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what we’re reading

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Sorry for the lack of content this week. My schedule has been fairly hectic, but with Redskins training camp right around the corner, it’s a safe bet that I’ll be back in action next week. In the meantime, here are a few links to tide you over:

The Washington Capitals are in the news this week and it’s for all the right reasons. The Caps donated equipment to the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program and then hosted a hockey clinic involving 40 wounded servicemembers. Very cool stuff.

In other Caps news, Alex Ovechkin recently suited up for Dynamo back in Mother Russia. To recap, while Albert Haynesworth, the Redskins $100-million athlete, can’t be bothered to practice, Ovechkin, the Caps $100-million man, is willing to play pickup wherever they’ll have him. Which team do you think is happier with their investment?

And finally, the cleverly-titled King of Leonsis blog asks the simple question – is Tomas Fleischmann worth the cash? The answer is no, but you should still give it a read anyway.

The Nationals won 7-1 yesterday, which is newsworthy because it was the first time the team won a game in which Stephen Strasburg wasn’t involved since July 8th. Prior to Thursday’s victory, the Nats were 3-0 in Strasmas games and 0-7 when anyone else took the mound in their last 10 games. And yet, team president Stan Kasten believes his Nats are “so much closer than it appears.” Spend some money to get some more depth in the lineup and I might actually agree with you, Stan.

If the Nationals are going to be competitive anytime soon, they’ll likely need to add more to the lineup. That would mean players like Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham and Matt Capps – all of which have been mentioned in trade rumors over the last month – would likely stay around. SB Nation DC looks at the value of keeping Dunn on board.

According to Bullets Forever, Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld is the 18th best GM in the NBA. I’m not sure I’d rank him that high – especially after giving Gilbert Arenas a six-year, $111-million contract in 2008 and his continual desire to trade away top five draft picks and get nothing in return – but it’s still worth checking out.

In preparation for training camp, the folks at take a look at the 2010 Redskins. In their opinion, the transition to a 3-4 scheme on defense, the wide receiver battle and the renovated offensive line are the biggest focal points.

In other Redskins-related news, Skinscast is back for a fifth season. With a new general manager, a new head coach, a new quarterback and countless other changes from last season at Redskins Park there’s no shortage of stuff to talk about concerning the burgundy and gold.

And finally, former Redskins tight end Clint Didier has a new teammate – Sarah Palin. Try not to hold it against him.


what we’re reading

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The new-look Washington Wizards will take the court tonight at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but it looks like one of the new guys might not see action. Word is that forward Drew Gooden, the guy who has been on eight teams in eight seasons, would like to negotiate a buy-out of his contract so he could go to a team that might win something.

Speaking of the big trade: the Dallas Mavericks were 17-2 against the Oklahoma City Thunder coming into last night’s contest, which just so happened to be the debut of Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson for Dallas. Well, the Mavs gave up 40 points in the second quarter, shot under 15 percent in the third quarter and none of the former Wizards had a game to be proud of as the Thunder rolled 99-86.

Wizards forward Antawn Jamison to Cleveland is still the popular rumor making the rounds. With the trade deadline of Thursday fast approaching, the fate of Jamison (a.k.a. – the last player on that roster people actually care about) seems tied to that of Phoenix forward Amare Stoudemire.

“We are all holding hands and watching you right now.” Sure, when we text that to Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell it’s deemed inappropriate. But when Alex Ovechkin sends it to a fellow Russian, it’s perfectly okay. Damn double standards.

Speaking of Ovi, even on cruise control he’s the best player on the ice. In less than 18 minutes of action, Ovechkin scored twice on four shots and could have had more, if he wasn’t content to set up teammates the rest of the way in an 8-2 blowout of Latvia. Alex Ovetjkin has video of Ovechkin’s two goals. Watch the video, if for no other reason than to see “Good Sasha” force a turnover to set up the first goal.

It seems strangely fitting that goalie Semyon Varlamov, who most likely will not see action for the Russian National Team, is spending his free time snacking on McDonald’s rather than what’s for dinner at the Olympic village. Also, Alexander Semin goes joyriding.


what we’re reading

(photo by Brian Murphy)

Washington Redskins middle linebacker London Fletcher is playing the best football of his career, according to defensive coordinator Greg Blache. This is noteworthy for two reasons: Fletcher is a 12-year veteran and Blache doesn’t speak with the media anymore. In addition to his current defensive coordinator, Fletcher also received support from Matt Bowen, a former teammate.

For a person who doesn’t speak with the media, Blache is actually in the news a bunch this week. He also took time to show some love to Redskins rookie Brian Orakpo. “I was not as big an Orakpo fan as Vinny [Cerrato] and our scouting department initially. Once we got him, though, I fell in love with him because of his maturity, because of his work ethic.” Also, after last week’s beatdown, Oakland Raiders fans can’t help but wonder what could have been if Orakpo ended up with the silver and black.

A few injured Redskins are also in the news this week. For starters, the ‘Skins were cleared of tampering charges in regards to defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Not sure if the folks in Tennessee are bitter about this news or what, but add another writer to the list of folks who are convinced Haynesworth has been a disappointment for the Redskins this season.

Running back Clinton Portis has been shelved for the year as he recovers from a concussion, and apparently, he’s missed the spotlight. Making up for lost time over the last month, Portis has been seemingly everywhere this week – handing out toys to needy children, adding his two cents on the Tiger Woods scandal and even contemplating whether or not he’s going to be back in D.C. next season.


what we’re reading

(photo by Brian Murphy)

Albert Haynesworth is one of the most polarizing players in the NFL. Either you love him or hate him. Or maybe, we should say hate on him. That’s what Alex Marvez is up to by including Fat Albert as one of the NFL’s biggest rip-offs.

On the flip side, we have Haynesworth’s peers, who continue to show the man nothing but respect. The massive defensive tackle was voted the league’s strongest player in a Sports Illustrated NFL Players Poll.

National Football Post writer Michael Lombardi asks the question – should the ‘Skins keep Jason Campbell? His answer: “Maybe the draft will yield a young star, but in the meantime, it will be hard to find a better quarterback available than Campbell.”

Former Redskins safety Matt Bowen, who also writes for NFP, focuses on another Redskins offensive player – asking if the team should bring back Clinton Portis after a concussion sidelined him for the rest of the 2009 season.

The Washington Redskins travel west this weekend to take on the Oakland Raiders, who have won seven of the last 10 matchups between the two franchises. Also, DeAngelo Hall is hoping he’ll be able to play this weekend against the Raiders (a.k.a. – the team who signed him to a seven-year, $70-million deal and cut him eight months later).

In a Super Bowl XVIII rematch, expect the Raiders to go to their running game early and often. The Redskins rank 24th against the run and 18 of the Raiders’ first 28 offensive plays against Pittsburgh were running plays.


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Believe it or not, but some high-quality reading actually comes from outside of Homer McFanboy. And because we know you’d much rather spend your time at work surfing the net than actually being productive, here’s what we’re reading this morning:

  • Our buddy Dan Steinberg usually leads the pack when it comes to quality content. Unfortunately, his latest work feels more like a sucker punch than anything else as he tackles the long-standing myth that Andre the Giant once tried out for George Allen and the Washington Redskins. Up next for Steinberg, proving there is no Santa Claus and assassinating the Easter Bunny.
  • After having your hopes and dreams crushed by the DC Sportsbog, head over to the Redskins Official Blog to read a story of ‘Skins linebacker Rocky McIntosh joining a group of young teenagers for a game of paintball. Photos and video are included.
  • Although the Washington Capitals lost last night in Toronto 2-1 via shootout, the real winner was superstar forward Alex Ovechkin, who sported a “Coach’s Corner” t-shirt prior to the game in honor of blowhard Don Cherry. Suck on that, old man.
  • If you’re more interested in what’s going on with the Caps on the ice, then be sure to check out Japers’ Rink breakdown of defenseman Mike Green’s impressive season. It turns out after you look at the numbers, Mike Green is pretty good.
  • Although we’re still a month away from the NFL Draft, a lot of folks around town are already diving into mock drafts and speculating what position the Redskins will target in the first round. Our buddy Mark took a different approach – disecting every player selected with the 13th-overall pick over the last 40 years. It took a ton of research to compile, so go check it out.
  • Finally, ESPN’s Matt Mosely sat down with head coach Jim Zorn this week to get his take on Albert Haynesworth, Jason Campbell and last season’s trio of rookie pass catchers.

batch of links

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Believe it or not, but some high-quality reading actually comes from outside of Homer McFanboy. Just in case you missed it, here’s what we’re reading this morning:

  • Earlier this year, we sat down with Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee to talk about what it takes to build a winner. Well, the guys at Hogs Haven have one-upped us. They’ve tracked down Caps owner Ted Leonsis, who was kind enough to share his 10-point rebuilding plan with them … just in case other teams in town were interested.
  • After yesterday’s 6-2 debacle against the Florida Panthers at home, maybe McPhee will give a little extra thought to bringing in a new player or two prior to the trade deadline. The Washington Times talked to him before the Panthers game, which is good because there’s not much to say after that ugly letdown. One area the front office might want to focus on – defenseman Jeff “Liability” Schultz was on the ice for five of the Panthers six goals.
  • In case you missed it, Don Cherry put the clownsuit back on and took aim at Alex Ovechkin for his goal celebrations in a rant so ridiculous that he somehow tries to compare Ovechkin to Sean “Sloppy Seconds” Avery. It should be noted that Cherry also hates rainbows, puppies and fun. Japers’ Rink has the video.
  • Finally, check out Tanner Cooley’s interview with the Redskins’ newest addition – defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. He’s not much for fantasy football or video games, but Haynesworth is excited to be here and already making friends with Clinton Portis, Fred Smoot and others.

batch of links

(photo by Brian Murphy)

Believe it or not, but some high-quality reading actually comes from outside of Homer McFanboy. Just in case you missed it, here’s some of what caught our attention this week:

  • Redskins blogger Matt Terl thinks it’s a good idea to give Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot some additional exposure (apparently he’s not familiar with Smoot’s time in Minnesota). Either way, Terl is pushing for fans to vote for Fred in the NFL’s Super Ad campaign. If Smoot wins, his commercial will play during the Super Bowl. We recommend you check it out, if for no other reason than to learn about Smoot being duct taped to the goalpost by former teammate Champ Bailey and friends and left there for two hours back when he was a rookie.
  • Elsewhere, ESPN the Magazine has a feature on how Sean Taylor’s death has affected the NFL. While they went to great lengths to interview numerous players throughout the league, the part with ‘Skins running back Clinton Portis is a must read. And if you take nothing else away from it, please – do not walk up to him, throw your arm around him and tell Portis you pay his salary. Trust me on this. Also, ESPN blogger Matt Mosley covers how Taylor’s loss has affected the ‘Skins locker room.
  • A website called Fast Company has an article listing the six best sports bloggers, which naturally shows some love to the D.C. sports scene. Both Redskins tight end Chris Cooley and the formerly relevant Gilbert Arenas are listed, as well as pitcher/blowhard Curt Schilling, L.A. Dodgers manager Joe Torre and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (whose just glad to be making headlines for other reasons). Now, if only someone could explain how they forgot to include the blog of Caps owner Ted Leonsis
  • Finally, we point you to one of our favorite blogs, Mister Irrelevant, who stumbled upon proof that the Redskins apparently at one time had a mascot. No, not Chief Zee. Not the Hogettes. An actual mascot. Go see for yourself.
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