Thursday, October 29, 2009

Flawed Execution, Indeed

This, my friends, is called a 99-yard bomb for a touchdown.

Well done, John Tayman. Keep it up.


The “Dilbert” Test

How do you know the Redskins are dysfunctional? Just go down several points from this un-related “Workplace Dysfunction” checklist.

Sign No. 4: Double messages are delivered with a straight face.
Quality and quantity are both job one. You can do it both cheaper and better, just don't ask how. If you're motivated enough you should know already.

REDSKINS EXAMPLE: When Vinny Cerrato claims that replacing Zorn as playcaller is really an attempt to give him the tools to help him succeed. Because they want him to succeed very much.

Sign No. 5: History is regularly edited to make executive decisions more correct, and correct decisions more executive than they actually were.

Those huge salaries require some justification.

REDSKINS EXAMPLE: Gregg Williams. From “heir apparent” to “persona non-grata” because he supposedly “dissed” Joe Gibbs.

Sign No. 6: People are discouraged from putting things in writing.
What is written, especially financial records, is purposely confusing. You can never tell when you might need a little deniability.

REDSKINS EXAMPLE: Like perhaps Zorn was discouraged from using an actual NFL agent to negotiate his head coaching contract?

Sign No. 7: Directions are ambiguous and often vaguely threatening.
Before you respond to a vague threat, remember this: Virtually every corporate scandal begins with someone saying, "Do it; I don't care how." That person is seldom the one who gets indicted.

REDSKINS EXAMPLE: Zorn said he was “strongly encouraged” to consider a change in play callers. The threats might not have been so “vague” if Steve Largent was correct about the “show him the contract” statement.

Sign No. 8: Internal competition is encouraged and rewarded.
The word "teamwork" may be batted around like a softball at a company picnic, but in a dysfunctional company the star players are the only ones who get recognition and big bucks.

REDSKINS EXAMPLE: Sherm Smith gladly jumps in to the playcalling mix as Sherm Lewis' relay-man. Clinton Portis lobbies Zorn to replace Mike Sellers at FB.

Sign No. 9: Decisions are made at the highest level possible.
Regardless of what it is, you have to check with your boss before doing it. She also has to check with her boss.

REDSKINS EXAMPLE: Nobody doubts this. Only Snyder hides behind others on these decisions. At least Jerry Jones is out there taking credit or blame.

Sign No. 13: You are expected to feel lucky to have a job and know you could lose it if you don't toe the line.
Dysfunctional companies maintain control using the threat of punishment. Most will maintain that they also use positive rewards ... like your paycheck. A few people are actually fired, but most of those who go are driven to quit.

Sign No. 14: Rules are enforced based on who you are rather than what you do.
In a dysfunctional company, there are clearly insiders and outsiders and everyone knows who belongs in each group. Accountability has different meanings depending on which group you're in.

REDSKINS EXAMPLE: Albert Haynesworth allowed to take Monday off to go back to Tennessee to handle divorce issues.

Sign No. 15: The company fails the Dilbert Test
Dysfunctional organizations have no sense of humor. People who post unflattering cartoons risk joining the ranks of the disappeared. When an organization loses the ability to laugh at itself, it is headed for big trouble. If you'd get in trouble for printing this article and posting it on the bulletin board at work, maybe it's time to look for another job before this one drives you crazy.

REDSKINS EXAMPLE: Ring-a-ding-DING! Nothing describes the Snyder led Skins more accurately than this.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday Night Eyesore

Sorry America.

You should not have been forced to watch that.

It didn't help that the Eagles played like shit most of the night too.

But until the NFL starts letting both Sunday night and Monday night football “flex out” of games, these things are going to happen.

Bad news, good news though.

Bad: Skins vs. Giants on Monday Night Football AGAIN from FedEx on December 21.

Good: Skins vs. Cowboys on Sunday Night Football AGAIN from FedEx on December 27th.

THANK GOD FOR FLEX SCHEDULING! You can kiss that game's ass goodbye on NBC's list!

I watched the game at Andy Pollin's crib, so I could then zip 5 minutes back to the radio station at midnight, get 5 crappy hours on the oversized chair/ottoman in my office, and feel semi-human for my morning show. As such, we had fun doing the radio show we could never do on the air, sitting on his living room couch.

Andy was telling me during the game: “to be fair, the play calling HAS been better.” I said: “Compared to WHAT? We don't even know the plays!” He then said the offense “looked better.” I said “what about all the sacks?” That's part of the offense, too. What about the lack of a running game? Uh huh. Abysmal line play, is also part of “the offense.”

Which brings me to my gripe about the ESPN announcers playing excuse maker for the Skins “D.” I believe at one point, somebody said: “Aside from the big plays, the defense has been solid.” And as the old saying goes: “So Mrs. Lincoln, aside from that, how was the play?” I'm sorry to be a prick here, but I could consider a 69 yard end around for a touchdown in the 1st quarter when the D is most “fresh”..... BA D DEFENSE! I would also consider a 3rd and 24, pump and go TD on Carlos “Stone Hands” Rodgers, really fucking BAD DEFENSE!

Like hotel room service, EVERY play your defense gives up, ENDS UP ON YOUR BILL at the end of the night. Period.

Devin Thomas wore just one eye patch. This is what I call “Gangsta Gay.” You are sooo cool dude.

Ditto Chris Cooley and his dyed hair. Yeah, Monday Night football! Let's all desperately grab for attention!

I've had enough of Gruden. At one point, he said DeAngelo Hall had really “stepped up his game” to be a much better “all around” football player. Yep. Sure has. Another time, Gruden gushed about how Haynesworth was playing hard deep into the 2nd half, with the team down by 17 points. Made it sound loosely heroic. Gruden failed to mention that for Al's outrageous contract, that should be the norm. He also failed to mention Al missed much of the 3rd quarter with another ouchie to his leg.

You would think – THINK – that after Randle El took one of the facemask Deion-Style, that it would FINALLY end the long, pointless run of #82 returning punts. It did. For a few punts. Then he was back. This defies explanation. I officially give up. Just let him return everything. What do I care?

Can somebody please call Joe Gibbs. Ask him: “Um, what do we do now with the QB you got for us on an impulse purchase when you were supposed to just look at Carlos Rodgers? Because we're pretty much at the end of the road here with the guy. He's a backup.”

But hey, it was worth a 1st rounder, a 3rd and a 5th for him. Especially when he sat for a year and a half behind your limp-noodled, church-pew buddy Mark Brunell.

I can't wait to hear Vinny Cerrato claim that with a 17 point outburst (ignore that garbage TD, folks) his decision to go with Sherm Lewis has been vindicated. Watch for it. It is coming.

Did Jim Zorn look like a lost, wet dog on the sideline, or what? He was bearing down on that playsheet, making notes. Not that the Sherms will actually listen to what those notes are during the bye week. “Look here, flat-top. We're in charge now!”

At one point, Ron Jawarski said he was surprised at how watching Saturday practice the Skins showed little energy, or “sense of urgency.” Jaws sounded surprised. This is the first time I ever thought to myself: “Jaws... is an IDIOT!” I mean, I love the guy, and he really knows quarterbacking and X's and O's... but honestly. This was a surprise? On what level, exactly?

Zorn has 9 more games to “fake coach” on the sideline, and tiptoe around saying something that will void his contract during the week. Gonna be a long finish, folks.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Following Occurred To Me While Watching the NFL on Sunday...

Idle thoughts by me, watching Red Zone Channel with my boyee Andrew Siciliano on the 102” main screen, and then the following games on my flanking twin Vizio 60” plasmas:

Right Screen
“A” (primary) Game: Packers at Browns
“B” (“Last channel” alternate) Game: Chargers at Chiefs

Left Screen
“A” (primary) Game: Vikings at Packers
“B” (“Last channel” alternate) Game: 49ers at Texans

So here we go...

Mike Singletary is wearing a stopwatch and a huge wooden Jesus cross around his neck. Doesn't the NFL prohibit outside the shirt jewelery and such? Besides, what is he, Catholic? Hey kids, looks like communion is running 1:43:12 too long. Let's bolt!

UPDATE: Dammit! Sports By Brooks already beat me to this one, with a much better “Singletary Trusts in Jesus, Accusplit Timing.”

Mario Williams makes a big play. How come we don't absolve Charlie Casserly for making the right call on him vs. both Reggie Bush AND Vince Young? Sorry for doubting, Chuck. Could you please come back to the Redskins?

Colts rookie Donald Brown explodes for a big gain against the woeful Rams. Donald Driver does the same on a long TD pass and run against the pathetic Browns. Later in the day, I would watch Miles Austin cross and burst for a big TD early against the Falcons. Lesson here? Simple. If you are an offensive player in the NFL, you are either EXPLOSIVE or you are not. It's that basic. The Redskins have no explosive offensive players. Portis was, like, 5 years ago. Santana Moss is explosive only in a straight downfield capacity. Everyone else? Eh.

Speaking of not explosive, it's now comical how impotent Ladanian Tomlinson now is near the goal line. Remember when he was bitching about Sproles getting it down there, instead of him? Uh huh. Norv fed LT 4 consecutive times inside the 3, as they were comfortably ahead. Quadruple-fail. Sad.

I understand Arrowhead is an aging building currently undergoing an expensive re-vamp. I noticed their replay screen is a big, nice, shiny, widescreen hi-def sucker. Dan Snyder's stadium is much newer than Arrowhead. It has a shrimpy 4x3 analog. Yeah. I'm sure he's working on that upgrade as we speak. Right.

Ooooh! Look at that! Random Packers TE makes big run and catch for a TD! Who was ol' #41? Spencer Havner? Who the.... Former UCLA LINEBACKER!? For Redskins fans who have watched alleged TE "stud", Mackey Award winner, and 2nd round pick Fred Davis do absolutely nothing, this is quite infuriating.

Speaking of #41, is that not the most RANDOM and under-used numbers in NFL history? I am having a hard time thinking of anybody of note who wore #41. Oh, thank god for the internet! Lookie here! Website! Charlie Waters, Eugene Robinson, and Terrance Newman!

Stat Alert: The Patriots had an 80-0 “run” ended when Tampa lucked into their only TD on a long pass. It's the longest “run” spanning multiple games since the '85 Bears.

More Redskins Bitching: Sorry, but I need to get this off my mind. So the Rams, Bucs, and Chiefs have all played the Redskins. We caught all of these teams AT HOME, too. So, lets see. We scored 9, 16, and 6 against them. At the half, the Colts, Patriots, and Chargers led those scab teams on Sunday by a combined 62-10. ON THE ROAD! The Redskins were SHUT-OUT at halftime by both the Bucs and Chiefs. These three awful teams allowed an AVERAGE of 38 points Sunday. We averaged 10 against them. This is NOT because Jim Zorn's play calling is sub-par. This is because your team is no good, your scheme is crap, and your players are either old, overpaid, or untalented. Or all three. Vinny Cerrato, you suck. Okay. I feel better now.

These London games are a total waste. Roger Goodell says there could be a franchise in London in less than 10 years. Sure there could. And I could learn to dunk on a 10 foot rim if I just keep going with P90x. Uh huh. I would love to know what percentage of the crowd at Wembly are UK natives? I'll bet anybody, that the crowd is 50% Americans working over there, if not more. But hey, maybe we WILL someday see the London Jaguars. Here's a nutty idea. There are plenty of AMERICAN cities of decent size, with college stadiums, that would love to have a real NFL game once in a while. Charity should begin at home.

Oh, look up in the sky! DirecTV has enough money for a fucking blimp. But won't pay to resolve the Versus dispute. Suck it, DirecTV. I'm calling for some free shit tomorrow. Get your customer ass-kissers ready. You may record that call for your "training purposes" but you're gonna want to burn it unless you want 118 operators to call in sick the following day.

I thought Jeff Reed's tackle attempt on Percy Harvin was the most pathetic football play I've ever seen. Then Favre packed it in on the final backbreaking INT. Seriously, the dude just retracted his legs from underneath himself while running. Almost like a plane retracting its landing gear. Or one of those toy dolls where you push the bottom button and the figure on top goes totally limp. NOTE: The effort on the strip-fumble-TD wasn't exactly stellar either. But hey: “He's a gunslinger!”

Little Things That You May Have Noticed Too, Because You Are Smart Attentive Football Fans Also...

Adrian Peterson is a stud. No news there. But he made a move that was rather incredible in its own subtlety. Bearing down in the open field on Ryan Clark, he lowered his body into the “missile” position. So did Clark. Yet at the last second, instead of absorbing the blow, Peterson yawed slightly to the right, only getting nicked, and picking up another yard in the process. Sweet.

Troy Polamalu knifed through the line on a goal-line stand to crush #38 for the Vikings and blow up the play. That full package of instinct, speed, game knowledge, and power doesn't come installed on 99% of players at his position.

Pierre Garcon's name on his jersey has a little squiggle under the “c.” Details. Nice.

Chris Henry caught an easy touchdown, cutting back against the flow in the endzone. The he casually flipped the ball to the ref. I almost fell out of my chair. Imagine that. A wideout with an appropriate reaction to a lollipop TD catch.

Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff calls a (successful) fake punt on his own 20 against the Raiders in the first half. To quote Dabney Coleman in Dragnet: “You've got balls the size of church bells...”

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Break My Heart Slowly

If there is one enduring truth about professional athletes that has remained constant since I began doing this crap professionally over 20 years ago, it is this: they are never happy with the WAY they find out about bad news.

Traded, benched, demoted, fired....

All tragic blows to the pro athlete's psyche. Yet it never reaches their ears the way they want.

Patrick Crayton is the lastest. Crayton just lost his gig to Miles Austin in Dallas. He has no real beef with the benching, just the Cowboys lack of explanation....

“Crayton was the odd man out, and he was looking for more explanation from the Cowboys.

"I would have loved it," Crayton said, via ESPN, while noting that neither head coach Wade Phillips nor coordinator Jason Garrett relayed the news to him. "It would have been real stand-up. That's not what happened. Oh, well."

REACT: Perhaps a finely engraved, gold laminated, 80 lb. Card stock note: “Dear Patrick. Due to the fact that you suck, you have been officially demoted on the depth chart. Please check chicken or fish at the bottom of this card. Thank you. Management.”


John in Laurel has Dan Snyder nailed.

I haven't believed in Snyder in 7 or 8 years. Looking at his repeated management screwups, I'm pretty sure he made his money by being a good salesman and being in the right place at the right time. He certainly didn't do it by being a good manager.

I'm no football person, but I do know management, and the principles are the same in business or in football, off the field. Find good people, give them the tools, protect them from outsiders, don't embarrass them, praise in public, censure in private. Danny has tumbled from one error to the next, with no apparent learning. He's got no learning curve, he's got a learning block; his ego's in the way.

I'm sure he sincerely wants to succeed, but have you noticed that every solution he's come up with has been marketing-driven, rather than fundamentally sound? Even the one fundamentally sound move he made, with Schottenheimer, was marketing-driven. It's always the next glitzy thing, the new shiny toy, but it looks as though the rest of the town has finally caught on that Danny has just been polishing a turd.

REACT: And even with a whole can of Minwax, turds never quite get that gleam, do they?


Mike Florio of posted a spaghetti-on-the-wall report that Gibbs might try to come back in a Bill Parcellsian role, ala his current spot with the Dolphins.

Not only do I think this is never going to happen, but if it did, it would be a complete disaster. Gibbs came back for one reason: CASH! Mission accomplished.

That said, I think Florio is a genius for building what is essentially a dot-com NFL noodle flinger (see what sticks, say you had it first! Forget the rest...) and making a mint off it, now selling it to NBC's Football Night In America.

I think Florio presents some very entertaining things, and I have no doubt he gets some very good “tips” from good sources. Still, I don't treat his stuff like the NFL rumor “Bible.”

UPDATE: My man Neal Jacobsen in Rockville chimes in: “Czabe, I just asked a buddy who is very active in the sports blogosphere who says that Florio posts about 50 stories a day, 20 of which are rumors, and about 50% end up being correct.”


Week 7 NFL Picks

Coming soon....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Divorce, A Tradition Unlike Any Other

When dulcet toned sports announcing legend Jim Nantz took the stand in his contentious divorce trial, do you think he addressed the court with his usual soothing “Hello... friends...” greeting like he was at the Masters?

In 2004, I got the Man of the Year award from the New York Athletic Club. Rudy Giuliani had been the previous year's winner and it really meant a lot to me. My mother flew in from Houston, but Lorrie wasn't there." Nantz said he was given an oil portrait of himself at the dinner, but Lorrie wouldn't let him hang it in their Westport home. "It ended up in a warehouse"

Poor Jim Nantz. A gorgeous oil painting of himself, and nowhere to hang it. Reminds me of the classic Dennis Leary rant about how even Wayne Gretzky has 3 MVP trophies sitting in his garage.

Here's more of the ugly details
. Apparently Nantzy found himself a 29 year old girlfriend (sporty!) while out touting his book about his late father.
I hope he gets through this okay. I still love Nantz as an announcer, and like I have said before, I'd gladly miss a flight for him, if necessary.

PS: Did Kramer ever get to hang his oil painting of himself where he wanted? Oh wait. That's right. Kramer was never MARRIED!!

And while we are on the subject, holy-crap-did-Steve-Phillips-have-a-slump-buster-or-what????

This gal couldn't get laid at a Star Trek convention with a fist full of $20's.

What is it about ESPN analysts keeping their junk in their pants, and their hands to themselves? Harold Reynolds, Sean Salisbury, now Phillips?

I remember when Phillips did those awful fake press conferences in the MLB off-season, pretending to address each team's needs before fake reporters, asking fake questions.

Maybe now, Phillips can do a fake press conference addressing this affair, and his upcoming disastrous divorce.

“Steve... Steve... um... Bill Clinton here... one question... couldn't you have found a 22 year old who looks a little better than that? I mean, even Monica Lewinski wasn't this heinous.”

Monday, October 19, 2009

Three Cheers For the Free Market!

Okay, so the Redskins are playing crap football, but how about them cheerleaders! Lookin' fine, ladies, lookin' fine!

Speaking of cheerleaders, Gregg Easterbrook argues in his excellent Tuesday Morning Quarterback column, that NFL cheerleaders are woefully underpaid. He argues that they are, in fact, professional performers, and should be paid accordingly.

EASTERBROOK: Cheer-babes dancing in short skirts, or posing for swimsuit calendars, is not exploitation. After all, you're supposed to look at the cheerleaders! Professional athletics is foremost a form of entertainment, and the scantily-clad dancing girl has a long history as integral to entertainment in theatrical arts as well as sport.

It is, however, objectionable if everyone involved in an NFL contest is making buckets of money, except for the cheerleaders. That's the case, and that is a form of exploitation. The NFL will have about $8 billion in revenue this season, and Green Bay, the one team that discloses financial information (the Packers are publicly owned), showed a profit of $20 million last year. There's plenty of money in professional football. But only crumbs go to the cheerleaders. NFL teams are believed to pay cheerleaders approximately $100 per game. (Several teams used to post cheerleader audition FAQs on their Web sites that included such info.) Some throw in two game tickets. Don't spend it all in the same place!

Cheerleader squads practice twice a week, and in most cases, cheerleaders are not paid for practicing. Some are charged to audition. They make unpaid charity appearances. In order to become cheerleaders, they sign away "subsidiary rights" to their images -- use in advertising, on swimsuit calendars and so on. Being a NFL cheerleader is glamorous and can entail exciting travel. Many women who take up this very time-consuming hobby would rather be cheerleaders receiving only token pay than not be cheerleaders. But that should not be the choice. "Do it cheap or we'll find someone else who will" is manipulation. Cheerleaders are professional performers and deserve decent pay.

REACT: Easterbook is brilliant 90% of the time, but this one is the equivalent of a pick-6 the other way. In fact, it sounds a lot like a deep and repressed liberal urge gurgling forth against the tide of his otherwise sensible, free market intellect.

NFL cheerleaders are paid exactly what they are worth. They may even be over-paid. How do I know this? Because the NFL has had no problem filling their cheer squads for this price. Ergo: the price is right. The market has spoken.

Trying to staff a cheer squad for a much lesser league at this price, would likely run you into personnel shortages or weight issues. The National Football League, however, carries tremendous resume value for these ladies. It carries community status, it carries secondary value that far exceeds the $100 bucks a game.

If this was not true, then you wouldn't need tryouts. You would just take the first 12 who volunteered.

As for being “professional performers” this is a stretch. Technically, yes. They perform, and they get paid. Pros. But outside of this, NFL cheerleaders have not gone through any certified training program. Many of them, did not cheer in college. And aside from a few practices during the week, during the season, its not as if they train prior to the season.

Furthermore, in the looks category (both body and face) most of these ladies would be unable to make it as strippers. Sure, many might not want to do that. But I am fairly certain a number of them would. It certainly pays more than $100 a week.

The problem with Easterbook's argument, is that he's basically spending other people's money. Sure, the NFL is a battleship loaded with gold. They could easily “afford” to pay these ladies 10x as much per game.

But what is a “fair” or “decent” wage?

Easterbrook, declined to say. With good reason. There is no firm number, because such a salary would be arbitrarily above market value.
And you just know that once you start paying these ladies more, they'll ask for more. If they bump it to $1000 per game, they'll also want higher appearance fees. Sick days. You name it. Pretty soon, they'll organize, and go on strike.

Easterbook plays the exploitation card here, but he's way off.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

FedEx Field Trip: All The Misery In The World

I went to the Redskins game against the Chiefs on Sunday. I had out-of-town guests, and the Goettler’s of Columbus Ohio joined me on the trek to the big ol’ funnel of concrete and gaudy FedEx colors in the Squire inspired quaint lil’ town of “Raljon” Maryland.

Me, John, his two sports loving bush-eared sons Henry (12) and Peter (8).

We made it to the Caps-Predators game the night before. They saw three, awesome, genuine Alex Ovetchkin goals, including the game-winner in a shootout.

I joked – and I really did think it was a joke – “you know, that’s pretty neat you got to see the league MVP score three goals. Tomorrow, you might get so see (insert exaggerated voice) a REDSKINS TOUCHDOWN!”

Well, I knew I shouldn’t have teased them with such fantasy.

Driving in to the game, we encountered two orange jacketed parking lot attendants. I swear to god, they were performing a comedy routine. Standing no less than 10 feet apart, IN THE WAY OF INCOMING CARS, they proceeded to point in FOUR different directions, with each one of their four arms.

I am not making up one scintilla of this anecdote. Swear on my momma’s life!

Thankfully, there were color coded parking lot signs. I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys don’t have friendly wagers with each other over who can mis-direct the most cars, or cause an accident.

The stadium was dingy, poorly marked, and half empty.

My guests wondered how old it was. I winced when I said it had just turned 10 a few years ago.

The game experience is dreadful, and I haven’t yet begun to discuss the currently awful football team.

The video screen is small, square, and screams “Hello! I’m from 1997!” I almost think it sits in a giant built-in cabinet, so the bulging picture tube behind it can hide flush inside the bowels of the stadium.

Replays are sporadic. In Green Bay, you get two angles for EVERY play. I know. I was there two years ago.

The speakers are too loud, and the announcer is smarmy. He kept making fun of kicker Ryan Succup, by punching the name “suck-up!”

Only fitting then, that the guy single-footedly beat us. Stadium announcers need only to give yards gained, who made the carry or tackle, and the down and distance. They need not, and should not, be smartasses.

There were absolutely NO in-game presentation of key statistics. Anywhere. Only when Portis went over 100 yards on a generic plunge up the middle, did smarmy announcer man intone that Portis had made some fantasy geeks happy. Great. Shows you what’s important with this franchise.

Out of town scores?

Ha. Sure. They ran a full panel score run down once in the first half. It was of games from WEEK 2 in the NFL! Nice job. They ran updated scores once more, maybe, in the 2nd half. You also got a few scores on the video screen.

Not a single highlight from another game.

And while I understand you have to get in commercials and such, there was plenty of downtime, injury time, and extended TV timeouts where you could fit them in.

Eh, why bother? Right? We’ve got these suckers and their money already. That is going to change, people. Trust me. One helluva storm is coming to Danny’s ticket base.

The “Hail to the Redskins” song, when – ONCE AGAIN! – we were being shutout, was insulting to the core. The fact that the video showed all these images of great Redskins teams and players and coaches and moments from well over 15 years ago… before Snyder had made – and lost – his first million bucks marketing free product samples... was patently ridiculous.

The loudest cheer all day, was when it was announced that Todd Collins had replaced Jason Campbell. Those cheers didn’t last long.

Fans around us in the Club Seats… said very little. Cheered even less. A guy behind us started making cracks about all the obvious topics…. Zorn incompetence… woeful O-line… Campbell inaccuracy… DeAngelo Hall being totally over-rated, and overpaid….

But otherwise, the fans just sat there like they were all embarrassed to be sitting on some of the most over-priced seats in the building.

I saw and felt a fan base that had given up.

(For more on this, please read Dan Steinberg’s excellent account at the DC Sports Bog here…)

So I wonder. When will Snyder say what two words simply need to be said: “I’m sorry.”

When will he say: “This is not what I want to give our fans. And I am committed to getting it right.”

He doesn’t need to say anything else. He doesn’t need to DO anything else right now.

Nothing can be done. He can’t go back to the 2008 draft and trade the three worthless WR/TE’s for 3 young o-linemen.

Firing Zorn, will feel good someday. He’s a rare triple blend of arrogance, paranoia, and ineptitude. But that feeling will last maybe 2 days. Then the team will be even worse.

Just come out and say it: “I’m sorry.”

It won’t be accepted by many fans as even genuine. But it will be a start.

And if he ever wants to make the “in-store experience” better for his paying customers, he can call me. Fixing that, will be much easier than fixing his team.

Friday, October 16, 2009

O Captain, My Captain....

You may have heard about the Warriors Stephen Jackson having his captaincy stripped/relinquished with the Golden State Warriors.

Yes, THAT Stephen Jackson. The same guy who once brandished a dust bucket at fans during the “Malice at the Palace.”



Golden State actually named him that. But not no more. Jackson gave it up after he was fined and suspended again by the team.

Jackson may be one of the WORST “Captain's” of all time. Let's take a look....

Captain Stephen Jackson
Golden State Warriors (ex)
STRENGTH: Attacking fans
WEAKNESS: Responsibility, strip clubs

Captain Crunch
1963 Quaker Oats Co. Cereal Creation
STRENGTH: Delicious and unique brown sugar and butter flavor.
WEAKNESS: Harsh corn squares tear up the roof of your mouth.

Captain Joseph Hazelwood
Skipper of the run aground Exxon Valdez
STRENGTH: Making amends for bad mistake
WEAKNESS: Seals have yet to forgive him.

Captain Queeg
Fictional character in Herman Wouk's 1951 novel The Caine Mutiny.
STRENGTH: Elaborate whodunnit searches for missing strawberries.
WEAKNESS: Crew hated him.

Captain and Tennile
AKA: “Daryl Dragon” - Pop Music Duo from late 70's.
STRENGTH: Peppy diddy's like “Love Will Keep Us Together”
WEAKNESS: Absolutely no “pimp hand” at home.

Captain Mark James
European Ryder Cup Captain, 1999 at Brookline
STRENGTH: Head shaped like a big ol' skin bullet
WEAKNESS: Totally fucked up Sunday singles by not playing his bench

Captain Matt Hasselback
Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks
STRENGTH: When healthy, a Top-5 QB in the NFL
WEAKNESS: “We'll take the ball, and we're gonna score.”

Captain Kangaroo
Bob Keeshan, kiddie show host on CBS from 1968-83
STRENGTH: Bangin' red wool blazer. Mustache.
WEAKNESS: Creepy as hell.

Captain Jack Sparrow
Constantly on the run captain of the Black Pearl
STRENGTH: Master of escape
WEAKNESS: Rum, women, hygiene.

Captain Merrill Stubing
Gavin McLeod, ABC's “The Love Boat”
STRENGTH: Calming, fatherly presence on the ship.
WEAKNESS: Tight white shorts

Captain Han Solo
Millenium Falcon
STRENGTH: Wisecracks, handsome
WEAKNESS: Has no idea how to fix his own ship, relies on Wookie.

Captain Lou Albano
Famed Wrestling Manager
STRENGTH: Always had a rubber band handy.
WEAKNESS: Dead now.

Captain Morgan
Premium Malt Liquor
STRENGTH: Goes great with coke.
WEAKNESS: Your head, tomorrow morning.


Jimmy Masterlock Time!

Last Week: 1-3
Season: 6-15


Green Bay -13.5 vs. Detroit
Pittsburgh -14 vs. Cleveland
Philly -14 at Oakland

Kansas City +6.5 at Washington

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"You Have Failed Me For The Last Time"

What exactly is Roger Goodell waiting for on the inevitable suspension of Raiders coach Tom Cable?

It's rather evident that SOMEBODY hit assistant coach Randy Hansen.

Either that, or perhaps a stray sandbag on a rope came swinging by in the meeting and clobbered him, just like on the Saturday morning cartoons.

How come Goodell doesn't suspend Cable immediately, and then they can re-instate him once he is CLEARED of the allegations?

The Raiders have spiraled into a land of dysfunction that is hard to even get your head around these days. If the organization isn't berating reporters who don't toe the PR line, they are trying to cover up coaching staff dustups and barring former QB's like Rich Gannon from entering the building to do his pre-game prep work for CBS.

Then there's Jamarcus Russell.

What can you say about a guy who has authored more sub-50% passing games in his career, than plus-50% games?

He's the Black Ryan Leaf. Only with perhaps LESS professionalism and work ethic.

I wonder if somewhere, Pete Rozelle is laughing his ass off at all of this in heaven? There is no clear succession plan for cryptkeeper like Al Davis. And chances are, he'll live on for another decade plus like Fidel Castro, defying every actuarial table on life expectancy.

Even if a professional football HAZMAT crew were sent in by the league, the clean-up would take years. You'd need to drain the swamp of bad players, bloated contracts, and then start re-stocking the draft pick cupboard.

Which is too bad. Because having the Raiders as a legitimately bad ass team is fun. That uniform, and that logo, remains awesome. But when it's attached to a team of complete tools, it loses it's edge.

But then again, it could be worse, right? Darth Vader might actually BE the next head coach or owner.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You Don't Mess With the Zoron

Beware anybody who claims something is their “sacred duty.”

Righteousness is a scary personality trait.

For example, how about Senator Jay Rockefeller earlier this summer: “We cannot finish this year without passing major health care reform. It's our sacred duty to the American people."

Meanwhile, Jim Zorn stated that it was his “duty” to challenge a muffed punt by Antwaan Randle El on that resulted in a turnover.

For those that don't know the play. Here goes....

Antwaan Randle El is clearly, undisputedly crashed into by a team-mate who was trying to block for him. It was my understanding, that this is a penalty on the kicking team.

I was wrong.

In the rule book, you will find....

RULE 10, Section 1, Article 4
No opponent may interfere with the fair catcher, the ball, or his path to the ball. Penalty: 15 yards from spot of foul and fair catch is awarded.

Article 4 During any kick (except one which fails to cross the scrimmage line), if
any receiver could reach the kick in flight, no player of the kickers shall interfere with

a - the receiver;
b - the ball; or
c - the receiver’s path to the ball

NOTE: Nothing here that says “but it's okay if you get blocked into the receiver making the fair catch.”

Still, at first, the refs called “illegal touching” because they thought the Panthers touched the ball, not the blocked Westbrook. But then they huddled up, and got the call right.

That's when Zorn, decided to challenge. Why? Because he claims it was his “duty” to do so!

Whenever a coach makes a challenge like that, it is because he is weak and timid. He is basically begging the refs for mercy. “Oh, please, please, help us out here!”

If you were to summarize Zorn's red flag appeal, it would go something like this: “Realllllyyy? Are you sure? Like, uh, sure-sure, about that? You are. Really? Um, could you check? Uh huh. Sure. I'll wait right here. Thanks.”

"Well, you know, it was, the officials recommended that because of all the confusion that, you know, hey, you know, this is, a, you know, they just said this is a challengeable call," Zorn smoothly explained during his press conference. "And up in the box, we were debating the rule of the fair catch, and so I wanted them to rehash that, and I thought it was the right call to challenge. I mean, if I didn't challenge it, I would be kicking myself if it could have been in our favor, so it was worth the timeout for me."

Writes Dan Steinberg on the DC Sports Bog:

No. False. Wrong answer. Try again. First of all, I wasn't familiar with that rule, and I wish I had been, but I'd have expected a staff full of NFL assistants to know the rule book better than me. Second of all, "Wanted them to rehash that?" I mean, like what, change their minds about the rules? Third of all, it would only have been "worth the timeout" if spending the timeout had earned you anything. Like, say, a donut. Since the call was clearly correct, this was taking a timeout and lighting it on fire for no reason at all.

Earlier in the half, Zorn flushed his 1st timeout because he claims the refs were slow to spot the football on a 4th and 3.

"What happened on that, it was the fourth-down call, and we're waiting for them to spot the ball," Zorn said. "Well, the clock's running, and I'm looking, I'm trying to call a play, but I don't know where they're going to spot the ball. I don't know if it's gonna be 4th-and-5, 4th-and-2, 4th-and-7, what was it gonna be. And so all's I could do was call timeout."

Net-net: Zorn's an incompetent clown.

Should the Redskins ever find themselves in a big game, do you have even the remotest sense that Zorn would be able to navigate the tight strategic waters of a close game in the 4th quarter?


And yet, I still get these emails. This is real. I kid you not.

TO: Steve and Andy
FROM: Brian Hobbs

RE: Zorn

You guys make my hair hurt and my head ache. You drone on and on about the Skins. First of all the Skins had that game won until El and Blades blew it on special teams. I still have not heard you mention did El not have his hand up for a fair catch? If that is a legitimate play then lets begin practicing blocking a receiving team player into the guy calling for a fair catch and we will get better over night i guarantee. Zorn has all the tools to be the next Gibbs. He needs some sideline time to get comfortable we need to give these guys some time before we pile on. It took your BMF Cowher years to become a consistent winner. It takes more than 18 months it takes 3-4 years give the man the time and yes Andy stop looking at your watch because we need to draft some players too. GET OVER IT IT TAKES TIME IN THE NFL.

REACT: (jaw drop... blink... blinkblink.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's Bag Packing Time

Kids, it's time to pack your bags. Our freedom flight to a better land, where we can hope anew for a better life is almost at hand.

It's going to be Houston Texistan or bust!

The current Redskin regime is unstable, and hope has been abandoned.

As I wrote almost a year and half ago, this will be regarded as a bold adventure.

But back to the "refugee status" concept in the NFL ... Does it even exist? Can one honestly claim it? And what are the terms and conditions?

I believe that every fan is entitled to ONE change of allegiance per sport -- IN THEIR LIFETIME.

However it is permanent, and absolute. No second thoughts, flip-flopping or front-running are permitted.

I was not going to change my nationality; I was just seeking a place to land for a period of 10 to 20 years, or until it was safe to return. Not unlike an Afghani donut shop owner here in America who someday yearns to return to his native land when such a shop can be opened over there without risk of beheading.

My plan was to find a team that would "take me in" and allow me to root in earnest for a franchise that is not so arrogant and reckless in their football business as The Snyderskins.

I knew I would be on "probationary" status with that team. I planned to work hard reading message boards and team history to properly assimilate.

And should my new "team / country" have enjoyed great football success, I vowed to keep my head low and heart humble, since I was such a newcomer to what might have been decades of suffering.

The Green Bay Packers would have been a logical choice for refuge. There is no "owner" and as you know, I've been a "virtual" Wisconsinite through Bob & Brian for almost 12 years running.

But, I just wouldn't feel quite right.

I also didn't want to jump to any team that was even remotely any good. To do so would bring charges of bandwagon jumping, and perhaps rightly so.

I couldn't flee to a team in my own division, the NFC East. To do so, would be as bad as a Serbian running across the border to Kosovo.

I needed an NFL refugee "country" with all the right parameters. Somebody who was not particularly good, had no long suffering fans to resent my jumping on board their slow boat to football insanity, and had a color scheme and logo I could tolerate.

After much consulting with the good folks at, I decided that this place called "Houston Texistan" looked like it might be just the right place to hang out for a decade or so until things in "Redskins Nation" sorted themselves out.

Not only is their nation's color scheme and official logo quite sharp -- a deep blue primary, with red and white accents in the outline of a giant steer skull -- but the team itself met all my criteria.

Recently resurrected from the ashes of the Oilers, there's no history per se to have to learn or tiptoe around. The aren't very good now, and have never been.

And best of all, I could still HATE the Godless Cowboys as much as I did while residing in Redskins Nation.

As Borat would say: "Isssss niiiicce! High five-ah!"

I tend to think most Houston Texans fans would welcome me to their small and growing little NFL nation. However, I must confess, I have yet to actually meet or hear from a real live, Texan-istani.

For now, I'm going to stay put in my little one-story brick and mud hut here under the tyranny of Snyder. Things likely won't get better anytime soon, but I dream of celebrating Snyder's exit by dancing in the streets under the beautiful Burgundy and Gold banner.

On that day, the pain and suffering will be forgotten.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Protected Species

We lead this Friday with a great riff from Drew Magary at about the continuing sissi-fication of the league.

By the way, a giant FUCK YOU to Tom Brady's weak little knee for destroying roughing the passer and unnecessary penalties across the entire league. Every game I've seen this year has featured at least one completely unjustified personal foul penalty. I've seen secondary players flagged for putting a shoulder in the wideout's chest. I've seen defensive ends flagged for tackling the QB at the waist. I've seen players flagged for roughing the QB despite merely grazing them half a millisecond after the ball is thrown. It's fucking ridiculous. I understand the need to protect offensive players as the game grows faster and more violent. That's fine. I have no problem with the rules. My problem is that the rules are being enforced poorly. This isn't shit that refs should be figuring out on the fly. They should fucking be consistent about this shit right now. Teams are getting hosed left and right. Defenders are letting QB's run free because they're afraid to wrap up. It's a joke.

Nice stick, Drew. Let me pile on, helmet first, Chuck Cecil style...

Indeed, the nutless bean counters at NFL properties and the TV division wet their pants at the thoughts of losing a single marketable star, especially cross-promotional heart-throb married to a supermodel. Last I checked, however, the league didn't collapse into a smoldering pile of melted shoulder pads last season. No franchises folded. Super Bowl was pretty bitchin, if I recall. These wanks however, are totally unaware of the fact that legions of football mad fans will watch the NFL no matter what stars are currently popping 86 percocets on Monday morning just to get out of bed. While I don't condone the obvious cheap-shotting that was prevalent in the 1970s and 80s, there must be some level of violence that is accepted. There will be blood. Handle it, Goodell.


Kudos (I guess) to Michelle Wie for helping land golf a spot on the Olympic schedule (although I doubt she was much more than a ceremonial cherry on top). Now, I wonder if she'll wave her Nike contract around and ask for an exemption. Either that, or just snub the women's team, and claim all along it was her life dream to play on the men's Olympic golf team. Cue clueless non-golfing media members to write about how great a Woods-Wie Olympic pairing would be. FAIL.


And now, Jimmy Masterlock for Week #5! Jimmy has been colder than lake trout in a trunk during a Minnesota winter lately, so if he doesn't pick it up, he'll be dialing his cell phone with broken thumbs. My advice, take Jimmy's bucket of steam, and run the other way – right to the cashier's window!

SEASON: 5-12

Carolina -3.5 vs. Washington
An 0-3 team, at home, in desperation, coming off a bye week, is 77-1 all time ATS and SU when less than a TD favorite against an opponent who has hired an “outside consultant” during the week. Great spot for Carolina. PICK: Panthers 31-20.

Baltimore -9 vs. Cincinnati
At home, the Ravens are a flat-out buzz-saw. Even though the Bengals seem to be loveable cardiac kids this season, the close shave against hapless Cleveland last week has me officially off their wagon. PICK: Ravens 44-18.

New England -3 at Denver
Who has the cooler cut-off sweatshirt, Belichick or McDaniels? Lots of bad blood here, especially with how Denver bounced the Pats several years ago in the playoffs on that controversial Champ Bailey 99 yard INT return for a TD. Patriots missed the playoffs last year, and botched their perfect season two years ago, but they still get Super Bowl Champion effort from every opponent. All that said, I'm still not buying Denver. PICK: Patriots 20-13.

Atlanta +2.5 at San Francisco
Here's why it pays to watch the games, or at least read the box score. Even though the final score of last week's win over St. Louis was lopsided, this was a 7-0 game deep into the third. Atlanta has had a tough, front loaded schedule to some degree, but will be ready off their bye week to remind folks they remain as solid as they come in the NFL right now. PICK: Atlanta 27-21.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Well, They Were Such A Nice Family

On second thought, never mind.

Greg Norman has added to his already legendary douchebaggery in golf and beyond, by quietly announcing that he and his "new" love of his life, Chrissy Evert, have separated.

Do you think he called Andy Mill to say: "You can have her back, now, mate."

Now I understand that it takes two to tango, and all ugly divorces have many versions of the truth. But of all the people who would submarine a family and then bail after 15 months, Greg Norman is the poster child.

Back when Norman wooed Chrissy away, Mill had this to say:

Mill, 53, said he had been devastated by the split with Evert and described December 4 – when their divorce and their multimillion-dollar settlement was finalised – as "the worst day in my life".

"I wouldn't wish divorce on anyone," he said. "But it happens and you can't make somebody love you, in the case of my ex-wife. You have to move on and so I'm moving on. It (recovering from the split) is a work in progress."

"Greg Norman at one time was my best friend, and a year and a half ago I would have taken a bullet for this guy," Mill said yesterday. "But I didn't realise he was the one that was going to pull the trigger."

Sports Illustrated ran a gooey, gushy, and long article about how perfect the two new lovebirds were for each other.
Maybe the magazine should have waited a few years until the torrid 50-something athlete sex wore off.

Wrote SI...

Strict moralists will look at the circumstances of their initial attraction—the messy entanglement of a wealthy sportsman with the wife of a good friend, Andy Mill; the Madison County--style longings of a hausfrau with three school-age children—and deliver a swift verdict of no. To bolster their case, the scolds need only point to the postseparation remarks of Laura Andrassy, who told an Australian newspaper that Evert had been "aggressive" in pursuit of her husband of 25 years ("In front of me, like I didn't exist") and that Norman's quest for superstardom in both golf and business had left her feeling "like a single mom."

Here, for example, we find Greg resting his bare feet on Chrissie's knees while he reads the Financial Times. "We both have foot fetishes," she explains, gently tugging on one little piggy while coyly eyeing another. "We rub each other's feet all the time." She tilts her head as she runs her thumbs up his calloused soles. "Boy, feet. I think all athletes know the importance of feet."

"Chrissie likes to do things with me," Norman says, kicking off his shoes as N1GN breaks through the clouds over Santo Domingo. "One of the greatest compliments a spouse can give you is to simply say, 'Hey, can I come with you? Hey, let's go for a hike in the Tibetan mountains.' My ex-wife never gave me that."

Listen to Norman: "She makes me feel alive again." Listen to Evert: "We're better people together."

To quote Moe Syzlak: "Not no more you aint!"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Do Not Adjust Your TV Sets....

This has been bothering me from the very first "Saturday Night With Uncle Brent" telecast, and I demand answers. Sadly, my lazy Google skills gave up after two half-hearted searches for answers. "Poor HD on ABC college football" netted nothing. If you have read a TV geek blog somewhere with more info, do pass it along.

Either that, or my prescription is seriously out of whack.

Subject: Question for Steve on ABC Sat Night HD Broadcast

Andy / Steve I love your show and have been a listener for several years. Czabe your morning show is now my #1 go to. Czabe this is directed to you since it falls into one of your “powers”, ….As mentioned I listen to your fox morning show and believe you mentioned this previously but I wasn’t able to hear your take.

Is it me or does the HD broadcast of ABC’s Saturday night College game stink?

I admit, last Saturday night I had a couple cocktails while watching the Miami / Okla game on my 52 inch but the booze couldn’t have crippled my vision that bad! Their pull back shots of the line of scrimmage before the snap are fuzzy and there studio pop-in shots where enough to make me clean my glasses and stop drinking.

CBS’s game during the day is far superior to ABC’s broadcast. Are we being ripped off? Each week it seems to get worse or is it me just looking for problems.

- Scott M

REACT: Scott, it's not you, I've been on this all year. If you look closely, you can tell the HD picture is degraded because the "graphics bar" that contains the score and time which runs along the top, has artifacts and pixelation. This is NEVER the case in a proper HD feed. Something is fishy. Time for ABC/Disney/ESPN to come clean.


George Will has an angle on why the big Obama push at the IOC HQ was such an epic FAIL:

Both Obamas gave heartfelt speeches about ... themselves. Although the working of the committee's mind is murky, it could reasonably have rejected Chicago's bid for the 2016 games on aesthetic grounds -- unless narcissism has suddenly become an Olympic sport. In the 41 sentences of her remarks, Michelle Obama used some form of the personal pronouns "I" or "me" 44 times. Her husband was, comparatively, a shrinking violet, using those pronouns only 26 times in 48 sentences. Still, 70 times in 89 sentences was sufficient to convey the message that somehow their fascinating selves were what made, or should have made, Chicago's case compelling.


Apparently, many of you Fox Sports Radio listeners greatly appreciated my Foghorn Leghorn voice when talking about the Bobby Bowden rumors and the state trustee who has fired the first salvo. Thanks to Czabe loyalist and frequent contributor Brian Finnell for pulling a classic Foghorn bit from the Interwebs....


Monday, October 5, 2009

Booo. Redskins. No Praise Here... Booo...

If the Redskins had played a game like the Ravens - hard hitting, smart, but ultimately a loss – against the Patriots, I would come here today with PLENTY of good things to say.

I have never been one to confuse RESULTS, with ANALYSIS.

That said, the analysis of the 2009 Redskins is deservedly harsh. They are a bad team, probably still delusional about their level of talent, and with a QB and coach who are horribly mismatched. Campbell is likely a backup, Zorn no more than a coordinator.

As such, the Skins barely escaped a team that is essentially non-functional.

A team that amassed just 84 yards last week.. and will have to hustle to get 2 wins this year.
A team that missed two field goals.
A team that rolled out.... Josh Johnson.... a guy who looked like a WR, running all-wildcat, all the time. He made exactly two throws of any consequence all day.

It was, without doubt, the WORST first half of football in all phases I've seen since the Norv days.

Jason Campbell completed exactly two passes to a WR. Both to Moss. At one point, I was calling him Jamarcus Campbell. Minus the 1 pass to Moss, Campbell was 11-21, for 101, with 3 INTs (and a 4th one dropped after it hit the umpire in the head) ... as bad if not worse than Josh Johnson

The o-line was so suspect in pass protect, they had to use a lot of 6-7 man protect schemes, so very little was open. If Campbell doens't make those two big runs, and they don't make the 4th and 3... they lose.

Haynesworth played a lot. Didn't seem to do much. I still think he remains a pretty good “prospect” for this team. What? He's being paid how much?

Cadillac Williams had 77 yards on 16 carries... he would have had a monster day if Johnson was even a minimally credible threat with his arm.

Carlos Rodgers continues to be a complete stone-hands DB. Given where he was drafted... I think we can officially call him a disappointment.

Special teams continue to be stunningly lackluster, and un-special. Randle El is easily the worst PR in the league. Misplayed 3 punts badly! Makes an overabundance of fair catches. Blocked XP from a wing player, was something I literally cannot remember seeing EVER in all my years of watching the NFL.

Finally, I hate the culture of this team. Its almost like this has become Clinton's Flag Football team. He paid the entry fee, bought the shirts, and decides when he's gonna play, and how much. If anybody says he “ran hard” or “played well” then you just don't watch football with a very critical eye. Portis routinely got stuffed for no gain. He failed to finish runs for first downs that 80% of the backs in the league would make. His vision and explosiveness are virtually gone at this point. This was a game he should have sat out, instead we gave him “hero carries” and it will almost surely lead to him breaking down even sooner this season.


It's a win.
Reed Daughty played great.
The London Fletcher tackling machine continues unabated..
Campbell found some composure in the 2nd half.
DeAngelo Hall made a legitimately game impacting play (bad tackling aside)

Finally, for some perspective...

The Detroit Lions scored more points in LOSING by 24 to the Bears, than the Skins have scored all year.

The SF 49ers dusted the team we barely beat 9-7 by a 35-0 score.

The 1st quarter TD drought continues. That's seven straight games. The sub-30 point drought continues. That's 21 games.

The rest of the season feels like a sentence.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Down In Flames


In the immortal words of Emily Litella.... never mind.

As you know by now, the pervy perp in the Erin Andrews hotel-video-scandal has been nabbed. The case looks pretty airtight.

And I look pretty stupid.

Yeah, my “Unified Alternate Erin Andrews Theory” is down in flames. I shed a small tear just looking at the wreckage, but at least the lovely Erin can sleep better now.

It was a good theory. It was a beautiful theory.

It just happened to be dead wrong.

Am I “sorry” you ask? Hell, no.

It was a theory. I said so, all along. And even though I was convinced of my theory, it's the near obligation of the sports radio host to have theories on things. In fact, it is what we get paid for.

And we are wrong, plenty. Like I was here.

Remember, all along, I never ascribed any motives to Andrews other than an attempt to limit embarrassment. I always thought she was a “victim” of sorts. Only I thought she was the victim of a boyfriend who simply couldn't resist emailing somebody his video booty of her.

It was my producer Solly, who should do some apologizing. He has called her, among other things, “a lying whore.” Ahem. That's HIM, not me.

I've always been a fan of Erin. Solly apparently thinks she only the journalistic equivalent of Mike Wallace should be on the sidelines. Whatever.

Now, on to the FBI complaint against this guy. It is rather jaw-dropping in many ways.

Remember, part of what led me to be so suspicious, was my incredulity that somebody could successfully get Andrews' hotel room number. Isn't that the FIRST, LAST, and CARDINAL RULE of any hotel?

Don't give out room numbers to ANYBODY! From the Four Seasons on down to the seediest Motel 6!

And yet, this guy was not just able to get her room number, but he was able to request a room RIGHT NEXT TO HER! (Methinks Erin will be OWNING a Marriott in her near future.)

From there, he somehow unscrewed the inner eye-piece, hacksawed it down to just a few millimeters of thread, put it back, and then was able to unscrew it quickly, and catch Andrews at just the right time with his cell phone.

Finally, the guy was so stupid, that he actually emailed TMZ to offer the videos for sale. His internet footprints are all over the place, and the complaint lays them out in painstaking detail.

In the end, I suppose I put too much stock in the blanket of no-comment on the case. I should have assumed a full legal hunt was on. I also under-rated the stupidity of creeps like this.

Going forward, I gotta believe hotels will ratchet down their policies on “hey can I get room next to” requests. Plus, they might want to ask a company to design peepholes that cannot in any way be tampered with like this.

If not, then hell, I'm going to start asking for a room next to Megan Fox.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Not Exactly A Blueprint for Winning Football

Michael A emails me an interesting piece of research.


A friend of mine, with obviously too much time on his hands, did the following analysis:

Just for fun, I thought I’d take a look at how the Skins have drafted the past 10 years (2000-2009) and compare them to some of the perennial playoff teams from this past decade.

Total number of picks:
Tennessee – 95 (!)
Philadelphia – 82
Indianapolis – 81
Baltimore – 81
New England – 79
Pittsburgh – 78
NY Giants – 74
Washington – 63

Total number of picks in the first 4 rounds:
Tennessee – 53 (56% of picks are in the first 4 rounds)
Philadelphia – 44 (54%)
New England – 43 (54%)
Indianapolis – 42 (52%)
Baltimore – 42 (52%)
Pittsburgh – 40 (51%)
NY Giants – 40 (54%)
Washington – 27 (43%)

# of offensive linemen drafted (OG+OT+C):
Philadelphia – 17 (21% of all picks were offensive linemen)
New England – 15 (19%)
Baltimore – 15 (19%)
Pittsburgh – 15 (19%)
Indianapolis – 14 (17%)
Tennessee – 13 (14%)
Washington – 8 (13%)
NY Giants – 8 (11%)

# of defensive linemen drafted (DT+DE):
Tennessee – 16 (17% of all picks were defensive linemen)
New England – 14 (18%)
Indianapolis – 14 (17%)
NY Giants – 13 (18%)
Philadelphia – 12 (15%)
Pittsburgh – 12 (15%)
Baltimore – 9 (11%)
Washington – 7 (11%)

# of quarterbacks drafted:
Washington – 7 (11% of all picks were quarterbacks)
Baltimore – 7 (9%)
New England – 5 (6%)
Pittsburgh – 5 (6%)
NY Giants – 4 (5%)
Philadelphia – 3 (4%)
Indianapolis – 2 (3%)
Tennessee!– 1 (1%)

Finally, each teams’ records since 2000 (not including this season):

New England – 102-42-0 (.708) – 6 playoff appearances, 3 Super Bowl titles
Indianapolis – 101-43-0 (.701) – 8 playoff appearances, 1 Super Bowl title
Pittsburgh – 94-49-1 (.653) – 6 playoff appearances, 2 Super Bowl titles
Philadelphia – 92-51-1 (.639) – 7 playoff appearances
Baltimore – 83-61-0 (.576) – 5 playoff appearances, 1 Super Bowl title
Tennessee – 83-61-0 (.576) – 5 playoff appearances
NY Giants – 80-64-0 (.556) – 6 playoff appearances, 1 Super Bowl title
Washington – 66-78-0 (.458) – 2 playoff appearances

In the past 10 years, the Skins have drafted as many quarterbacks as defensive linemen and almost the same number as offensive linemen. The majority of their picks (57%) are in rounds 5-7 (the rounds where a player is less likely to make the club let alone be an impact player). This team really, really needs a true GM to turn this around. I was thinking of doing comparisons to other clubs, but frankly this has depressed me more than I thought it would.


Meanwhile, George Michael (aka "King George") spent 30 minutes on Mike Wise's radio show, flat out DOWNLOADING on a number of people and things at Redskin Park.

Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog has an excellent synopses of it here, but let me further whittle down Dan's work to the most eye-popping pull quotes.


"Oh, there's no ifs buts or ands," Michael said (about whether Cerrato can evaluate talent). "I mean, I know that for a fact, I know that from other people around the league. Here's the problem Mike--and God, I can't believe I'm telling all this truth--Vinny Cerrato is a ZERO when it comes to public relations and building relationships with people in the world. I'm sorry. My Good God. He doesn't ask why don't people like me, but you've got to go out and you've got to do things....I feel bad that Cerrato has not gone out and tried to build these relationships."


"You all want to dump it on Dan Snyder," Michael said. "I understand that. I understand that. I don't think Dan does. I don't think he understands why people hate him so. The truth is--and I've got to give you full disclosure, everybody knows that I am friends with Dan Snyder, not in the sense that I'm in the tank for him, but he is a friend, I admit that. But Dan doesn't even understand what he does wrong. He doesn't even understand the things he does wrong. If the fans knew how bad he wants to win, they would go my God, he wants to win as much as I do."


"Let me tell you the truth: Dan does make I think most of those big-type decisions," Michael said. "He says 'Let's get this guy, let's get that guy.' And the guy that takes the heat for it--and it's why I think he's never gotten fired--is Vinny Cerrato. Now, Cerrato's painted as a bozo, but the truth is, what did Vinny Cerrato do for the team? Look at Chris Horton. That's the kind of guy he gets."


"You have to take gambles, and that's what they did with Zorn," he continued. "Dan Snyder put his name, his stamp, his reputation on Jim Zorn. If Jim doesn't deliver what Dan Snyder thinks is a good deal, then there's no telling when it could end. But I must tell you this, after you lose to the Detroit Lions--and I do personally love this guy Jim Zorn, he's a great guy--you cannot go before the public and say we're making improvements. Dear God, if you're making improvement and losing to the 0-19 Lions, my ass is grass and you're the lawnmower. We're in trouble, baby."

REACT: Strong stuff, strong.




Week #4 Picks

New England -2 vs. Baltimore
The Ravens are a bit over-cooked right now. The Chargers basically gave them the game, and other wins against Kansas City and Cleveland should be counted as half-wins. Belichick masterfully morphed into a run-pass balanced offense last week in keeping Matt Ryan and the Falcons in check. Patriots minus a short 2 at home. Been a long time since we've had this good of a deal. PICK: Patriots 23-16.

NY Jets +7 at New Orleans
Rex Ryan's defense is the real deal. Not only are they disruptive up front, with a ton of QB sacks, hits, and knockdowns, but Darrelle Revis is the best cover corner in the league right now. Seven points, too much. PICK: Jets 21-19.

Cincinnati -5.5 at Cleveland
Question: if there was an ATM at a corner bank that was spitting out $100 bills to people who just walked up and hit a button that said "Give Me Money" would you say "that's bullshit" and NOT walk down there to press it youself? No. You would take 5 fucking minutes just to check it out. The Browns are that ATM. Get your ass down there, and stand in line! PICK: Bengals 33-17.

Oakland +9.5 at Houston
You have to be a dumpster diving masochist in order to saddle up with Shamu (aka: Jamarcus Russell) and the dysfunctional Raiders. But, this is why the league can be so profitable! Nobody has tabbed the Texans world beaters, and the Raiders actually feel relieved to be away from the boobirds. PICK: Raiders 22-21.