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Some End-of-Tuesday Notes

Posted by Matt Terl on December 15, 2009 – 6:35 pm

Just a few notes from today, to make sure you’re up to speed on what happened while I was sitting on the lovely Capital Beltway:

  • Vote! Vote for Brian Orakpo for Pepsi Rookie of the Week! Vote Jason Campbell for FedEx Air Player of the Week! Vote London Fletcher, Andre Carter, and Orakpo for the Pro Bowl! Vote vote vote!
  • Albert Haynesworth can rest easy: the NFL found no tampering in the Redskins’ signing of the big defensive tackle.
  • The team today cut offensive lineman D’Anthony Batiste and signed linebacker Curtis Gatewood from the Pittsburgh practice squad; Gatewood spent some time on the Redskins practice squad last year.
  • Jim Zorn talked on the radio today, as he does on Tuesdays, and took responsibility for the decision to have Antwaan Randle El back there on the punt. John Keim has the transcription.

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Clinton Portis Discusses The Holidays. Oh, And His Future.

Posted by Matt Terl on December 15, 2009 – 1:16 pm

As I noted earlier, charity is the centerpiece of any holiday season. Today marked the Skins Santa Shoppe Holiday Toy and Book Giveaway, put on annually by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and Toys For Tots, which provided toys and books to children in need from 19 area schools and eight community groups.

One of the Redskins players in attendance was injured running back Clinton Portis, who talked about the importance of these kinds of events.

“I mean, it’s just exciting, man,” he said. “You think back to when you were eight, you know, fortunate for me I never really knew outside of Mississippi and I got gifts and never went a Christmas without. But then to become a grown man, a successful man, and you look back and you see poverty-sticken neighborhoods, you see kids who are unfortunate … it makes you grateful for everything that you did [get].

“I remember that I used to get mad because I didn’t get a dirtbike or a moped, and I got everything else,” Portis continued. “I got whatever the new system was, the Super Nintendo, the Super Tecmo Bowl and all the games that came with it, but I would be stubborn and selfish just because I didn’t get a moped for Christmas or I didn’t get this for Christmas. And you sit and look today and kids are appreciative of getting skateboards, and that just made their day, you look back and just be thankful for it.”

Good to see Portis out and about, and I can’t imagine what more people would rather have heard him say.

Oh, wait, you’re wondering how he’s doing, and about all that stuff last week where it sounded like his career was over? Yeah, I guess he mentioned that too. More after the jump.

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Redskins Distribute (And Discuss) Coats

Posted by Matt Terl on December 15, 2009 – 11:02 am

It’s the holiday season, so I’ll be heading out to a Santa-themed charitable event at FedExField today. But Antwaan Randle El was ahead of that curve: on Friday, his El Foundation partnered with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation to hold his “Randle El Warms Up Washington’s Youth” event at a local Macy’s, giving away 300 coats to underserved area youth alongside a bunch of his teammates.

December in this area isn’t all holiday cheer; we all know how bitterly cold it can get. So the gift of winter coats is a valuable one, something Randle El understands. “They certainly deserve these coats and need these coats,” he said Friday. “And it’s a good thing. It not only warms their bodies with the coats, it warms their hearts too knowing that somebody is thinking of them.”

But we all know that — even for kids who need them — coats are about more than just warmth. There are all sorts of style and status implications of a new coat, or at least there were back in the day.

“My favorite coat growing up was the Starter coat,” Randle El said. “I never had a Starter coat, but that was the coat I wanted. I would’ve wanted the Chicago Bears Starter coat. I never got one, but that’s the one I would want.”

He wasn’t the only one who had that response.

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Tuesday, December 15: Quinton Ganther, Folk Hero

Posted by Matt Terl on December 15, 2009 – 9:32 am

I was sitting in my hotel room in Palo Alto Sunday morning, deeply perplexed by what the the time change had done to the TV schedule (“Wait, it’s 7:00, why are they showing actual football stuff instead of pointless hunting shows?!?”) when Matthew Berry, ESPN’s Talented Mister Roto, appeared and started yammering about new Redskins starter Quinton Ganther as one of his sleepers of the week.

I don’t often take fantasy football advice from people on the TV, because I’m perfectly capable of failing catastrophically all on my own, thanks, but apparently that feeling puts me in the minority. Because at some point in the last few days, between Ganther being pitched as a sleeper and Ganther racking up 93 total yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, he’s become the Chuck Norris of the ESPN Fantasy Football message boards.

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