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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.
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