Cooley, Colt, Yoder, and the Crossbar

Based on this morning’s SportsCenter and the dramatic layout of the Post’s Sports section, I’m still one of about five people on the planet Earth who didn’t think Clinton Portis‘s comments yesterday were the single worst thing ever to occur. We’re at that point in the season where tensions run high anyhow, and this seems to have pushed Redskins fans even closer to the edge.

So it feels like an optimal time to look back at something completely lighthearted and unrelated to the current drama.

Before every game, before the official pregame warmups, Chris Cooley, Todd Yoder, and Colt Brennan get together and try to hit the crossbar of the goalpost with the ball. (This video doesn’t cover the whole contest, but it does give a large chunk of the matchup before the Sunday Night Dallas game.)

“We’ve done it on and off in the past,” Yoder said, “but this year when Colt came we set up a specific little game to play and started doing it every week.”

“It’s a popular game,” Cooley said. “Quarterbacks, kickers and punters have been doing it forever. We started the competition series this preseason with the three of us.”

Competition series rules are as follows, according to Brennan: “Five attempts from the five yard line, four from the ten, three from the 15, two from the 20, one from the 25. All three of us play the first round, then the two winners go to the second round, so it’s like a playoff for the championship.”

Opinions differ as to what the championship actually is. “There is no prize,” Cooley said.

Yoder disagreed slightly. “The prize is just pride. The pride of knowing that you won that week. It’s for manhood. Who is the biggest man that day.”

“It’s to see who’s the coolest,” Brennan offered. “For that day, I mean. Until the next Sunday.”

And that week’s winner?
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Art and Darrell Get Their Rings

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Pictured above are Darrell Green and Art Monk, two new enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame — two very cold new enshrinees. They are standing behind their Hall of Fame busts and in front of enough balloons to fill eight bar mitzvahs, getting ready to receive a pair of rings that represent the final symbol of their Hall of Fame enshrinement. You can see the rings, and the ceremony, after the jump.

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Redskins v. Browns – Additional Obstructed View Seats

It’s common knowledge that there are some obstructed view seats at FedExField, but under ordinary circumstances it’s made abundantly clear in advance if the tickets you’re buying are considered obstructed view. That’s probably not the case if they’re obstructed because the tallest player in NBA history sits down in front of you.

Former Washington Bullet Gheorghe Mureşan is on the sidelines for pregame warmups, so that’s a very real possiblity. He’s difficult to get close to, what with the neverending parade of people taking pictures with him and telling him just how tall he is (sample quote: “Dude, you are VERY tall!”), but I believe I heard him say that he’s sitting in the Dream Seats. The view should be very good for him, but I sort of pity whoever’s behind him, possibly for two or three rows back.

I don’t remember much about Muresan’s basketball career except that he was plagued by injuries, but I have very fond memories of him, largely because of his Snickers commercial.

Thank you, YouTube.

Predictive Gameday Links: Redskins @ Giants

Everyone knows that bloggers are enormous homers. We’ve chosen to write about our favorite team because we love them. We are, therefore, completely incapable of being objective, and cannot pick against them under any circumstances at all. Right, guys? Guys…?

So, of eight Redskins bloggers (and one Giants blogger) who made predictions, only four think the team is going to win. Here’s the thing, though: according to the DC Sports Bog (welcome back, Steinberg!), those are the four who are the most OPTIMISTIC about the team’s chances.

“Season openers set a big standard for the team,” Chris Cooley said last year after the dramatic season-opening win over the Dolphins. The thought would seem to make sense, and to be sure, we’ll all pass plenty of judgment tonight. But the thing is, the numbers don’t really back Cooley up, at least not recently. Quite the contrary, actually.

Which leaves the newly-educated fan in quite a quandary.

I’m not usually much for making predictions — like Rich Tandler, I tend to think that it’s an exercise in frustration more than anything else — but I was put on the spot last night and came up with Redskins 24, Giants 21, which I’ll stand by. I just hope I’m not dooming the rest of the season by rooting for the win tonight.

Redskins v. Jaguars – Gameday Scratches: Everyone

As promised, current word is that the first-team offense really is going to start. There are few minor exceptions — Stephon Heyer in place of Jon Jansen, James Thrash in place of Antwaan Randle El, and Marcus Mason in place of Clinton Portis — but it’s pretty straightforward.

The defensive scratches, however, are giving executive director of communications Zack Bolno fits, as the media has to keep asking him to repeat them over and over. He’s tried reading them as “[name] replaced by [name],” listing the guys who are out, listing the guys who are in, and reading it as “[number] replaced by [number],” and there are still people asking him to repeat it.

Here’s the list, just so you know (but try to imagine following this list read aloud in a crowded room of other people trying to listen also):

  • Rob Jackson at DE in place of Jason Taylor.
  • Anthony Montgomery at DT in place of Cornelius Griffin.
  • Demetric Evans at DE in place of Andre Carter.
  • Alfred Fincher at LB in place of Marcus Washington.
  • H.B. Blades at LB in place of London Fletcher.
  • Curtis Gatewood at LB in place of Rocky McIntosh.
  • Matterral Richardson at CB in place of Carlos Rogers.
  • Justin Tryon at CB in place of Shawn Springs.
  • Chris Horton at S in place of LaRon Landry.

In case you lost track as well, that means that the only defensive starters who ARE in are Kedric Golston and Reed Doughty.

Redskins v. Jaguars – Fire! Fire!

Last home game, I followed director of public relations Will Norman as he made sure that the Redskins players didn’t catch fire at pregame introductions. On the field before warmups this evening, I met the man who controls actually controls the pyrotechnics that Will was steering players clear of.

This is Luther Horine. He’s been doing pyro with this company for more than thirty years, with his dad for twenty before that, and for the Redskins for the last five or six.

What caught my attention wasn’t the man, but the board he’s sitting behind. It looks like a cross between a kid’s woodburning set and a board with a bunch of pegs in it, and it completely does not fit in with the rest of the modern accessories on the football sidelines.

First thing to do, of course, is set the actual pyrotechnics in the endzone.

“The first thing I have to do,” Horine said, pointing to the top right corner of the board, “is turn the key in here and flip the switch to operate.”

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Redskins v. Jaguars – Cheerleaders Warming Up

The Washington Redskins Cheerleaders have taken the field in their practice yellows under a gray sky as pregame preparations get fully underway here at FedExField. To be more precise, they’ve taken the tarp, as the field was covered during this morning’s rain.

I’ve been spending the day worrying about injuries to the players in this last preseason game, but watching these ladies do their routines on a wet tarp in those boots, I’m beginning to suspect that my concerns have been misplaced. Let’s hope everyone gets through this practice okay.