Cogito Patris

Random Thoughts for Random People

Darrell

When Michael Jackson died last year I was confused. Apparently everyone around me and everyone in the media mourned his passing as if their brother had passed. I know that he was a flawed human being. I think the vehemence that others showed at his passing was an indication of the hurt that would also have been indicative of the disappointment one would feel if a close relative had proven to be equally flawed.

I was confused because I enjoyed his music, but he wasn’t really a productive member of society at the time (although he was supposed to be coming out with something new) and I didn’t know him personally. Why were all of these people so interested? Was his fame equal to being a member of the family? Anthropomorphically, apparently, it is. We come to identify with the famous because it is an extension of our cultural “survival of the fittest” (though I am not an expert, I am repeating what I heard on the Discovery Channel).

So far I have not been susceptible to this phenomenon. That may be because no famous person with whom I identify have passed away. So I was thinking about who I idealize enough to encounter this issue.  So I started to think about famous people that I really admire.  The first to come up…Billy Joel.  I really love his music and I identify with many of his songs.

I tried to think of anyone else and there was only one I could think of. Darrell Green. Not only was he a professional football player for the Washington Redskins. He was a consummate professional. Not only could he cover any player…even at the age of 40. He accepted demotion to the nickle back position without public complaint. He taught younger players better than any coach.  But even off the field he showed that he could be a professional athlete AND a good person.  His interviews showed intelligence and the ability to properly utilize the English language.  He started a non-profit organization to help less fortunate people in the Washington DC area; thereby giving back to the community that had made him a star.  So, when I cam across this article I had to share.  The man is no 50 years old and faster than many NFL “skill” players who will be at the scouting combine…they will be from 20 to 23 years old.

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February 17, 2010 Posted by | Football, Random Thoughts, Redskins, Sports | Leave a comment

Football Hiatus and 2009 Superbowl Predictions

OK, I may be looking forward to football a little.  Last year I predicted the winner of the Superbowl before the season even started.  This season I am going to try to do so again.  But this time, I am going to do it much more quickly.  In fact, it is all in this one post.  Not only that, but I am getting bolder this year and putting them in order by probability of winning the Superbowl.  And, just to press my luck, I am going to estimate the final regular season record for each team.

I recommend that you not do the math, I’m pretty sure that the wins and losses don’t add up.

0) Washington Redskins (16-0) – I don’t need a reason.  But, since you asked:  The great Joe Gibbs retired.  If this coming season goes well then nobody will talk about how he did in his second stint.  I can hear the pundits now “The game may have passed him by, but he can still evaluate and develop talent like nobody else.”  This season is for Joe.
1) Detroit Lions (14-2) – Think I’m crazy? Yeah, me too.  But every year there is a sleeper that comes out of nowhere to surprise everyone.  I also think that the AFC Domination is coming to an end, which is why I picked the least likely NFC team as my #2.
2) San Diego Chargers (14-2) – They have trouble in the post season, but they are a talented group.  They have also had the misfortune to be good when the Colts and Patriots are great.  Personally, I think they are due.
3) Minnesota Vikings (13-3) – The return of the Purple People Eaters…but this time, he is running the ball.
4) Indianapolis Colts (13-3) – Sibling rivalry is a big thing.  That that Manning the Younger has a title just like his big brother, Manning the elder needs another one.
5) New England Patriots (11-5) – Surprised at how far down I sent this team after an undefeated season*?  Me too. This is a combination of a “downer” after losing the Superbowl after an Undefeated Season* and the fact that I think the AFC domination is coming to an end.
6) Washington Redskins (11-5) – I know I already put them down as my #0.  But that was my heart speaking.  This is where my head thinks they actually are.
7) St. Louis Rams (10-6) – Chris Long is a Beast and a Leader.  The defense will do well under his guidance.
8 ) New York Jets (10-6) – Good team, lots of talent, especially on the offensive line, good coach.  They showed flashes last year.  And now, they have cheerleaders (sorta)!
9) Cleveland Browns (10-6) – They signed a Bridgewater College, my father’s alma mater, graduate to the team as an undrafted rookie.
10) Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – The NFC East is tough.  As a result, the teams in the division end up losing more games because they have to play each other twice a year.  That is one of the reasons that I have the NFC East teams so low on my list.  Each team is essentially stuck at going 3-3 in the division.  The Eagles are in a time of transition, so they probably should not be this high on the list.  But, it is amazing what people can do when they think their job is on the line.
11) San Francisco 49ers (9-7) – They are still playing catch-up.  But they are on their way.
12) Arizona Cardinals (9-7) – They are due, right?
13) Houston Texans (9-7) – Actually, these are the guys that are due.
14) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8 ) – If Rathl-, Rothlis-, Rorog- the guy who plays QB does well, this team could hit a new high…if not, new lows may be in order.  Either way, they should be entertaining to watch.
15) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8 ) – I just can not get over the pirate ship at their stadium…that is just awesome.
16) Carolina Panthers (8-8 ) – My new home town team.
17) New Orleans Saints (8-8 ) – Marti Gras! 
18 ) Kansas City Chiefs (7-9) – Have you heard of snow blindness?  Well, their jerseys give me red blindness.
19) Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9) – What kind of football team wears Teal?
20) Tennessee Titans (7-9) – Something about Nashville.  I don’t have a joke yet, but I know it is there.
21) Seattle Seahawks (7-9) – There is no such thing as a ‘Seahawk’.
22) Denver Broncos (6-10) – Home of ‘The Ultimate Leader’ who hasn’t made the playoffs in a loooooong time.
23) Chicago Bears (6-10) – They cut Thomas Jones.
24) Buffalo Bills (6-10) – I can’t find anyplace good to have Buffalo Wings in Charlotte.
25) New York Giants (6-10) – The Giants played above themselves last year.  Look for a return to mediocrity this year and for more questions concerning Manning the Younger.  But they know how to win and they know how to win close games.  For that, optimism will surround the team…until their first loss.
25.5) Washington Redskins (5-11) – I know I already put them down as my #0 and #6.  But that was my heart and head speaking.  This is where my pessimism thinks they actually are.
26) Oakland Raiders (5-11) – There is no tomorrow for this team.  Unfortunately, there is no today either.  My brother and I have been calling the Redskins and Raiders “Sister Teams” for the past few years.  Both have enthusiastic fans (to put it mildly).  Both owners will pay anything to win.  Both teams have storied histories but haven’t done much recently.  Those similarities are why I think they will win the Superbowl.
27) Baltimore Ravens (5-11) – Ray Lewis is old. 
28 ) Green Bay Packers (4-12) – They played way above themselves last year.
29)Cincinnati Bengals (4-12) – Who?
30) Atlanta Falcons (2-14) – I Love Dogs.
31) Miami Dolphins (0-16) – Pundits the world round will pick Miami to go to the Superbowl.  Why?  Because it is warm there.  These pundits want to go to the warm Miami beach and write about a team on the verge.  Personally, I think they are more likely to lose every game.
32) Dallas Cowboys (0-16) – I am including them this year, what else do you want from me?

* Excluding the Superbowl

Now, for giggles and grins, I have decided to see what would happen if I applied the Isaacson-Tarbell Postulate to the entire season.
This is from Tuesday Morning Quarterback from 2/15/2008): Best Record Wins; If Records Equal, Home Team Wins.

Here is what I came up with:

1) Baltimore (16/0)
2) New Orleans (16/0)
3) Buffalo (15/1)
4) Green Bay (15/1)
5) Philadelphia (15/1)
6) San Diego (15/1)
7) Tennessee (14/2)
8 ) NY Giants (13/3)
9) New England (12/4)
10) San Francisco (12/4)
11) Atlanta (11/5)
12) Jacksonville (11/5)
13) Carolina (9/7)
14) Indianapolis (9/7)
15) Miami (9/7)
16) Washington (9/7)
17) Cleveland (7/9)
18 ) Oakland (7/9)
19) Chicago (6/10)
20) Dallas (6/10)
21) NY Jets (6/10)
22) Minnesota (5/11)
23) Seattle (5/11)
24) Kansas City (4/12)
25) Pittsburgh (3/13)
26) Houston (2/14)
27) St. Louis (2/14)
28 ) Denver (1/15)
29) Detroit (1/15)
30) Arizona (0/16)
31) Cincinnati (0/16)
32) Tampa Bay (0/16)

It will be interesting to see if the simple algorithm is closer to reality than I am.

May 1, 2008 Posted by | Football, Sports, SuperBowl | 5 Comments

127

For reasons that are a mystery to everyone, including myself, I have been thinking about my so-called glory days playing high-school football at Waynesboro High.  Whenever my best friend and I get together we can talk for hours about individual plays that happened almost 15 years ago…specifically during my senior year (his Junior).

We had the smallest offensive line in our division.  This was a source of pride for my teammates and I because we were also one of the more dominant offensive lines, even with a 149 lbs center (that is not a typo).  Though everyone would agree that our defence was the reason we won games and ended up in the playoffs that year.

For our final practice we had 21 healthy players.  A quick count will show tht that is just shy of the number of players you need to have full practices.  We had a coach line up at safety for the scab squad* defense and we didn’t even try to practice for the suicide squad**.  A coach was our regular scab squad QB, so there was no need to change for the starting defense.

But what I remember best are some of the plays.  My best friend played left tackle and I was the right guard.  However, I was a backup to the right tackle, left tackle and left guard and he was the backup to the center (I would take his place when the center went out).  So we did a fair bit of playing next to each other.

Rockers

Neither of us were starters on defense, so we would play Center and Guard on the scab squad.  I was back-up to the nose tackle, so in essence I got to spend the entire practice hitting the guy who took my job.  He was little but had a lot of heart.  Honestly there were no hard feeling about him taking the job.  I was already a starter on the other side of the ball and going iron man*** isn’t as fun as it sounds.  Anyway, if we were running to my side of the ball Cory and I would make a call of “Rockers”  which pretty much meant to knock the nose-guard off his rocker.  It was fun, but throughout the regular season, there was never a good opportunityto make the call in a real game.  We played next to each other sometimes, but we bothknew when the call was appropriate, and it just never was.  Finally, in our one (and only) playoff game the starting left guard got hurt and I moved over to Cory’s side.  The call was for a sweep to the left (a 127 in our playbook) and the opposing tackle lined up right between us.  I made the call and we both started to smile.  The poor guy’s eyes got REALLY big…we only pushed him back about 15 yards. 🙂

Good Job

The playoff game was against Handley High School.  They went on to the semi-finals that season, and we were beating them at half time.  But we just ran out of gas.  Almost all game long I was blocking the same guy (not the guy from the last story.)  This guy was 6’4″ and went on to play for UVa (My second player of the season with that distinction…neither graduated).  But I kept him in check all game long.  When we shook hands, he patted me on the head and said “Good job 6-4”.  The opposing coach called me out by number also.  It was the first time that someone on the other team had personally acknowledged me.  I don’t know where he is now.  I don’t know his name.  But I hope he knows how much that meant to me.

Broadway

My coach was famous for calling fake punts and kick-offs.  We would name them after the team we were playing that week (we put in a new fake punt every other week and a fake kick-off every three or four weeks).  I don’t remember most of them, but I do remember “Broadway”.  My junior year I had been killed at Broadway.  We won the game, but I spent most of my time on the ground.  That game was one of my motivations for doubling my leg strength and almost doubling my upper body strength in the off-season.  Unfortunately the guy I played against graduated, but his replacement felt my pain.  It was possibly kismet that it happened to be my 18th birthday, and I was captain.  The captain was announced by the coach every week based on performance from the previous week.  The coach claimed that he didn’t know it was my birthday, I was captain because I was one of the few people who had a good game against R.E. Lee the previous week (of course I have a story…actually two). 

When we kicked our first punt, I was supposed to shed my blocker and then go hit somebody.  However, the guy (#44) was really strong and had great technique.  I ended up on the ground.  The second time we punted was a fake…to my side.  This guy had kicked my butt the first time and now I was supposed to block him, from a standing position?  But I had noticed something.  When the ball was snapped, he locked on to my shoulder pads and stared in to my eyes.  So, for the second punt, I just stood there.  He stared in to my eyes as my teammate ran right past him on his was to a first down.  I didn’t move a muscle, yet successfully blocked my man. 🙂

Flip

I said I had a couple of stories from the R.E. Lee game and this is the first.  I was playing nose guard (before I lost my job…my replacement had to get his grades up).  The left guard on the other team pulled off to his left.  I was playing right over top of him on the play, so I pulled out to chase him.  Their QB had also rolled out to that side and went to throw the ball down field.  The guard was there to protect him.  I realized I couldn’t get past the guard before the ball was gone, so I jumped and tried to swat at the ball.  The guard caught me by the legs and I flipped over him.  My friend’s father used to say that if your rear-end was above your head you were in trouble…I don’t remember landing.  The pass was completed for a touchdown.  I was only about three inches from the ball when it was released.  We lost by 14 points, so that exact play didn’t actually change the game…but still.

Later that week they had to forfeit because they had an academically ineligible player play in the game when the game was already out of reach.  Kinda sucks for them.  They would have made the playoffs instead of us had they not been forced to forfeit even though it made no difference in the game. 

But that isn’t where the story ends.  You see, I was attending the Central Shenandoah Valley Regional Governor’s School (CSVRGS, but now only SVGS).  This was a county-wide initiative to teach the cream of the crop from math, science and technology at a central location.  R.E. Lee and WHS were both member schools.  And the guy who flipped me was also a student. 

A Host of Little Giants…

 The second story from the Lee game was actually relayed to me by my father.  The R.E. Lee game was one of the few games we had that was on the radio.  My father listened to the announcer while at the game.  That game I had seven tackles, three for a loss.  What was funny was that for each of my tackles the radio host said “A Host of Little Giants on the tackle.”  Specifically, they went for a two-point conversion.  I went all the way around the center to make a beautiful tackle.  Yet “A host of little giants” made the tackle. My father was ready to storm the press box.

The Lye Game

Wilson Memorial High School was to WHS what… Well, I was going to say the Redskins were to the Cowboys.  But the Redskins only lost 11 years in a row.  WMHS lost for 23 consecutive years to WHS at the time I was in school.  In fact, the last time WMHS had beaten WHS was when our lineman coach was the QB for WMHS.  (The streak has ended, and I don’t think it reached 30 years…now it is about the opposite).

My senior year there was one guy we were worried about.  Matt Robinson was 320 lbs with some muscle.  The week before we had played Charlottesville against another future UVa player.  During the Charlottesville game the 149 lbs center, Keith, and I had arranged to line call for a reach block.  If it was going left, I would reach the nose guard and he would release on the linebacker.  The other way, we would switch rolls.  It worked great.  The first play of the game Matt lined up at nose guard.  The play was to the right.  We called for the reach and Keith picked him up by himself…AND KIETH TOOK HIM!!!  On the way back to the huddle I asked if he could handle the reach in the future.  He just kept saying “He is a bug dude”. After that play, Matt moved out to Defensive End, so we never had to worry about the call again.

That isn’t the story I wanted to tell.  Before the game, they had covered the field in Lye.  Whenever we landed there was a cloud of dust.  This was a problem for me.  I wore contact lenses during the games.  The lye got in my eyes and it burned sooooo bad.  I wasn’t good about keeping them clean.  I now have a huge sensitivity to light.  I can’t figure out which was the greater factor…the Lye or my lack of cleaning.

That isn’t the story either.  By the fourth quarter we had the game pretty well handled.  As a result, the second string was in on both sides.  Cory and I made the calls on defense because we were the only ones who kinda knew the signals.  On offense, Cory took over at Center and I moved to Right tackle.  There was a call for a 124 waggle (Right guard pulls left, QB rolls to that side after a play-action with an option to run).  Our backup QB gained fifty yards on that play.  Horney (that was his name) was not the fastest of guys (our starter could beat almost anybody down the field).  Cory and I had straight-up blocks that play.  Both of us were starters that were just out of position.  So the poor guys on the other side didn’t stand much of a chance.  About twelve yards down field Cory blocked the guy in to my left knee.  Though I finished the game, that is the only injury I have ever had in a game…and my best friend did it. 

127

As I mentioned previously, I was the right guard.  I also mentioned that if the right guard pulls to the left on a sweep to that side, it was called a 127 in our playbook (or a 127x depending on who he was supposed to block). 

The overall perception in football is that if a Lineman runs five yards, the play is past him.  After all, it takes a lot longer to push a guy five yards than to carry a ball ten yards.  The exception is the 127.  It requires a lineman to run down field to make a block.

We were playing Harrisonburg High school.  Harry High was not talented that season, but they stayed competitive by using trick plays and taking some of the sting out of aggressivedefenses (like our’s).  We won the game on a trick play (our wing back through a touchdown to our back-up QB (who was also our starting split end) after receiving a hand-off from our starting QB.

On an earlier series, our running back got injured (broke his arm…out for the season).  When our back-up came in we ran the same play 10 times in a row.  Can you guess which play?  Did you guess 127?  Good guess!  We got to the one yard line.   I don’t remember being tired…I don’t remember ever being tired during a game.  But the coaches took me out anyway.  They scored a touchdown after I ran the same play 10 times in a row (OK, it might have only been eight…or six). 

On one of the plays the safety tried to take me on.  The coaches would assign points for plays and provide star stickers for the helmets for every five points earned.  They would also give skull and cross bones for each big hit…called a POW.  That block was the only POW ever given out for a block.  When we watched teh tape, one of my teammates said “He stepped on his foot”.  For the record, I didn’t, and he knew it.  It got a good laugh…from me too (and I didn’t have a sense of humor).

I could go on and on and on (as if I haven’t already).  But I think this is a good start.

* Scab Squad – The second or third team players that practiced against the starters.  There were many advantages to being on the scab squad.  For example, i got to play fullback my Junior year on the scab squad…which was the only time I got to touch the ball.

** Suicide Squad – The Punt or Kickoff teams were referred to as the Suicide squad.  You would have to be a little crazy to run as fast as you can 50 yards and try to hit someone running the other way as fast as they can.  I was a back-up on the kickoff squad and a starter on the punt squad.

*** Iron Man – playing both offense and defense.  With such a small squad we only had about six players who did not go both ways.  Though we (yes, I was one of those 6) were second stringers (usually to more than one position).

April 10, 2008 Posted by | Football, Waynesboro | 2 Comments

I know I am going to regret this…

I am going to make a prediction for the Superbowl.  Now that the two teams have been decided, The Pats and Giants, I think I should mention something about the upcoming non-holiday.

My prediction: Home Team 20, Visiting Team 17.  This is the most common outcome of an NFL football game.  With the Patriots being the team with the better record, that would make them the “Home Team” for the Superbowl.  So, New England 20, Giants 17 is my prediction.

That isn’t what I want to happen.  I want the Giants to win the Superbowl.  The reasons are easy, and a bit selfish:

  1. The Redskins beat the Giants in their second regular season meeting
  2. The Redskins lost to the Giants in their first regular season meeting, but only because they couldn’t gain one yard for a clinching touchdown.  After this meeting Mike Sellers started to take this responsibility and the success rate went up drastically.
  3. The Pats beat the Redskins 52-7.  They were piling on and I think the football gods should take revenge on this kind of bad sportsmanship.

I know I have said it before, but I would love for the Pats to end up at 18-1 in their “undefeated” season.

The Giants played the Pats tough in the regular season finale in New York in a game that didn’t matter to either team (as far as post season play). Traditionally, it is difficult to beat the same team twice in the same season.  That is one of Mickey Matthews’ favorite sayings.  Mickey is the head coach for the JMU Dukes and he proved this statment when the Dukes won the National Championship in 2004 by beating (soundly) the Tribe of William and Marry in Williamsburg in the playoffs after a heartbreaking home loss earlier in the regular season.

So there may be some question as to where the “Smart Money” is in the Superbowl.  But if I had to bet (which I don’t, and won’t) I would put it on the Pats.

January 21, 2008 Posted by | Football, JMU, Redskins | 1 Comment

I said it all along…

I am now 100% sure that I picked the Superbowl champ back in the offseason.

You see, back then I picked all but one team to win the Superbowl.  The only team I didn’t choose happened to be the top seed in the NFC.  So, I was concerned.

Now that the Giants have knocked them off, I feel better.

So, here are my predictions for the Superbowl:

The Packers will win

Unless the Giants win it.

Or the Bolts win it.

Then again, maybe the Pats will finish their undefeated season.

With the Cowboys eliminated, the only thing I am rooting for is a loss for the Pats in the Superbowl. 

January 14, 2008 Posted by | Football, Sports, SuperBowl | 3 Comments

Redskins in the Playoffs

I’m not sure if you have noticed or not, but I can be pretty pessimistic about the Redskins.  Granted, I did pick them to win the Superbowl in the off-season, but I picked (almost) everybody to win the Superbowl in the off-season.

Ironically, the one team I didn’t pick to win the Superbowl in the off-season, the name that can not be spoken, is the top seed in the NFC.  Who could have guessed that?  My pessimistic nature lends me to believe that I should have guessed that.

The ‘skins are running an emotional roller coaster right now.  They have a great deal of momentum going in to the playoffs.  But in order to make it to the Superbowl, they will have to win every game on the road.  That would be At Seattle (a 6 hour flight), at Dallas and probably at Lambeau Field in Green Bay (not exactly the most hospitable place in late January).  JMU did win four games in post season on the Road to win their first ever national championship in 2004.

If you read the Washington Post, it almost sounds like the players and coaches think that the ghost of Sean Taylor is out on the field with them.  I just hope that if they lose, they don’t get too depressed about losing the game “for Sean”.

Ironically, if we do assume the Redskins make it to the Superbowl, and the currently undefeated Patriots make it to the Superbowl, it will be a bit of history repeating.  The 1972 Dolphins won the Superbowl against the Redskins 14-7.  They had a field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown, otherwise the final score would have been 17-0…the same as their record.

Another Ironic thought, the Patriots could win two more games, and lose the Superbowl.  That would make their final record 18-1.  That would be a record for the most wins in a season, but would let the 1972 Dolphins remain the only undefeated team in history.  Personally, this is what I am rooting for.  Not only because the NFC has been woeful in the Superbowl the last few years.  Not even because the Patriots have been a dynasty for long enough…with no signs of slowing down and I like to root for the underdog.  It’s because the Patriots ran up the score on my beloved Redskins.  Ruining their ride and forcing them to put an asterisk on their “undefeated season” would be sweet justice in my mind.

December 31, 2007 Posted by | Football, Redskins, Sports, SuperBowl | 1 Comment

The Importance of Swagger

The Redskins lost a close game last weekend.  One where they dominated for most of the game.

They have been better this year when they have been “playing mad”.  Like they have something to prove.  But there is a short trip from “Playing Mad” to “Playing scared”.

After a loss like last week’s, the athlete’s mind may stop saying “We are better than people say!” and instead say “Are we really as bad as people say?”

There were some disappointing plays last week by a couple of key players.  But the best thing that the skins can do this week is forget about last week and go out angry against the Cardinals and try to get that swagger back. 

October 18, 2007 Posted by | Football, Redskins, Sports | Leave a comment

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

You know, I had just gotten back in to the swing of things again.  Redskins every week.  I was like an addict who was falling off the wagon.  I read all of the articles in the Washington Post about the Skins.  I recorded the games in HD (all I can say is “Wow”) on one DVR and then recorded it in SD on another DVR.  My Redskins Hawaiian style Redskins shirt and jersey with my name on it was out of mothballs.

Now, after three games the NFL throws in a bye week.  The NFL now has an even number of teams so there is no longer a need to have a team take a game off every week.  Why not have all of the teams have their Bye week  between weeks 7 and 9?

Withdrawal pains are now my constant companions.  I can’t sleep.  I lost my appetite.  I need a football fix.

But wait.  The Dukes (JMU) are on a roll.  I am going to the game tomorrow.  They are playing the Wildcats of Villanova.  Villanova is a good team and it should be a fun game.  My friend Cory is coming with some of his coworkers and he claims one is a hot girl and another is “not bad”. Granted, he and I disagree on this sometimes.

This is the fifth game in a row that I will be attending for the Dukes.  One in Chapel Hill (about two hours from Charlotte) and the rest have been home games.  Who puts 4 consecutive home games on anyone’s schedule?  I want to find this person and egg his house (pretty sure it is a guy…a woman wouldn’t do this to me).

September 28, 2007 Posted by | Football, JMU, Redskins, Sports | Leave a comment

I didn’t want to do it…the Belichick fiasco.

OK, I don’t want to contribute to this story, but I have heard so many people ask why video taping was so bad when trying to steal another team’s signals was acceptable.  This included one of the guests on Monday Night Football from the Redskins game last week.

The reason video taping is a problem is that it allows the coaches time to study the defensive signals and every aspect of the following play. They can spend weeks figuring everything out so that it will be in place the next time they play.  This is different than having a third string QB try to pick it up in real time.  Most coaches don’t change signals that often.  No reason to have their players learn a new set of instructions every week.  So the signals used in week 1 are pretty much the same as the signals used in week 12.  A defensive coordinator who changes teams may re-use the signals…at least some of them.

That is all I am going to say about that.  Whether the punishment levied against the Patriots was too much or too little isn’t for me to say.  I just wanted to clarify why the use of video recording equipment is such a problem.

September 20, 2007 Posted by | Football, Sports | 1 Comment

How to watch a Redskins Game

Those people in the burgundy jerseys are trying to kill me.  They wouldn’t do it outright, because then they would get caught.  Instead, they are playing well enough to give me hope while still making it interesting at the end.  They make mental errors that raise my blood pressure.  They keep the game close so that my heart is racing.  At my weight, that is as good a weapon as any.

But I have tried to fight back with my “Rules for watching the Redskins”.  They are outline below:

1) Don’t.  The easiest way to not get stressed watching a Redskins game is to not watch them.

OK, obviously rule #1 isn’t possible.  If it were, you wouldn’t need these other rules.  So, here are a few more.

2) Watch alone…or at least without the kids and wife.

My wife didn’t exactly lie to me when we were dating, but she let me believe that she likes football.  She does go to JMU games with me, but she doesn’t even like to discuss the Redskins games.  As a result, she usually takes the kids out for the games.  This is a good thing.  I am concerned that I would frighten them with some of my antics.  At the end of the first half of last week’s games I was jumping on the furniture, yelling at the TV and cursing Joe’s good name.  For the record, Antwan Randell El didn’t go out of bounds trying to score. It is debatable as to whether he really had a chance to get in to the end-zone, but he did gain 7 yards  in the red-zone he probably should not have been able to get. Then the “spike the ball” play took too long to set up.  Then there was a delay of game, a false start, the field goal unit was sent on to the field. Then a time out by the Eagles, then another false start, then a touchdown pass that Chris Cooley actually held on to (he dropped a beautiful pass earlier) that all occurred from 38 seconds left to 9 seconds left in the half.

3) Eat obsessively

 Football season is a bad time for my weight.  I love Wings with Blue Cheese and “Chips n Cheese” (Mexican cheese melted over Tostitos) or Salsa & Cheese, or Fried Cheese sticks…pretty much “Cheese” is the important ingredient here.  I have tried to get better, but I haven’t done too well.

4) DVR is a beautiful thing…use it.

I find that if I can skip over the more stressful parts, I am in a better frame of mind during the whole game.  Unfortunately this lead to me missing the injury to Randy Thomas in the last game entirely (his replacement was responsible for both of the false starts mentioned above).  I also start waching after the game has been on for at least an hour.  As a result, I have to ignore my phone until I have finished the game (or answer the phone with “I haven’t seen it yet, what’s up that doesn’t have to do with the game?” rather than the more traditional “Hello”)

5) I am man enough to admit…I knit

Unfortunately I inevitably end up having to watch the last few minutes live.  These being the most stressful, that isn’t so good for my heart.  So the next stratagem I use is distraction.  I will play video games (no Madden, the stupid computer cheats).  Or, I will knit.  My mother taught me to knit last weekend, and I have to say it is pretty relaxing during the games.  It keeps my attention divided so that I am not so focused on the moronic strategy or bad execution (It just doesn’t seem possible to over-throw Santana Moss.  The man can run a moch speeds yet Jason Campbell over threw him by 10 yards when he was wide open!).

Try these methods if you choose, but they haven’t really worked for me.  Does anyone know the number to a good Psychiatric Hospital?

September 20, 2007 Posted by | Redskins | 3 Comments