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A Redskins-Cowboys Game As Some Kind Of Cold War Metaphor

Posted by Matt Terl on April 15, 2011 – 2:05 pm


The events that led to this post are random and not particularly interesting, but the post itself is so arbitrary that I feel it warrants some explanation. So here’s how it came about:

    1) Former Redskins Blog combine correspondent Jordan Beane sends me a Kids In The Hall clip featuring a guy in a Redskins jacket, thinking it might make potential blog material.

    2) Googling to find background on that, I stumble across this ancient ExtremeSkins thread about mentions of the Redskins in popular culture.

    3) For some reason, the description of the episode of It Takes A Thief — a forty year-old spy show starring Robert Wagner — jumps out at me, so I find the episode on Hulu. (I should note that, by sheer coincidence, this episode first aired exactly 43 years ago to the day.)

    4) I decide to watch every episode of It Takes A Thief ever and then write a script for a modern remake, which will star Jon Hamm and make us all wealthy. (NOTE: Have not yet completed this step.)

    5) I take a bunch of screenshots and present them (and the relevant portion of the video, above) to you here.

The premise of It Takes A Thief is straightforward enough — after forty-odd years, it borders on cliche. Here’s how MSN TV sums it up:

Convicted cat burglar Alexander Mundy gets an offer he can’t refuse from the United States government: If he puts his formidable thieving skills to work for them, he’ll be released from prison. Alexander’s dad, Alister, sometimes comes out of retirement as a thief to help his son on special jobs.

But the concept is elevated to the level of pure awesome because it’s made from 1968 to 1970, so it’s got a ton of style, as in this amazing opening credits sequence. And from the snippets I’ve watched, it’s a cheesily well-executed show all around.

In fact, the Redskins segment — which covers the first several minutes of the episode The Great Chess Gambit, and which I’ve posted above if you feel like watching it — is a perfect example of that half-ridiculous, half-audacious brio. The background is this: a bomber carrying nuclear weapons springs a fuel leak, a problem that’s clearly to going to necessitate some serious second-act heroics. Meanwhile, Al Mundy — presumably the eventual hero — is taking in a Redskins game.

What results is a cross-cutting overlay of football narration explaining the action on the plane, and a general explaining the situation on the plane in language that applies to the football game. It’s all very clever, except for the parts that don’t really make any sense at all.

And those parts begin at the very first shot of the game. Allegedly, Al Mundy is at D.C. Stadium, which makes sense (and is necessary to the plot) as his character is based out of D.C. Play-by-play announcer Chick Hearn makes that doubly clear by intoning, “DC Stadium, ladies and gentlemen. Chick Hearn reporting.”

(The late Hearn is a legend for his work as play-by-play man for the L.A. Lakers, but if he actually called any NFL games, it’s not mentioned in his AP obituary or on his Wikipedia page.)

Then the game kicks off and the ball sails over this mid-field marker: Read more »

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Mock Drafts: Someone Pretty Much HAS To Be Right [Updated]

Posted by Matt Terl on April 15, 2011 – 11:05 am

It’s taken me awhile to figure out why I’m so burned out on NFL Mock Drafts this year. I knew it had something to do with the sheer volume of information out there, the way everyone who watches football has managed to contribute to a mock draft or two, but it finally crystallized for me today while I was looking at DC Pro Sports Report’s absolutely indispensable Mock Draft Database.

Generally, I use this resource to see who the popular picks are at the Redskins spot (wide receiver Julio Jones continues to lead; he’s the Redskins pick in 46% of mocks, according to DCPSR). Today, I realized that what’s been bothering me all season has nothing to do with who’s getting the MOST votes — instead, it’s about the simple NUMBER of guys that show up as potential Redskins selections. Talking about “sheer volume of information” is one thing, but it’s another thing to look at an actual list of thirty twenty-nine names.

No, really. THIRTY. Seriously, TWENTY-NINE. [UPDATED because Da’quan Bowers and Daquan Bowers were counted as two different people, which is probably not right.] Check it out:

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Hail! Looks At A Soon-To-Be Hall Of Famer

Posted by Matt Terl on April 15, 2011 – 9:27 am

There are a lot of things I’m enjoying about these Hail! Throwbacks. First and foremost, I love seeing writer/artist Ben Ceccarelli’s renditions of Redskins greats. I’m also enjoying seeing Ceccarelli explore an entirely different area of the rich tradition of the Redskins. This week, I’m amused by the representation of Cartoon Me in the third panel, which is terrifyingly accurate.

But the main thing I’m digging about this week’s strip has nothing to do with Ben’s work at all: I’m just enjoying the reminder that, yes, Chris Hanburger has finally been elected to the Hall Of Fame.

As always, click on this first panel or the Read More link to see the rest of the strip.

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