Making “The Mayne Event”

Kenny Mayne’s idea for his Mayne Event segment this week centers around the “Hip Hip Hooray” cheer, which appears to have caught the public imagination in a way that I couldn’t quite have imagined when Zorn first broke it out at the Welcome Home Luncheon.

As Mayne explained to me when I spoke to him, these shoots are not simple — this one includes a lot of players — but he manages to execute the actual shooting quickly and with an impressive minimum of fuss. Here, with the help of Redskins PR, he’s grabbed the first four guys he needs — Chris Samuels, Jason Campbell, Antwaan Randle El, and Colt Brennan — as they came off the field after morning practice, and he quickly gets them briefed on what they’re doing and set up to shoot the establishing shot of the segment.

EDIT TO ADD: We’re having some problems with the video; I’ll have it fixed as soon as I can. Fixed, hopefully.

There are multiple takes, of course, but on the whole the process moves surprisingly quickly and the guys really seem to get into it.

The most unusual element of Mayne’s shoot, actually, turns out to have nothing to do with him at all.
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Portrait of the Captains as Young Men, or Gangsters, or Maybe Deacons

These are the captains of your Washington Redskins, serious-faced and well-dressed, in a portrait by team photographer Ned Dishman that now hangs outside the locker room. From left to right, it’s Rock Cartwright and Khary Campbell (special teams), Chris Samuels and Jason Campbell (offense), and Cornelius Griffin and London Fletcher (defense).

“I think Coach Zorn’s reasoning was just to show the presence of our leadership around here,” says Fletcher. “He didn’t want us to do just a normal picture – he wanted to show our presence and our seriousness, show how seriously the captainship is taken around here, and how serious he also takes his captains.”

And did it work? “You’re gonna get your jokes from some guys,” Fletcher says, shrugging, “but I think when most guys saw the picture, they wished they were in it.”

Fletcher might be some kind of a prophet: I ask Clinton Portis what he thinks of the picture, and he laughs. “I think it’s missing me.”

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Photo Contest: Third Place

Photo by Jeffrey Kahn.

Photo by Jeffrey Kahn.

“Ohhhhh! Looks like you were in a pie eating contest,” says Randy Thomas. Thomas was one of the guys who got Chris Samuels the birthday cake, and also one of the guys who smashed it into his face.

“At some point, when you’re not looking, I’m going to get you for this,” Samuels says.

“You look like Two-Face, from the Batman movie!” says Thomas.

“Third place,” Samuels says, turning to me, “Do I win any money?” No, unfortunately, and neither does photographer Jeffrey Kahn. “That’s a bummer, man. Good picture, though.”

Wednesday, August 13: Another Redskin’s Ride

Leaving the park yesterday, I noticed the green Metalflake 1976 Cadillac El Dorado belonging to T Chris Samuels. Apparently, it was at the car show the other day, but I somehow overlooked it. Maybe it was sitting between two enormous trucks or something. As you can see, this is a car that would seem to be difficult to miss.

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Shooting An Interview

After practice finishes, Marc hustles up to the outdoor set for Redskins.com TV to shoot an interview with Chris Samuels. It’s the two-seater, open at the back to the practice fields, with Larry Michael and Samuels. Marc does literally hundreds of these, and has it down pretty much to a science.

Interviewing Chris Samuels after practice.

Interviewing Chris Samuels after practice.

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60 Turns 31

Happy birthday to LT Chris Samuels, who turns 31 today. His girlfriend Hazel Cox got him a cake and some balloons, and organized the fans sitting around her to sing “Happy Birthday” to Chris as he came off the practice field.

Next Mike Sellers came and presented a gift of his own.

There were a couple more of them along similar lines, each with a cute little saying on it. “For the plane,” Sellers said.

Samuels was scheduled to speak to the media from the podium today, and as he waited for Coach Zorn to wrap up, he kept his eyes up, cautious, looking for the rest of his offensive linemates. “I already got it figured out. I’m gonna be doing the interview, and they’re gonna come throw that cake on me.”

It was Clinton Portis who got him first, though, although only with water. Then the line brought out the cake, emblazoned with a picture of a harp seal, and sang “Happy Birthday to Seal.”

“They say I look like Seal,” Samuels said, “but Stephon [Heyer] hasn’t got room to talk.” Despite a bit of threatening back-and-forth with Randy Thomas, Samuels managed to avoid wearing the cake (at least until later, when at least some of the cameras had disappeared).

How the Other Half Lives (For a Few Weeks or So)

Because the players were off last night and mostly out on the town, I was allowed to head on over to the NCC, where they stay during training camp. Coach Zorn had requested that the players be left alone at their lodgings, and the night out was chosen with the proviso that I not disturb any players who had chosen to stay behind.

It’s a conference center, not quite a hotel and not quite a dorm, and — approaching it alone — my first thought was that it was very quiet, and my second that it was sort of unsettling. That was before I saw the rooms, at which point the word “large” left the description.

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