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Thursday Redskins Links – 10/2

Posted by Matt Terl on October 2, 2008 – 6:32 pm

  • Well, one of them is above, but the Easterns Automotive blog has two more new commercials posted. For me, nothing will top the sheer basic majesty of people singing the jingle in the streets of DC, but these are pretty entertaining in their own right.
  • Die Hard Eagles Fan blogger has lengthy conversation with Die Hard Redskins Fan blogger (and regular commenter here) Warren Montgomery; they also offer the opposite perspective. No one is hit with batteries, mugged, or has their tires slashed. (Hat tip to commenter Steve, who mentioned this earlier today.)
  • And Tanner and Chris Cooley bring back their it’s-not-Borat-we-swear character Vladimir along with a cowboy from Wyoming named Willard to analyze the difference between chickens and eagles and preview this week’s game. The video surpasses that summary, I swear.

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Chris Horton, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month, in a Box of Tape

Posted by Matt Terl on October 2, 2008 – 5:27 pm

Chris Horton seems to be a pretty quiet, affable guy. I remember talking to him during training camp, when he was a seventh round draft pick I had never heard of – and wasn’t even sure would make the team. I was new to this gig at that point and constantly surprised by how down to Earth and pleasant the players were being, but even given that, Horton stood out as a grounded dude. So it’s been a little surprising, in a pleasant way, watching him accrue vicious nicknames, accolades (with attendant teasing), and media attention.

Today, Horton was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month – a deserved honor, since he’s got four takeaways in two starts, plus assorted tackles in crucial places. And it wouldn’t be a Chris Horton honor if it weren’t accompanied with some light hazing.

That’s the front of Horton’s locker, marked off with tape. On one side is LaRon Landry; the other is Cornelius Griffin.

I caught up with Landry first, and he laughed. “Ask Griffin,” he said, and wouldn’t offer anything more. So I asked Griffin what the story is with the tape.

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On the Field for Practice – 10/2

Posted by Matt Terl on October 2, 2008 – 4:12 pm

An absolutely gorgeous day out on the practice fields today: warm air, cool breeze, bright sun, all that good stuff. I’m sure it was a little less pleasant for the guys wearing helmets and shoulder pads and seven thousand square feet of tape, but it still had to be better than the heat and humidity of August.

  • The safeties really stick together. It seems like every day Reed Doughty walks off the practice field explaining something to Chris Horton, and today all the safeties stuck around for some extra work. During practice, they’re with the cornerbacks as well – the safeties were working in coverage drills, and Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot were offering advice and the like. When Devin Thomas cut off a route to make a catch in front of LaRon Landry, Smoot pulled Landry aside. “You need to get patient,” he said. “Watch the guy. It ain’t safety.” As Landry ran back out, Smoot added to no one in particular, “Landry could actually have played cornerback in the league.” For those of you who are curious, Landry seems to take the advice to heart and clearly gets angry with himself when his safety instincts get in the way of covering his man. It’s an interesting dynamic.
  • Malcolm Kelly was out working again today, taking a full practice (although the most notable play I saw him involved in was the drop of a perfect pass that rainbowed over Leigh Torrence). Coach Zorn expects Kelly to be healthy for Sunday, but it’s a question of the numbers game to see if he’s on the active roster.
  • After the discussion on Tuesday about the maybe-miss on Suisham’s kick, I decided to watch some field goal drills and see if the TV view is actually better than the official’s. It emphatically is not. Standing under the upright and looking straight up offered the clearest view of a field goal try I’ve ever had, and I’m not sure what would come in a close second.

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Thursday, October 2: The Eagles Fan Thing

Posted by Matt Terl on October 2, 2008 – 9:31 am

Via Wikimedia Commons

I was thinking last week about the Dallas Cowboys and their rivalry with the Redskins. I assume the reasons for this are pretty obvious, and I’m not going to revisit Dallas Week except to make this one observation: whenever I thought about the Cowboys and the Redskins, I thought of specific games. Sometimes they were good: the 1983 NFC Championship, the Monday Night Moss Miracle, the Troy Vincent blocked kick, the dominating win last year. Other times they were pretty cruddy: the Clint Longley game, the broken undefeated streak, the vast majority of games at Dallas since 1991. But the common denominator is that it was about the games.

There have been plenty of good games against Philly, wins and losses, but that’s not what keeps coming to mind as I think about this week’s game. What I keep thinking about instead are the Philly fans. When the guys at Mr. Irrelevant posed the question the other day about the Redskins biggest rival, Chris Mottram claimed to hate Philly fans more, even if he’d rather beat Dallas, which I think is rooted in the same phenomenon: the Cowboys are hated on the field, where the Eagles are hated off it.

(I should note at this point that some of my good friends and extended family grew up in Eagles territory and are lifelong Eagles fans. I want to hurry to assure all of those people that OF COURSE I’m not talking about them. I’m also not talking about the fictional-but-amusing Emo Eagles Fans at Kissing Suzy Kolber. [Language warning for KSK, although not those particular posts.] I’m talking about the OTHER kind of Eagles fan. You know, THAT guy.)

The roll call of misdeeds has at this point become legendary, and probably doesn’t need to be recounted, but what the heck. Eagles fans have, among other charming incidents:

And the first fistfight I ever saw in person – more of a beating, really – was at a Phillies game at the Vet. So, you know, there’s all of that. On the other hand, much of this stuff is presumably exaggerated, right? And at least a few staffers here rolled their eyes when I asked about the Eagles fans, calling it a complete non-story and (I’m paraphrasing) the most pointless annual discussion in the history of mankind.

Maybe, I thought, I’m completely off the rails here. Maybe I’m buying into years of overblown hype. Maybe the Eagles fans don’t even deserve their reputation at all. So I asked the players.

“They deserve it,” says Fred Smoot. “They are the meanest fans in the NFL, no doubt. My momma never came to watch me play in Philly, and I bet she never will, because I care about her too much. They’re hard knock fans, and they demand respect.”

Mike Sellers agrees. “It’s a hostile environment,” he says. “When we’re driving in, they egg the bus. When we drive into the stadium, there’s all these little kids standing there flipping us the bird. They’re much worse than Dallas fans, when it comes to talking trash.”

That may be because they do their research. “They know everything about you,” says Rock Cartwright. “They know all about your family, everything that needs to be known, they’re gonna find out. It’s not all of them, you know, but some of them….” He shakes his head.

It’s Randy Thomas, though, who puts it all in perspective. “They’ve got passion. I really think these guys don’t like to lose, and they take it the hard way. And they let you know with their mouths. Besides our fans, they’re probably some of the better fans out there.”

They’re fans, just like us. Really. I’m sure that’s what I’ll find out when I head up to my first game at The Linc on Sunday.

Or maybe not, according to Sellers. “It’s great for their fanbase, because they try to intimidate people, but once you’ve played in the league for awhile you start to get used to it. You’ll see, though. When you ride the bus into the stadium, you’ll be like, “Okay….”

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