Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Captain supports Pittsburgh

It's Super Bowl week. For those who are living in a hole, we are at one of the best times of the year for sports, all around. The Super Bowl for starters. The NCAA basketball season is winding down, leading to March Madness. The NBA All-Star game is fast approaching. Hockey exists again, and the first major golf and tennis tournaments of the year have passed. In a few weeks, pitchers and catchers report, signaling the beginning of baseball's Spring Training. This is a great time to be a sports fan.

Let's concentrate on the big deal of the moment, however, the Super Bowl. I'm not going to make any of you wait till the middle/end of the week, I'm going to tell you right now that Pittsburgh is going to win. And here's why. They're better at the following positions. QB...WR...TE...THE ENTIRE DEFENSE.

The Redskins proved one thing in their playoff game against the Seahawks, and that one thing is that the Seahawks are a team of pussies. The Skins have a tough, hard-hitting defense, and the Seahawks walked away from that game with one receiver holding his lower back, a punt returner who needed to be helped off the field, and a star running back who had a questionable concussion. I say questionable because he had no problems dancing around on the sidelines while his teammates were winning the game, he just didn't want to be in the mix himself. Shaun Alexander, while talented, is a big sissy, and the Steelers hit hard. They'll fold him up like an accordion. I wouldn't be surprised to see him have another "concussion" and sit part of this one out.

Now then, let's look at this another way. This is Super Bowl XL, eXtra Large baby. So obviously, logic would dictate that the bigger team will win in this situation. Most positions, we'll combine the heights and weights to get an average. Let's go to the tape...

QB: Ben Roethlisberger; 6'5" 241# vs. Matt Hasselbeck; 6'4" 223#. Advantage - Steelers.

RB: Jerome Bettis; 5'11" 255# and Willie Parker; 5'10" 209# vs. Shaun Alexander; 5'11" 225# and Mack Strong; 6'0" 245#. Bettis and Parker combine to be 5'10 1/2" and 232#. Alexander and Strong are 5'11 1/2" and 235. Advantage - Seahawks...surprisingly.

WR: Hines Ward; 6'0" 215# and Antwaan Randle El; 5'10" 192# vs. Darrell Jackson; 5'11" 201# and Bobby Engram; 5'10" 188#. Ward and Randel El combine to be 5'11" 203.5 pounds. Jackson and Engram are 5'10 1/2" and 194.5. Advantage - Steelers.

*Note, Jurevicius is the 3rd receiver currently.*

TE: Heath Miller; 6'5" 256# vs. Jerramy Stevens; 6'7" 265#. Advantage - Seahawks

OL: Jeff Hartings; 6'3" 299#, Marvel Smith; 6'5" 321#, Alan Faneca; 6'5" 307#, Max Starks; 6'8" 337# and Kendall Simmons; 6'3" 319# vs. Walter Jones; 6'5" 308#, Steve Hutchinson; 6'5" 313#, Robbie Tobeck; 6'4" 297#, Chris Gray; 6'3" 308# and Sean Locklear; 6'3" 301#. Pittsburgh combines to be 6'4 4/5" and 316.6 pounds. The Seahawks clock in at 6'4" and 305.4 pounds. Advantage - Steelers.

DL: Aaron Smith; 6'5" 298#, Casey Hampton; 6'1" 325# and Kimo Von Oelhoffen; 6'4" 299# vs. Grant Wistrom; 6'4" 272#, Bryce Fisher; 6'3" 272, Chuck Darby; 6'0" 298# and Marcus Tubbs; 6'3" 320#. Pittsburgh combines to be 6'3 1/3" and 307.3 pounds. Seattle comes in at 6'4 1/2" and 290.5 pounds. In the battle of one inch vs. 17 pounds weight difference, I'll take the weight, where linemen are concerned. Advantage - Steelers.

LB: Joey Porter; 6'3" 250#, James Farrior; 6'2" 243#, Larry Foote; 6'0" 239# and Clark Haggans; 6'4" 243# vs. D.D. Lewis; 6'1" 241#, Lofa Tatupu; 6'0" 238# and LeRoy Hill; 6'1" 229. Pittsburgh's linebackers become 6'2 1/4" and 243.75 pounds, while Seattle counters at 6'0 2/3" and 232 pounds. Edge - Steelers.

CB: Ike Taylor; 6'1" 191# and Deshea Townsend; 5'10" 190# vs. Marcus Trufant; 5'11" 199# and Andre Dyson; 5'10" 183. Taylor/Townsend = 5'11 1/2" and 190.5 pounds, while Seattle is 5'10 1/2" and 191 pounds. Since this is close, edge goes to Seattle on Trufant's talent. Advantage - Seahawks.

Safety: Troy Polamalu; 5'10" 212# and Chris Hope; 5'11" 206# vs. Michael Boulware; 6'2" 223# and Marquand Manuel at 6'0" and 209#. 5'10 1/2" 209# against 6'1" and 216#. Advantage goes to the Seahawks.

P/K: Jeff Reed; 5'11" 232# and Chris Gardocki; 6'1" 192# vs. Josh Brown; 6'0" 202# and Tom Rouen; 6'3" 225#. Pittsburgh measures out at 6'0" and 212 pounds, while Seattle comes in at 6'1 1/2" and 213.5 pounds. Advantage - Seahawks.

So it's 5 to 5, with Pittsburgh winning QB, WR, O-Line, D-Line and Linebacker. The Seahawks take RB, TE, CB, Safety and K/P. Because I believe that Pittsburgh's D will knock the snot out of Alexander/Jackson and the rest, and turn them into cowering babies, that's enough for me. Close game, but The Captain says...

27-23 Steelers.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Houston 1836

This is the name of the relocated San Jose Earthquakes.

I'm torn.

Part of me doesn't like 1836. I understand the historical significance, but eh.

The other part of me likes the idea that MLS teams are moving away from the traditional American sports franchise names: City Name Nickname.

There are still MLS sides who have names like that, still around since the dawn of the league: LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew, KC Wizards, etc. But look now at what we have in terms of teams without traditional names:

DC United, FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, Metrostars (much better than NY/NJ Metrostars), Chivas USA, and now Houston 1836

I think I'm okay with it. I really hope that there's an orange strip for the club, because MLS don't need another red team.

My question: In observance of the random mention of DC United as "the United", will un-soccerfied Houstonians will refer to their new side as "the 1836"? Personally, similar to how RSL have become "Real", I hope Houston 1836 become "1836".

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

DC-U say?

This is discouraging.

Brush aside DC United with a yawn, after four MLS Cups in 10 seasons? I would not have expected that from someone who both plays soccer and has been in RFK Stadium for United games in the past. That said, everyone's entitled to their opinions. You said you'd let me handle it, so here goes...

Notable Departure: Dema Kovalenko. Dema's been one of the most passionate (if not dangerous) players to wear the black and red in a few years. I'm sad to see him go, but he was making more money than a player of his caliber and ilk should, I think. He's heading to Europe to pursue a place on a team with his native Ukraine being a possible destination.

Notable Arrivals: Justin Moose (Wake Forest), Rod Dyachenko (UNLV), Jeff Carroll (St. Johns), Kenny Bertz (Maryland) - all via the MLS SuperDraft.

Freddy: Recently appeared in his first US National Team game. This has bound him to play for only the US, after Ghana courted him to return and play for their national side. I still think his odds to make the World Cup roster are long, but you never know. Personally, I really think Bruce threw him a bone and perhaps thought Freddy failing to make the squad would be a humbling experience for someone who thinks he's so great. Something humbling would be good for Adu in the long run.

Now it's time to focus on preparing for the 2006 season, and the return to glory for the Black and Red.

The state of D.C. Sports

Fear not, good folks. Despite the title of this post, which I can see could be misconstrued, we're not going anywhere, this is just a quick look at the current state of the D.C. sports scene, and what we can all look forward to.

Redskins: Hiring Al Saunders is a genius move. Hello Super Bowl XVI, or whatever the Roman Numeral is for that. By the way, does anyone else think the Skins should draft Sinorice Moss in April? I mean, we'd be getting a second receiver that we so desperately need, and this would have to be the first time in NFL history that two wideouts who were also brothers starter at WR for the same team. Is there any downside to this?

Wizards: Underachieving, though there's enough signs of life to make me still believe. Amazingly, despite our sub .500 record, we're still in 8th playoff position. Thank you NBA, for having way to many teams in the postseason. Caron Butler is coming along nicely, Brendan Haywood is a bitch.

Nationals: Um, it's kind of hard when there's no owner, no set payroll, and no superstars wanting to play here. I'll still go, but I'm not expecting much at all from this season. Linda Cropp needs to shut her fat mouth and get this stadium deal done.

Caps: Still not a fan of hockey, though if Ovechkin keeps making those miracle shots, I may have to attend my first Caps game in years. But I'm still not there yet.

D.C. United: Yawn....I'll let I-66 handle this one, I don't care enough.

Georgetown: Did I mention I called the win over Duke? You can see it on the other blog, but there it is, Georgetown over Duke. G-Town was so good when I wa growing up, seeing them competitive again is kind of nostalgic.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

DC United fans:

I was at a Baltimore Blast game last night, watching the Blast take on the Chicago Storm. The Blast were victorious, but the thing that fascinated me the most was the appearance of this man on the field for the Storm:

Yanno, in case anyone's been wondering what Lazo Alavanja's been doing lately.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Championship Sunday: Punching their tickets

Lots to catch up on... Today the picks are coming your way, but before we get to that:

NEWS: Al Saunders is hired as Redskins offensive coordinator
VIEWS: A few things. First of all... saWEET. FREAKING sweet. Wow. Also, what the crap is Herm Edwards thinking? "Hm... I've got the guy who coordinated the 6th leading offense in points per game and 1st overall in yards per game in the NFL already here. I'll let him go. Brilliant!" Yeah, Daniel Snyder threw a lot of money at him and also Gregg Williams - something that's going to piss off a lot of owners in the league. But let's look at this logically, if you have someone you really want to get, you'll do what you can to get him, no?

NEWS: Antonio Davis is suspended 5 games for leaping into the stands in defense of his wife
VIEWS: This works for me. I know what Antonio was thinking and he did what he had to do - there's nothing wrong with that. But in consideration of the Pacers/Pistons melee, the NBA can't not punish him. 5 games isn't a lot. I think it sends a no tolerance message without punishing him TOO much.

NEWS: The NFL does NOTHING to Joey Porter for his conspiracy talk
VIEWS: GUTLESS. ABSOLUTELY GUTLESS. Are you kidding me? David Stern would've had Joey Porter shot, his wife sodomized, and his kids eaten by Mike Tyson. Paul Tagliabue, where the hell are you on this? The league will fine a player money for mean-nothing equipment "violations" but doesn't fine for this? Absolutely ridiculous.

NEWS: The MLS SuperDraft is today
VIEWS: But the real drama for me is going to be the unveiling of the new kits for many of the league's teams. I'm glad I've waited to buy a United shirt, now that they're changing the design.

Conference Championships:

Steelers at Broncos (-3)
One would say that karma is on the side of the Steelers. I say that Joey Porter used all of it up when he escaped a fine... Pick: Broncos

Panthers at Seahawks (-3.5)
Both of these lines have shrunk since open. Evidently lots of people think the roadies will cover. I've had them since the start of the year, and I have them still... Pick: Panthers

Last Week: 2-2
Regular Season: 121-123-12
Postseason: 4-4
Season: 125-127-12

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Saints to hire Sean Payton

Evidently desperate to acquire the services of the play-caller for the 15th ranked offense in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints are going to introduce Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator Sean Payton as their new Head Coach. The only people more unhappy about this than Saints fans must be Redskins fans.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

So sweet...

I've always steadfastly opposed the media supposition that the New England Patriots are a dynasty.

It feels good to read this and see that someone actually agrees with me... and he's a Patriots fan.

Now that the Patriots have gone down in flames, maybe now everyone will shut the hell up about them being a Dynasty and leave the Steelers of the 70s, 49ers of the 80s, and Cowgirls of the 90s alone.

End of a Season

Well, that does it.

Redskins Hater Nation can rest easy now, as our beloved Washington Redskins have bowed out of the playoffs.

It was a winnable game on Saturday in Seattle, but the burgundy and gold couldn't pull it off. All told, 6 straight wins to go from 5-6 to 10-6 and winning a Wild Card game is pretty impressive. Things look good for us for next year. Now Jon Jansen's thumbs can get better, along with Shawn's groin, Clinton's shoulder, and Ade Jimoh.

I-66, what's wrong with Ade Jimoh?

Nothing. He just needs to get better. Or cut. Whichever.

OFFSEASON CHECKLIST - Looking ahead? Sure. What of it?

Trade or cut Patrick Ramsey - this should speak for itself

Keep LaVar Arrington - ditto

Find a new punter - I think I can kick better than Frost

Find a new kicker - sorry, John Hall. Your field goal kicking may be better than your kickoffs, but that really isn't saying much

Find a 2nd reciever - you know, to go along with Santana Moss

Find an edge pass rusher - please?

Really I can't complain. A season ending with a loss in the 2nd round of the playoffs is about as much as one could hope for realistically entering this season. Besides, it's not all bad... The Patriots got it handed to them on Saturday night. That never fails to make me happy.

So get it all out of your system, Redskins Hater Nation. We'll be back next year.

The new guy

You've all met The Sports Dog...

And you've all met Chick Magnet, or as I like to call her, The Sports Bitch...

Well then, here's the latest addition, The Sports Puppy...

More details can be found be going here.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Divisional Playoff Round: Goose Egg?

Take that, Giants.

Divisional Playoff Round

Redskins at Seahawks (-9.5)
Shhh... Pick: Redskins

Patriots (-26) at Broncos
Oops... Sorry, that's just how the media's making it seem...

Patriots at Broncos (-3)
Ah. That's better... Pick: Broncos

Steelers at Colts (-9.5)
"They didn't let us think out there. They just lined up and kicked our asses. Before we knew it, they were up 17 points. They don't play real football" - Joey Porter, after Indianapolis destroys Pittsburgh... Pick: Colts

Panthers at Bears (-3)
Rex Grossman: 2 starts does not a career make... Pick: Panthers

Last Week: 2-2
Reguar Season: 121-123-12
Postseason: 2-2
Season: 123-125-12

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Perhaps I missed something...

The AFC divisional playoff game Sunday at the RCA Dome is a rematch of the Steelers' 26-7 Monday night loss on Nov. 28, but Porter was unimpressed by the Colts' play in that game.

"They don't want to just sit there, line up and play football," [Joey] Porter told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "They want to try to catch you off guard. They don't want to play smash-mouth football, they want to trick you. ... They want to catch you substituting. Know what I mean? They don't want to just call a play, get up there and run a play. They want to make you think. They want it to be a thinking game instead of a football game."

He called Edgerrin James' 124 yards in the November matchup a "cheap 100," and said the Colts couldn't line up and run straight at the Steelers defense.

"I don't think they outhit us," Porter told the paper. "If they would have outhit us, they would have just lined up, and they wouldn't have done all the audibles every play. If you want to outhit us, line up and play football. That's when you outhit us. Line up, you get your people, we got our eight men in the box, run the ball."

Now, call me crazy, but do you not have to think during a football game? I'm pretty sure the final score of that game was 26-7. Not 26-17 or 26-24, 26-7. That's a pretty sound butt-whooping the Colts put on the Steelers - both their offense AND defense. Isn't part of the game creating and exploiting matchups to your advantage? I don't understand what Porter's beef is with the way the Colts play. Hell, they went 14-2, I think it's working. What would Herm Edwards say?

"Hell-OHHH! You play. To win. The game."

Shut up, Joey Porter. Take a cue from Ben Roethlisberger:

"This team is an unbelievable football team," Roethlisberger said of the Colts, who won their first 13 games before dropping two of their final three. "They're as good as it gets in the NFL. It's going to take our A-plus game to go out and beat their B-minus game."

That's how you don't end up on someone's bulletin board.

Catching up a little...

NEWS: Green Bay hires former 49ers OC Mike McCarthy as head coach
VIEWS: "Hey! This guy called the plays for the 3rd worst offense in the whole league. He's perfect!"

NEWS: Vince Young declares for the NFL Draft
VIEWS: Way to keep your word. You do realize that an NFL quarterback needs to be able to throw, no?

NEWS: DC United's Bobby Boswell gets called into National Team camp
VIEWS: Good for Bobby. But when someone awful like Brian Carroll gets called in, does it really mean that much anymore?


Well, I-66 is remaining mum on the subject, but I'll say a small piece. You all know where I'll be on Saturday, watching the game somewhere. I'm what you would call quietly confident...confident that we can pull this off, but not enough to go boasting loudly about it.

I haven't forgotten that we already beat the Seahawks this season. The way I see it, Seattle has a better running back than we do, so I'm hoping it doesn't rain on game day. Rain has a habit of making great running backs even better. Portis is banged up, I'm a little worried. Hasselbeck is probably, at this point, a better QB to have running the team than an injured Mark Brunell. However, Seattle's defense is far worse than ours. Crowd noise could be a factor.

That last paragraph basically sums up how my mind is working. Game thoughts are flying in and out. Let's be honest here, besides the obligatory 16-0, Super Bowl preseason rhetoric I always spew, the Skins have done far better than I honestly expected this year. I'm happy with what they've accomplished. Do I want more? Yes, but losing wouldn't be as bad as say, Indy losing after all their fans expectations, not to mention their lack of recent Super Bowl victories. I think the Skins have built themselves well for the next few years.

With that in mind, if I was a Buffalo Bills fan from late '89 to early '93, I would have slit my wrists.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

New Blog

Just wanted to let everyone know that, like I-66 with Yeah So I'm..., I've decided to start a more personal blog so that I can stop clogging up D.C. Sports with non athletic things. Look for the new link to the right, or just click my name when I comment on other blogs to find it. Everyone wants a little Irish in them.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Divisional round, here we come.

I'm self-imposing a gag order in this space regarding the game next week against Seattle.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Wild Card: Focused on Saturday


Win or go home.

I had a subpar regular season and now have to make some ground up in the post season. I'm so excited at the prospect of playoff football I don't know what to do.

Wild Card Round:

Redskins at Buccaneers (-2)
Self-imposed gag order... Pick: Redskins

Jaguars at Patriots (-8)
This is a good line to do this on... Pick: Jaguars

Panthers at Giants (-2)
Run the freaking ball, please... Pick: Panthers

Steelers (-3) at Bengals
Tough to call. They're ready, I think... Pick: Bengals

Last Week: 6-8-2 (I hate Week 17)
Regular Season: 121-123-12

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Congratulations, Cowboys fans. You finally have a football team you can be proud of - the National Champion Texas Longhorns.

Oh, what's that? Most of you aren't even FROM Texas? Well I'll be damned, who knew? Maybe this weekend you should explain why you root for such a crappy team, then. Yanno, since you don't have anything else to do.

PS: Pete Carroll, what's up with going for it on 4th and short so late in the game? It didn't work the first time you tried it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The old Barbershop

In a few hours, my flight for New Mexico leaves. See previous posts for details.

This morning, in the course of tying down loose ends before my trip, I stopped in at the old barbershop for a trim. For a sports fanatic, nothing beats the barbershop. This morning, there were four old men in there (one was the barber) sitting around doing nothing but talking Redskins football. I did what any young sports guy should do, I listened and got involved. Older sports fans are always eager to engage in conversation about the home teams.

In the D.C. blog pages, others have spoken about upscale salons such as The Grooming Lounge, where you get a shave, a massage, and alcohol with your haircut. I say to hell with that, keep your fancy grooming to yourself. Give me the old men at the corner barbershop anyday, a good slice of America.

Oh, one last thing. Being as hard core a Penn State fan as you can be, I was up till 1:00 a.m. watching the Orange Bowl. A fantastic victory. An unfortunate loss of Paul Posluzney, the Butkus and Bednarik award winner this year. That kid has a promising future at the next level, I can only hope the knee injury isn't too serious. So, with that in mind, allow me....

Fight on State
Fight on State
Strike your gait and win

Victory we
Predict for thee
We're ever true to you, dear old white and Blue

Onward State
Onward State
Roar Lions Roar

We'll hit that line roll up the score
Fight on to victory evermore.........

(Extra point is kicked)

Fight on, on, ON ON ON
Fight on, Penn State

P.S. Suck it Bowden!! Joe Paterno is the man.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Playing keep-away

Whew... now that was close.

According to ESPN.com, the Washington Redskins have signed Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams to NEW a 3 year 8 million dollar contract. Williams is rumored to have been on the short lists of other teams for their head coaching positions as a result of his defensive tactics and mentality. Don't get me wrong, I like Williams as a defensive assistant, but as a coach he was less than stellar. He went 17-31 at the helm of the Buffalo Bills in 3 seasons, but NFL teams still wanted him. Under the terms of the new deal, he's precluded for interviewing for positions until 2007 at which point the future of Joe Gibbs should be clear. Word is that Daniel Snyder has designs on promoting Williams to Head Coach at the end of Gibbs's tenure. We shall see...

But for right now, Skins fans can breathe easily knowing that Williams will be around for at least one more year and getting paid pretty freakin well too. Now it's time to concentrate on Tampa Bay.

Tampa here we come

That's it and that's all. The Washington Redskins have sewn up the wild card berth and are heading to Tampa with a victory over Philly. It wasn't pretty, but these pictures are...

Mike Sellers recovers a muffed punt setting up the first TD

Clinton Portis breathes life back into the Redskins' playoff hopes

Lemar Marshall conducts his own personal tip drill

Portis puts the Skins back on top

...and, like Sean Taylor, the Redskins soar into the playoffs

Look out Bucs. We're comin for ya.

And Cowgirls and their fans, I hope you all go out and buy HD TVs to see the Redskins in the playoffs in high definition. I mean, since you can't be there on your own, you might as well FEEL like you are.