Tuesday, July 18, 2006

2006 Preview: Washington Redskins

Welcome to another installment of our ongoing series, Better Know a Football Team.

Epiphanies are mysterious things. They are moments of clarity that result in paradigm-shifting realizations, and that’s some pretty heavy shit. But you don’t have to be named Stephen Dadelus to have one, nor are they always accompanied by sunsets and choirs of angels. Nope, a person can have an epiphany while they are sitting on their ass watching TV. Take me (please, ladies. Take. Me. Anywhere.) This weekend I was on my couch, firmly ensconced in faux velvet, when the following occurred to me:

1 - That poster on my wall may be the reason I’m single
2 - No way those pills actually work . . . although that guy does look awfully confident.
3 - My job is my credit
4 - I don’t actually dislike the Redskins

Now, that last one shocked me. I went to college in a REDskin state and, for a guy from New York who didn’t like the Skins, being amongst their fans in the 1990’s was a glorious carnival of schadenfreude. Norv Turner. Gus Frerotte’s headbutt. The inevitable late season losses to the Cardinals. Those were the salad days.

But times change, grasshoppers. MNF is on ESPN instead of ABC, MTV doesn't play music anymore, and Al Roker is skinny. In short, it ain’t the 90’s anymore. It’s the 21st century and not only do the Skins look like they are on the verge of stopping traffic in suburban Virginia and Maryland so people in khaki pants can get out of their Volvos and sing Hail To The Redskins, there are things I actually like about them. Here are three:

1 - Joe Gibbs –In the movie about the old coach who returns to a league that may passed him by, Gibbs’ character last season went from Hume Cronyn to Wilford Brimley. And in a league where assistant coaches have become increasingly visible (and therefore more important? Not sure which came first), he’s got two pretty good ones.

2 - Clinton Portis – On the field, we all know the guy can play. But it is off the field where Clinton stole our hearts. His weekly press conferences were one of the few instances of plain, silly fun in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE in the last several years. I have no doubt that the powers that
be will ban them by the start of the season. In fact, Joe
Buck is already sorry they ever took place and thinks we are all worse off for having seen them.

3 - Dan Snyder – Short, rich, and apoplectic. He’s Kim Jong Il but without the nuclear capabilities.

Even if this wasn't enough for me to tune in this season, the fact is that this was a very good team last season that got better during the off-season. Despite a disappointing playoff loss which these guys did not take well, the Skins should be able to continue playing like they did during a an impressive run in the 2nd half of last season in which they seemed to gel as a team. They’ve got Portis, they’ve got Santana Moss, and now they have Antwaan Randle El. And despite the loss of amateur reality game show host LaVar Arrington, Gregg Williams’ defense still is going to be fine, with veterans like Marcus Washington and rookies like Rocky McIntosh and Anthony Montgomery.

If there is a question mark for the Skins, it is at QB, where Mark Brunell will continue his quest to prove he is not Patrick Ramsey, and where Jason Campbell will hold a clipboard better than a lot of other guys could. (But hey, if the Washington D.C. football team is looking for a quarterback to step in and save the day, I think I know the guy.) Despite the QB situation, though, the Skins seem to have fewer question marks than most NFC East teams - the Skins could run away with the division -T.O. could be T.O. and help destroy the Cowboys from the inside (and kill Parcells in the process), Eli could decide he's not ready yet, and McNabb could just implode (especially after a week one loss to Houston. Do not doubt me on that one). Or they could all have excellent seasons and the division race becomes a tight one. Either way, the Skins are probably a good bet to get out of their division.

So those are your 2006 Redskins: talented, and not entirely unlikable. I had asked Julie and Travis, close friends of mine and the two biggest Skins fans I know, to offer their predictions for the 2006 season. One is in the process of rebuilding South America. The other has probably hit on you at The Angry Inch. Both have enough dirt on me to keep me from ever running for public office. Anyway, neither got back to me in time with a response (we run a pretty tight ship here at KSK). So instead, a friendly reminder that right about the time the Skins wrap up a playoff spot would be a great time look into financing that new automobile, and when you do there's really only one place to go:


35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dan Snyder – Short, rich, and apoplectic. He’s Kim Jong Il but without the nuclear capabilities.


Indeed.

Son of Brasky said...

Kim Jong Il. Well done sir.

Unfortunately for the Redskins, there hope and dreams ride on the rubbery arm and brittle knees of one Mark Brunell.

Also, I think Brandon Lloyd is a much bigger pickup at WR than Randle-El. Randle-El is a good slot receiver (see Wayne Chrebet).

BoSox Siobhan said...

You know, I don't love the NFL and I sure as hell don't love the Redksins, but I can't get enough Clinton Portis. Or Easterns Motors ads with Biz Markie.

A.R.P. said...

I have a terrible suspicion, not that LaVar will end Mark "Cool Whip" Brunell's career (that's a certainty), but that he'll team up with 'skins expat Lumpvernouis "Ballz" Coles to sell discount autos in the NYC region. That would be too unbearable.

Great post.

BTW: When are we going to put a potato on the helmet?

Unsilent Majority said...

Jason Campbell is the best quarterback in the NFC, you heard it here first.

A.R.P. said...

It's too bad Joe Theeesman is dead.

Awful Chief said...

I'm just waiting for Easterns & Senate Insurance to announce big merger deal.

zaiusmd said...

eastern motors' jingle - second in the district of comedy only to manny and olga's pizza. we deliver... very late!

Unsilent Majority said...

i'm proud to say i ordered a crapload of wings from manny and olgas at about 2 am on friday night...god bless that jingle for giving me the idea.

Son of Brasky said...

Don't tell Michael Wilbon I said this, but the Redskins would have a legit shot at the Super Bowl if ole Brad "long neck" Johnson was back at the helm.

dave18256 said...

Great post. Kim Jong II comparison is phenomenal. And a reference to Manny and Olgas in the comments? That's just great stuff. By the way, have any of you checked out the new Snyder radio stations yet? They were running the Sonny/Sam/Larry highlights from the last few games of the season this morning. The Riggo/Bram show has a lot of potential

uncskins28 said...

It's going to be 1988 redux, with white QB going down midseason (Brunell/Schroeder) and black QB wearing #17 coming in to lead us to the Super Bowl (Campbell/Williams).

Actually, I think people are discounting Brunell. He had a serious shot at the Pro Bowl last year before getting injured in the second Giants game. It doesn't help that he's a pain in the ass and never admits he's hurt, but he played really well all season and will again if he's healthy.

Time to fire up the bandwagon? I think so!

P.S. First James Joyce reference ever in a football blog? Bravo.

Unsilent Majority said...

riggo is amazingly good on the radio. and bram is up to the challenge of sharing a studio with almost anyone.
god bless dan snyder and his entire empire (even six flags)

Unsilent Majority said...

uncskins- p.s. i made a "Ulysses" reference when introducing the fan video clip...we're mad literary round here

Biff said...

Someone, somewhere (I forget where I read it), suggested that Riggo replace Theisman as the color guy for MNF. If only...

BoSox Siobhan said...

That was me, Biff. I've hypothesized millions of times that TK and Riggo on the same broadcast would be my dream. They might be too smart, though.
No, seriously. Riggo's really smart now that he sobered up. More boring, but easier to understand. He referenced "The Iliad" once on WTEM. I almost crashed my car when the douchbag sports reporters didn't know what to do with that.

Dexter Manley Reads...Braille said...

Dan Snyder owns a nuclear weapon...in his crotch area.

Trust me.

You gotta like the defense but Brunell's arm and his agedness scare me. Anyway, it's still good to know that Joe Gibbs is a genius after all. Good write-up!

Chillonamill said...

I can't figure out if I vomit after Manny and Olga's pizza because of the taste or because I order it at 3:30am after bar hopping through Georgetown

Silky McGee said...

It's Stephen DEdAlus. Philistines.

Unsilent Majority said...

chris, you may have to switch over to philly pizza co.

Dexter Manley Reads...Beckett said...

By the way, this is the second time Joyce was referenced in the first paragraph of a post. Are you guys members of the Leopold Bloom Society? Or is a Joyce reference an essential part of the "KSK style?"

I love the site more than words, but, fellas, please vary the literary mentions a bit. I'd greatly appreciate a Fred Exley tie-in for the next post.

Unsilent Majority said...

for all you dc readers...as of 9 minutes ago it has become official...sportstalk 980 is on the way out. check out dan snyder's new venture, Triple X ESPN Radio.

www.triplexespnradio.com

uncskins28 said...

Fred Exley was a Giants fan, I don't know if that'll work here given the preponderance of Skins Fans.

UM, Bravo...I missed the earlier Ulysses reference. If you can fit in Finnegan's Wake, I'll be truly amazed.

Dexter Manley Reads...Maps said...

Yes, and I was hoping the next preview would be the NY Giants. Or does the Strahan post serve that purpose?

You know, the more I think about it, the more A Fan's Notes seems a precursor to Kissing Suzy Kolber. There's the same angst and dark humor which is obviously fed by alcohol and general scorn of the world.

uncskins28 said...

2 things I want from the Giants-Skins game this year.

1. Sean Taylor puts his helmet through Eli's sternum

2. Randy Thomas pancakes Lavar

Captain Caveman said...

I love the site more than words, but, fellas, please vary the literary mentions a bit.

I just re-read Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises, so I'll try to bring the literary references back to America.

Unsilent Majority said...

in addition i just reread The Kid Who Only Hit Homers...so i'm loaded with literary bullets.

although the kid was probably Jason Grimsley's best customer.

BoSox Siobhan said...

I shed a tead for the demise of WTEM. Maybe Danny Boy's station needs a good Marketing Director....hmmm.

Son of Brasky said...

UM, let's be honest. Philly pizza co. is a sorry excuse for Jumbo Slice. And there is nothing like scarffing down a piece of Jumbo Slice while taking a drunken $30 cab ride home.

A.R.P. said...

Papa John is your official Redskins Pizza Daddy. It's really all about the Armand's baby. It ain't late night, but it's right. Those tricks in Friendship fooled me last time I was home. Why do people eat at Quizknowz again?

Late night tight, despite the 'rhea:
D(ouble)P(enetration) Dough. Proper. Beats M&O's sausage rope sub.

Anonymous said...

oooohhh baby, I'll take you anywhere, anytime...

Anonymous said...

YES, a Matt Christopher reference, by far the greatest human ever, i also bet he was a great child molester, since he used sports books instead of candy. Great for the 8-10 ten year old demographic.

Unsilent Majority said...

anon just shattered my innocence

Swing4 said...

FF -- You're definitely on to something...chicks dig scars, not 80's boy-band posters, even if displayed for comedic purposes.

Also, go easy on Brunell. There is a soft spot in my heart for him, as a fellow Pac-10 alumna, and a Jacksonville resident during the Jaguars first season. He has miles of heart. He knows he's only got a few more good years left, and as a former Rose Bowl and Pro Bowl QB, he's probably damn near starving to finish his career with a super bowl win (a la John Elway). He's a gamer now and knows he doesn't have many more years to make it happen. Hopefully that will infuse the whole team with a sense of urgency and purpose this year. Except when they play the Eagles, of course.

As a side note...there has never been a town more in need of, and desperate for, a football franchise than Jacksonville. I went on a beer run at half-time during that first game, and there was not a single other car on the road. Not even an old person in a Lincoln. Everyone was glued to their TV's. It was nuclear winter surreal.

Also, hold your fire for the Brunell/Elway comparison. It was for illustrative purposes only. I get that Elway is a football god. I'm just saying they both had high career expectations, came close a few times, and were hungry to go out with The Big Win. You know what I mean.

DCThrowback said...

Yes, I believe you. Any team that can't sell out a stadium deserves a football team. Ever think it's so damn hot in JAX that people don't want to leave their house in mid-afternoon?

You want to see nuclear winter, try Buffalo or Pittsburgh during a game. Cities damn near shut down.