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Players’ Thoughts As Kickoff Approaches

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 24, 2011 – 1:02 pm

No matter what faith or creed you follow, it is Christmas Eve today, so a Merry Christmas Eve, one and all.  As the Redskins make their way onto the field through the tunnel, here are the thoughts that are on their minds and Twitter accounts:


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Players Invest In Christmas With Redskins

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 14, 2011 – 1:53 pm

The holiday season is full of Redskins charity events throughout the DMV region.  Whether it’s a coat for a child, Thanksgiving dinner, or a meal for the homeless, the Redskins players are at the forefront of giving.

But not very often do the players have the opportunity to provide the cheer that brightens a child’s day, like they do at Darrell Green’s annual “Christmas with the Redskins.”

At this particular event, the players and other various members of the organization are given a name and picture of their appointed child, and they go out and buy that child shoes, clothes, and a unique gift.  Then, with the help of Ms. BJ Blanchard, the front desk receptionist at Redskins Park, they wrap the gifts in festive holiday paper and head off to deliver.

This might be the most uniquely personal act of giving that the players get to partake in, and as Green describes it, the blessing is on the part of the players that get involved.

“The privilege is ours, don’t kid yourself,” he said with a smile.  “This is the Super Bowl 12 times, meaning every time you go, the one you’re playing in is the most-special one.  The joy that we get–we’re the ones getting the blessing.”

For some players, events like this hit close to home, because they can identify with the situation that some of these children grow up in.

“I’ve been in his position before, I remember what Christmas was like,” said receiver Niles Paul.  “I’m gonna get him something nice and not just something that fits the criteria.”

Check out more of the Christmas magic, below: Read more »

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Redskins Thank Naval, Army Academies

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 13, 2011 – 2:14 pm

After a very successful Army-Navy game at FedExField on Saturday, the Redskins reached out to the respective military academies to thank them for helping to make this possible.

Today in Navy’s local paper, the Captial Gazette, and on Thursday in Army’s paper, the Pointer Review, this following advertisement will run, thanking the institutions and the fans:

Given the logical proximity to the Nation’s Capital, let’s hope that FedExField is a regular location for one of this county’s greatest sporting events.

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Frenzied Post-Game Excitement For Navy

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 10, 2011 – 6:57 pm

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As the clock ticked down at on the Army-Navy game at FedExField, I had the rare opportunity to stand on the sidelines near the tunnel as the game ended.  On Sundays, this is the tunnel that players take off the field, and standing there when the clock hits zero puts you right in the way.

For college football, this is prime real estate.

With about two minutes to go, it was almost certain that the hometown Navy crowd was going to go home happy, bringing the assembled Midshipmen to a fever pitch.  In the end, Navy punted and the ball was down at the 10-yard line with two seconds on the clock.

In a game that featured a combined five-for-nine for 90 yards through the air, how many 90-yard offensive plays do you think they have in the playbook?

This is the final play, spotlighting the Navy mascot, Bill the Goat:

Game over: Navy 27, Army 21.  The Midshipmen have now pulled off a decade of dominance, winning the last 10 contests.  The chant that rose from the stands was “Ten More Years!”

It was officially time for one of the proudest moments in all of sports: the singing of the alma maters.  First the West Point Military Academy: Read more »

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FedExField Has An All-American Makeover

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 10, 2011 – 4:23 pm

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While most of Redskins Nation is anxiously awaiting Sunday’s kickoff at 1 p.m., FedExField is hosting part one of the weekend double-header with the 112th annual Army-Navy game, sponsored by USAA.

The stadium has undergone an intense makeover, from both of the endzones and goalposts, to the hashmarks on the field, and the walls that line the field.  The traditionally Burgundy and Gold-clad crowd has been swapped for Cadets and Midshipmen–and their respective supporters.

One of the highlights of the pageantry that makes this game so special, is the academies’ respective marches onto the field.  Once the students are assembled, they chant traditional cheers and the fans cheer.

Today, the visiting Cadets took the field first.  If you listen closely, you can hear the jeering of the pro-Navy fans on that sideline:

After the Cadets had completely filed off the field, the Midshipmen took the field.  I didn’t do it on purpose, but in my travels, I ended up on the Army sideline.  This way, you get the full effect of the Army jeers for the Midshipmen filing off the field:

Don’t mind glimpses of my hand in the corner of your screen. If not for my hand, you wouldn’t see anything.

For any football fan, it doesn’t get much better than this.  For any blue-blooded American, this is the ideal setting for America’s oldest rivalry.

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Staubach At Home In House Of Redskins

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 10, 2011 – 3:21 pm

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In an odd twist of circumstance, former Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach is at FedExField today, celebrating a home game for his Navy Midshipmen.

The possibilities are endless in an Army-Navy game.

Although Redskins fans will always remember Staubach for the 11-7 record he had against Washington, he was a beloved Heismann winner in Annapolis, and a classy testament to his military background.  He may go down as the only Cowboy that Redskins fans do and should respect.

As a younger member of Redskins Nation, I have a slightly different perspective of Staubach, having never seen him play.  But that’s not to say that he’s not part of my family lore.

My great-uncle Chuck, on my mother’s side, was a career Navy chaplain, and spent part of his career stationed at the Naval Academy’s chapel in the early 1960s.    According to family legend, Roger Staubach–a devout Catholic–would go to the chapel on a regular basis during his free time, to pray and reflect. Read more »

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A Deep Redskins’ Army-Navy Connection

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 10, 2011 – 2:28 pm

Joe Bellino (AP Image)

Tomorrow may be the Redskins-Patriots game, but the football action is starting a day early at FedExField, with today’s 112th annual Army-Navy game, presented by USAA.

This is the first time that “America’s Game” has been played in the Nation’s Capital, but for what it’s worth, there is a Redskins connection to this game that goes beyond the venue.  For some of you Redskins historians, you may remember that the Redskins have drafted a total of three players from the two academies.  Then again, you might not remember them as Redskins:

Hank Foldberg, Army, 3rd round (1947), E

Drafted in the third round of the 1947 Draft, Foldberg never played a down for the Redskins and ended up in the All-American Football Conference, playing a season each for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Chicago Hornets.

That should ring a bell. Read more »

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Hail! And Atmospheric Miscommunication

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 9, 2011 – 11:16 am

I’m no meteorologist (I just play one on gameday), but since the beginning of the season it has been gorgeous on most Tuesday days off, and it has rained Redskins and Cowboys on almost every Wednesday.

As a fan of fair weather (not a fair-weather fan), it would be comically predictable if it weren’t so depressingly predictable.

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, Ashburn, Va. was hit by 3.1 inches of rain, which is approximately 31-times the historical average for that date.  As a result, the Redskins were forced to practice off-site, which was expressed to players and coaches upon their arrival, early that morning.

In this week’s edition of Ben Ceccareli’s Hail! comic, he ponders the possibility of players hearing the news wrong: Read more »

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Guide To Army-Navy Pregame Ceremonies

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 7, 2011 – 3:14 pm

To anyone with tickets to this Saturday’s Army-Navy game at FedExField, you’re going to want to arrive early and take in all of the pageantry of the game.  Indeed, this game is much more than a game, and much closer to an All-American Football Event that fans won’t want to miss.

The respective military academy bands will get into action around 11 a.m., performing and parading as part of the tradition step-off and march onto the field.  This is one of the best pregame ceremonies in all of football, and each band will play for about 45 minutes.

After that, there will be a game ball presentation by the academy marathon teams.  A little before 1 p.m., players will be allowed to warm up on the field, about 90 minutes before kickoff.  The players will exit the field at about 2:15 p.m. and prepare for pregame introductions.

Before kickoff, there will be service academy exchange of Cadets and Midshipmen, as well as an invocation by the Navy Chaplain.  As each team takes the field, there will be flyover by the respective branch’s aerial units.

All of this will happen before the 2:40 kickoff on CBS.  If you really want the full experience of an Army-Navy game, you ate strongly encouraged to show up early and take it all in.  Parking lots open at 8:30 a.m., and the early bird gets the proverbial worm.

For further preview, here’s Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder discussing the significance of the event with Redskins Nation’s Larry Michael: Read more »

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No-Shave-November Yields Few Honors

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 2, 2011 – 2:11 pm

AP Image

November is a month dominated by football, Thanksgiving, and the growth of beards and mustaches for a good cause.

Call it what you want: Movember, No-Shave-November; but it’s a good opportunity for Redskins players to put down the razors and show what they can grow.

Over the course of the month, the players that showed the most effort were receiver Niles Paul, offensive lineman Eric Olsen, and quarterback Jonathan Crompton.

Others tried, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Naturally, the two best beards on the team are linebacker Perry Riley and nose tackle Chris Neild.  As Neild is clearly the Grand Beard Master, I turned to him for a December 1st Facial Hair Recap.

Let’s just say, the birthday boy was not impressed: Read more »

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