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selling out is cool

Today is an exciting day for sports fans in our nation’s capital. Not only do we get to enjoy the Washington Redskins taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football, but we’ll get to know which presidential candidate will win the election 24 hours early. While that’ll make for must-see TV tonight, it doesn’t really help folks get through another boring Monday now. That’s why we’re here.

First of all, thanks for helping make last week a record-setting week for Homer McFanboy. Maybe it was our in-depth look at running back Clinton Portis. Or our widely-popular ‘ask a cheerleader‘ feature (and don’t forget part two, three and four). Or maybe it was our photo of linebacker London Fletcher’s unique pregame ritual. Whatever the reason, our website had it’s best week, in terms of hits, in our six-month history. We know there are many ways to blow off work, so thanks for wasting some of your time with us.

Which brings us to our big news of the day – we’ve officially opened the Homer McFanboy Store (just in time for the holidays!) We currently offer six t-shirts, including the fan-favorite “Predator” t-shirt pictured above. We’ve also got hockey and basketball themed t-shirts as well, so take a look and let us know what you think of the new merch. And here’s the best part – if you buy a shirt, send us a photo of you wearing it (or better yet, a photo of a hot chick wearing it) and we’ll post it online. You’ll be e-famous and we’ll be able to pay the sweatshop for all their hard work. That’s what we in the business call a win-win.


ask a cheerleader (part four)

(photos courtesy of Washington Redskins)


 She’s 27, from Burtonsville, Maryland, and enjoying her second season as a member of the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders.

Speaking of your regular job, what do you do and are there any similarities between your two jobs?

I am currently a teacher in Maryland. This will be my sixth year teaching high school science. I enjoy working with students, helping them become self-directed learners. I love that I get the chance everyday to help better prepare students for the real world.

What is the difference between ambassadors and cheerleaders?

I had the privilege to be a Washington Redskins Cheerleader Ambassador for one year and I enjoyed getting to meet fans one-on-one during game day. I helped pep the fans before the game in the Touchdown and Tailgate Club. I also had the wonderful opportunity to visit the suites at FedEx Field and interact with the fans as we cheered the ‘Skins on side-by-side.

I loved having the chance to meet so many adoring fans – we truly have the best fans in the NFL. Now, I have the honor as a Washington Redskins Cheerleader. One of the biggest differences is that I am on the field cheering during game day. We do various appearances in the stadium before the games, but there isn’t as much fan interaction between the cheerleaders and fans at FedEx Field because we are strictly dancing on field or around the stadium pregame. Our fan interaction takes place at the various community events that we attend throughout the year. Both opportunities were amazing and I am so happy that I’ve become a part of the family of Washington Redskins Cheerleaders and Ambassadors.


She’s 29, from North Potomac, Maryland, and in her fourth season cheering on the maroon and black.

Since cheerleaders don’t travel with the team, what do you do on the weeks when the team has an away game? Do you watch the Redskins game with other cheerleaders? Are you off that week?

When we have an away game we are usually off that weekend; although, we sometimes attend promotional appearances in the D.C. area. We have held parties at sports bars and restaurants to watch the game and invite the public to attend as well. We are also very busy helping with our Junior Cheerleaders program that practices most Saturdays. If we don’t have an appearance to make, then of course we are watching the game with family and friends! Sometimes we do coordinate special get togethers to watch the game as a team. The week of an away game we are very busy getting ready for the next home game with practices during the week.

Tell us one thing people would be surprised to learn about being a cheerleader for the Redskins.

There are several things people are surprised to learn about being a Redskins Cheerleader. We all have full time jobs, or are full time students, or mothers. (which is more than a full time job!) We are Redskins fans as well as Redskins cheerleaders and are invested in the game and the NFL season. We don’t travel with the team, but travel a lot overseas on military appreciation tours, (most of us take leave without pay from our full time jobs to participate.) We tour more than any other NFL Cheerleading team and pride ourselves on our dedication to giving back to the men and women who sacrifice and fight for our Country and freedoms. We do this job because we love it, not because we get paid.


ask a cheerleader (part three)

(photos courtesy of Washington Redskins)


She’s 22, from Stafford, Virginia, and is back for her third year as a member of the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. Here’s what she had to say.

We know the Redskins cheerleaders recently went on tour to Europe to entertain the troops. Can you tell us about your experiences overseas?

The Europe tour was a once in a lifetime experience, I learned so much more about what are these amazing men and women are doing for us overseas. Even though they aren’t in a war zone, I think people underestimate the amount of work and pressure that they do have on a daily basis. The troops were more than accommodating in every country we went to. They would cook us dinner, show us their work stations, and come support us as we put on our hour and a half variety show. I hope they enjoyed our visit as much as we did and I hope to be able to go on tour again soon!

Speaking of your regular job, what do you do and are there any similarities between your two jobs?

I am currently working as a marketing/event coordinator at Potomac Point Winery down in Stafford, Virginia. We have a huge event wing where we hold weddings, festivals, conferences, birthdays. You name it, we do it. My job is to assist in the booking of our different spaces that we have for rent and then work as the day of coordinator. I also work on any marketing materials and advertisements for any in house upcoming events or specials. We are actually going to be on the cover of The Bella weddings guide in January 2009. So if your in the mood for a wine tasting, or just want to get away for a day, come visit our beautiful Mediterranean estate building and vineyard.


Klohver is 23, from Germantown, Maryland, and is a second-year member of the Redskins cheerleaders.  

Speaking of your regular job, what do you do and are there any similarities between your two jobs?

Well, I have a very interesting job actually. I am a lawyer licensed to practice in Maryland and Washington, D.C. I have practiced in many different areas of law, but I like disability law the best. I help disabled people acquire health care and benefits that they need. I have an opportunity to work with many different people from the area who are in desperate need of legal representation who would not otherwise be able to afford such. My job is very rewarding and I love the work that I do.

What’s it like being a part of the Washington Redskins cheerleader calendar photo shoot?

This year for the calendar shoot, I had an opportunity to shoot my photos with a horse. It was extremely exciting, I love horses, and the scene was breathtaking. I was on the beach with the sun rising behind me and while I was posing on the horse it felt surreal, like a dream. The horse began to buck a little bit because I believe he was a little frightened by the people, but he eventually became calm.


note: no we can’t

(courtesy photos)

I know we’re less than a week away from officially replacing George W. Bush, and that news alone is enough to give folks reason to smile during these not-so-rosy days, but there’s something I feel obligated to remind people.

Your vote doesn’t count. I’m sorry to break it to you, but that’s just the way it is.

Sure, all these college kids are excited to “make a difference” for the first time in their life and are happily forwarding emails claiming that in 1824 some guy won some election by one vote. Yeah, that’s all nonsense. Your vote means as much as one diet pill being shoved down the gullet of our overly obese society.

“Um … why doesn’t our vote matter?” asked the pimply-faced college kid going door to door in my neighborhood last week.

“Because the results will already be determined by the time Tuesday morning rolls around,” I tried to explain to the obviously confused poor soul who could do nothing but give me a blank stare for my troubles.

The Washington Redskins have determined who will win every presidential election since 1936. Well, except four years ago, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Not counting 2004, the Redskins have correctly predicted who would win 15 straight presidential elections. If the ‘Skins win their last home game before the election, then the incumbent party remains in office. If they lose, then the incumbent party loses. It’s really that simply.

You don’t need to go stand in line for hours just to pull some lever for some guy you really hope might reside in the White House over the next four years. No, just tune in Monday night when the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town to take on the Redskins. If the Steelers win, Barack Obama wins. If the ‘Skins win, it’s John McCain-Sarah Palin time.

So I know you’re wondering – what happened four years ago? How did a tried and true formula go wrong? That’s why I’m here for you. Gather ‘round for story time.

The Washington Redskins hosted the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field Sunday, Oct. 31, 2004. It was an evenly-matched battle between two middle-of-the-pack NFC teams. Here’s the lede from Associated Press article on the game:

Clinton Portis celebrated the apparent winning touchdown with a leap into the end zone, capping a 43-yard reception that gave the Redskins a one-point lead with 2:35 to play.

Oops. Scratch that. Flag on the play.

Receiver James Thrash was whistled for illegal motion, a call Thrash didn’t understand and one that Washington coach Joe Gibbs called “an absolute mystery.”

On the very next play, Packers cornerback Al Harris intercepted Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell and Green Bay won. But here’s the story within the story – referee Tom White and his crew had clearly had enough after four years of George W., and tried to take matters into their own hands. Even though there was no penalty on the play, in their minds they needed to take action to ensure “the Bush stopped here.”

There’s just one problem – the football gods would never sit idle while cheaters prosper. So Bush was re-elected and we’ve been treated to more war, more embarrassment and another depression. Thank you Tom White, you dickhole.

One good thing did come out of this though – the football gods officially decided it was time to take back the game once and for all, which is why, in 2006, they sent us a Terminator by the name of Roger Goodell. Since he’s settled into the role of NFL commissioner, Goodell has ruled with a much-needed iron first. Where Paul Tagliabue was content to let teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals collect thugs, assholes and convicts, Goodell is the man willing to hold both the teams and the players accountable for stupid actions.

Throw out a couple heavy fines and suspensions around and suddenly the divas and drama queens think twice before driving drunk or slapping their girlfriends around. Look at just last week – the Steelers took it upon themselves to bench wide out Santonio Holmes because he was caught driving around town with weed out in the open. In Cleveland, the Browns took action against tight end Kellen Winslow II and benched him after making critical comments about the organization to the media. In Kansas City, the Chiefs sat running back Larry Johnson after word got out that he assaulted a woman in a nightclub.

Do you realize how long overdue this was? I mean, Michael Irvin stabbed a teammate in the neck with a pair of scissors because he wanted to get his hair cut faster. Needless to say, the Dallas Cowboys of the 90’s couldn’t have even fielded a team under Goodell. Now, owner Jerry Jones can collect parolees like “Pacman” Jones, Tank Johnson and friends, but both the team and the players have been told, in no uncertain terms, if anyone screws up, then everyone pays.

Which brings us back to the election. Everyone has paid for four brutal years. It’s time for a fresh start, one way or the other. So the football gods will once again let the Washington Redskins determine who wins the White House. Let’s just hope the mere mortals involved with the game don’t do anything else to upset them.

Note to self is a weekly sports column written for HoboTrashcan.


ask a cheerleader (part two)

(photos courtesy of Washington Redskins)


She’s 18 years old and is orginally from Baltimore, Maryland (but we won’t hold it against her). This is her first year on the team and she’s in the mood to answer some of your questions.

FedExField is the largest stadium in the NFL. What was it like for you the very first time you stepped in front of 90,000 fans? Were you nervous?

The first time I ever stepped on the field in front of 90,000 fans I was very nervous. I took every minute of it in and it was the best feeling ever. The fans are amazing. It’s a great feeling to step out there knowing you’re doing what you love.

What is the most and least rewarding part of being a cheerleader with the Washington Redskins?

The most rewarding part of being a Redskins Cheerleader is the friends you make, the fans you get to know, and being able to pursue your dream. The least rewarding part of being a cheerleader would be all the stress you obtain for hoping your team will be the best in the NFL.

Since cheerleaders don’t travel with the team, what do you do on the weeks when the team has an away game? Do you watch the Redskins game with other cheerleaders? Are you off that week?

When we don’t travel with the team, I tend to stay home and watch the games. I never miss one. I enjoy going out with the girls, and cheering on our team.


As a fourth-year cheerleader, you’ve probably noticed Anabel on the sidelines by now. If not, then you’ve probably seen her in Sports Illustrated, FHM or Maxim. Yeah, she’s big time.

Tell us one thing people would be surprised to learn about being a cheerleader for the Redskins.

One thing that people would be surprised to learn about being a cheerleader for the Redskins is that we arrive four and a half hours before kickoff on gameday. We are die-hard fans just like everyone else!


ask a cheerleader (part one)

(photos courtesy of Washington Redskins)


She’s 29, originally from Stafford, Virginia, and is enjoying her fifth year as a member of the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. And most importantly, she’s kind enough to answer your questions.

On average, how many hours a week do you work out with the cheerleaders? Workout in the gym? Work your regular job? And how many other events a year do you work as a cheerleader for the Redskins?

The cheerleaders have practice Tuesdays and Thursday from 7-10:30 p.m. Early in the season, or if it is a game week, we may add extra practices. Some ladies workout a lot, while others use our practices as their weekly workouts. I personally work out six days a week for about 45 minutes to an hour and alternate cardio and lifting. I have a nine-to-five job that is pretty flexible on when I work, but every week its 40 hours. All of the cheerleaders do around 20-30 charity and promotional events throughout the year. These are chosen by each individual cheerleader based on their schedules. These can range from performances, autograph signings or events helping around the community.

Speaking of your regular job, what do you do and are there any similarities between your two jobs?

I am an engineer and a consultant for the Defense Department, mostly with the Navy. My focus is with materials and paints. Yes, I’m a nerd. There are absolutely no similarities between my two jobs. This is great because it allows me to use both sides of my brain. When my day job gets rough, I always have the ‘Skins to clear my head.

Just how often do you get hit on by fans at a typical Redskins game? What’s the funniest/most bizarre thing a fan has done or said to try and impress you?

It definitely happens to all of us, a handful of times per game. It’s probably the best, when the fan is seated in a higher section and tries to give you their phone number and get you to call using sign language. I once had a fan who wanted me to do a promotion event that was two hours away. He sent me tons of mail, including a picture of the venue with a cutout of myself taped to it and a map that highlighted the route from the stadium to the event.


She’s 32, originally from Newport News, Virginia, and is in her sixth year as a Redskins cheerleader. She’s also a captain of the team, so don’t get on her bad side.

Why did you want to become a cheerleader? What made you initially try out to be a Washington Redskins Cheerleader, and just how tough was it to make the squad?

I love performing and I am a huge Washington Redskins fan, so it gives me the opportunity to cheer for my favorite team and enjoy what I love to do – DANCE! I initially auditioned for the team because a friend of mine was a member of the squad. She helped me prepare for auditions, but I got my best information from attending prep classes. This gave me the opportunity to learn the dance style of the team and workout with some of the current members of the squad. Auditions are pretty tough because there are several rounds to get through – freestyle, choreography, interview, but attending prep classes definitely helped a lot.

We’ve heard that the Redskins cheerleaders don’t get paid. Is that true? Also, what perks or benefits come with being a Redskins cheerleader?

No this is not true, but what we all enjoy most about being a cheerleader, besides performing, are the opportunities to be in the D.C. Metropolitan community. As a cheerleader, you are required to have a full-time job, be a full-time student or a full-time mom so this is not our full-time job. We do enjoy the opportunity to travel to exotic locations for our calendar trip and to travel overseas to perform for the troops. We have some great sponsors as well that provide us with services needed to be a Washington Redskins Cheerleaders, like Robert Andrews as our hair care sponsor, Sport & Spine as our chiropractic sponsor, D.C. Smiles to keep our smiles pretty, Washington Sports Club as our gym sponsor, and the list goes on.

How many of the cheerleaders actually know the game of football? And how many are actually Redskins fans?

I truly believe that the majority of our team knows a great deal about football. If you pay close attention to the cheerleaders you will see us watching intently from the sidelines. Sometimes we are supposed to be dancing, but because a great play is happening on the field you will catch us jumping up and down celebrating. We truly love the game, and we have the best seats in the house (besides the football team). I have never heard any of the ladies say that they are fans of another team, and I assume that if they liked another team they would have auditioned to be on their cheerleading squad.


run portis run

(photo by Brian Murphy)

Life for running back Clinton Portis and the Washington Redskins is pretty darn groovy at the midpoint of the 2008 season. For starters, he leads the league in rushing with 944 yards, which is 260 yards more than anyone else in the league. That also puts Portis on pace to finish with 1,888 rushing yards, or roughly 300 more than his previous best season. But even with Clinton putting up monster numbers on a weekly basis, he still doesn’t sound overly concerned with personal accomplishments.

“All the personal stats and personal ideas [about putting up big numbers], wanting to do this and wanting to do that is out for me,” Portis said last week. “I want to win. It does not matter if I have 175 yards or if I have 75 yards, if we come out with a win, I come out with a smile on my face.

“I think we are playing great team ball right now, and that’s what is going to take us down the stretch,” Portis said.

And while that’s great for Portis to say – especially when so many people out there paint him as a “me-first” kind of guy – the truth is the Redskins have needed him to do the heavy lifting through the first half of the season and he’s delivered, which is why the ‘Skins stand 6-2 at the halfway point of the season.

We decided to break down the first half of each of Portis’ five seasons with the Redskins and see what the number crunching showed. Here’s what we found out:

In 2008, Portis has 187 carries for 944 yards (5.0 per carry) and seven touchdowns. Most importantly, the Redskins are 6-2.

In 2007, Portis had 151 carries for 629 yards (4.2 per carry) and six touchdowns. The ‘Skins went 5-3.

In 2006, Portis had 127 carries for 523 yards (4.1 per carry) and seven touchdowns. The ‘Skins went 2-6.

In 2005, Portis had 148 carries for 620 yards (4.2 per carry) and four touchdowns. The ‘Skins went 5-3.

In 2004, Portis had 204 carries for 810 yards (4.0 per carry) and two touchdowns. The ‘Skins went 3-5.

Most importantly, the Redskins are 10-2 when Portis rushes for at least 100 yards during this timeframe. Now that we’ve laid the case for Clinton, please allow us to play devil’s advocate.

Hey Casey Rabach, here’s your chance to tell us Portis is just rushing for all these yards because his offensive line is so awesome. What say you?

“I can’t say that,” he told us last week. “As a whole the offensive line is playing pretty well, but definitely credit goes to Clinton. He’s running hard, he’s making yards after contact and breaking tackles. He’s definitely a huge part of this offense.”

So much for that line of thinking. What do you think of the steam Portis is gaining as a possible NFL most valuable player candidate?

“That would be awesome if he could pull that out,” Rabach said. “That’s what an offensive lineman dreams for – to see a guy you’re playing with excel and earn that honor.”

If he does win the award, what should the offensive line get as a thank-you gift?

“You know, it doesn’t matter,” he said with a laugh. “It’d definitely be appreciated, but …

Have you guys talked with him about it yet?

“Oh, Randy [Thomas] definitely has talks with him here and there,” Rabach said. “He’ll definitely take care of us, that’s for sure.”

Next up, we wanted to ask some of the defensive players what it means to have someone like Portis, capable of sustaining time-consuming drives, on the same team. How great it is to sit on the sidelines all fresh and relaxed while he’s running wild on opposing teams?

“He’s looking good, man,” said rookie safety Chris “The Predator” Horton. “And that offensive line is doing a great job of giving him holes and letting him run. He’s a great back and if that offensive line continues to give him big holes … I could run through them.”

Wait a minute. Did you just say you could put up the numbers that Portis has this year behind that offensive line? Pete Kendall had a carry and we saw how that turned out.

(Laughs). “Not at all,” Horton said. “I’m going to continue to do what I do and try to get better at what I do on the defensive side of the ball. Maybe some day [Horton can worry about offense], but not right now.”

Even though Horton realized he’d put his foot in his mouth and began back pedaling as quickly as possible, it didn’t stop us from having a little fun at his expense.

Hey Marcus Washington, Chris Horton said the offensive line is playing so well that even he could run through those holes. What do you say to that?

(Laughing. A lot). “I don’t think he could run through those holes,” Washington said while still laughing at the thought of Horton playing on offense. “We won’t mess with him right now. He’s playing well too, so we won’t mess with his confidence too much.”

So aside from Horton, pretty much everyone in town sees just how impressive Clinton Portis’ play has been thus far this season. Needless to say, if he continues at this level of play for the remainder of the season, then the Redskins will most likely be involved in some meaningful games come January. That’s news any Redskins fan can be proud of.

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