvis Jenkins next year, is kind of like getting two high picks this year. The concensus in Ashburn is that these two will be good, and gave the team nearly nothing last year.
Mediocrity at QB would be a huge leap forward for the Redskins. But ulitimately that is an anchor on the team. Moving to 8-8 only keep them from getting the stud they really need. I don’t evaluate players for a living, so I’m not sure who that stud is. But there is a legion of people in Ashburn who do. So, at ther end end of the day, if they find the guy, do whatever it takes to make him your guy.
I’m all in on _______ as the new quarterback for the Redskins in 2012. Vague? Maybe. But focus not on the blank, but on the word “new”. New as in not Rex Grossan or John Beck. This year more than any I can remember, the QB options abound for teams picking near the top of the draft. All of which seem to be better than what they have had since Jason Campbell left town.
Some likely options:
Peyton Manning- The 800 lbs gorilla in the room is; will he get the strength back and be able to make all of the throws he could in the past? Let’s assume that he can. Save for the neck stuff, he has been an iron man. He’s otherwise healthy, takes care of himself and should be able to play for four or five more years. Mike Shanahan will trust him enough to hand over the control that Manning will need to be effective. With QB of his caliber at the helm, just sit back and watch how much better everyone else gets. The O line suddenly gets better because of quicker decision making and a faster release. The receivers somehow manage to get open more often and now get more yards after the catch. Accuracy makes a mediocre receiver look good. Witness the wideouts who looked good in New England , and could not produce anywhere else. With fewer men in the box, instantly your running backs seem to be more explosive and have better vision. When you play with a lead, watch how many sacks Kerrakpo can post. Manning’s health is a big IF, but even under a best case scenario, they must draft his replacement this year or next. The draft is deep with QB’s this year, so now is probably the time.
Matt Flynn- I know, I know three games is not a big enough sample to judge a quarterback. Kevin Kolb, Matt Cassel, and Scott Mitchell show that it is a big risk to take Matt Flynn. And if I had a dime for every back-up QB who threw 6 TD’s against a play-off team, I’d have….oh yeah. A dime. The big indicator will be if Dolphin’s new head coach, Joe Philbin goes after him hard in free agency. Philbin was Flynn’s offensive coordinator last year, and if the Dolphins are not interested, then nobody should be. I just know that in one game he threw three times as many TD passes as John Beck did in three. Maybe 20 years of mediocrity or worse has made me willing to accept anything new, with the promise of being better than the last. He likely won’t cost any draft picks, and his salary number is reported to be in the 3-4 million dollar range(I suspect it will go much higher). So in that regard the risk is fairly low.
Robert Griffin III- This guy just makes me salivate. I mean he could be the next Heath Shuler. Wait, wait. That’s not what I meant. He could be the highest pick the Redskins have ever used for a QB. Assuming they trade up to the second position to get him. He has everything that you would want. Big arm, fast, smart, accurate, and fast. Did I say fast? The great thing about him is, that despite blazing speed, he always looks to pass first. He moves in the pocket, shifts to avoid pressure, and keeps his eyes downfield the whole time. But when everything breaks down, he’ll bolt from the pocket and make defenders look silly trying to catch him. That is a skill that he’ll need on a team like the Redskins. The downside is it will cost a ton in draft picks to get him. Obviously they’ll swap the #6 pick with (the Rams?) plus next year’s first rounder and another pick. Possibly another first rounder. That’s a lot, BUT… Look at the last 6 or 7 Super Bowls. The odds of winning one without at top shelf QB are slim. So roll the dice. You can build a team safely and get to 9-7. Where’s the fun in that?
Kyle Orton and Ryan Tannehill/Brock Osweiler/Kirk Cousins/Brandon Weeden/etc- Kyle Orton looks like an NFL QB. I liked him at Purdue. He just looked like a pro. But results at the pro level tell a different story. He lost his job in Denver to Tim Tebow, who completes about 45% of his passes. He does not suck. He could improve the Redskins to 10-6, but that is not the goal. He would however serve as a bridge to the new guy. The same role that Grossman was supposed to play, except better. What evidence do I have? None. But could it be worse?
Life under the Snyder regime has lead many fans to a point at which we will take anything over the suckitude that we currently endure. But this year feels different. The landscape is lush with choices. More than half of which should be successful. I’ve been told that Shanahan is a great judge of QB talent. If so, he’ll make the right choice. If not, a fourth whiff in three years will earn him his walking papers. A new QB will buy him at least two more years, but make no mistake, this next choice of QB is his Rubicon. Get it right, and it’s wine and rose. Get it wrong, and it’s… Well we know what it is. We’ve seen it for 20 years.
In Sunday’s post game press conference Tim Tebow said God was to blame in their 41-23 loss to New England. Asked if he was angry, Tebow laughed sheepishly and said, “No, I’m pretty sure I had it coming.” Reporters then pressed further, and Tebow made a shocking admission. ” On Thursday, in a moment of weakness, I abused myself to an episode of The Facts of Life.”
Further research indicates that Thursday’s episode was the one where Natalie loses her virginity. Asked later if the subject matter was too much to resisit, the pious QB said, “It wasn’t even Natalie that I was thinking about. It was that little colored girl. I think that’s why God was so mad.”
Tebow addressd the team Monday, vowing to never to touch himself again.
How I imagine the big moment went when Joe Pa finally confronts Sandusky.
Sandusky: You wanted to see me Joe?
Paterno: Sit down and shut up!
Paterno: I know you’ve been raping little boys all over campus. I’m calling the police, and I never want to see you around here again you disgusting piece of filth!
Sandusky: But Joe, this will kill Second Mile.
Paterno: I don’t care about your victim recruiting scheme!
Sandusky: But Joe you stand to make half a million off Second Mile investments over the next few years.
Paterno: Well… Goddammit, stop raping them on campus! You got that?
Sandusky: Thanks Joe. Brunch on Sunday?
Sandusky: Don’t forget the grandkids.
This is how I imagine Joe Paterno’s follow up went with Tim Curley.
Paterno: Hey, remember when I told you that Sandusky might be a serial child rapist?
Paterno: Hey look they’re seving tapioca with lunch.
Curley: Did you have a question about Jerry?
Paterno: I can’t remember. Look tapioca.
Let me first begin this post by stating emphatically that LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in the country, and that they will and should play in the BCS Title Game. Do I want to see that again? Hell no.
I was listening yesterday to Steve Czaban (huge fan) on Yahoo Sports Radio, when he began quoting from an article by Cecil Hurt, Editor of Tidesports.com. http://alabama.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1299338 The central theme of the article, and Czaban’s soliloquy , as I heard it, was not that the two teams belong there. It was that they are angry because we don’t want to see it again.
I’m not hearing much from people saying they are not the two best teams. I hear people saying they don’t want to see a rematch. Tidesports.com, you’ve won! Be happy with that. Don’t demand that the rest of us suck on it and like it. A colonoscopy might be the right prescription by my doctor, but don’t insist that I sing Bobby McFerren songs though the procedure. So there. All the logical right/wrong, black/white sports pundits have won and will get 1 v/s 2.
But indulge me for just a paragraph or two as I present a different perspective. Hurt states that purpose of the BCS is to have #1 play #2. Well, I did some extensive research and found some secret founding charter documents of the BCS. They clearly state in Chapter 14, paragraph 9, sub-paragraph 4 in very small writing that “the expressed purpose of the BCS Title Game is make overflowing buckets of cash.” Seriously, I read that.
College football is a business. A product to be consumed by drunken dudes who wear team jerseys, and buy team flags to fly from their mini-vans on Saturdays. It is a never ending spigot of cash for universities, bowls, and the BCS. This isn’t Yale v/s Harvard in 1906. A game in which fair-haired student athletes match wills on the gridiron to see who is the best. It’s a product. Like a Fleet Enema or an iPad. Sports fans want the iPad, but it seems we will get the enema instead. Czaban, Hurt et al., you have won. You’ll get the game you want. Just don’t insist that I do the Snoopy Dance over it. I want what I want, and it ain’t Ishtar 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Some have made the argument that Paterno maybe didn’t understand what McQueary was telling him about Sandusky. ‘Cause he’s old and all. Seems to me natural curiosity would lead to a conversation to find out more. I imagine it went something like this.
McQueary: Coach, thanks for meeting with me tonight.
Paterno: This better be good. It’s 7:30 and Matlock’s on. What is so bad that you’re here at this ungodly hour?
McQueary: I was in the field house last night, and I caught Jerry Sandusky “horsing around” with a 10 year old in the shower.
Paterno: What do you mean “horsing around”?
McQueary: Well uh…. He was packing his fudge.
Paterno: He always packs the kid’s lunch on game day. Why would he leave out the fudge. Dorothy’s a fantastic cook.
McQueary: No coach. I don’t think you understand. He was ahhh… Drilling offshore.
Paterno: Good! You know it cost $54 to fill up my LeSabre last month. Drill baby drill.
McQueary: No! He was cruising the Hershey Highway!
Paterno: He was at the game yesterday, and Hershey is a hundred miles from here. I’m confused.
McQueary: Joe, he was balls deep in the kid!
Paterno: Ya mean he was buggering him?
Paterno: I’ll take care of it.
RING, RING, RING
Paterno: Tim, it’s Joe. Somebody saw Sandusky horsing around in the shower with a 10 year old.
Curley: What do you mean “horsing around”?
The Detroit Lions began the 2011 NFL season as everybody’s favorite underdog. After years of losing and the city of Detroit’s well documented maladies, most of us had developed a soft spot for the Lions. After starting 5-0 they had become the darlings of sports radio and TV talking heads. Ndamukong Suh was even doing Chrysler commercials.
Fast forward to week 12. Look at what has transpired. Jim Scwhartz screamed at Jim Harbaugh about not knowing the rules, and was smacked down with a loss and the most vigorous handshake since Pee Wee Herman abused himself in a theater. Suh has gotten multiple fines for dirty play, and now has been suspended for two games for stomping Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith. And at the pinnacle of unlikableness (is that a word), Stephen Tulloch and Tony Scheffler mocked Tim Tebow’s faith by striking Tebow prayer poses after making plays.
Now I never thought that Jesus had much of a rooting interest in the NFL ( I’m pretty sure he’s an MMA guy). But since mocking Timmy Rah Rah and his Lord and Savior, the Lions have only managed to beat the Carolina Panthers. Even the Almighty himself can’t position the Panthers to win games in the NFL. Only Blaine Gabbert and John Beck can do that. I can’t wait to hear Tebow after a loss. “Well we tried real hard and had a chance to win at the end, but Jesus made me throw that pick 6 in the flat.” Or maybe it’s something else. Pretty sure Schwartz is not Jewish but does Jesus know that? I had to Google it. Just sayin’…
They have managed to destroy all of the good will they had at the beginning of the season, to become a team that most people are rooting against. I was on ProFootballTalk.com this morning, and the overwhelming consensus is that these guys are a bunch of douche bags. Maybe they need someone to scream at them, “You don’t live in Cleveland”