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FedExField Seats Gone, In More Ways Than One

Posted by Matt Terl on June 24, 2011 – 4:42 pm

The removed seats from FedExField that were being sold for charity are now sold out. All the available seats have been spoken for, and must be picked up from FedExField at 9:00 a.m. on July 22 of this year. If you missed out, though, there’s still hope: any of the spoken-for seats that go unclaimed on that day will be available for sale at the stadium on a first-come, first-served basis.

In the meantime, I’ve put a few of the straight-on shots of the seat removal into this one animated GIF. It’s not perfect, but it’s a pretty cool look at those sections going away.

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Doug Williams On Jimmer Fredette And Racism In The NBA

Posted by Brian Tinsman on June 24, 2011 – 12:15 pm

I watched last night’s NBA Draft mainly to see what the Wizards did — which, for what it’s worth, I liked. Here’s Brian Tinsman with a slightly more nuanced read on the subject.

[UPDATE: The original headline on this piece was “Doug Williams Attacks Reverse-Racism in the NBA”; a couple of commenters pointed out that this headline implied that racism is ONLY bias against non-white people. I’ve adjusted it accordingly, and dialed back the “attacks” as being a bit over-the-top.]

When it comes to beating stereotypes and overcoming the odds in sports, who better to talk to than Super Bowl-winning quarterback Doug Williams?

Last night’s 2011 NBA Draft saw sensational BYU shooting guard Jimmer Fredette taken 10th overall by the Sacramento Kings, via the Milwaukee Bucks. In case you are immune to March Madness, Fredette is pretty awesome, and won all versions of the NCAA National Player of the Year award.

Fredette also happens to be Caucasian, 6-2, 195 pounds, and possessed of an average vertical leap, which was enough for many to write him off.

Not so fast says Williams, the first African-American quarterback to ever win the Super Bowl. Talking to Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com, Williams said that racial overtones surround white NBA players just as they did African-American quarterbacks:

“It’s unfortunate that some people, whether it’s the media or outside forces, will always look at athletes from a black and white standpoint,” said Doug Williams, the man who helped crush the vile stereotype that African-Americans couldn’t make for winning quarterbacks.

“When I was playing football, an African-American quarterback didn’t have as much time to prove he can play. It’s unfortunate that [Fredette] might have to deal with the same thing in the NBA.”

Williams knows all too well what the odds are against Fredette being given that opportunity. He did, however, express some hope that the stigmas in sports were giving way to more open minds:

“In the NFL the quarterback position was only for whites, regardless of what you did, and I think that’s now changed,” said Williams, the head coach at his alma mater, Grambling State.

“But there was pressure on me as a black quarterback, and I think unfortunately there will be pressure on this Fredette kid to put up good numbers as a rookie so that people don’t question whether he can succeed in a sport where most of the great players have been African-American.

Just as Williams did not want to be judged for his color, he’s never let that cloud his judgment of athletes in any sport:

“For me, it’s never been about color. I love how Tom Brady and Peyton Manning play, and I like Josh Freeman, too. The color of an athlete should never matter.”

Williams is living proof that athletic talent is colorblind. He was a pioneer for other African-Americans at the quarterback position, and showed that opportunities should be based on ability. Hopefully Fredette can be successful in the NBA and open the door of opportunity for others.

Enjoy a dose of “Jimmer Fever”:

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DeAngelo Hall Nominated For An ESPY Award

Posted by Matt Terl on June 24, 2011 – 10:55 am

After DeAngelo Hall intercepted four Jay Cutler passes this year, all but single-handedly winning the game — and after Cutler made a few unchartiable coments about Hall’s abilities — Hall half-jokingly told the NFL Network that “if I had to play Jay Cutler every week, man, I’d be in the Hall of Fame.”

Shortly after that, Hall’s jersey did indeed make the trip to Canton. Then Hall himself went to the Pro Bowl in Hawai’i, where he earned the game’s MVP award. And that seemed like it was all the awards the sometimes- controversial cornerback could expect for the 2010 season.

ESPN apparently disagrees: they’ve got one last 2010 awards show, and that means Hall’s got a shot at one more award. ESPN has named Hall as one of the three nominees for the “NFL Strongest Performance” ESPY award. Not only that, but you can vote for Hall here.

The show airs July 13, which a countdown clock helpfully informs us is just over nineteen days away. So get votin’.

In other D.C.-related ESPY news, one of the show’s commercials features Wizards point guard John Wall in a dance-off with Packers DT B.J. Raji, which is kind of amusing. Check it out after the jump.

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Hail! Throwback: Joe Bugel

Posted by Matt Terl on June 24, 2011 – 8:48 am

I’m hesitant to even write these words for fear of jinxing the situation, but for the first time in recent memory almost NONE of the drama swirling around the D.C. sports scene has anything to do with the Redskins. Managers are retiring, Czechs are getting drafted … and we’re free to just kick back and enjoy one of writer/artist Ben Ceccarelli‘s finest Hail! comic strips to date.

As always, click the first panel or the Read More link to see the rest of the strip. And for more great Joe Bugel hijinx, go here. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll just be over here knocking furiously on wood to negate that first paragraph jinx.

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