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Joe Theismann Relives Postseason Glories And Explains SI Cover

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on January 28, 2014 – 6:00 am



The second-to-last game of the 1982 season will always be the most memorable of Joe Theismann’s career.

Theismann told the  “The Sports Fix” on ESPN 980 Monday that beating Dallas in the NFC Championship game was more exciting than taking the field in Super Bowl XVII.

“People ask me what the most memorable game was of my career, and I talk about the NFC championship game against the Dallas Cowboys in our stadium with our fans,” Theismann told Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro.

“Everybody was pounding away at those aluminum seats, and the ground was shaking beneath your feet. If that doesn’t stir your emotions, I don’t know what does.” Read more »

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A Chaplain Brought Mark Brunell To Washington, And The QB Saved Joe Gibbs’ Life

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on January 24, 2014 – 10:03 am



The first man to recruit quarterback Mark Brunell to Washington was not Joe Gibbs or a front office executive.

During an interview with “The Sports Fix” on ESPN980, Thom Loverro asked Brunell the full story of how he was traded from the Jaguars to the Redskins before the 2004 season. Brunell told the host he knew was on the outs in Jacksonville when the Jaguars spent a first-round draft pick on Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich. His first indication the Redskins were interested came from an unlikely source.

“Actually (I) got word through a friend of mine, who was at that time the chaplain of the Washington Redskins, Brett Fuller,” Brunell said. “And he had mentioned that Joe Gibbs was interested. Immediately, I got excited… I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Just the opportunity to play for him was  a dream come true for me.”

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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ESPN 980’s Interview With Chargers Radio

Posted by Stephen Czarda on November 1, 2013 – 10:30 am

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

Hopefully you had a great Halloween and stuffed yourself with enough sugar and candy that this ominous looking first day of November isn’t too bad on you. I know my belly is fit to burst this morning with far too many candy bars shoved down my throat last night.

Anyway, with the trick or treating and poorly directed C-level horror movies out of the way it’s time to focus on Redskins-Chargers this Sunday at FedExField.

The Bolts offense has been electric (ahh you see what I did there?) this season behind a resurged Philip Rivers who’s been lighting up the Southern Cali sky.

Like Larry Michael, Chargers’ radio voice Josh Lewin hasn’t missed a snap of the home team this year and has a pretty strong foundation to speak on in terms of analyzing the offense.

He was a guest on “The Drive With Cooley and Czabe” earlier this week and shared some insight on the team’s play.

Read more »

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Chris Cooley Talks Rivalry

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on October 12, 2013 – 8:00 am



In nine years as a Redskin, Chris Cooley’s hatred for the Cowboys intensified, eventually honing into a beautiful thing like, say, a well-crafted ceramic vase. The former tight end and current ESPN980 personality gave me a few minutes of time during a radio break Friday to talk about what disgusts him about the Dallas franchise and what he sees for the future of the rivalry.

Gabe Hiatt: In your third game as a pro, you played against Dallas at home. How were you indoctrinated into the rivalry?

Chris Cooley: It takes a while because you get that there’s the rivalry, but until you start to know their players and know their fans and really look at what that team stands for, you don’t buy into the rivalry. In Year One it was the idea that everyone said, ‘It doesn’t matter what you do this year, just beat Dallas twice.’ You start to learn that’s what people say every year. And beating Dallas twice has such a serious feel to everyone involved. But then you start looking at their fans and the way they look at our team. Cowboys fans think the Redskins are garbage, which is funny to me because they’ve been garbage as long as we hadn’t made the playoffs as well. And you start looking at their players and the way, to me, they’ve always seemed to play with an arrogance of ‘we’re better than anyone else’ when they’re really not. After about a year and a half it was like, if I was going to beat one team every year it would be the Cowboys without a doubt. Again, lastly it just goes to that idea that they really believe they’re America’s team. They have no doubt that they’re the team that everyone loves and that they’re the pretty boys of America and the pretty boys of football, and they play like it.

GH: You had a three touchdown game against the Cowboys in your second year. Did that mean anything more coming against that team?

Read more »

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Chris Neild Explains His Nickname

Posted by Brian Tinsman on June 1, 2011 – 9:07 am

Redskins seventh-round draft choice nose tackle Chris Neild explained his nickname to Chris Russell on ESPN980. Someone — probably Enzo over at 980 — posted the interview in the newly revamped (and much friendlier) Audio Vault. Redskins.com intern Brian Tinsman listened and transcribed. I wrote this intro. And so the circle of 2011 offseason blogging life continues.

At 6-2 and nearly 300 pounds, Chris Neild can go by any nickname that he chooses. While I would have started off calling him “Sir” or “Mr. Neild,” he would much rather be called “Truck.”

The name kind of fits, when you look at his Twitter pic (@TruckNeild):

Neild recently caught up with Chris Russell of ESPN 980 to explain the interesting moniker.
Read more »

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Donovan McNabb's NBA Preview

Posted by Matt Terl on October 26, 2010 – 2:48 pm

Photo courtesy of Syracuse University Athletics

Donovan McNabb‘s weekly radio show on ESPN980 is not known for shocking revelations or controversial comments. The QB joins Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro to break down the previous week’s game and preview whatever’s coming up next; there’s plenty of information given, but it’s not the kind of fuel that launches thousands of blog-ships. (Or something like that.)

Today’s installment started out no differently. McNabb’s analysis of the offense’s struggles was optimistic and interesting enough, but nothing that screamed out for transcription. (Although Mike Jones of TBD.com has an excellent summary including transcribed quotes, so maybe it was just me.)

Toward the end, though, a subject came up that got McNabb pretty animated. Suddenly, he was offering unvarnished — and often critical — opinions of other athletes, and detailed speculation about teams other than the Redskins. When it comes to the NBA, Donovan McNabb is eminently transcribe-able.

So, with the NBA regular season tipping off tonight, I’m declaring McNabb the Official Redskins Blog NBA Correspondent, and his comments from the radio show the Official Redskins Blog NBA Preview. You can check out the audio at the ESPN980 Audio Vault; the text is below. Read more »

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Bruce Allen Tries To Discuss That Uniform Issue Despite Steve Czaban

Posted by Matt Terl on February 5, 2010 – 3:30 pm

Last post on Bruce Allen’s appearance on ESPN980 yesterday, following on his reminiscences about the past and discussion of the current offseason.

After all that serious talk was done, co-host Steve Czaban jumped in with one last question, one that is very important to the fanbase, at least based on my web traffic and the emails I get featuring helmet mock-ups (such as the one up top of this post): he asked about the possibility of a change to the Redskins uniforms.

Czaban tends to be very good about asking these kind of voice-of-the-fans questions, which is terrific. Unfortunately, as we’ll see, this time he didn’t actually feel like listening to the voice of the GM for the answer.

(Let me interject here as I always do, to clearly state: I am hearing that there will be NO change to the uniforms. The helmet above is a fan creation. All the rumors and speculation are just that. But it’s been a subject of much discussion, online and off, and Czaban saw an opportunity and wisely went for it.)

“I’ve gotta add one last thing,” Czaban said. “The uniform. A lot of people are really into the uniform–“

“Like you,” co-host Andy Pollin interjected.

“– and have very particular ideas about it,” Czaban continued, “some more traditional than others. Is there anything going on with the Redskins uniform that we should know about? Redesigns? Tweaks?”

“Oh, no,” Allen said. “No.”

For the record, that seems pretty clear and unequivocal. And, just to be even more certain, Czaban asked the obvious follow-up: “No?”
Read more »

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Bruce Allen Discusses The Offseason (Again)

Posted by Matt Terl on February 5, 2010 – 2:26 pm

New Executive Vice President/General Manager Bruce Allen didn’t just talk about banana splits and the old days during yesterday’s second radio appearance on ESPN980. Hosts Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban freely admitted that their opening “hey, remember when” questions were mostly preamble to the things that people really wanted to know; eventually they got to the meat of it, to the questions that the fans ask in their emails and blog comments and things like that.

Sometimes they didn’t get much in the way of specifics. Take a look at Allen’s comments on the offseason so far, for example:

“We started from the coaching end,” he said, “and are really pleased with the staff that Coach Shanahan has put together. We’re gonna blend a lot of new ideas into our new schemes that we’re gonna be running. I think that’s gonna lead us into free agency and then our offseason program where all of our players have to learn their new jobs and the work ethic that we expect from them, and the level of commitment that we demand from them.”

A careful review of that statement will reveal just about nothing beyond the most basic, obvious football stuff: work ethic, commitment, offseason program, etc. Which is not a bad thing, by the way — I certainly don’t want the team’s general manager explaining his plans in specific detail on the radio — but it makes it all the more notable when he does elect to reveal specifics.

His comments about his draft philosophy, for example, I found telling — and telling in a way that was probably not very reassuring to a lot of the aging players on the roster.

“Well, I’m not afraid of trades,” Allen said.

Read more »

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Friday, February 5: Bruce Allen Hasn't Eaten Dessert Since Super Bowl VII

Posted by Matt Terl on February 5, 2010 – 10:08 am

One thing I get horribly sick of during Super Bowl week is the endless parade of retired NFL players circling media row, answering the same questions on EVERY sportstalk radio show under the sun. It’s like Groundhog Day for Barry Sanders, the one week of the year that he pokes his head out to see the sun, and I could not possibly be less interested in what he has to say or whatever product he’s selling.

Which isn’t to say that there aren’t some interesting guests. It’s always nice to hear from former Redskins, for example (and, to be fair, I imagine the Detroit fans get pretty excited for Barry Sanders), and it’s also good to hear what actual current players and front office types have to offer.

So I had no problem with new Redskins Executive Vice President/General Manager Bruce Allen making the circuit yesterday. He turned up at least twice on ESPN980, first on the John Thompson Show (which Gary Fitzgerald wrote about over at the Redskins.com mothership) and later on The Sports Reporters with Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin.

I’ll have more on Allen’s comments there later today (or you can listen yourself in the Corona Audio Vault), but he started off answering a question about the worst loss in Redskins history. And it was clear that — for him — there was no question: Super Bowl VII. That’s him after the game in the AP photo above right, head in his hands, a portrait of abject misery.

The Redskins lost to the Dolphins 14-7 that day, and it changed Bruce Allen’s life — and his diet — irrevocably. Read more »

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