Category Archives: DMV Sports

Sad day: The Hogettes are no more

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It truly is a sad day in Washington, as one of the longest continuous traditions in Redskins history in no more. The Hogettes are calling it quits. From their Facebook page:

After 30 seasons, the Hogettes are hanging up our pig snouts & dresses.

It has been an honor being a part of the greatest 12th Man fans in the NFL.

We will forever be Redskins’ fans and cheer for our beloved team.

It is a new era and we will continue to support RG3 and his teammates.

HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!

We will also continue to help (incognito) raise money for Children’s Charities.

Mikey T.

Boss Hogette

It’s certainly an odd tradition to have grown men show up to games at RFK and FedEx Field in drag and pig snouts, but it’s one that Skins fans know and appreciate. They are members of the the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio largely for their philanthropic work, raising over $100 million for local charities.

They will be missed. HAIL!

 

 

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Bryce Harper might break the internet

“Dear Internet Friends, I give you Harper-cat.”

Those are eight words I thought I’d never hear, but I’m beyond glad I have now. The only problem I have with this video is that it isn’t 10 hours long. Get on it, internet friends.

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Courtland Milloy wants you to know you’re a racist

Redskins fans have long dealt with outsiders admonishing the team’s nickname for being racially insensitive and offensive. It’s nothing new and it certainly won’t go away. After losing in the playoffs, Courtland Milloy knew what he had to do. Call out all fans of the team and blame the loss on karma.

Below is my response to Milloy’s column terrible attack on the Redskins franchise, the team, and fans.

[Bold text is Milloy’s words, plain text is mind]

So, Washington football fans, how’s that offensive team name and demeaning sports mascot working out? Whooping and hollering as RGIII goes on a “Redskins” warpath only to leave a trail of tears when his wounded knee gets buried at FedEx Field.

Yup, the reason the Redskins lost to the Seahawks on Sunday wasn’t because of the Seahawks defense selling out on the run because of a hobbled Griffin, the terrible turf at FedEx Field, suspect tackling by the defense, or even RGIII tearing his ACL . It’s because we’re all racists. Yeah, that’s the reason they lost. Good use of  the “trail of tears” though, because football, forced relocation have so much in common.

In this obscene home team sports fantasy, the gifted Robert Griffin III was reduced to a “noble savage.” Let the “Redskin” play hurt. He can take it. Hail to the young brave-hearted quarterback as he limps into battle on that injured knee. Three cheers as he fights on his one good leg for Old D.C.

wat.

And when he’s felled during Sunday’s playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks, bringing the postseason to an ugly and immensely unsatisfying end — torn ligaments no doubt shortening his own career as well — Washington gasps in horror.

Bad karma, I tell you, that team name.

THE SPORTS GODS HAVE NOTICED OUR SINS AND REIGNED DOWN HELL AND FIRE UPON US. RUN FOR COVER. Clearly a higher power has reached down upon the field in Landover and ripped Griffin’s anterior cruciate ligament. That’ll show ’em!

Now don’t go trying to prove otherwise by digging up some ancient Washington victory from back in, say, Joe Gibbs’s early days. This is a new era. Attitudes are changing; progressive thinking is emerging on everything from guns, gays and gas guzzling to debt, deficits and doctor bills.

So supposedly being racist was all well and good in the ’80s and ’90s, but God totally changed his mind on that. He’s a progressive now. He realizes it’s a different time. He went to some seminar that totally blew his mind and he had a change of heart. He decided enough was enough: Let’s blow out Griffin’s knee.

Besides, Washington’s professional football team has raked up one disappointing season after another since 1992 — the year D.C. resident Suzan Harjo became the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to change the team’s disparaging name.

Although Harjo lost that legal battle on a technicality, a group of younger Native Americans have filed a similar lawsuit — Blackhor se et al v. Pro-Football, Inc. Justice may yet be served.

Because if the justice system won’t rule in our favor, we’ll go to a higher power to seek retribution.

“The term ‘redskins’ is the most vile and offensive term used to describe Native Americans,” Harjo told the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in 2011. “It is most disturbing to the overwhelming majority of Native Americans throughout the country that the professional football team in the nation’s capital uses a team name that demeans us.”

Does anyone really believe that the name “Redskins” will survive the 21st century? Other than the people who probably thought white actors in blackface would survive the 20th? The genocide of Native peoples, like America’s other original sin, slavery, cannot be forever masked with caricatures of the dead.

Like the Trail of Tears analogy you used earlier? You may have been trying to illustrate a point, but damn, you’re doing the same thing you admonish.

Next month, on Feb. 7, the National Museum of the American Indian on the Mall will hold a day-long symposium and “community conversation” about the use of racist stereotypes and cultural appropriation in American sports. In a recent news release about the event, museum Director Kevin Gover wrote: “What better place to address this issue. . . . The Smithsonian Institution is the ideal forum to bring people together to ask tough questions.”

I hope so, although I suspect that the most diehard football fans have only two ways of dealing with these kinds of disagreements: racist Internet comments — and fistfights in the stands.

Because those are the only forms of reason football fans cling to. We’re all racists that can’t sit down and have a serious and frank conversation about what many call our racially insensitive team moniker. We’ll never do that, because us racist football fans don’t know how, SO WHY TALK WHEN WE CAN JUST GO KICK SOME ASS, YOU GUYS!

For those who claim that “Redskins” is an honorific to Native peoples, as team owner Dan Snyder does, representatives from several Indian nations will be on hand to tell you what they really think about that name. By the way, while Washington was weighed down with that tired old caricature of an Indian head on their helmets, Seattle was sporting a lighthearted Seahawk based on an ancient Northwest Coast Native carved totem design. They didn’t just score more touchdowns; they won on style points, too.

So the final score wasn’t 24-14? How many style points shall you award to the Seahawks, Mr. Milloy? 10? 15? Man, a 39-14 game sure sounds like a blowout. They got soundly beaten then, huh? And it’s all because of that racist name and karma. Gotcha.

The subject of the “community conversation” will be, you guessed it, the name of Washington’s professional football team. It should be quite lively. The moderator will be Philip J. Deloria of the Standing Rock Sioux, an associate dean of undergraduate education at the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts and author of the books “Playing Indian” and “Indians in Unexpected Places.”

He will be joined by Judith Bartnoff, deputy presiding judge of the District of Columbia Superior Court’s Civil Division; the Rev. Graylan Hagler of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ and former president of Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice; Robert I. Holden, deputy director of the National Congress of American Indians; Erik Brady, a sports reporter for USA Today; and my Washington Post colleague, sports columnist Mike Wise.

Ok, now Milloy just sounds like he’s doing PR for this symposium. I get it now.

Take your children to the event. Then ask them if the name “Redskins” is offensive. Better still, ask yourself.

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Redskins: Sneak peak into that shed at FedEx Field

At first I thought it was a pathway to Narnia. Then I figured it was where Robert Griffin III hooked himself up to the machine that gives him all his abilities.

But, alas, it is only a shed for medical examinations. EB from the 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies snapped a few pictures of the interior of that shed at FedEx Field where Griffin has gone after numerous in-game injuries. Not exciting as a pathway to Narnia, but whatever. I’m sure Danny Snyder already has one, but he won’t share it with the rest of us till he can find a way to increase the profit margins.

 

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Part 1: Q&A with Hokie Annual’s Chris Colston.

Below is the first of a two-part interview by Matt Worner (aka @HokieGuru) with Chris Colston of Hokie Annual, an extensive guide to all things Hokie Football. The 128-page book is a steal at $14.99 and can be purchased online here as well as a number of  stores in Northern Virginia listed at the bottom of the post.

Part one of the interview consists of Colston’s background in covering Virginia Tech, Hokie Annual and questions about the 2011 Hokies offense. Part two covers defense an special teams. 

HOKIE GURU: So, how did you decide to go to Virginia Tech? @VTCaps wants to know wants to know what sold you on being a Hokie. Also, please tell the readers here a bit about your background some of my followers (many from the Generation Y crowd) might not know you (yes that means you’re getting older lol… unfortunately, that means I, the Generation Xer, am, too, lol).

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: I’ll tell you a story I’ve never told anyone before. One soft-infested summer, I believe it was the summer of ’71, I strolled the southwest Virginia woods when I saw a shadow looming before me. From behind a maple strode a six-foot high turkey, snood a-wagglin’. He lunged, pecked and disappeared into the wilderness, leaving me standing there, blood-a-drippin’. But unlike a werewolf, who changes shape only the night a full moon, I became a Hokie for the rest of my life.

The next fall I attended my first game, where from the high corners of the West stands, amid a ketchup-packet-squirting battle with my younger brother, I watched the passing exploits of Don Strock.

I went on to attend Virginia Tech (1976-1980) and earned a degree in Marketing Management. I worked in the athletics department for 11 years as editor of the Hokie Huddler before moving to USA Today Sports Weekly and then the daily USA Today. I’ve written four books on Hokies football: “The Hokies Handbook”, Frank Beamer’s autobiography “Turn Up the Wick,” “Tales From the Virginia Tech Sidelines”, and the “Virginia Tech Football Vault.”
Hokie Annual

HOKIE GURU: For the average football fan, tell us about the Hokie Football Annual.

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: It’s everything you want to know about the Virginia Tech football program, written by someone bitten by the Hokie Spirit. I consider myself an avid Hokie consumer, and I asked myself, “What would be my dream Virginia Tech publication?” The answer is the Hokie Football Annual.

We made some huge improvements over our premiere issue last season, and I think anybody who buys the HFA is simply going to love it. It’s the perfect magazine to take with you this summer, be it the beach, lake or whatnot.

It’s also a heck of a deal at $14.99. I just picked up the Athlon ACC book, which sells for $8. I finished all the Virginia Tech info in about 15 minutes. The Hokie Football Annual is 128 pages of 100% Virginia Tech football, with stories in there you just aren’t going to find anywhere else, like the Round Table, the Recruiting Q&A, the tailgating section, the uniforms section, the anecdotes from former players, the 2007 Rewind, the all-time Tech team…I mean it just goes on and on. I think once somebody reads it, they’re hooked.

HOKIE GURU: For the record, I have read the Hokie Football Annual from cover to cover and I think it’s awesome. It really gives the reader a true insider’s perspective on Virginia Tech football (especially on the logic for the coaching changes). The publication does a great job talking about the state of the program, the roster, and the coaches. You also get those nuggets like who the epic tailgaters are. Every Hokie I know will love the Hokie Football Annual.

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: Well thank you, oh great Guru! I appreciate that very very much. I tried to give a true perspective on the program, not the in-house spin; having said that, I’m a diehard fan, and I love the program. I’m still close to the people in the athletics department, and I think they do a great job there. Having written a couple of historical perspectives on the football program, I really appreciate what Frank Beamer has done, and what we have right now. We’re truly blessed.

HOKIE GURU: Please tell Virginia Tech fans what the 16th Tenet is for a True Hokies Fan. I don’t want to give too much away here in the book, so I’m not going to ask you everything that’s in there.

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: One of our features is “25 Tenets For True Tech Fans.” (I could use the term rules, but they’re more like guidelines.) No. 16 is this: If a UVA fan overplays the “You Wouldn’t Be in the ACC Without Us” shtick, remind him/her that the Hokies hired former Cavalier Ricky Stokes as our head basketball coach, so they actually OWED us a favor.

HOKIE GURU: Also, for the record, I disagree with you… I think we go 11-1 (yes, we are beating both Clemson and Miami)… you say we’re going to lose to Clemson… no way… an unseasoned QB in Lane Stadium vs. Bud Foster’s defense? SMH, man lol… Clemson’s Tajh Boyd will be in Bud Foster’s lunch pail by night’s end on October 1, 2011.

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: We made those predictions in February before seeing Logan Thomas in the spring. We were actually hunkered down in the Greeks Cellar, over a pitcher and some spanokopitas (best I’ve ever had, by the way) the day Frank Beamer hired Cornell Brown.

Had I seen Logan play, I would’ve predicted 11-1 as well. (Which, by the way, was my prediction in 2010, and Tech finished the regular season 10-2, so maybe I did the right thing.)

I honestly think Virginia Tech has a great chance to go undefeated during the regular season. There is no glaringly tough opponent. The Hokies get three of their toughest opponents, Clemson, Miami and North Carolina, at home.
Offense

HOKIE GURU: How much different will the offense be under Mike O’Cain (h/t for the question to @accsports  and @mengus22 ?) More specifically, with the great group of experienced receivers that we have, do you think we’ll look to the pass more? (h/t: @TheLuxSports  and @nturnage )?

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: Last year Tech ran 62% of the time. I think you could easily see at least a 50/50 run-pass ratio this year, if not 55% in favor of the pass, for a number of reasons.

The depth at running back isn’t what it was last year, and the returning receivers are terrific. With Mike O’Cain, the quarterbacks coach, calling the plays, there’s a much better chance of a mind-meld with Logan, and that has me very excited. Plus, Logan can make some of the throws that Tyrod Taylor, because of his height, simply couldn’t make.

Bryan Stinespring and Mike O’Cain aren’t going to let talent like Jarrett Boykin, Danny Coale, Marcus Davis and Dyrell Roberts go unutilized. Plus, expect to see David Wilson as a big receiving weapon as well.

HOKIE GURU: Another offensive question (and I’m not talking vulgarities) comes from @Hokie8807: We’ve seen that Logan Thomas has all the physical tools to be successful, but he’s still only thrown 26 passes in his career. How can Mike O’Cain adjust the playbook so that the game doesn’t move too fast for Logan? Can he do that without becoming too predictable in the play calling? Also, there have been a lot of comparisons of Logan Thomas to other QBs – what QB does he most resemble to you? (h/t: @ACCBlogger) Is he ready to take over for @TyrodTaylor? (h/t: @Bob_Swagg) For the record, no one will replace Tyrod (who is not replaceable in Hokies lore), but will be taking over as QB.

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: Ideally, Virginia Tech will have a core group of plays installed in August that it can execute to perfection. You really don’t need a huge playbook to be successful. Better to execute 10 plays well than 50 plays with mediocrity. With no big Top 5 opponent early this year, the Hokies can afford to do that, then add plays as the season goes along.

I am not going to make the too-easy Cam Newton comparison. One guy nobody has brought up yet when talking about Logan is Ben Roethlisberger. But they’re both big, tough guys with good arms, and yeah, Ben can run a little bit too. But seriously, it is WAY too early to make any comparisons for Logan, because we simply haven’t seen enough of him in game situations.

He’s definitely ready to continue the Tech tradition of quality quarterbacks. While he won’t have Tyrod’s grasp of the offense initially, he can do some things Tyrod can’t do. I am extremely excited about watching him play this year, as much as any player Virginia Tech’s ever had. We had heard rumblings about how Michael Vick was tearing up practices during his freshman year, but nobody really knew how good he was going to be till he got on the field for real.

The thing that excites me about Logan is the combination of off-the-chart physical attributes with strong intangibles.

HOKIE GURU: Also, what are your thoughts on the backup QB situation? (h/t: @DougHead)

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: It will be Ricardo Young or Mark Leal, depending on who performs better in August.

HOKIE GURU: Our next question comes from one of our friendly rivals, @BCHysteria. He asks us who will be tougher to replace: Tyrod Taylor at QB or Ryan Williams/Darren Evans at RB?

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: Actually I don’t have any worries there at all. I’m more concerned over who will replace Chris Hazley and Brian Saunders. David Wilson has a bigger upside than Evans and is probably faster than Ryan. He just needs to stay healthy. I think Logan will be fine at QB.

HOKIE GURU: @BCInterruption asks will Kevin Rogers’ past work experience at Virginia Tech gives Boston College an edge when the two teams hook up in October (I vote no as this is the Homecoming game, but please smack down our rival, okay? haha.)
HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: Well, Bud has made so many tweaks to the defense since Kevin was here, that I’d say the advantage isn’t all that great. The biggest advantage is that BC has a really good coach.

HOKIE GURU: And @CougarTrainee  (the godmother of @MDavis_7) wants to know if you think her godson should go pro after this year or wait another (my personal opinion is that he should wait one more, but I’m selfish as a Hokies fan and he needs to contact his family and his agent on this subject)… what are your thoughts?

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: Oh my goodness. Marcus had, let’s see…19 catches for 239 yards and two touchdowns last year. And you’re already talking about turning pro? Really? How about this: focus on 2011 and have the best year possible as one of four strong receiving options. Then come back in 2012 as the primary receiver, have a monster year. Maybe THEN think about the NFL.

HOKIE GURU: And we’ll close with my question… what are your biggest concerns and what are you most excited about on offense?
No question, my biggest concern is David Wilson’s health (and Logan Thomas). Those two can’t get hurt. I wonder about our field goal kicker too.

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: What excites me most: a 6-6 QB with a big arm who can run; his ability to hit Marcus Davis on a quick slant on the dead run; an offensive line with depth; Boykin and Coale; a salty tight end who used to play defense; and the mind-meld play-calling of Logan and O’Cain.

HOKIE GURU: I have many DMV (e.g. DC/Maryland/Virginia… Washington DC-Centric) followers… where can my followers buy that publication in a traditional brick and mortar store? FYI, here’s the cyberspace hyperlink (http://www.chriscolston.com) and it’s cheap… $14.99 plus shipping and handling… it’s an awesome Father’s Day gift and a great purchase that will help you get fired up for the 2011 Hokies football season.

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: We really amped up our distribution avenues this year. It is available statewide at most Barnes & Noble stores, Giant food stores, Target, Food Lion and Borders. In June it will be available at Kroger. In southwest Virginia it’s available at most Stop-In stores, Gobbler Gear in Salem, and University Bookstore, Volume 2 Bookstore and Tech Bookstore in Blacksburg. And yes, you can always order online at www.chriscolston.com.

Here some traditional brick and mortar locations in Alexandria, VA or Arlington, VA where you can buy the Hokie Annual:

• Target, 6600 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA
• Target, 3601 Jefferson Davis Highway, Alexandria, VA
• Bottom Dollar, 8750 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA
• Barnes and Noble, 3651 Jefferson Davis Highway, Alexandria, VA
• Giant, 5870 Kingstowne Center, Alexandria, VA
• Giant, 3680 King Street, Alexandria, VA
• Giant, 3131 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA
• Giant, 7558 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, VA
• Barnes and Noble, 2800 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 500, Arlington, VA
• Borders Books and Music, 1201 Hayes Street, Suite C, Arlington, VA
• Borders Airport, 105 Air Cargo Road, Arlington, VA
• Giant, 3115 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA

HOKIE GURU: Thank you so much for spending time with us, Chris!! GO HOKIES!!

We thank Chris Colston of the 2011 Hokie Football Annual for spending some time with us. I can’t imagine a better publication to take with you to the beach this summer. It also makes an excellent Father’s Day gift.

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They see me holdin’… Redskins-Cowboys rivalry loses no luster.

I’m sure I could write a few thousand words about last night’s game, but I’ll keep it short and in bullet form so it’s a bit easier to follow.

-First off: Wow. Wow. And wow. That was another prime example of why this rivalry is as heated as it is. It came down to the last play which actually could have gone either way if it weren’t for a dumb offensive lineman. But you won’t see me complaining about a win. A win is a win is a win. And that was a win. Did I mention that was a win.

-I TOLD YOU THE COWBOYS OFFENSIVE LINE WOULD KILL THEM. (@arebrown)

-LaRon Landry. Despite the flexing, Landry came up huge with 17 tackles, 13 of which were solo.

-As much as I hate on DeAngelo Hall’s tackling inabilities, that strip, return and TD won the game last night. On the flipside of that play, what were the Cowboy’s doing? The play call was awful and Romo’s decision to toss it short for what would obviously be little to no gain was atrocious… in a good way. I nearly put a smiley face emoticon after that sentence.

-The defense shined as I knew they would. For some reason, the Redskins defense never gets the kind of respect they deserve. Last night, they showed the league they are capable of holding last year’s number two defense and a popular Super Bowl pick, to just seven points. Haslett was aggressive in his play calling and put a lot of pressure on the offensive line. My one qualm is with the safety and corner blitzes. They weren’t effective and resulted in Dez Bryant and Miles Austin getting open too many times.

-I’ve heard people say the Cowboys lost that game themselves, and while they did shoot themselves in the foot in so many important situations, the Redskins won that game. The Cowboys had little option but to intentionally hold the defensive pass rush, including Alex Barron on Brian Orakpo on that final play. Yes, the Cowboys had tons of penalties, but they were penalties that actively prevented Redskins players from being able to be effective.

-Donovan McNabb looked shaky in his first start in the burgundy and gold but found Santana Moss and Chris Cooley when he needed to. I have no doubt he’ll be able to pick it up this season, but tonight was pretty ugly. The offensive line was adequate against a good pass rush. The running game? Oh the running game. The BIG difference is they made no mistakes.

-Burgundy jerseys. Gold pants. Yes.

-Not enough can be said about the enthusiasm of all the Redskins fans at FedEx Field last night. They were there early, they were loud and they certainly influenced the game. A lot of people have said this rivalry has lost its luster since the glory days, but don’t tell the 90,000 people at the game last night. That was the biggest game at FedEx in years.

-Albert Haynesworth is a salty bitch. Nice facial expression ALL GAME, you dummy.

The people of Washington are excited about this team as evidenced by their 37.2 rating and 57 percent share of the DC market. That is downright astounding to have over half of all televisions in the DC area tuned into one game.

-Was there really any doubt LeBron James is a Cowboys fan. No bigger frontrunner in sports. He probably plays Madden on rookie.

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Exciting times at Camden Yards.

As you can see from the banner up top, the Orioles aren’t a team I cover in-depth, but when something truly special comes along to profile, I jump at the chance.

Point in case: this O’s fan running all over the field at last nights game. The Orioles have been awful this season, winning just 30 games and are already 30.5 games back of the division lead. So when something like this happens, if course I’m going to blog about it.

Usually with videos of fans running on the field, the end is met by a close-line from a police officer, but it turns out Baltimore cops could care less. The fan runs out from left field, expecting for police to greet him with a friendly stiff-arm. Does he get one? No, so he just sort of jogs and walks around, attempts to run the bases and doubles back multiple times.

The name of the Youtube video explains the situation well: “What Passes for Excitement at an Orioles Game.”

Though it won’t be happening anytime this season, we do hope the O’s regain their form. BRING BACK CAL!

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