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Australian Chad Ryan Takes In His First Redskins Game

Posted by Jake Kring-Schreifels on December 8, 2014 – 3:45 pm

–PHOTOS: DC Sports Artist’s Redskins Work
–VIDEO: Artist Makes Redskins Pancake

Chad Ryan on Sunday sat in a state of awe.

After traveling more than 18,000 miles from his home in Australia, the diehard Washington Redskins fan took his place in the press box amongst the journalists he had only ever messaged online.

He had finally made it to his first game.

“I can’t think of anyone else in the world who would have had their very first Redskins game, [and] instead of going into the stands, [I’m] coming into [the pressbox],” Ryan told The Redskins Blog. “To be sitting amongst them is amazing.”

A long time sports fan, specifically of Aussie rules football, Ryan had an awakening 10 years ago when his cable company started broadcasting the NFL. At first he could only watch primetime games due to Australia’s time difference.

Eventually, he would wake up at 4 a.m. to catch the Redskins play every week, fascinated with his newly acquired favorite sport.

Ryan, however, didn’t want to support a team that recently won a Super Bowl for fear of being a bandwagon fan.

He had visited Washington, D.C. several times while working for the Australian government and fell in love with the city. He wanted a team with history and an active fan base and after watching former tight end Chris Cooley give one of his signature silly press conferences, the Redskins met all of his requirements.

“He had all those crazy hats and characters in his press conferences,” said Ryan of Cooley. “I couldn’t get enough of it.”

He elevated his passion this year. After interacting with many fans over Twitter and forming an online community, Ryan began his own weekly Redskins podcast where he waxes on the most recent games, highlights the news, and breaks down plays, engaging listeners from the D.C./Virginia/Maryland area. After messaging some of the Redskins beat writers, they connected him with the public relations team, who credentialed him for Sunday’s game.

Ryan had already purchased tickets back in the summer, unwilling to put his winter trip in jeopardy. He plans to marry his fiancé next winter in New York, and used the Redskins game as a brief excuse to stray from their vacation dedicated to scouting out wedding locations.

But traveling in the winter during the holidays meant the standard flight from Sydney-to-Los Angeles-to-New York would be too expensive. He had to make a detour through Hong Kong.

The long-journeyed, long-awaited experience, including getting postgame sound from the locker room, was enough for Ryan to consider moving to D.C. someday, maybe even to cover his adopted team.

“I’d love to get a job here and live here,” said Ryan, who cheered with his wife and her brother in the stands during the third quarter. “That’s the goal. Until that can happen, this is the first time I’ve come across here in winter so hopefully I can make it happen again during football time.”

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Cooley as handyman and artist

Posted by Ross Hollebon on May 17, 2014 – 6:27 pm

Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 6.05.23 PMChris Cooley, former Washington Redskins tight end and current radio analyst, was keeping busy inside Redskins Park on Saturday as rookies were outside for the second mini-camp practice of the day.

As LB Trent Murphy, OL Morgan Moses, OL Spencer Long and the rest of draft class and undrafted rookies worked to get things in order and understand the Redskins way, Cooley was in the ESPN 980 Radio studio – tearing things apart.

He and two friends removed some studio foam tiles off a portion of the largest wall – space Cooley will use to paint a mural in the coming days – and began the process of sanding, patching, and priming the walls for the next Cooley creation.

Check out the video below to see some of the initial prep work done today and we’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date as the room is put back together and decorated as only Cooley can.


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Chris Cooley In A Onesie

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on March 18, 2014 – 2:48 pm


Where does one procure a Cooley-sized onesie? Is this outfit meant for an adult or a child with a hyperactive pituitary gland?  Read more »

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Back In The Day Alex Ovechkin Shared His Redskins Jersey With Nicklas Backstrom

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on February 5, 2014 – 2:10 pm


Down the jersey rabbit hole we go.

On Wednesday the DC Sports Bog directed me to this article from Dick’s Sporting Goods about reigning NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin’s jersey collection.

“I have LeBron and am going to get Kobe and Michael Jordan,” Ovechkin said. “I also have RG3 and Chris Cooley ones.”


After a little digging through the archives in this space, I found images from 2008 and 2009 that verify at least one item in the closet of the Washington Capitals captain.

Read more »

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Kevin Harlan Realized Cooley’s Dream

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on February 4, 2014 – 12:00 pm

Chris Cooley

Chris Cooley squeezed in a wish for Kevin Harlan, asking one favor from the veteran NFL voice in an ESPN980 interview from Super Bowl XLVIII Radio Row last week.

“All I ever wanted to do was score a touchdown in the Super Bowl. I never got it,” Cooley said. “Can I paint a picture? We’re on the 25-yard line, and I just want to hear your voice say that Cooley scores.”

Harlan, who will call his fourth straight Super Bowl for Westwood One, obliged. Click on the 10:35 mark to hear Harlan call the play that hands Washington a fantasy radio land Lombardi trophy.

This brings new meaning to fake it ’til you make it.  Read more »

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Chick Hernandez And The Greatest Afros In Redskins History

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on January 16, 2014 – 4:04 pm


I have no doubts CSN Washington anchor Chick Hernandez rises in the morning and likes what he sees in the mirror.

Chick is confident man in a profession of confident men. If he didn’t like what he saw, he probably wouldn’t put it on camera. But maybe some mornings he looks at his closely cropped hair and remembers what was with a pang of nostalgia.

There was a time, a golden age for anchormen, when Chick’s head sprouted hair so abundant it would make Pam Grier weep.  Read more »

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‘Everyone Likes’ Sean McVay

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on January 15, 2014 – 11:35 am


Jay Gruden wasn’t ready to commit to Sean McVay right away, but on Wednesday the Redskins confirmed what has been reported since the head coach’s first day in Washington.

The Redskins announced McVay will be promoted from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator.

Last night on The Drive with Cooley and Czabe on ESPN980, Chris Cooley effusively supported the 27-year old coach. Read more »

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PFWA All-Rookie Jordan Reed And The Best Debut Seasons By A Redskins TE

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on January 14, 2014 – 3:46 pm



Despite missing seven games due to injury, tight end Jordan Reed was named to the 2013 Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) All-Rookie Team.

The 23-year old out of Florida tallied 45 catches for 499 yards, setting new franchise marks for rookie tight ends in each category.

Let’s take a look back at Reed’s breakout campaign and compare it to a few other impressive rookies throughout Redskins history.


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Chris Cooley: Jay Gruden ‘Down To Earth’ And Good For Robert Griffin III

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on January 13, 2014 – 12:04 pm


In nine seasons with the Redskins, tight end Chris Cooley played under Joe Gibbs, Jim Zorn and Mike Shanahan. In his first season as an analyst for ESPN 980, the Redskins Radio Network and the Redskins Broadcast Network, Cooley provided an insider’s perspective throughout the final year of the Shanahan regimeCooley arrived at Redskins Park last Thursday with some time to kill before interviewing Gruden on-air after a press conference to introduce the 29th head coach of the franchise.

Cooley briefly met Gruden before the coach’s hectic media tour. Afterward, I sat down with Cooley for a one-on-one interview to get his early impressions of the new head coach. (The following interview has been edited and condensed).

Gabe Hiatt: What are your impressions of this move and this fit with Jay Gruden?

Chris Cooley: I’m excited because I feel like all the pieces that Bruce (Allen) wants are currently here. I’ve been a believer in Bruce since the minute he walked in the door. I think he understands people well. I think he understands players well. He knows who to bring in. My trust in that, and his relationships with everyone in the football world are so high. I think it’s an exciting time. You have everyone on the same page with Bruce, with Jay, with the scouting department now… You have a completely synched organization. That’s something we really haven’t had since I’ve been here. Read more »

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Sneak Peak: “Inside The Redskins” Special

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on January 3, 2014 – 10:06 am


Chris Cooley doesn’t buy it.

On a special edition of “Inside the Redskins” airing on NBC-4 at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 4, Cooley details why he disagrees with anyone who thinks the Washington Redskins are not an attractive destination for head coaching prospects.

“I don’t know how you could imagine someone wouldn’t want to take this job,” Cooley told Larry Michael.

Take a sneak peak at the show and watch Cooley explain his stance in the video below. Tune in for a special edition of “Inside the Redskins” recapping the season and looking ahead in 2014.

“Inside the Redskins” Special Edition

Saturday, Jan. 4, 10:30 a.m. ET


Read more »

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