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  1. This column appeared online two days ago, Dec 31, 2014, dated Dec 31, 2014. "Bruce Allen's Five Worst Answers At His Season-Ending Press Conference" by Mike Steingarten on washpost.com I posted this comment: --- This column appeared online yesterday Jan 1, 2015, also dated Dec 31, 2014: "Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen Sidesteps The Most Important Questions" by Jason Reid on washpost.com I posted this comment: To which someone replied: To which I replied: To which another person replied: This column appeared online today, Jan 2, 2015, also dated Dec 31, 2014: "Washington Redskins Are The Victim Of Top-Down Organizational Dysfunction" by Sally Jenkins on washpost.com It was the best column I can remember reading by Sally Jenkins. No, I don't think I caused her to write it, but I feel strongly enough about this issue where I'm going to sign my full, real name to my writing, and not deviate from a position I've developed over the long-term, despite giving up some much-cherished personal privacy. I would have simply linked to columns and comments, saying it was me, but there's something very wrong with either the Post's comment software, or how my ChromeBook interacts with it - it took me a good fifteen minutes just to write this post. These are my opinions on the team's one - and only - problem (singular): Dan Snyder. And I proudly sign my opinions with my real name. Happy New Year to all, Don Rockwell.
  2. Clemson University Bio for Deshaun Watson Aug 30, 2016 - "Deshaun Watson Opens Up on Mom's Cancer Battle: 'She's Living Life to the Fullest" by Campus Insiders on watchstadium.com Deann Watson had tongue cancer, similar to what Grant Achatz had - they are two of the fortunate ones who (this seems fitting) licked it after brutal treatments of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Dec 29, 2016 - "Clemson's Deshaun Watson Embraced the 'Student' in 'Student-Athlete" by Rick Bonnell on charlotteobserver.com Watson earned his Bachelor's Degree in Communications in Dec, 2016. "'It was a lot of early mornings and late nights,' Watson said. 'I just tried to nap here and there.'" Jan 24, 2017 - "Dabo Swinney Compares Deshaun Watson to Michael Jordan" by Joseph Zucker on bleacherreport.com Apr 29, 2017 - Deshaun Watson buys his mom her first new car.
  3. Do you watch college football? I do. Not voraciously but sporadically. Its somewhat like watching college basketball vs the pros. One phenomena is that when a player sticks out and is so remarkably more talented than everyone else he creates memorable unmatched plays and generates astonishing displays of athleticism. Over the past quarter century or so probably the single most exciting player in college football was Michael Vick. Vick; pretty interesting career and life. He was a combination running/throwing quarterback at Virginia Tech, probably led them to their best records, and made remarkable play after play. He was the fastest quarterback in memory, was a shifty runner, had a cannon of an arm. He could create excitement with his arm or his legs. In college, his dominance was transcendent. Often he would step back to pass, the defense would spread to cover receivers, the defensive line would open up and Vick would take off on amazing runs. Left, right, shifting and faking out tacklers then turn on the super speed. Vick was a first draft choice around the turn of the century and was so athletically gifted he was often able to replicate those exciting plays in the pros. He was quite good his first 6 years...and then his own personal tragedy struck. But enough about Vick. Currently and last year there is a successor to Michael Vick. His name is Lamar Jackson and he is the quarterback at University of Louisville. Jackson is in his second year and is simply shredding defenses. He simply is the most talented player on the field. He may not be as fast as Vick but he is similarly shifty and every so often simply leaps over tacklers. He flicks passes. It seems effortless. He is rolling up astounding plays and scoring touchdowns either by running them in or passing for them at an amazing clip. ....and he looks like a man against boys. Here is a clip of some of his amazing plays.
  4. I don't care what people say about Robert Griffin III being a "bust" - he was a *great* athlete and college football player, whose career was basically ended because he wasn't properly trained to play in the NFL, and because he was left in a game when he was so badly injured that he could barely walk. When I first saw Griffin's highlight video coming out of Baylor, I could not believe the things I was seeing: plays such as Griffin running to his left, then stopping on a dime and throwing a 50-yard laser cross-field to a receiver sprinting down the *right* sideline for a touchdown. During his rookie season with the Redskins, even his detractors grudgingly came around to admitting that this kid was phenomenal, and two-thirds of the way through the season, there wasn't merely unanimous accord about him being the Rookie of the Year, but also serious talk about him being the NFL MVP. Yet, there was that college-style game he was playing - the equivalent of storming the enemy without wearing a bullet-proof vest, and the Redskins were doing nothing to help him transition from a college-style game to become more of an NFL pocket passer, because he was taking them to the playoffs and they were thinking short-term. Griffin's career-ending injury occurred when he was left in the game with an injury so obviously severe that everyone could see it - the announcers were incredulous - and the next play would essentially be his final one in the NFL. A superstar done in by being rushed along and not coached into becoming an NFL player who could survive in the long-term. Maybe so, but he'll always have *my* respect, and I hope he has a lifetime of happiness with his millions of dollars, even though he'll never have the Hall of Fame career which was his for the taking. And it's absolutely *not* his fault - he was a *kid* who only knew one speed: overdrive, and it was the coaches' job to reign him in, to develop him, and to protect him. Look at what the Nationals did in 2012 when they had the best record in the National League, and Stephen Strasburg hit his (arbitrary) "maximum pitch count" before the season was over - why didn't they bench Strasburg *before* he hit that pitch count so that they could use him in the playoffs? I have never heard a satisfactory explanation to this confounding decision when Strasburg was showing *no* signs of physical problems. Whatever their rationale, they chose not to save Strasburg even when it was obvious they'd make the playoffs without him, and then they lost to the Cardinals in the National League Division Series, 3 games to 2. Would Strasburg have made a difference in a five-game series? What the hell do you think? If the Redskins had given Griffin one-tenth of the protection that the Nationals gave Strasburg, we might have a superstar quarterback leading us to the playoffs right now, year after year; instead, we have someone who was made into a scapegoat for the Redskins' stupidity, and is wrongly and unfairly called "one of the biggest busts in NFL draft history." RG3: World-class athlete, Hall of Fame potential, the definition of class when he was forced to go an entire season without taking a single snap, and no more of a bust than Bo Jackson.
  5. I know relatively little about Dwayne Haskins - I didn't realize he went to Bullis High School in Potomac, and had originally committed to Maryland: May 15, 2015 - "Dwayne Haskins Commits to Maryland, Targets Recruits To Join 'The Movement'" by Tyler Donohue on bleacherreport.com Oct 11, 2015 - "How Will Randy Edsall's Firing Impact Haskins and the Rest of Maryland's 2016 Recruiting Class?" by Brandon Parker on washingtonpost.com Jan 18, 2016 - "4-Star Maryland QB Dwayne Haskins Decommits, Flips Pledge" by Daniel Martin on nbcsports.com Bullis is no Churchill when it comes to athletics, but how does a four-star high-school quarterback throw 54-88 for 793 yards and 9 touchdowns in the first two games of his senior year ... and start the season 0-2?
  6. To anyone attending Clemson University during the glorious 1981-1982 season, when Clemson defeated Nebraska 22-15 in the Orange Bowl to become undefeated national champions, the name "William Perry" is universally beloved and just as famous as the name Brooks Robinson is in Baltimore. The Fridge has fallen upon unspeakably hard times, and barring a miracle, his best days are behind him, but he will always be remembered with fondness and affection. Thank you, William, for enriching all of our lives - we all love you. And I can personally vouch for any and all anecdotes you might hear about Perry's athletic exploits as being 100% true - he was a physical specimen unlike any other. Jan 6, 2016 - "How William 'The Refrigerator' Perry Changed Betting Forever" by Adam Chandler on theatlantic.com
  7. You might be right; unfortunately, they weren't yet "my Orioles," as I was only 5 years old - the only reason I wish I was 5-10 years older than I am is so I could remember the 1966 World Series. Orioles by decade: 1966: World Series Champions with Frank Robinson 1970: World Series Champions with Brooks Robinson 1983: World Series Champions with Cal Ripken, Jr. 1990s: Peter Angelos 2000s: Peter Angelos 2010s: Peter Angelos I wish I could live to see a cage match fought to the death between Dan Snyder and Peter Angelos, the only rule being that both of them have to die before it's over. Have any two people done more to damage the morale of their respective cities? Maybe Bob Irsay, but not too many others that I can think of. Think about Jack Kent Cooke, Ted Leonsis, and the Lerner family and how much they're loved by Washingtonians. Hell, even Abe Pollin, despite being a terribly unsuccessful owner, was at least loved and respected (let's not forget he's largely responsible for Verizon Center). Sports-team owners have three functions: 1) Hire experts 2) Write checks 3) Stay out of the way Snyder and Angelos are micro-managing control freaks, and don't have the strength of character to remove their personalities from their failed endeavors. Sorry to hijack this thread; I just got immensely pissed off thinking about how these two *ruined* two of the greatest franchises in the history of American sports.
  8. Jeff Allen is an Offensive Lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs, and played college football at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  9. I dismissed Mitch Trubisky having been drafted as the top quarterback in the 2016 NFL draft (with the #2 overall pick) as a boneheaded decision, but when some guy named Patrick Mahomes went as the second quarterback (with the #10 pick) ahead of Deshaun Watson (the #12 pick), I took it personally. The Trubisky pick was unwise, but Patrick Mahomes? This kid is *unbelievable*! Who knows whether he's going to last, but in just his second NFL season, he's the odds-on favorite for NFL MVP, and has as many touchdown passes this year as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers - combined! As much as I love Deshaun, I just have to take my hat off to Mahomes, and nod with respect. Look at this play from Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts Baltimore Ravens: The Chiefs were down 24-17, with 1:29 left in the 4th quarter, and it was 4th-and-9 from their own 40-yard line. How was this possible? http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-cant-miss-plays/0ap3000000997603/Can-t-Miss-Play-Mahomes-hits-Hill-for-INSANE-fourth-down-conversion In case anyone thinks Mahomes is a fluke, he led the NCAA in Passing Yards in 2016.
  10. In our Sports Forum, we have a thread on your rookie quarterback, Deshaun Watson. I've followed Watson carefully for the past four years, and have watched every single moment, of every single game, that he has played for the past two years. If you're concerned that Watson can't be an "NFL-style," pocket quarterback, well, I think that's a legitimate concern, but I also think that Watson - even though he can scamper - has a pocket-quarterback mentality in his head. The scrambling quarterback works best in college; the pocket passer works best in the NFL, and I honestly believe that Watson has the tools and the discipline to be both. Here in Washington, DC, we suffered through the agony of watching Robert Griffin III, who won the Heisman Trophy for Baylor, and for whom the Washington Redskins gave up a *fortune*. RGIII was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and *deserved* it, producing one of the greatest seasons in NFL history by a rookie quarterback. However, RGIII was never taught to be a pocket passer, and the Redskins allowed him to be a sitting duck for the NFL's monster linebackers, who used him as a tackling dummy. The Redskins didn't take him out when he became visibly injured (it was very, very hard to watch), and just like that, RGIII's career was over (or, at least, it's probably over). Don't think for a moment that Deshaun Watson isn't acutely aware of the sad tale of RGIII. All he needs is to be taught how to transition from college to the NFL, and you just may have yourself an All-Pro-caliber QB for the next decade. I'm going to be pulling for the Texans, and for the great Deshaun Watson - I only hope that he has someone down there who can teach him properly; otherwise, all bets are off. One thing you shouldn't worry about is all these articles about Watson's interceptions. The articles fed off themselves; I actually *watched* every play Watson made for the past two seasons, and he threw a total of about five lousy interceptions; the rest of them came with a large dose of sheer bad luck, irrelevant situations (an 80-yard, Hail Mary with 2-seconds left in the half, for example) or missed patterns by his receivers - the interception tally wouldn't worry me in the least. You've got yourself a champion on your hands, and at least one person up here in Washington, DC who will be pulling for him. Cheers, Rocks
  11. I'll let other folks comment on the game; right now, I want to report that Redskins Hall-of-Famer Darrell Green carried the Vince Lombardi trophy at the end of the game - I am * so glad* to have watched this wonderful person have this honor. Congratulations to the great Philadelphia Eagles for winning their first-ever Super Bowl. Congratulations also to the great New England Patriots for continuing to establish themselves - perhaps along with the Green Bay Packers - as the greatest NFL team in history.
  12. Once the established RB at KC was injured, fantasy football players snatched up Hunt like crazy. Of course they couldn't imagine how great his first games were going to be. But they valued him. (I don't play FF currently but cripes it took me 2 seasons to get over withdrawal symptoms).
  13. Are you kidding me? You're blaming football on an 11% drop in your share price? Has nothing to do with pizza quality (piss poor)? Has nothing to do with so many more fast casual options? If, as a fast food company, your business model is dependent on a pro sports league's popularity, you probably need to develop a new business model. Wow.
  14. The NFL season starts tonight, and the Pats are favored by 9.5 against the Chiefs. Who would you pick against the spread and why?
  15. Drew Kaser kicked one of the greatest punts I've ever seen - 69 *beautiful* yards in the air, bouncing at a perfect angle on the 1/2-yard line, and grabbed by his own player right by the goal line. Watch it here - it's a thing of magnificence. When Kaser was a sophomore at Texas A&M, he kicked a 76-yard punt against Rice - from the point of contact, to where the ball bounced, it was over 80 yards in the air:
  16. I make the following statement knowing full-well that half of our readers are female, and that I run the risk of controversy - that is not my intent *at all*, and I apologize in advance if this is inappropriate. Several days ago, Cam Newton, the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, was asked the following question by a female reporter: Cam, I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well. Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of his routes and getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of enjoyment to see him kind of truck-sticking people out there? To which Newton replied, with what most people are saying was a smirk (but looked to me like a smile): “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes, like…” Newton said. “It’s funny.” My question is this: Is it possible that this was the very first time Newton has ever been asked a somewhat technical question by a female reporter in his life? Newton grew up in Atlanta, probably playing football since he was a pre-teen. I feel pretty safe in saying he spent his pre-teen and teen years never having heard *any* questions by female journalists. Then, he went to college at Auburn, in Auburn Alabama - probably not the most progressive of towns - and I suspect he played his entire collegiate career without much exposure to female journalists. Now, he's in Charlotte - another southern town. This is his seventh year in the NFL, and it seems *very* unlikely after seven years that he hadn't heard a technical question by a female journalist. However, I would like to at least know if this was the first time it ever happened to him - can anyone find any example of a female reporter asking him a question using football jargon? The only reason I bring this up is because his reply reminded me of the way I would laugh at my son Matt. When Matt was about four years old (no, I'm not comparing female journalists to four-year-old children, I assure you), he would walk through an entire parking lot, and name every single car: while he pointed to them "Toyota, BMW, Mazda, Honda, Chevrolet, Toyota, Ford," etc. It was *hilarious*, and we all started cracking up because none of us had ever heard a child that young show so much knowledge about such a non-traditional subject. There was no malevolence behind our laughter; it was just shocking to hear a child rattling off all of these automobile brands, just from looking at the logos. If - and I acknowledge this is a *big* if - this was Newton's first time ever being asked a technical question by a female reporter, then I don't think his response was sexist; he had simply never been exposed to it before. Given that he has been a star in the league for so long, this scenario seems very unlikely, but it's not impossible. I guess I'm a little surprised at the consistent, widespread fury by the female population. If I became an expert in a subject that's traditionally not something a male excels in - I don't know, pick one: needlepoint, sewing, nursing, food writing, or whatever - I don't think I'd be *this* offended by women being taken off-guard by my knowledge, and calling it "cute." Then again, males haven't been held under a glass ceiling, so I guess that's where this analogy breaks down. Anyway, I'm just posing a very unlikely possibility that isn't completely impossible (honestly, I have absolutely no clue how many NFL reporters are female - I haven't watched professional football in many, many years, and I know almost nothing about Cam Newton). If you're a female and are offended by this, then please believe me that you're reading it in the wrong spirit - I'm simply trying to find *some* scenario where Newton doesn't come across as sexist, because he is universally being raked over the coals. Can we at least agree that it wasn't *this* bad?
  17. "Stephen Curry Says New Sports Illustrated Cover Is 'Terrible' for Leaving Off Colin Kaepernick" on bbc.com I agree with Stephen Curry - the "taking a knee" issue wouldn't even exist were it not for Colin Kaepernick. Aside from that, Kaepernick's original protest was about *police treatment of black people*, and yet the entire issue has morphed into "disrespecting servicemen and the American flag" - give me a break. On a related note (and it's absolutely related), this would be the funniest 1-2 Twitter war I've seen, if it didn't have such enormous repercussions: 1) Donald Trump 2) LeBron James My only problem with James' reply is that he felt the need to explain and justify his Tweet, which he did here. Regardless of what this symbolism becomes, It's important to remember that none of this was originally about disrespecting "the military" or "the flag," for Pete's sake. This also shows just how powerful the American Presidency is when it comes to being on the bully pulpit - my personal views of things should be obvious if you follow me outside this website, but I'm not going to use this venue for anything other than intelligent, respectful discourse (discussing the issue itself - regardless of your views - is encouraged; personal insults and partisan politics remain outside our scope). That said, is it correct for *any* U.S. President, regardless of party, to call a peacefully demonstrating NFL player a "son of a bitch?" I honestly wonder if he had an erection when he screamed, "He's fired!" - the sad thing is, for once, I'm not trying to be funny.
  18. Current List Of NFL Starting Quarterbacks ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- List of NFL 2014 Opening-Day Starting Quarterbacks ---------------------------------------------------------------------- AFC ----------------------------------------------------------------------- North Ben Roethlisberger 2004, #11, Miami (Ohio) Joe Flacco 2008, #18, Delaware Brian Hoyer 2009, Undrafted, Michigan St. Andy Dalton 2011, #35, TCU East Tom Brady 2000, #199, Michigan Ryan Tannehill 2012, #8, Texas A&M EJ Manuel 2013, #16, FSU Geno Smith 2013, #39, WVU South Ryan Fitzpatrick 2005, #250, Harvard Chad Henne 2008, #57, Michigan Jake Locker 2011, #8, Washington Andrew Luck 2012, #1, Stanford West Peyton Manning 1998, #1, Tennessee Philip Rivers 2004, #4, NC State Alex Smith 2005, #1, Utah Derek Carr 2014, #36, Fresno State ---------------------------------------------------------------------- NFC ----------------------------------------------------------------------- North Aaron Rogers 2005, #24, California Matt Cassel 2005, #230, USC Jay Cutler 2006, #11, Vanderbilt Matthew Stafford 2009, #1, Georgia East Eli Manning 2004, #1, Mississippi Tony Romo 2004, Undrafted, Eastern Illinois Robert Griffin III 2012, #2, Baylor Nick Foles 2012, #88, Arizona South Drew Brees 2001, #32, Purdue Josh McCown 2002, #81, Sam Houston State Matt Ryan 2008, #3, Boston College Cam Newton 2011, #1, Auburn West Carson Palmer 2003, #1, USC Colin Kaepernick 2011, #36, Nevada Russell WIlson 2012, #75, Wisconsin Austin Davis 2012, Undrafted, Southern Miss
  19. With all these tags about Frank Gifford, you'd think I'd be writing about his football career, but only tangentially: Gifford was a commentator on ABC's Monday Night Football for 27 years, and (get ready for a 180-degree turn) it's largely due to him that the world was informed of John Lennon's assassination as soon as it was.
  20. What a wonderful picture this is: It's sort of depressing that I have vague memories of Super Bowl III. At least I was too young to understand why they weren't playing Johnny Unitas instead of Earl Morrall. Think about the year 1969 for New York and Baltimore: 1) The Jets beat the Colts in the Super Bowl. 2) The Mets beat the Orioles in the World Series. 3) The Knicks beat the Bullets in the NBA Playoffs. At least Baltimore didn't have a hockey team to kick around, but it wouldn't have mattered: In three playoff rounds, the Montreal Canadians lost a total of two games - the Stanley Cup took place in the semi-finals when Montreal beat the Boston Bruins, 4 games to 2. It says a lot that the St. Louis Blues won their first two rounds against their fellow West Division opponents by a combined game score of 8-0, and then lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to Montreal of the East Division, 4 games to 0. Man, talk about a dominant Division. --- Out of the First- and Second-Team All-Pros, fully 11 of them come from New England and Atlanta - at first glance, it might appear that Atlanta has the huge advantage ... until you examine the Second-Team players and see that the Patriots are loaded. First-Team All-Pros Playing in Super Bowl LXI: New England Patriots: Matthew Slater, Special Teams, UCLA Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, Quarterback, Boston College; Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Alabama; Vic Beasley, Outside Linebacker, Clemson --- Second-Team All-Pros Playing in Super Bowl LXI: New England Patriots: Tom Brady, Quarterback, Michigan Marcus Canon, Right Offensive Tackle, Texas Christian Dont'a Hightower, Linebacker, Alabama Malcolm Butler, Cornerback, West Alabama Devin McCourty, Free Safety, Rutgers Nate Ebner, Special Teams, Ohio State Atlanta Falcons: Alex Mack, Center, University of California
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