Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
THE FINAL FOOTBALL RELATED POST OF THIS SEASON. I PROMISE. NO MORE AFTER THIS. HERE IS MY FINAL ANALYSIS OF THE REDSKINS' SEASON.
What is his injury? A broken heart and stooped shoulders.
The offensive line is terrible. It was even terrible before being decimated by injuries, but now they have reached all new levels of crappiness as third and fourth string guys are called upon to fill in. The porous and weak offensive line made Campbell look worse than he is. He was constantly, and almost instantly, rushed on every snap. By allowing Campbell little or no time they kept our admittedly mediocre receiving corps from posing any sort of deep threat, and the receivers were forced to run short routes underneath or snag little screen passes just to be relevant. The O-line also didn’t allow our ground attack any holes or running lanes. What successes Rock Cartwright and Quinton Ganther were able to wrest from opposing defenses is entirely to their credit and they should be recognized for playing with heart. Fred Davis, filling in for an injured Chris Cooley at TE, was a happy surprise. I would like him to see an expanded role in the future. The only other bright spot from this season was the defense, which played extremely well. I think it can be argued that Washington has the best defense overall in the NFC East. They would be better too if they weren’t constantly on the field. For example, during our last game against the Giants, during the first quarter the time of possession was almost fourteen minutes to one in favor of New York. Our defense is really, really good, but the offense needs to give them a break every once a while. I don’t know what to make of Zorn and the play calling fiasco that was foisted upon the organization by Vinny Cerrato. The same Vinny Cerrato who has since been fired. Then, of course, there is the owner, Dan Snyder. I’m not sure how much to blame him. Oh, the Redskins’ problems are myriad!
But here is my final analysis in bullet point-
THINGS THAT MUST BE DONE FOR 2010:
Priority #1- BEEF UP THE OFFENSIVE LINE! The entire offense of any football team is predicated on a strong offensive line- pass protection, maintaining a pocket, running lanes. You can’t win without a strong o-line.
Priority #2- Fire Jim Zorn. His head must roll for this farce of a season. Shanahan? Greg Williams?
Priority #3- Go out and get some big, tall receivers- the kind you can just lob it to in the back of the end-zone and they come down with it.
THINGS THE ORGANIZATION SHOULD NOT DO:
#1- Don’t fire Jason Campbell. Fix the offensive line and he’ll perform better. I’ve decided I believe in him.
#2- I hate to say it, but it’s time to give Portis his release. It’s time to invest in some younger legs. I love the man dearly, but we can’t afford to keep him around.
#3- Don’t become so focused on fixing the offense that the defensive side of the ball is neglected. I’m happy being a defense-first club. Coach Blache has done a great job, and things should be maintained on that side of the ball.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Nanny got the three older kids various, age-appropriate conveyances for Christmas. Bowden and Lucy both confided in me from under their cozy covers at bedtime Christmas night that scooter and bike were their favorite presents. Way to go, Nanny! Bowden especially loves his scooter.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
I do recommend it to all of you adult readers though. Mom, would you like me to send it along to you once we're done with it? I would need it back though eventually as it was a gift to Sarah.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
"...Prince Georges County School District is closed..."
Possibly the most exciting combination of words ever uttered over the airwaves.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
LET'S PLAY ILLUSTRATION- The game where I give you a scenario and you tell me what spiritual analogies can be drawn from it.
In 1816, within weeks of the fort's completion, it was discovered by a team of surveyors that the fort, all of it, had been built entirely within Canada. Can you imagine? Heads must of rolled. Much to the consternation of the U.S. Army, Washington sent representatives to Ottawa like a bunch of Hosers to discuss what might be done aboot the fort. Pretty rough, eh? Canada kindly asked the U.S. Army to remove their personel and artillery from their soil. The fort languished for a considerable amount of time while the two governments bickered back and forth. Eventually Canada ceded the land surrounding the fort to the United States, but by then much of the cut stone had been removed by local farmers for use in private building projects and the remainder of the fort had either returned to nature or fallen into such a deplorable state that the ruins were deemed unusable and the site was cleared for the construction of a second fort. The original fort was never named, and today is remembered by historians as "Fort Blunder."
EPILOGUE: Fort Blunder's successor, Fort Montgomery (ruins photographed above), constructed in 1844, was never garrisoned or even armed with guns (by then the threat of invasion from Canada probably seemed as silly as it does to us today.) Today the site is for sale for ten-million dollars.
Monday, December 14, 2009
"He's inside!" she yelled as I stepped from my cruiser and instinctively checked everything on my belt. Baton- check. Pepper Spray- check. Radio- check. Handcuffs-check. Spare Cuffs- check. Gloves- check. Gun- check.
I opened the back door of my cruiser and invited the woman to climb inside out of the snow. She apologized for being barefoot, but said that he came home drunk and started punching her and calling her a "slut," so she called 911 on her cell phone and just ran outside. Then she added, almost as an after thought, "My kids are still in there."
"Is he their Father?"
"No! Hell, no!"
"What exactly is your relationship with him?"
"We've been living together for a couple of weeks."
"What's his name?"
"Everybody calls him Benny."
"Does Benny have a last name?
"Are you okay? Do you need medical attention?"
"Oh, nah, nothing like that."
I handed her a statement form and asked her to start writing everything down while I attempted to interview the man.
I walked across the front yard, wondering what was taking the second car so long to get there and knocked on the door. No answer.
"Sir, I'm going to have to kick in the door if you don't open up for me. I need to talk with you."
Feeling dark, and grumbling angrily under my breath, I took a step backward and brought my boot down hard where the lock meets the jam. It splintered, and a second kick aimed at the same spot resulted in the door flying open. From behind me I heard the woman yell, "What the f*@# are you doing?"
I walked inside, and found the man, dressed like he had just come from the clubs, hurriedly walking down a hallway toward a rear door.
"Sir, stop. I need to talk with you."
He increased his pace, shuffling drunkenly toward the back door. In a flash of inspiration, I pretended to speak loudly into my radio, "Jason, get ready by the back door with the dog! He's coming out that way."
He stopped with one hand on the doorknob, wheels turning in the fuzziness of a beer addled mind. I called out to him in the stearnest voice I could muster, "You can deal with me or the dog, sir." It was a lie- bald faced- but I didn't care.
It worked. Believing the false impression I had given of multiple officers on scene and a dog taboot he was meek as a lamb. He obeyed all my commands, and soon I had him handcuffed and sitting Indian style on the floor of the living room. I stood over him with legs spread taking down the man's information on a pad of paper.
The kids, two little girls and an older boy, maybe 12, filed out from a back bedroom and plopped down on the couch. The girls expressions were blank, but the boy wore a look of keen enjoyment on his face. It reminded me of a picture I had once seen of a hunting dog grinning and wagging his tail high atop the back of a dead brown bear in Russia. The bear in cuffs. The boy grinning atop the couch. It was very similar.
That's when I took in the scene. A Christmas tree, which looked suspiciously like one that had gone missing from the front of the newly landscaped bank on Main Street, stood in a corner. There were a few paltry Christmas ornaments, but for the most part it was decorated with empty beer cans, (I'm not making that up.) and an inverted bottle of corona served as the tree-topper.
"D'ya get anything good for Christmas?" I asked the boy trying to make this surreal scene a little more normal. He shrugged. "Not really." "How 'bout you guys?" I asked the girls. They also shrugged and refused comment.
Later, as I drove the man down to the correctional facility I asked him how his Christmas was, and he said "Man, just shut the f@#* up! I'm serious! Just shut the f@#* up!"
Merry Christmas, St. Albans!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Matthew Berry of ESPN