Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"He's a guy that's been through some tough fights before"

Ball control we can believe in

As predicted there has been a shakeup on the Republican presidential ticket, governor Sarah Palin has dropped senator John McCain from the ticket and selected Redskins tailback Clinton Portis as her vice presidential candidate and running mate. Tailback Clinton is viewed as a solid Washington insider and this pick likely will be viewed as an attempt by the Palin campaign to run out the clock.

Continue your sloganeering in comments.

YouTube from here courtesy of Rotohog.com

Now Arriving at Gate Nine: Terrell Owens

Redskins fans have seen this movie before

After the Redskins beat the Cowboys at Texas Stadium for the last time in the regular season Cowboy receiver Terrell Owens had some words for his team, that the Cowboys are not working hard enough to get the ball to him:

The Cowboys ran 58 offensive plays against the Redskins. Twenty featured Terrell Owens.

Quarterback Tony Romo threw 18 passes toward Owens, and the star receiver had two rushing attempts for 11 yards. Still, Owens thought he didn't get the ball enough in the Cowboys' loss.

"I would say no. I'm a competitor, and I want the ball," said Owens, who had seven catches for 71 yards. He also scored on a 10-yard pass in the third quarter that tied the score, 17-17.

"Everybody recognized that I wasn't really getting the ball in the first half," Owens said. "I'm pretty sure everybody watching the game recognized it, people in the stands recognized it. I think my team recognized it

"I didn't quit. I kept fighting and trying to keep running my routes and trying to get open."...

...With 10:48 left, Romo threw three straight passes at Owens. All fell incomplete as Rogers lurked nearby. The Cowboys went three-and-out and punted to the Redskins.

So I actually counted 60 plays and 20 looks for Terrell, not 58 and 20 so even if we go with the higher number and the lower percentage it is 33 percent of the Cowboys' offense moving through Terrell, this a week after getting only two catches in a win in Green Bay.

For Terrell to say quote I wasn't really getting the ball in the first half elipses I'm pretty sure everyone watching the game recognized it unquote.

Here is my by drive break down of Terrell's looks in this game, throws in Terrell's direction and carries based on the NFL.com play by play:

QuarterDriveOffensive plays

Directed at Terrell Owens

Drive one

Drive two

Drive three








Drive four

Drive five

Drive six








Drive seven

Drive eight

Drive nine








Drive 10

Drive 11




Total11 drives6020

That is one third people. The first half? 28 plays, 7 looks or 25 percent. Every play, especially every running play, that goes to Terrell Owens is a play that cannot go to another player. The Cowboys' problem is not that they abandoned the run in this game, that is a problem with your play calling and game management, you can fix that.

No indeed, the problem is your offense, that the offense really does go through Terrell Owens. Shut him down and the Cowboys are just a good team as we saw Sunday. Play the flip and use Terrell as a decoy to neutralize the defense's best coverage man and you have a guy pissed off at running all day for no reason and certain to mention it to the media.

It all goes down from here.

Terrell Owens and Tony Romo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images from here.

Beating the Cowboys: an Owner's Emotion

That's right bitches

As we were reveling in the Redskins win over the Cowboys on Sunday a neighbor caught this post game shot of the visitor's locker room on the Fox coverage, I set up my tripod and took some pictures. We bandied about how to caption these photos, Mystery Science Theater 3000 style, you can guess some comedy themes from looking at them.

Lord knows I have had some choice words for Dan Snyder over the years here at Curly R, in the end I decided just to let these images speak for themselves, this moment of connection between an owner and his new coach.

Dan Dan the Sports Bog Man and Chris Mottram also zero in on this moment.

Images by me of the Fox broadcast.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Texas Stadium Pity Party

Jessica get me a kleenex

Takeaway drill: a strong opponent with high regard for itself on a home site victory lap held in check by solid playcalling, steady quarterbacking and aggressive defense. Through 25 percent of the NFL season the Redskins are one of those teams.


Monday walkthrough: in the heat and humidity the Redskins take away the last chance to defend Texas Stadium in a regular season game, beat the Cowboys 26-24 to move to 3-1. Either Washington is shooting snake eyes every week or Jason Campbell is becoming a solid NFL quarterback. Meanwhile back at the ranch the defense does what it always did.

The Redskins took the ball to start the first quarter and on a balanced attack rode Clinton Portis and Jason Campbell 39 yards before Jason Campbell had to burn a timeout on third and one at the Cowboys 35 yard line, tackle eligible Lorenzo Alexander was called for a false start. Santana Moss could not haul in a right side slant and Durant Brooks punted. Dallas' first possession started at their own 10 yard line, they managed 31 yards before punting, key plays here were good pass defense on Terrell Owens by Shawn Springs on first and ten and Rocky McIntosh stopping Marion Barber for no gain on second and ten. On the Redskins second drive they could get nothing going, Jason Campbell was sacked by Chris Canty (Wahoowa!) who blew by Chris Samuels and the Redskins punted. Dallas' second possession was three and out on Fred Smoot's good pass defense on Jason Witten on third and six. The Redskins got the ball back and DeMarcus Ware sacked Jason Campbell immediately and Durant punted again. Washington was holding Dallas in check when Carlos Rogers committed a holding penalty on third and four to give Dallas new life, Jason Witten caught a 21 yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo on the next play to make the game 7-0 Dallas. The Redskins got the ball back and the quarter ended with the Cowboys leading 7-0. (quarterly reports: Washington Post / Washington Times / Matt Terl)

The Redskins had the ball to start the second quarter, a completion to Antwaan Randle El and a Clinton Portis run gave Washington fresh downs. One solid drive later and James Thrash is catching a short pass for a touchdown and the game is tied 7-7. Dallas got the ball back and three and outed, again largely due to Shawn Springs blanketing Terrell Owens. Washington got the ball back at midfield and put on a terrific drive featuring Jason Campbell dodging a tackle and still making a great throw to Santana Moss and a squeezed in an end zone throw to Antwaan for a touchdown, Redskins take the lead 14-7. Dallas got the ball back and three and outed... again. On the first play of the Redskins' next drive Jason Campbell went long down the right sideline 53 yards to a wide open Santana, first and goal Redskins. Washington could not punch it in and settled for a 20 yard field goal to move the game to 17-7 Redskins. Dallas gets the ball back with less than two minutes left in the half, drives on short plays and gets into range, Nick Folk kicks a 36 yard field goal to make it 17-10 Redskins, that is the end of the half. (quarterly reports: Washington Post / Washington Times / Matt Terl)

Dallas got the ball to start the third quarter, for some reason Shaun Suisham's kickoff was a high short popper and a good return put them in good field position. Right off the bat Tony Romo went to Terrell Owens for a long completion, and Dallas moved from there, ending on a ten yard Terrell Owens touchdown catch, game is tied 17-17. The Redskins get the ball back, after two Clinton Portis runs Chris Cooley seals DeMarcus ware on the left side and boosts Clinton for 31 yards. Three plays later center Casey Rabach commits a hold negating a Clinton Portis touchdown. A muffed but recovered (op. cit.) handoff later, Jason Campbell escapes two attacking defenders to throw a touchdown pass to a scrambling Antwaan Randle El. This play is also negated by a penalty on Casey (ibid.), this one for illegal man downfield. The Redskins settle for a field goal to make the score 20-17 Redskins. Dallas gets the ball back and Jason Witten catches an impossible ball with Reed Doughty's hand literally in Jason Witten's cradle, and then London Fletcher forces a fumble by receiver Tony Curtis but it goes out of bounds for a loss and Dallas retains the ball. The next play is an incomplete to Terrell Owens and the Cowboys punt. The Redskins' next possession starts with a short pass to Santana before a first down Clinton Portis run, two incomplete passes later the Redskins are punting. On Dallas' next possession Marion Barber gets stuffed then Patrick Crayton runs over Fred Smoot, dazing him into thinking momentarily that he was back in practice. Shawn Springs and Leigh Torrence already were on the sideline getting treatment, Leigh mans up and comes back in the game. Tony Romo looks to pick on Leigh on the first play back and Chris Horton steps in front for the interception. Washington runs one handoff to Clinton Portis to end the quarter with the Redskins leading 20-17. (quarterly reports: Washington Post / Washington Times / Matt Terl)

Washington had the ball to start the fourth quarter, Chris Cooley caught a tight ball in traffic to move the chains but the team cannot sustain the momentum and is forced to kick a 33 yard field goal, 23-17 Washington. Dallas' first possession of the fourth quarter starts with three incompletions to Terrell Owens and the Cowboys punt. Redskins start on the ground when they get the ball back, The Fourth Quarter Magic came back as the Redskins convert two crucial third downs, one on a Cowboys penalty and one on a tough and short Ladell Betts run then Shaun Suisham kicks a 29 yard field goal to make it a nine point game, 26-17 Redskins. Dallas gets the ball back, desperate and completes three straight passes before an incomplete to TO in the end zone, then an incomplete to Miles Austin. A crossing route to TO and then a short crossing pattern to Miles and it is a touchdown, 26-24 Redskins. Dallas lines up for the onside kick, cannot pull it in and then it is victory formation, game over, Redskins win the game 26-24. (quarterly reports: Washington Post / Washington Times / Matt Terl)


Soapbox: face it you don't beat Dallas much. How then can you feel any better about this game? The Redskins come into Texas Stadium, the last time these two teams will meet there in the regular season, go toe to toe, execute and win the game. Jim Zorn takes a huge step pre deity.

Key stat, through four games Jason Campbell has thrown no interceptions and fumbled no balls. The team has not just improved at protecting the ball, they are leading the league in takeaway margin.

Other key stat, 38 minutes of possession? What the hell.

When the Redskins offense worked, it worked. The defense was outstanding, Chris Horton has earned his spot on the starters card. Jason Witten, the league's leading third down receiver, was a special focus of the defensive game plan.

When things got hot for the Cowboys, the offense went completely through Terrell Owens who after this game said he did not get the ball enough. With Terrell unable to deliver the Cowboys went down. Of 54 offensive plays, Terrell was involved in 17 of them, or 31 percent, that's nearly a third of the offense, there is no objective measure by which Terrell did not get enough looks at the ball.

Get ready for Cowboys fans, already apoplectic if the small sample of bitter fans calling in to the Opening Drive on Sirius NFL Radio this morning is any indication, to whine like porch dogs about the two blatant missed penalties on the Redskins, Todd Yoder grabbing Adam Jones' facemask on a punt return in the third quarter and Jon Jansen's false start in the fourth quarter.

Did I mention the Cowboys fans are bitter bitter bitter? I heard ripping the play calls, too much reliance on Terrell Owens, not enough reliance on Terrell Owens, not enough running, no killer instinct, note to self: if the Cowboys go on not to be a top tier team after all this season, Redskins fans will get to look back on this game as the start of the spiral and as Martha Stewart likes to say, that is a good thing.

Easy to lose in a game where the Redskins dominated all phases of the game, Clinton Portis had a terrific game, is on pace for 1400+ rushing yards. I have regained some respect for Clinton this season, he is quietly going out there and making it happen.

The Redskins at 3-1 are now outperforming band one.


Chattering class: Mike Wise at the Washington Post writes about Shawn Springs, not just his great game, also what it all means for him, he grew up in Dallas when his father Ron Springs played for the Cowboys, spent a lot of time in Texas Stadium. Now with that stadium disappearing and his father still in a persistent coma and his career winding down, Shawn is entering a new phase of life.

Tom Boswell also at the WaPo tries hard not to put rookie coach Jim Zorn in the pantheon with George Allen, Joe Gibbs and Vince Lombardi just yet, fails.

Les Carpenter has the obligatory front page A1 Washington Post piece, framed between a rare Steven Pearlstein front page appearance writing on Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's tough economic medicine and the grounding of the Maryland state medevac fleet after a deadly helicopter crash over the weekend.

At the Washington Times David Elfin has Monday Morning Quarterback, Santana Moss owns Texas Stadium, Jason Campbell has taken the next step, Clinton Portis is back. Santana is the WashTimes player of the game (the Washington Examiner has Jason Campbell for that award).

Dan Daly also at the WashTimes writes that this team looks like they are ready for the playoffs. Yes that game looked a lot like playoff football, it was an NFC Beast division game, as I was discussing with my neighbor after the game, the big risk is if the team continues to deliver and then begins to freak out that they can actually do it and start over thinking.

Rick Snider at the Washington Examiner writes that it is all coming together. I agree, see above.

Rich Tandler at Real Redskins fills out the parallel between George Allen and Jim Zorn.


Onmibus: Redskins are now 2-1 overall, 1-1 in the division and 3-1 in the NFC.

Jon Jansen started over Stephon Heyer, who also played. Demetric Evans started in place of Jason Taylor whose streak of 133 consecutive games came to an end (op. cit. and op. cit.). In something of a surprise, Chris Horton started in place of Reed Doughty, on the Cowboys first drive Chris had a good tackle of Marion Barber and then stopped Jason Witten short on third and ten to end Dallas' first drive.

James Thrash's second quarter three yard touchdown catch was largely the result of James going into motion before the play and reversing himself back down the line, cornerback Terence Newman fell trying to turn himself around before the snap and James was undefended.

With 6:33 left in the half the total yards tally for the second quarter was Washington 122, Dallas seven. At 2:22 in the half that stat was updated, the tally then was Washington 183, Dallas 10.

After the Redskins second quarter field goal rookie safety Kareem Moore whacked Cowboys returner Orlando Scandrick. Welcome to the Redskins Kareem.

The Redskins scored 17 points in the second quarter (op. cit.). That is how you stay in the game.

Shawn Springs had an incredible first half defending Terrell Owens. In the third quarter he strained his left calf and did not return (ibid.).

The Redskins scored twice on their first possession of the second half, both negated by penalties by center Casey Rabach.

Santana Moss likes to drop spin the ball when he makes a big play, in the second quarter after a 53 yard catch from Jason Campbell Santana collided with Dallas cornerback Terence Newman and his helmet came off (op. cit.), and we got to see his look of intensity, cornrows and all.

I think I agree with Troy Aikman, Marcus Washington does not look able to play full speed.

DeMarcus Ware knocked heads with Clinton Portis and got his bell rung.

Chris Horton IS A MONSTER!!!!!!!!!!! For his third interception of the season the rookie knew, KNEW after Dallas receiver Patrick Crayton laid wood on Fred Smoot and sent him out for at least a play that Tony Romo would immediately pick on reserve corner Leigh Torrence. Chris sprinted to the sideline, not even looking at the play until he was right on the route, making an excellent grab for the INT (op. cit.).

Wth Shawn Springs out of the game, Carlos Rogers had two consecutive great plays in the fourth quarter to deny the ball from Terrell Owens.

Bye bye Texas Stadium.

Bonus reference to 1990s Cowboys players cocaine problems.

Jim Zorn becomes the first Redskins head coach since George Allen in 1971 to win his first game in Dallas.


My wife found my Zorn: rookie coach Jim Zorn is rising rapidly, moves to 3-1 career as head coach. Unlike the last two games where a bold fourth quarter playcall or clutch catch saved the day, it was power running that sealed it for the Redskins this week, the first two times Washington had the ball in the fourth quarter (they had the ball a third time, strictly victory formation) they ran the ball 14 times and passed four times. That is Redskins football.

Shooter: Jason Campbell is still heading upward on the impressive curve, 20 of 31 for 231 yards and two touchdowns, no turnovers for the fourth game, it is at this point possible to look both at Jason's progression as a professional as well as Jason's progression as a Jim Zorn system quarterback.

Coltrolled: our young gun Colt Brennan appeared twice in the game, once in the first half behind an animated Jim Zorn in the camera shot and once wandering through the shot in the second half while Shawn Springs was on the sideline having his calf worked on.


Washington Post / AP recap, box score, play by play, photos. NFL recap, box score, full play by play, Gamebook (PDF), photos.

Other recaps: Hogs Haven one/two/three/four, Bill at The Redskin Report (where is Lee?), Hog Heaven one/two, Rich Tandler, David Wagner, Mark Newgent, Sportz Assassin, Landis Andrews and Joseph Clifton at Redskins Gab, Penn Skins Fan / Spence / Spence at DC Pro Sports Report, Brian Murphy and bonus Brian Murphy on Brian Murphy.

Next up: a road trip to the Eagles, lifetime Eagles fans, season ticket holder and Curly R reader/lurker Wilbert Montgomery and I will be attending, this will be our 18th of the past 19 Eagles-Redskins games, a streak dating back to 1999.

Top image by me of the Fox coverage. Donovan McNabb getting his ass sacked last night by Adewale Ogunleye and Danieal Manning: M. Spencer Green / AP photo from here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Game 4: Redskins (2-1) at Cowboys (3-0)


Out of the box: former Cowboy Jim Zorn is about to get his first taste of the The Rivalry as the Washington Redskins travel down to Dallas for one last, final Texas Stadium installment of The Rivalry, next season the Cowboys will be opening their new park and Redskins Stadium will no longer be the largest stadium in the league. The Redskins enter this game on a two game winning streak and with confidence, the Cowboys are unbeaten and not fearing this Redskins team (op. cit.).


The story so far: the Cowboys are hitting on all cylinders, averaging 32 points a game, this week will be a challenge for the Redskins who are playing with house money after starting the season 2-1, no one should be down on the Redskins for losing this game, band one is in good shape and the Redskins season is in no jeopardy. The conventional wisdom, along with the oddsmakers who assigned an 11 point line for this game, is that the Redskins have no chance. They are the consensus fourth best team in a four team division, the top three teams of which are all looking like playoff teams.

Then something happened along the way, Jim Zorn started looking like a real coach, Jason Campbell started looking like a steady hand, shining in the fourth quarter, and the Redskins defense kept playing like last year.

When it is all said and done this is a division game, both teams look good and the Redskins have an opportunity to go down to Big D and score a big W.


Curly R aside: conventional wisdom is beginning to coalesce around the notion that the Redskins did not procure great value at the top of their draft this year. Coach Jim Zorn said receivers Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas did not arrive to training camp in shape, both got hurt and in his first extended action last week, Devin was flagged for two offensive pass interferences and then showboated his way into the end zone on a play called back for a penalty. Malcolm has staggered from one injury to another, hamstring to knee to ankle, still cannot go (op. cit.) and likely will be inactive this week. Tight end Fred Davis may yet be a good pick, he is stuck behind Chris Cooley and Todd Yoder and the team likely will not get a huge contribution from Fred this year. Down the draft line the selections are all looking good, the top though, I just hope they get better over time.

Curly R aside continues: this is super cool, not the Redskins fan on the deathbed, that is not cool, that the team turned around a random non connected inquiry so quickly is cool.


Oppo research: despite the obvious and prodigous talents of Terrell I did not try to commit suicide Owens, Marion Mack truck Barber, DeMarcus one eye and steel teeth Ware and the other Cowboys players, this game starts and ends with quarterback Tony Romo (ibid.), Tony is currently third in the league among quarterbacks in passing yards, second in the league in average yards per pass and sixth in passer rating. Three Dallas players have ten or more receptions and the Cowboys top four receivers all average more than 13 yards per catch.

And Tony went undrafted. Think about that for a moment.


Trainer's table: the big Redskins injury news of the week was defensive end Jason Taylor. Jason was kicked in the calf during the Cardinals game and continued to play. Late Sunday night after the game the pain was still bad and he went to the hospital. What was characterized Monday as relatively minor surgery turns out to have been apparently life saving as Jason had what is known as acute compartment syndrome. He will miss this game for sure and the downside outage will be measured in months, not weeks.

Newly promoted right tackle Stephon Heyer hurt his shoulder against the Cardinals, was replaced briefly by Jon Jansen, the man he replaced, before Stephon came back into the game then did not practice all week until Friday and is still in discomfort. Whether Stephon or Jon starts, expect them to rotate.

Rocky McIntosh is not only fully healed from his gruesome knee injuries suffered last year, he is rocking hard and will not appear in this section for these injuries again.


Gameplan: defensively coordinator Greg Blache and the Redskins know they cannot stop the Cowboys and their huge offensive line, only hope to contain them, and that is what they will try and do. TO will get his catches, Marion will get his yards, Tony will throw some long passes. The Redskins will try to minimize the effect of those big plays, keeping them to the middle of the field. Shawn Springs will be on TO all day (ibid.), it would be great if Carlos Rogers could build on his success in creating turnovers (op. cit.), the Redskins are currently sitting on the best turnover ratio in the league (ibid.), and with Marcus Washington still gimpy with a hip and a hamstring the linebackers will have to work doubly hard to contain tailbacks Marion and rookie Felix Jones.

On offense tackles Chris Samuels and Stephon Heyer or Jon Jansen will have their work cut out for them sealing the ends for Clinton Portis (op. cit.), the Cowboys play a 3-4 with the outside linebackers often lining right up on the line. Cornerbacks Terence Newman and Anthony Henry can both cover, the weakness this year for the Cowboys is at the safety position (ibid.), Jason Campbell will need to exploit zone seams and catch them out of position. With some luck Santana Moss will get to do a little of his deep threat catching a long pass in stride thing as well as his catching it short and zig zagging through traffic thing.


My take in 60 words or less: the Redskins have no business winning this game. So prove me wrong and win it.


Washington Post / AP preview, Gameday (PDF), keys to the game, the Zorn Zone. Injury report for both teams, Redskins projected starters, Cowboys projected starters. Washington Examiner preview, preview / keys to the game. Broadcast coverage map, check out that coverage.

Special coverage of the last Washngton-Dallas game at Texas Stadium: most memorable games in Dallas, photo gallery, George Solomon has some special memories.

Other previews: Hog Heaven one/two, Hogs Haven open thread, Rich Tandler live blog/preview one/two/three, Mark Newgent one/two/three, Sportz Assassin.

The party is at my house today as we host our neighbors for a football party and invite a Discovery Channel TV crew to come and try us out for some TV show.

This is a gameday open thread.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Blogger Deathsport: Week Four Picks

You know I've hit rock bottom when this is looking mandatory

Friday update: week four results are in, River City Rage at Big Cat Country and I tied at the top with 9-4.

Blogger Deathsport rolls on with week four, I am trailing badly after three weeks, this after winning the whole thing last season. Wednesday picks and lines from here, play along with the home version of our game. Picks from your other Blogger Deathsport players:

Will at Hogs Haven
TexSkins at Hogs Haven
Dagger at Post Game Heroes
Brian at Common Prejudice NFL
Derek at Iggles Blog
Blitzburgh at Behind the Steel Curtain
River City Rage at Big Cat Country
Gonzo at Daily Norseman
Gamecocker at Horseshoe Digest

And now week four picks:

BUF (-8) @ STL
Pick: Bills. The temptation is there to say, nah no way the Rams are that bad. They are.
Result: Bills... and Scott Linehan exits the building.

ATL @ CAR (-7)
Pick: Panthers. This Carolina team is this Atlanta team in five years.
Result: Panthers. Atlanta tailbacks can only run at home.

PHI @ CHI (off the board = straight up even)
Pick: Eagles. I just want everybody to know this was a hard pick for me.
Result: Bears. Always happy to be wrong about the Eagles being good.

CLE @ CIN (-3.5)
Pick: Bengals. I think Cincinnati rights the ship. No but seriously folks take my wife please.
Result: Browns. I found out five minutes before kickoff that Carson Palmer was not playing... and chose not to change my pick. Doh!

WAS @ DAL (-11.5)
Pick: Redskins. That line is so large it should be blocking for Dallas.
Result: Redskins. Dallas lost. Deal with it.

DEN (-9) @ KC
Pick: Chiefs. To cover, not win.
Result: Chiefs. Won big, how bout that.

HOU @ JAX (-7.5)
Pick: Jaguars. If Gary Kubiak is the original Jim Zorn then Redskins fans should be very worried.
Result: Texans. Jim Zorn makes Gary Kubiak look like Lane Kiffin.

SF @ NO (-6)
Pick: Saints. New Orleans is down two top pass catchers, this game will be all about running for both teams.
Result: Saints. Looking like another long year for San Francisco.

ARZ @ NYJ (-2.5)
Pick: Cardinals. Arizona is mad, Brett Favre is hurt.
Result: Jets. Brett Favre is mad, the Cardinals are hurting.

SD (-7.5) @ OAK
Pick: Chargers. No way no how Oakland puts up that many points again.
Result: Chargers... and Lane Kiffin exits the building.

GB @ TB (-1)
Pick: Buccaneers. Line that small favors the home team.
Result: Buccaneers. Jeff Garcia is pissed.

MIN @ TEN (-3)
Pick: Titans. Tennessee is worse than a zombie, you cut off its head and it keeps going.
Result: Titans. Vince who? What? Are you talking to me?

BAL @ PIT (off the board = straight up even)
Pick: Steelers. In an even game take the home team.
Result: Steelers. The AFC North looks weaky.

Results tallied Tuesday.

Scooter desk from here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Game Journal: Cardinals at Redskins, 9/21/2008

Back in the preseason Mark Newgent of Redskins Examiner invited me to the Bills game, I was unable to attend and asked him to keep me in mind for future games, he is a second year season ticket holder. A week ago he gave me a heads up on extra tickets he had for the Cardinals game three, I said hell yes and dragged my Swarthmoron neighbors Bill and Paul and we made a day of it. Terrific weather, a great game, a great win and new friends, we had a hell of a time. Mark has already posted his gameday cycloramas here and here.


Mark had the tickets and parking passes, our assignment was food and liquor, after making breakfast for my family I ran to Safeway to pick up four of those great big sub sandwiches that take so long to make, chips, some water and batteries for my camera.

Paul and Bill arriving around 10am, Paul has margaritas and ice, Bill has bourbon. Paul has a giant inflatable Redskin he used to put out on gameday and Bill's is the place we usually watch Redskins games on his fat media rig.

We caught Metro yellow line at Huntington, Bill and Paul do not often ride the Metro anymore, I use it at least three time a week. We were heading to New Carrolton on the orange line.

The random Redskins fans we sat with on the Metro, they were going to find a tailgate to crash. The Metro was packed with Redskins fans.

District of Columbia Department of Health public service announcement on the Metro, note the Redskins colors. Right click the image to open at full size, the cough into your elbow image is hilarious and that is mayor Adrian Fenty getting a pretend flu shot. Cough into your elbow lol.

Picture from the Metro car, Cheverly station on the orange line, the sign says in reverse no Redskins shuttle from this station, something they have to remind people of now since shuttle service was shitcanned.

We met Mark in the lot at New Carrolton, it was the first time Mark and I had met in person, he is a great guy. The fans were pouring into the parking lots and it took us 20 minutes to get deep enough to find a spot. I will digress for a moment here and say the team needs to do a better job of lot management. I love a tailgate as much as the next guy, as we sat there in intralot gridlock there were dozens of full spaces taken up by tailgaters. I love a tailgate as much as the next guy, the team should charge for that second tailgate space or else not let people take up two spaces at the edge of the lots.

View of Redskins Stadium from our spot. The weather was excellent, bordering on a tad too hot.

Paul, Mark & Bill, we arrived with about an hour to tailgate.

The writers themselves. Mark and I both wear Santana Moss, perhaps we are more alike than different.

When one goes to wait in line to get into a Redskins game one never knows if it will be two minutes or twenty so some people bring a drink for the line. This guy brought a box of wine, he was faced with chugging it before getting to security. Franzia Sunset fucking Blush. No wonder other fans think of Redskins fans as effete brie eaters. This wine chug is nicely paired with a wonderful Chris Cooley.

Section 444 row 28, 9:08 left first quarter, Redskins ball first and goal on the Cardinals five yard line. Two plays later it was Clinton Portis for a touchdown.

Bill and Mark both brought binoculars, at this altitude they very much enhance the game experience.

10:10 left second quarter, Redskins ball first and ten on the Washington 29.

Second quarter whiskey break. The Joe Theismann jerseys make me laugh.

Teh party tents. Very exclusive.

The random girl we talked to on the whiskey break.

The hats are legitimately on sideways against the sun to nonetheless hilarious effect. Pair it with the white jersey stretched over the knees on a hot day and you can see we do it differently in the upper decks.

A Pat Tillman jersey, one of literally five Cardinals jerseys I saw all day.

1:53 left third quarter, game tied 17 all, on the previous play Kurt Warner had hooked up with Larry Fitzgerald for 62 yards, strong safety Reed Doughty was badly beaten on the play and was benched for the rest of the game.

1:38 left third quarter, Devin Thomas catching a seven yard pass to the right from Jason Campbell. Devin did not even interfere with the defender, get Guinness.

A Bruce Smith jersey? Really?

This is as close to the action as my teeny tiny Nikon point and shoot gets to the action, third quarter.

Bill and Mark. Bill's binocs were truly awsum, marine grade, sealed lenses, they float and have a heads up compass projected into the view shot.

At this point the game is still tied 17 all, then Carlos Rogers:

Yes I happened to have the camera up and recording video on this play, I love it when that happens. YouTube here.

The game in hand for the Redskins, Cardinals fans leave the stadium to a cascade of good natured boos. YouTube here.

After the game, another look at how close Mark's seats are to the very top of the stadium. As I say though, any seat inside is the best seat in the house.

After the game, the Redskins four Super Bowl flags plus the team flag.

What are the chances I would see someone wearing a shirt with one of the political candidates for president at this game? Weerd.

Redskins fans leaving the stadium happy for a change.

We Want Dallas! YouTube here.

Napkin dispenser at a condiment station on the ground level. Note the second game on the home schedule, Phoenix Cardinals? An easy mistake, anyone could make it considering the team changed from the Phoenix Cardinals to the Arizona Cardinals only 15 years ago.

A couple of Matt Leinart fans trying to keep a low profile after the game.

Back out in the lot we took the long way back to Mark's car.

Suh weet Bentley dude, anyone know who ESB the fourth is?

Redskins tent top, Redskins camp chairs, everyone in a Redskins jersey, Redskins themed van at left, see next image.

Bill in front of the Redskins themed van.

The all Redskins interior of the Redskins themed van. Might even be too much Redskins for me.

These guys got the tailgate fired back up immediately, note the Redskins logo inside the back door of the van. Also smart on these guys, note the proximity to the porta potty.

Mark, Bill and Paul, we broke out cigars to celebrate the victory. And whiskey.

Paul and Bill, note Paul's true vintage 1987 Super Bowl 22 shirt, Doug Williams, the last Redskins number 17 and Timmy Smith, just out of jail for dealing totaine in March.

This guy had mouse pad sized Sean Taylor flat magnets, I bought one, it is currently on my refrigerator. As much as the wife loves Sean and the Redskins, my wife is making me move it elsewhere.

My Blogger Deathsport picks for the week. Not a great week for me.

Finishing the last round before heading home, our host Mark Newgent of Redskins Examiner. Thanks again Mark, I hope we can do this again.

Redskins fans leaving the stadium.

On the Metro orange line on the way home, Bill is checking scores in the other games of the day on his iPhone.

Taking the orange line home we had to switch at L'Enfant Plaza. There were at least two full bladders and we were not in a huge hurry so we got out to find a bathroom.

After relieving ourselves we took a moment to enjoy the view of the US Capitol.

Me and Bill, by Paul. We got back on the Metro and went home.

Not pictured: getting home to find out the wife had already put all three kids to bed thereby freeing me for evening football; rewatching the entire Redskins-Cardinals game at Bill's and writing the Curly R gamewrap half in the bag; watching the Cowboys-Packers game and being a little bummed about how good Dallas is; ending the night playing Rock Band 2 until waaay to late.

A great game, a great day, Hail to the Redskins. I leave you with the final seconds of the game, capturing the mood at the end of this big Redskins win. YouTube here.

All photos and video by me.