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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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Time-Lapse Of The Dallas Game At FedExField

Posted by Matt Terl on September 21, 2010 – 2:08 pm

Shortly after the Dallas game, I tweeted about a time-lapse photo project covering the game by Jim Westcott of TBD.com. That was a wide spectrum affair using multiple cameras in multiple locations, and it was very cool. What I didn’t know was that there was another time lapse project going on, this one just covering the entirety of gameday from a single angle high above the field. It is also completely awesome, and I’m glad to be able to show it here courtesy of the Redskins Broadcast Network. (And it’s made all the more awesome by the Explosions In The Sky they’re using as a soundtrack.)

A few things that I particularly love: Read more »

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Leftover From Dallas Week: Hogettes On Honking

Posted by Matt Terl on September 14, 2010 – 12:54 pm

Not sure how I missed this on Honk If You Hate Dallas Day last week, but it’s worth watching even now, if only for the visual of men in dresses and hog noses waving enormous signs at passing traffic. Some excellent video work by the Washington Post here.

http://specials.washingtonpost.com/mv/embed/?title='Hogettes'%20hit%20D.C.%20to%20drum%20up%20support%20for%20the%20Redskins&stillURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fwp-dyn%2Fcontent%2Fphoto%2F2010%2F09%2F09%2FPH2010090906651.jpg&flvURL=%2Fmedia%2F2010%2F09%2F09%2F09092010-68v.m4v&width=450&height=270&autoStart=false&clickThru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fwp-dyn%2Fcontent%2Fvideo%2F2010%2F09%2F09%2FVI2010090906547.html Read more »

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Devin Thomas Is Not Embarrassed To Have Gotten Tackled By This Kicker

Posted by Matt Terl on September 13, 2010 – 12:56 pm

Devin Thomas not only said all the right things about his role in Sunday night’s game, he really seemed to sincerely mean them.

“I’m comfortable wherever coach puts me,” he said.

“You know, I just wanna do my part,” he said. Because I feel like we’re all brothers here.”

“I think we’ve got a great camaraderie, better than we had my last two years,” he said, “so I’m just gonna do my part. Whatever it is, I’m gonna do it.”

On Sunday night, “doing his part” meant playing on special teams. “I had a special teams day,” Thomas said, “so kick returns, punt return duty as far as being a jammer, and on kickoffs, you know, I just had to do my job. Those were my assignments today and I pulled it off.”

Pulled it off well, in fact. Thomas had two kickoff return opportunities, which he took for 34 and 42 yards, and in both cases it was Cowboys kicker David Buehler who brought him down — a fact that caused Thomas to chuckle in the locker room.

“They always tell us, ‘Don’t let the kicker bring you down,'” Thomas explained, then added, “But he used to play safety, so I don’t feel too bad.”

Running back Keiland Williams, getting dressed at a nearby locker, burst out laughing, as did much of the assembled media pack, but Thomas wasn’t kidding. Read more »

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Redskins Fans Burn Effigy Of Cowboys Player

Posted by Matt Terl on September 13, 2010 – 10:27 am

That right there was one of the more memorable displays from Saturday’s send-off at Redskins Park. That’s a straw-filled dummy dressed up in a Tony Romo T-shirt and arrow-riddled Cowboys helmet, stuck under the wheel of a Redskins-customized Jeep Rubicon. The Jeep — and the dummy, for that matter — belong to the guy in the Redskins jersey, Chris “Pez” Lopez. Pez is a duly-elected member of Pro Football’s Ultimate Fan Association, and he and his wife Christie (“Huly”) are top-notch Redskins superfans, active on ExtremeSkins and beyond. If you’ve ever been to one of the away game sendoffs or an ExtremeSkins tailgate, chances are one of those two was involved in organizing it.

And you don’t become a member of PFUFA by under-utilizing your resources. So when Pez and Huly built themselves a perfectly good straw-filled Dallas Cowboys dummy, they knew exactly how best to dispose of it: with sweet cleansing fire. Read more »

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Dexter Manley’s Pregame Parade: The Video

Posted by Matt Terl on September 12, 2010 – 4:21 pm

As promised, here’s video of Dexter Manley’s pregame parade.

Big thanks to the folks at Redskins.com TV.
Read more »

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Several Brief Scenes From My Twitter Ticket Giveaway

Posted by Matt Terl on September 11, 2010 – 7:33 pm

Here is a very brief sample of what my day was like today — three of the excited, pleasant people I met while handing out tickets and brief descriptions of their journeys (of varying degrees of epicness) to get those tickets.


But the best moment from my Twitter ticket giveaway adventures isn’t in that video, having been lost to a technical glitch. I will try to recount it after the jump; it will not have half the enthusiasm and excitement that it did at the time, but I’ll try nevertheless. Read more »

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A Quick Preview Of The Parking Lot Screens

Posted by Matt Terl on September 11, 2010 – 6:51 pm

Here are a couple of pictures of one of the screens in the parking lot of FedExField, which will be showing the early games tomorrow. I was hesitant to post these, honestly, because I feel like they undersell the screens. This first one, for example, is from the upper deck of the stadium — so literally just about as far as it is possible to get from the boards and still see them — and I could still follow most of what was going on.

(It’s a re-air of a Houston Texans game.)

This second picture is from a little bit closer: on the ground, just on the parking lot side of the stadium ring road. In the photo, it looks small, disappointing. But when I was looking at it live, I found myself thinking something like Wow, that is a really sharp, big picture for that razor ad.

So, yeah, these are pictures that totally fail to capture the cool factor of what they’re supposed to be representing. Still, better to underpromise and overdeliver, right?

After the jump: one last refresher on tomorrow’s schedule. Read more »

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Scenes From The Send-Off

Posted by Matt Terl on September 11, 2010 – 11:37 am

This was the winning car from today’s send-off event at Redskins Park, Richard Crunkilton’s custom-painted Lincoln Town Car. There was a solid turn-out at the event, and — even though the players departed by car and not by bus as I expected — there was ample chance to shout, to sing Hail To The Redskins, and to wish the players good luck in tomorrow night’s game.

For some players, the well-wishing was more direct than for others; Darrel Young and Ryan Torain stopped their car and spent a few minutes risking life and limb in the middle of the road to Redskins Park surrounded by fans.

After the jump, lots more pictures of the fans, the band, and the send-off as a whole.

Read more »

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Other Offensive Linemen Have Confidence In Trent Williams

Posted by Matt Terl on September 10, 2010 – 2:20 pm

Redskins rookie Trent Williams is pretty philosophical about the fact that his first regular season blocking assignment will likely come against Cowboys four-time Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware.”It would be easier to start off with someone not as good,” Williams said, “but it sets the stage.”

More than that, though, it can set the tone for the rest of his season — or longer. The offensive linemen I talked to all remembered the first big-name guy they lined up across from, and they all said they learned from the experience.

“My first game was against Carolina,” Jammal Brown said. “Julius Peppers. We went out there and won. No sacks, no pressures.”

“It was Jason Taylor,” Stephon Heyer said. “We ended up winning that game, I ended up doing pretty good.”

Artis Hicks also faced off against Taylor early in his career. “He was still in his prime in Miami,” Hicks said. “He was coming off another Pro Bowl year, a high digit sack number, and there I was, a young guy. I just remember thinking, Man! y’know? This is the real deal.

And there’s something to be gained from knowing you can compete in that real deal. Read more »

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