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Wednesday, January 28: The Anthony Mix Crowd Can Stop Holding Out Hope As Well

Posted by Matt Terl on January 28, 2009 – 10:07 am

I didn’t hear nearly as much about Redskins preseason fan-favorite WR Anthony Mix after his release waayyyyy back on August 30 as I did about preseason fan-favorite RB Marcus Mason. Perhaps this was because preseason fan-favorite WR Billy McMullen took over much of Mix’s popularity, or perhaps it’s just that there were other young wide receivers to focus on. Whatever. Read more »

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A Technical Note, and Redskins Links for 1/27

Posted by Matt Terl on January 27, 2009 – 4:20 pm

All right: I’m told that Blackberry and other mobile access to has been restored, so drop me a line and let me know if you’re still having problems with that. (In fact, let me know if you’re having any problems with the new site — with commenting, with reading it, or anything else.)

Now, some links.

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Salt In The Wound

Posted by Matt Terl on January 27, 2009 – 2:29 pm

Just in case you had forgotten about the Redskins missing the playoffs, the NFL’s official online store has decided to remind you as frequently as possible by plastering this banner ad all over sports-related websites:

Thanks,, for the emphatic reminder of the Redskins’ status as a “non-playoff” team. Perhaps if we miss the playoffs again next year, you can just cut out the euphemisms and announce that “losers’ gear” is on sale. Read more »

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Tuesday, January 27: Kedric Golston Goes To MonsterJam

Posted by Matt Terl on January 27, 2009 – 12:48 pm

It’s Super Bowl Media Day for the Steelers and the Cardinals and a seemingly-infinite pool of reporters worldwide. For the Redskins, though, it appears to be motorsports day. You’ve got Joe Gibbs not only driving a racecar, but losing control and flipping his sponsor. And you’ve got motorsports aficionado Kedric Golston reporting in from his experience over the weekend at MonsterJam at the Verizon Center.

This is something he’s been excited about at least since I last caught up with him about his offseason a couple weeks ago, so I curious to see how it actually went. (Where he offers sound effects, just trust me that they sounded better than my crude attempts to transcribe them here.)

So? How was it?

“They were real limited in space, but it’s still exciting.”

I’ve never actually been to a monster jam — run me through it. What happens?

“Introductions are a big deal. The trucks come blazing out of the tunnels, like, “Raaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!” Then the drivers stand up on their trucks to get the crowd fired up, like, ‘rah rah rah.’ After the introductions, they’ve got what they call wheelie contests, where they hit the cars but the object is to get the nose of the truck as high up in the air as possible.

“Grave Digger won the first event, and after that they have the quad wars, four-wheelers that race around, and that was fun. After that they did the racing, which is kinda like a draft race because it’s so small. They just launch, jump over the cars and the first person to –“

At this point, James Thrash interjected. “Wait, Grave Digger’s still winning?”

“Yeah,” Golston said.

Thrash shook his head, impressed. “Man, he’s been doing that for years.”

“27 years,” Golston said.

“Yeah,” Thrash said, “since back when I used to watch as a kid.”

Read more »

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Redskins Links – 1/26

Posted by Matt Terl on January 26, 2009 – 4:10 pm

  • The Curly R has the audio of a solid interview Chris Horton conducted yesterday on Sirius NFL Radio. Nothing earthshaking, but if you’re fiending to hear the voice of someone from the Redskins, this is one option.
  • Meanwhile, Rich Tandler and Mister Irrelevant look at the offseason cornerback situation, and they come to very different conclusions regarding DeAngelo Hall. Tandler, methodically going through the current players, suggests that Hall “may be growing up and that his ‘MeAngelo’ days are behind him”. Mr. I, responding to today’s reports on ProFootballTalk, offers a more succinct reaction to the idea of signing Hall: “DO NOT WANT.” (For me, I can see both sides. Hall played well and genuinely seemed to fit in well in the locker room, but I’d still be leery of breaking the bank for ANY single player in this particular market.)
  • The folks over at ExtremeSkins are breaking down the Senior Bowl with a focus on players in the Redskins’ areas of need. A useful resource whether you saw the game or not.

Read more »

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Monday, January 26: Cooking With Randy Thomas

Posted by Matt Terl on January 26, 2009 – 11:04 am

I’ve spoken to various Redskins about food before — Thanksgiving turkeys and restaurant reviews, for example — but whenever you get them talking about the best cooks in the locker room, there are three guys who get consistently mentioned: Mike Sellers, who is actually nicknamed “Big Mike Barbecue”; Jason Fabini, who mainly gets discussed for his big night at an Italian restaurant; and Randy Thomas, who just about everyone seems to regard as the all-around best cook on the team.

Even so, I didn’t realize quite how ambitious and accomplished a cook Thomas was until I got him talking on the subject — about how long he’s been cooking, about the legendary assortment of food he rolls out, about how cooking is like football, and even learning an impressive-sounding recipe for lamb chops in the process.

Tell me how you got started cooking.
“Well, it started way back when I used to sit around the kitchen when my mom was cooking. I never was one of those street guys. I was really excited to know what was for dinner, ‘when are we going to the grocery store, can I get in the cart, can I push it’ — and it just started growing, where I would experiment cooking with her. I chopped up a couple vegetable here and there, seasoned a couple meats, drop a couple things in the hot grease.” Read more »

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On January 23, Banks Says: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College

Posted by Matt Terl on January 23, 2009 – 11:51 am

As the big-name sports news sites continue to ramp up their NFL draft coverage, Don Banks at weighs in with his mock draft version 1.0. Currently, Banks and Kiper differ pretty wildly in their analysis of guys at the Redskins’ positions of need, so it should be entertaining to see who blinks in this staredown of wild and largely unfounded speculation.

Like Kiper, Banks has three offensive tackles coming off the board in the top ten picks, so he has the Redskins addressing the defensive line in the thirteen spot. Kiper’s pick for the Redskins, DE Brian Orakpo, goes off the board at #6 overall here, so Banks projects DT B.J. Raji in the spot.

But here’s the weird thing: even though both guys have three offensive tackles going in the top ten, it’s a different top three. They agree that Alabama’s Andre Smith is the top prospect (Banks has him going at #1 overall, Kiper at #2), but where Kiper has Baylor’s Jason Smith next followed by Virginia’s Eugene Monroe, Banks has Monroe next (literally next, at #2 overall) and Michael Oher the next OT off the board. Read more »

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Friday, January 23: A Minute With Fred Smoot

Posted by Matt Terl on January 23, 2009 – 9:47 am

When I saw Fred Smoot leaving Redskins Park yesterday, he was on his way to an appointment of some sort and was just on the verge of running late.

Still, he was kind enough to take a minute — one minute and thirteen seconds, actually — to explain to me about the three parts of the offseason and exactly what goes on during the nothing-nothing part. (Hint: nothing.)

%Video-157% Read more »

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On January 22, Kiper Says: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas

Posted by Matt Terl on January 22, 2009 – 1:20 pm

ESPN is gleefully hyping Mel Kiper’s mock draft, which I suppose marks their official start of NFL Draft season. I find the last two picks of the draft the most interesting — someone at ESPN has apparently determined that the Steelers are going to win the Super Bowl, but that the Cardinals will continue their ongoing transformation into Pittsburgh Southwest by drafting Pitt running back LeSean McCoy.

What affects the Redskins, though, is what Kiper has going on in his top 13. Read more »

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Thursday, January 22: Why Is Peyton Manning Funny

Posted by Matt Terl on January 22, 2009 – 11:19 am

A few weeks back, I sang the praises of Peyton Manning’s current MasterCard commercial, comparing it to some of the great Redskins ads of the past. What I didn’t do at the time was try to figure out exactly why Manning is so successfully amusing, and it’s a good thing I didn’t bother, since Sports Illustrated has brought in a professional to sort it out.

The professional in question is Bill Scheft, amusing novelist and writer for David Letterman, and he actually makes something of a study of it. He consults with even bigger-name professionals in comedy (Letterman, Alan Zweibel) and communications (the senior VP of corporate communications of Sony), and comes to four conclusions. Three of them don’t really do much for me — I think they’re either meant to be amusing or are just sort of speculative, but I think the fourth hits the nail on the head:

He takes it seriously that he’s playing a character who takes himself seriously. Manning favors the confident clueless guy, a staple of the stooge, which is appealing and disarming. But there is subtle versatility to even that thumbnail. Alan Zweibel, an Emmy Award–winning comedy writer, gets closer. “Peyton Manning makes me laugh,” Zweibel explains, “because he’s just as good at playing someone who doesn’t get it when people are being nasty toward him as he is playing someone who doesn’t care when people are being nasty toward him.” There is an uncompromising earnestness, forever propped up by questionable logic. I don’t want to rewrite anybody’s script, but Manning could have easily tagged a line like “So if sports are shot with a Sony, shouldn’t you watch them on one?” with “I’m just saying …” instead of the surreal “Chicken, no!”

This applies just as well to Manning’s SNL appearances as to his commercials, and I think it’s his greatest strength as a comedic “actor”. In fact, it’s pretty easy to draw a straight line from Will Ferrell’s stock character (Ron Burgundy, Ricky Bobby) to Peyton Manning’s commercial schtick, and I mean that as a compliment.

And I think this is what Ricky Treon misses when he tries comparing the ads of Peyton Manning to the ads of LeBron James: James seems to take himself very, very seriously, even when he’s trying to be funny. I feel like it’s extremely important to LeBron that we be amused by him, that we realize that he can do comedy, and it seems like he’s trying too hard as a result. Manning, you get the sense, couldn’t care less what we think, so he sells the humor better.

Either way, I’m glad Scheft broke this dilemma down so I didn’t have to. Now I can watch endless Sony Bravia commercials without wasting brainpower wondering why I’m amused.

(Hat tip to The Big Lead.) Read more »

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