Cogito Patris

Random Thoughts for Random People


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.


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

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

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

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

Joining the Band Wagon

Far too many years ago, the Redskins won a superbowl.  I know, not exactly new knowledge.  During the Super Bowl run, a columnest named Tony Kornheiser wrote a series of articles known as “The Bandwagon”.  The columns were meant as a joke, after all, he was calling for a Super Bowl win following the first game.  But as the season went on, more and more people jumped on.

For the record, I don’t think the Redskins are going to win the Super Bowl this season (The playoffs are not out of the question).  But I do think that JMU will win the 1-AA (Division 1 Champtionship Subdivision) championship.  They have a good QB that can outrun any linebacker (he proved that tima and again in Chapel Hill against UNC).  A good O-line, a quick defense and wide receivers that can actually catch the ball (The Redskins should be jealous) also contribute to my optamism.  They rose to beat a#5 ranked New Hampshire team (that later went on to beat 1-A Marshall).  And this past weekend, they handily beat a team (Virginia Military Institute) they were supposed to beat.  Beleive it or not, I was more worried about VMI than I was New Hampshire.  The Daily News Record (the local Harrisonburg, VA newpaper) was running ariticles that portrayed VMI as happless.  Less mature teams may have dropped the ball (figuratively) in such a situation.  But JMU won handily (without running up the score).

That provides optamism for this fan.  And I hope that optamism translates on to the field.

The JMU Bandwagon starts here.

All aboard!

The JMU Bandwagon

(crickets chirping).

All right, I’ll save my own seat for the trip.

September 17, 2007 Posted by | Football, JMU, Redskins, Sports | Leave a comment

The Stars Align

I follow 1.9375 teams in football.  Well, technically it is 4, but I weight them just the same and it comes out to 1.9375:

1) Washington Redskins (1.000) – Pre Season, Regular Season, Post Season, Home, Away it doesn’t matter.  I watch.

2) JMU Dukes (0.7500) – My College Alma Mater (Class of ’98). I try to go to all the home games but invariably miss one or two.  I will check the scores of away games or even listen over the internet on occasion.  I will even go to an away game if it isn’t too far (I will travel further to go to a match up against a 1-A school).  I am still kicking myself for missing the national championship game in 2004 even if I was literally in the process of moving in to a new house and in a new city in a different state over Christmas.

3) Waynesboro High School (0.1250) – My High School Alma Mater (Class of ’94). If I am in town and they are at home I might go to a game once or twice a season, maybe.

4) University of Virginia (0.0625) – I will see what the score is if I think about it.  With the exception of a bowl game, I haven’t been to a game in at least 9 years.  I will go to a bowl game only if it is close enough.

So, why am I bringing this up? Well, with the exception of JMU, all of these teams have been pretty bad in recent years.  Some of them will top .500 for a season here or there, but that seems to be pretty rare. 

My best friend and I follow the same teams.  We grew up in the same town and both attended WHS.  In fact, we met in the weight room almost 15 years ago before our football team’s playoff run my senior year (both of us were offensive linemen). 

A few years ago we noticed that all four teams never seemed to win on the same weekend.  With all of them being pretty bad that isn’t surprising, but it was amazingly awful nonetheless.  In fact, even if you remove UVa from the list, the remaining three didn’t win on the same weekend either. Unfortunately it was not all that unusual for all of them to lose on the same weekend.  But this past weekend was the exception (all of my teams were at home):

WHS 41 / Covington High 20#10

JMU 41 / #5 UNH (New Hamshire) 24

UVa 24 / Duke 13

Redskins 16 / Dolphins 13

Hopefully this isn’t the sign of a coming apocalypse but the birth of a new era where my favorite sports teams actually win games.

September 13, 2007 Posted by | Football, JMU, Redskins, Sports, UVa, Waynesboro | Leave a comment

Part 31 of 31 – Superbowl Pick – Washington Redskins

All right, you had to know it was coming.  My final prediction for the 2008 Superbowl is the Redskins.  But I feel the need to provide more than one reason.  So, here it is:

Top 10 Reasons for the Redskins to win the Superbowl

10) Darrell Green – OK, he may not technically be on the squad any more, but he embodies all that is good about football.  A player that worked hard, he was quite and effective.  He cared as much about the community he played in as the result of the games.

9) A few years ago I went to the final regular season game against the Tampa Bay Bucs.  The skins won after it started snowing in the fourth quarter (though only those of us in the upper deck could tell).  On the way to the stadium the Redskins Chief said “Marry Christmas” to me.

8) Little Gary Clark from Little JMU.  OK, he isn’t on the team any more either, but maybe he should be.  I am more than a little disappointed that he isn’t even being considered for the Hall of Fame.

7) They are Due.

6) Joe Gibbs.  He is a good coach.  He will figure out how to pull it together.

5) Fed-Ex field will no longer be referred to as “Fed Up Field”

4) The Redskinettes.

3) They are my team.

2) They are my team.

1) I may not be Daniel Snyder, but they are my team.

June 22, 2007 Posted by | Football, Redskins, Sports, SuperBowl | 2 Comments

Redskins Preseason Player to Root for

Lets face it, the preseason is popular only because of the long off-season for football played in the US.  The games are vanilla to say the least and the results don’t matter in the standings.  So, in order to make things more interesting, I usually pick one player to root for during the preseason. You may recall from my previous post that I am against rooting for players because football is a team sport.  This is the exception primarily because I am rooting for the underdog.  Usually this player is undersized and undrafted (or late drafted).  In recent years I rooted for a Wide Receiver from Montana (Jimmy Farris) for no other reason than he played against JMU when JMU won the national championship in 2004.  I think he was on the practice squad his rookie year, but he made the team and got some playing time for one season. He was sent home last year and I doubt they will bring him in this year.  There was a good article in the Washington Post when he was cut, but it has been archived.

Well, this year I am going to be rooting for Defensive End Justin Hickman from UCLA.  Not only because, if he does work out, it would plug a major hole in the Redskin’s Defense.  But mostly because he is a nobody from nowhere, too small and too slow to play in the NFL.  That is the stuff that bad Hollywood movies dreams are made of.

May 9, 2007 Posted by | Football, Redskins, Sports | Leave a comment