Wednesday, November 19: Mock the Vote?

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The early Pro Bowl results have caused a little bit of a stir on the internet, as you might expect. Commenters on the ESPN.com post that initially released the results have been critical of the number of Redskins currently leading their positions, as have many of the commenters on ProFootballTalk’s post on the subject. And Dan Steinberg asserts in headline-ese that the Redskins “successfully make mockery of Pro Bowl“.

But here’s the thing, as many Redskins fans have pointed out on those comment threads: all the team did, when you come right down to it, was encourage the fans to vote. Which they did. In enormous, impressive numbers, especially for Mike Sellers.

Not nearly as agitated with the Redskins? The NFL Digital Media department, who last week sent out an email to the digital media contacts at all 32 NFL teams, reading in part:

As it stands right now, the Redskins are leading the NFC ballots in 16 of 19 positions. Its no surprise, given that they have been promoting this all season long and currently have an interstitial ad and a top right ad urging fans to vote.

This would be a great weekend to promote pro bowl voting to your fans. Let me know if you need any ideas or support from the league (or the Redskins :)) in this important initiative.

(I too was surprised that the NFL Digital Media department uses emoticons. At least they didn’t send out the msg ntirely n txt lol.)

There is a long and storied history to “rigging” All-Star Ballots, most of which employ a little more craft and guile than just repeatedly asking your fans to vote. The 1957 Cincinnati Redlegs used pre-printed paper ballots in their local newspaper. San Francisco Giants fans used a computer program to vote in Barry Bonds, and Vancouver Canucks fans used a Firefox plug-in to vote for Rory Fitzpatrick and anger the entire hockey universe. Heck, Steinberg was the one who brought major media attention to the “Punch Parties” to rig, yes, the WNBA All-Star Game. All of those are several orders of magnitude different from the Redskins Ticket thing, and also most likely did not receive approving emails from their respective leagues’ Digital Media people.

On top of everything else, it’s probably a self-defeating proposition. There is no doubt in my mind that an enormous number of Cowboys, Eagles, and Giants fans have been sitting in front of their computers voting for their team’s guys just about continually since the early numbers were released. Truly, 2008 is the year of massive voter turnout.

Redskins Fans Are Good At Voting

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You might remember being asked once or twice to Vote the Redskins Ticket for the Pro Bowl. Perhaps you saw the lawn signs, or the bumper stickers, or the pins, and you said to yourself, “Self, that will never have any effect on the Pro Bowl voting.”

Mike Sando, ESPN.com’s NFC West blogger, has the current vote standings, and he would have another message for your Self.

Assuming Sando’s numbers are accurate — and if they’re not, someone has gone to a tremendous amount of effort to create a realistic-looking, detailed Excel file — the Redskins currently have four of the top ten overall vote-getters, in Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, Chris Cooley, and Jason Campbell.

Sando’s numbers also have the Redskins as the leading vote-getters at running back, fullback (Mike Seller is leading by an astronomical 130,000 votes), tight end, wide receiver, center, guard, tackle, defensive tackle, inside linebacker, strong safety (Chris Horton leading by 111,000 votes), free safety, cornerback, kicker, punter, return specialist, and special teamer.

Oh, and they aren’t leading the position, but have three of the top five at outside linebacker thanks to Jason Taylor‘s wearing of number 55.

Fan voting counts 1/3rd toward a player’s chances of making the Pro Bowl roster, so this shouldn’t be taken as an indication that the NFC Pro Bowl roster will be 85% Redskins, but it certainly reflects a motivated and dedicated fanbase.

So nice work voting, everyone, and keep it up. The official Redskins Ticket campaign may have ended with the presidential election, but fan voting is open until December 9.

Thursday, November 13: Redskins Flair

I’ve been wearing a Vote the Redskins Ticket pin for the last few weeks.

I’m not really sure why, to be honest — people keep asking if it’s mandatory, or if I just really like wearing buttons, or if I’m just THAT supportive of getting as many Redskins as possible into the Pro Bowl. I don’t have a particularly good answer, and each morning I just put the button on before I come into work.

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Monday, November 3: Get Your Redskins Ticket Lawn Signs

I’ll have pregame and in-game content from FedExField later today. This is a quick, non-game-related announcement to start the week off.

On his way out of Redskins Park on Friday, center Casey Rabach grabbed a whole armful of the Vote the Redskins Ticket lawn signs.

I half-suspected some kind of elaborate gag — Rabach is generally up for a good prank, as we’ve seen — but it turns out he just wanted to decorate his house and encourage his trick-or-treating neighbors to vote for the Pro Bowl.

Starting this Tuesday, you too can be like Casey Rabach: Redskins Ticket lawn signs will be available free to all fans at the FedExField ticket office from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Here’s how Coach Jim Zorn describes Rabach’s role in the offense: “It really starts with Casey Rabach. He has to get us going in the right direction, he has to have that no-nonsense attitude, he has to communicate well on the sidelines.” And you can be just like him by picking up and displaying your lawn signs starting on Tuesday.

First Debate on the Redskins Ticket

Nice job moderating by new blogger Frank Hanrahan.

Tuesday, October 21: Another Reason To Vote The Redskins Ticket

Also, Mark Newgent of the Washington Redskins Examiner is getting out the Redskins vote in Baltimore. (Scroll down to the bottom picture.) It may not look like that much, but I lived in Baltimore for several years, and I can assure you that it’s a very brave move.

Sunday, October 19: Gameday, Redskins v. Browns – Vote The Redskins Ticket

If you drive in to FedExField from Landover Road today, you might see that the stadium looks slightly different, mainly because of 2,500 square foot hanging banner version of the Vote The Redskins Ticket graphic. The roads heading in toward the stadium all look appropriate for the immediate pre-election season, lined with Redskins Ticket campaign yard signs.

And the first 25,000 fans in the stadium will get these campaign buttons.

Also, any purchase at the Redskins Stores at the stadium will earn a free bumper sticker — another in the long history of Redskins bumper stickers.

You’ve got a lot of excuses for not voting — although none of them are valid — but if you show up for this game “I forgot” isn’t going to be one of them. Vote early and often for the Redskins Ticket — and be sure to keep up with the Redskins Ticket site, where new videos and other material is being added daily.