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Happy Halloween From 1993 And Joe "Frankenstein" Jacoby

Posted by Matt Terl on October 30, 2009 – 2:35 pm

This was just a bit of serendipitous timing.

Yesterday, with Halloween coming up, I was going through a drawer here in Redskins Park on a completely unrelated — and, frankly, boring — errand when I came across a press packet for something called Coca-Cola Monsters of the Gridiron.

Monsters of the Gridiron was an ad campaign from 1993 that involved 29 players being elaborately made over into mildly entertaining pseudo-horror characters. There were prizes, TV ads and radio spots, giant cardboard displays (like the one pictured to the right), and a call-in game.

I remember none of it.

(There’s a reason for the odd number of players: it’s one from each of the 28 teams at the time, plus then-Cowboys defensive lineman Tony Casillas — as “Conde [Count] Casillas” — doing the Spanish-language version of the ad; he’s listed on the Coca-Cola News Release Fact Sheet as “Hispanic player/monster,” as compared to “National player/monster” Randall “Rocket Man” Cunningham. 1993 suddenly seems like a VERY long time ago.)

The Redskins representative for this promotion — which, according to the press release, “combines America’s number one sport with the country’s most popular soft drink in an effort that is sure leave football fans ‘trance-fixed’ to their favorite games,” a phrase that is almost completely meaningless — was none other than offensive tackle and original Hog Joe Jacoby.

Jacoby was in his last year in the league at the time, the final act to what would in any just world have been a Hall of Fame career, so “undergoing several hours of extensive make-up and costuming” — again, per the press release — to look like a football-playing Frankenstein, complete with enormous square football helmet, probably seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea.

The press release breathlessly assures us that the monstrous alter-ego “accentuates each player’s most notorious personality traits.”

For example, Cunningham was “Rocket Man” because was an incredibly gifted scrambler. Ronnie Lott was “Rattler,” presumably because his legendary hits left opponents “rattled”. I guess Tom Rathman’s dominant personality trait was sheer lunacy, because his alter-ego was “Psycho”. Craig “Iron Head” Heyward was “Iron Head” because his nickname was “Iron Head”. And so on.

So I guess Jacoby was notorious for being a stiff, shambling monster of a man with an outsized square head. Nice.

Somehow, that’s not quite as awesome as “Rocket Man,” but it’s still vastly better than Steelers QB Neil O’Donnell, whose “Night Raider” moniker sounds just a little questionable in hindsight.

More pictures, and a full list of players and their nicknames, below. Read more »

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Rocky McIntosh Loves Football

Posted by Matt Terl on October 30, 2009 – 9:59 am

I sometimes think that — despite the paintball and the roller coasters and all that — it doesn’t quite come across just what an interesting character linebacker Rocky McIntosh can be.

Fortunately, the magic of internet videos will help alleviate that concern. Here’s the new welcome video for Rocky’s website, in which he attempts to convey how much he loves football. And goofy dancing and Scrabble, but mainly football.

http://p.castfire.com/GVrsz/video/183471/redskins_2009-10-29-160216.flv Read more »

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Friday, October 30: Some Links For Friday Morning

Posted by Matt Terl on October 30, 2009 – 8:51 am

Many of these were originally intended to be some links for Thursday afternoon. Oh well.

The injury to Chris Cooley is bad for a lot of reasons, not least because he’s the second Pro Bowl player the Redskins have lost to injury this season. But if there’s one small good thing that’s come out of it, it’s been the way Chris and his brother Tanner have been handling this turn of events on their blog.

Usually, you hear that an athlete got surgery for one ailment or another and all sounds much, much easier than it is for us everyday folks. Tanner’s recounting of Chris’s day of surgery clearly showed how that isn’t the case: the same fluorescent-lit hospital rooms, the same hospital gown, the same nervous meals in the hospital cafeteria. It doesn’t have the comedy value of Cooley pumping gas in full uniform or bizarro appeal of the Cooley’s burning a horse, but it really may be the most interesting thing the Cooleys have posted yet.

Also, today: a Comcast video showing what Chris is up to, and the excerpt from Redskins Nation in which head coach Jim Zorn talks about watching Chris’s surgery.

More links…. Read more »

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Thursday, October 29: A New Redskins Prosthetic Leg

Posted by Matt Terl on October 29, 2009 – 12:43 pm

I was a little confused when I met Army Sergeant Kevin Brown a few weeks back, at an event benefiting the Redskins Charitable Foundation. Brown was having the Redskins players and alumni at the event sign his Redskins-themed prosthetic right leg, but that wasn’t what was confusing: what was confusing was that I was sure that I had seen him before, but that he had a DIFFERENT Redskins-themed prosthetic right leg.

Turns out I was correct; Brown was a visitor at training camp back in 2008, and I spoke to him very briefly then. (Dan Steinberg also blogged about him at the time.)

Turns out that Brown is on to his THIRD Redskins-themed prosthetic. “I had one last year that has the Super Bowl rings on it,” he said; that’s the one that was at training camp last year. “But unfortunately limbs, with heat and change and surgery and stuff… well, things change. So I can’t fit that one anymore, and I had to retire it. It has a lot of signatures on it, so it was gonna be put away anyway. This is the new one.”

Brown served in Iraq but lost his leg, ironically, in a motorcycle accident AFTER returning home.
Read more »

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Wednesday, October 28: Someone Else Doesn't Know Why Fred Davis Jumps

Posted by Matt Terl on October 28, 2009 – 4:51 pm

When Fred Davis made a catch during the game Monday night, I mentioned on Twitter that he “really loves to jump in the air for no discernible reason, doesn’t he?” A couple of people agreed with me, and that was that. But the question sort of nagged at me: why DOES Davis seem to jump in the air every time he catches the ball, regardless of field position, down, distance, or any other details like that.

On Tuesday, I finally bit the bullet and asked him, and I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Read more »

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Your T-Shirts Are Okay With FedExField. Also, Lots Of Mike Wise and Dave Donovan

Posted by Matt Terl on October 27, 2009 – 6:32 pm

It’s not often that the Redskins Chief Operating Officer, David Donovan, finds himself battling the host of a local sportstalk radio show. So when it happens, I figure it’s worth going into stenographer mode for at least a chunk of it. The discussion was wide-ranging and, especially during the second half, lively bordering on heated.

It was also long, and one thing that got alluded to but not resolved were the questions about what is and isn’t allowed into FedExField, which has spiraled on blogs and message boards into questions of stadium censorship and drawn exciting comparisons to fascist dictatorships.

I figured I should start by talking to Donovan about those things, just to get them squared away moving forward, so here they are as clearly as I could determine them.

Banners and signs are not allowed FedExField. Yes, as Dan Steinberg spotted, this policy has undergone a change; I’m told it’s because banners were blocking people’s view, jabbing at people, and just generally getting in the way.

(Donovan says as much during the interview, in fact, in a portion that isn’t transcribed below. So here it is: “The banners, we do have a prohibition against signs and banners in the stadium, and we don’t care what they say. We take them down. They get in the way of other people viewing the game, and people get poked in the head — that stuff happens. We have an absolute prohibition; we don’t care what they say.”)

Whatever the reason, this is pretty cut and dried at this point. No banners.

However, your T-shirts are allowed as long as they don’t feature profanity, and much of what reportedly went down Monday night with the confiscating of shirts should not have happened. Here’s Donovan’s direct quote to me:

“Our policy regarding messages on T-shirts and other clothing is simple: if it doesn’t display profanity, it’s fine,” he said. “It’s not our policy to regulate clothing based on the message it displays. We’ve heard the anecdotal reports that some stadium personnel were being over-zealous in their handling of this matter Monday night. We apologize to any fans who were inconvenienced as well as fans who were distressed by the reports, and we’ll be working with all stadium employees to be certain that the policy is correctly enforced at future games at FedExField.”

There. Now that THAT’S sorted out, on to the transcript. What’s here is the second half of the interview; the first half primarily concerned how many Redskins fans were in attendance Monday night, compared to what the Washington Post — for which Wise is a sports columnist — predicted. I’ve omitted that, because I’ve already written my thoughts on the subject.

But the second half is where things get prickly, where Donovan and Wise start debating the Post’s coverage of the team — including the stories about sales to ticket brokers and suing fans — so that’s what’s after the jump. Read more »

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The Whole Calling-Plays-From-The-Booth Thing Was Not A Debacle

Posted by Matt Terl on October 27, 2009 – 11:04 am

Yes, we’ve reached the point of the season where “was not a debacle” is high praise.

Anyhow, I’ve heard from a few people that the Redskins play-calling chain — Sherm Lewis in the booth radioing to Sherm Smith on the sidelines radioing to Jason Campbell on the field — was the subject of some skepticism during last night’s TV broadcast.

And why not? It was the subject of some skepticism here as well.

Here’s what Sherm Smith said about the procedure on Thursday:
Read more »

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Tuesday, October 27: Albert Haynesworth's Inspirational Post-Game Quotes

Posted by Matt Terl on October 27, 2009 – 6:12 am

Albert Haynesworth is not exactly known for inspirational speeches. In fact, when the Redskins signed him this offseason, the main knocks against him were that he isn’t a big effort guy, he takes plays off, and he’s not exactly a leader.

Having watched him for about half a season now, I would completely disagree with the first assertion (he exerts tremendous effort), conditionally disagree with the second (exerting that effort does cause him to take himself out of the game), and the third … well, that’s complicated.

After last week’s loss to the Chiefs, Haynesworth gave a thundering locker room speech that seemed meant to inspire and terrify his teammates in equal measure. It wasn’t the classic motivational locker room oration, but it certainly displayed the kind of fire the Redskins are occasionally accused of lacking.

This week was … something of a different story. Read more »

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Fred Davis Will Be Rescheduling His Vacay

Posted by Matt Terl on October 27, 2009 – 1:24 am

Second-year tight end Fred Davis — one of the high points of a low evening — pretty much established his reputation with Redskins fans when he overslept his alarm clock and missed the last day of his first minicamp: nice guy, affable, but bit on the carefree side for an NFL player. And in my encounters with him, that’s about how he came across.

He got a bit more serious heading into this year, but by the time the season started he still seemed — not to go all Brett Favre on you — like a kid out there.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him quite as focused as he was in the locker room after tonight’s game, the best of his career. Playing in relief of Chris Cooley (out for an undetermined amount of time with this), Davis caught 8 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. So naturally his locker room demeanor was mild shellshock.
Read more »

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Redskins vs. Eagles – Fourth Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on October 26, 2009 – 11:51 pm

There were bad things about this game. Lots of them. And I’m sure those will be more than adequately covered, here and elsewhere, through the bye week and into the next one. So here are the good things I can think of from this game. Don’t worry, it shouldn’t take you long to read.

  • The fans, who came out strong and stood by the team until things seemed to be genuinely out of reach. I don’t mean to keep harping on this, but with Philadelphia so nearby and all the other things swirling all week, simple normalcy was a pleasant surprise.
  • Devin Thomas finally showed up a bit, with three catches for 45 yards and touchdown, and Fred Davis had 8 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. Of course, Davis was able to do that because of the injury to Chris Cooley, and he still has that tendency to jump unnecessarily, but at least he’s finally getting involved.
  • Andre Carter continued his strong season with a sack, and — no matter what anyone says — Albert Haynesworth continues to do well, collecting a sack of his own.
  • The defense had another solid game, believe it or not, giving up exactly zero second half points.

And that’s about it. That’s what I’ve got. Oh, wait: Brian Mitchell, who absolutely deserved to be inducted into the Ring of Fame, and gave an emotional and classy speech on the occasion. That was nice, but really had nothing to do with the 2009 team.

Off to the locker room, which I’m sure will be a shiny, happy place. Read more »

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