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A Former Redskin On Menu At ‘The Dons”

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 19, 2011 – 10:50 pm

If anyone wants a taste of the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, The Dons’ Wood-Fired Pizza in Sterling might be the place to go.

Over the last several years, Dons’ owner, Waleed Zarou, has become friends with former Redskins cornerback Darrell Green, who frequents his pizzeria.  Now he’s part of the menu, with a panini bearing his Hall of Fame initials: “The D.G.”

“He’s a regular around here, and he swings through here at the 50,000 mph speed that he operates on,” Zarou said with a chuckle.  “He came through one day and he said, ‘Man, make me something, whatever you feel like.  Whatever you think I’d like.’ Read more »

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Redskins Players Serve Slice Of Happiness

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 19, 2011 – 10:04 pm

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Pizza lovers of all ages poured into The Dons’ Wood-Fired Pizza to celebrate the holiday spirit with free pizza as part of the third annual “Pizza Christmas Dinner.”

Redskins players Kedric Golston and Logan Paulsen greeted patrons at the door with two slices of pizza, and sent them down the line.  Graham Gano stood behind them and received fresh pizzas coming out of the oven.

For once, it was a good thing for Gano to slice one.

Lorenzo Alexander, Rocky McIntosh and Roy Helu were on hand to provide drinks at the end of the line, and donations were put in a giant stocking for Africa Missions.  Guests were entertained by Christmas carols from professional recording artist Amy Jo and Friends.

I’m a sucker for authentic Italian food, and this is some of the best I’ve had.  On top of that, I made the acquaintance of The Dons’ owner, Waleed Zarou.  But Waleed doesn’t have just acquaintances–to know him is to befriend him.

This is an event that is very close to Zarou’s heart, as he worked as a missionary, “when [he] was a young, single man.”  Having a fundraiser for a humanitarian cause is a combination of his passion for pizza and people.

“The holidays are supposed to be a happy time for a lot of people, but I’ve also noticed that it’s been a hard time for a lot of people.  I’ve got this great restaurant, and I thought, ‘Why not invite everyone out here so people don’t feel left out?'” Read more »

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Santa Shoppe Starts Friendly Competitions

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 19, 2011 – 5:44 pm

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Given the short practice week and Saturday game, everything in the normal NFL week has been moved up a day.

So happy Tuesday to all of you.

Tuesdays are a day for players to give back, which is precisely what they did this morning at the “Skins Santa Shoppe” at FedExField.  The event is held in the locker room, and 1,100 area school children get to walk through with their favorite Redskins player and pick out their favorite toy for the holidays.

The toys are supplied by the Redskins in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps and the Touchdown for Tots toy drive.

Redskins players Oshiomogho Atogwe, Brandon Banks, Travon Bellamy, Chris Chester, Reed Doughty, Chris Neild, Cole Pemberton, Markus White, Erik Cook, Nick Sundberg, Ryan Kerrigan, Darrel Young, Rob Jackson helped underserved kids that might not otherwise get what they want for the holidays.

“It’s just fun that the kids get to come out and have it here in our locker rooms, meet some of the players, Santa’s here, get to pick out a toy, and just make it a totally enjoyable day for them,” said Redskins safety Reed Doughty.

Looking around the room at the over-sized boxes of toys, lollipops, horses and candy canes, he added: “This is a whole different atmosphere in here.  I think it’s cool that they have it in here, where the kids get a better look at where we play, but I don’t get any nerves walking in here today.”

And neither did the rest of the crew.  Maybe it was yesterday’s win, maybe it was the holiday spirit, or maybe it was everyone’s inner child coming out–but the players might have had more fun with the toys than the kids.

The biggest hit of the day were the NRG yo-yos that were handed out in addition to the toys.  For most of the young players on the team, this harkens back to elementary and middle school when yo-yos were the coolest toy ever.

Let’s just say that some players still had skills…and some just had enthusiasm:

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Give Blood, Get Free Redskins Tickets!

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 19, 2011 – 4:22 pm

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The Red Cross and the Redskins are hosting a blood drive at Life Time Fitness in Centreville, Va. on Wed., Dec. 21st from 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.

All participants will get one free ticket to the Redskins-Vikings game this Saturday, Dec. 24th!  There will also be special appearances by legendary Redskins Gary Clark and Ravin Caldwell, and a visit by two Redskins Cheerleaders.

Call 1-800-REDCROSS to register now or learn more at www.redcrossblood.org/redskins.  Because tickets go fast, appointments are strongly encouraged.

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Taking A Bite Out Of The Big Apple

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 19, 2011 – 2:56 pm

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When the Redskins beat the Giants in Week 1, the result was a share of first place in the division.  The team was healthy, the rookies were contributing in a limited role, and there was a lot of reason for what-if speculation.

When the rematch occurred three months later, the Redskins were eliminated from playoff contention and playing for respect–something that no one wanted to give to them.  Of the starting 11 on offense from Week 1, only five took the field on the starting drive.  Those rookies that had contributed sparingly in round one were now starters, and some of the third string and practice squad players were seeing quality minutes.

In the end, the difference yesterday was not in the players’ resolve, or the preparation and game plan of the team.  The difference was actually in the results.

In the hostile environment of a division-leading team, the Redskins played their best all-around football game of the season, jumping out to a 17-0 lead and never looking back.

The offense registered the team’s largest lead of the season at 20 points, when the score was 23-3.  They were able to run the ball when they wanted to, throw the ball when they needed to, and control the clock for 35 minutes, nearly two and one-half minutes longer than Week 1.

On defense, they held Eli Manning without a completion in the first quarter for the first time in his career.  He was intercepted three times by the Redskins for the first time in 15 career games.

Given the length of time between the two games this season, the Giants are the ideal measuring stick for the Redskins’ progress.  As nose tackle Barry Cofield told his teammates after the game, that is the way that this team is capable of playing every week.

With two games left, the Redskins need to prove that to themselves, and find ways to win in the last two weeks of the season.  At 2-12, the Vikings represent the first team that the Redskins have played with an inferior record since the Miami Dolphins in Week 10.  With three weeks left in the 2011 season, it’s not too late for statements, and it’s the perfect time to put together a winning streak.

Here are the statistical highlights from yesterday’s win: Read more »

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