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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More Offensive Players Making Playcalls, At Least Theoretically

So on the fourth down to ice the game, Clinton Portis called the play. Here’s Peter King’s summary:

Fourth-and-one at the Eagles’ 38, 2:48 left, Washington up 23-17, Philly out of timeouts. Tricky call here. If Washington gets stopped, the Eagles take over with about 2:40 left and 62 yards to travel for the winning score. If Washington makes it on a running play and stays inbounds and plays its time-strategy cards right, the ‘Skins should be able to run out the clock by kneeling three times and going home with a dramatic win.

Zorn had his thinking cap on, with Jason Campbell and Portis and a couple of the coaches on the sidelines. “I called the formation first,” he said, “and then he called the play.”

In his press conference a few minutes ago, Coach Zorn described thinking about three different plays for the situation. And then “Clinton rolls by me and says, ‘Gimme the draw.'” Thinking about it further, Zorn added, “It wasn’t necessarily there — he WILLED it…. We got the first down because Clinton willed his way to those two yards.”

I wrote at the time that it was “one of the single gutsiest calls I’ve seen in recent memory,” although my original draft described Coach Zorn as possessed of “guts of tungsten,” only I didn’t write “guts.” See the DC Sports Bog’s attempts to find a newspaper-friendly way to describe that playcall for much more in that vein; the point is, it was a heck of a call, and it turns out that Portis was the one who made it.

So I asked around a bit today to see what some other guys would’ve gone for.

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The Future of Drink Insulating Technology

Everyone who attends this Sunday’s Redskins game will receive a free drink koozie courtesy of Bank of America, modeled here by Todd Yoder.

This may not sound like news, but this particular drink koozie (and may I pause to say what a strange word “koozie” is) represents the very cutting edge of keeping-your-drink-at-temperature technology. The more traditional drink insulator is shaped more or less like a cup and is designed to slide over the outside of your frosty beverage. This was a tedious process, and even more complicated in the removal phase.

This particular koozie, however, unrolls into a convenient two-dimensional rectangle for easier storage and transport, with two plastic strips inside keeping it inflexible — the same basic technology behind the slap bracelet.

And if you don’t enjoy wrapping your frosty beverages with cylinders of neoprene, you can use it as oversized armwear. (Todd categorically refused to model the koozie-as-bracelet look. I can’t imagine why.)

Todd Yoder’s New Facial Hair

Todd Yoder’s new facial hair made its practice debut today. “It’s just that time of training camp,” he said.

Todd Yoder, carefully groomed even at practice.

Todd Yoder, carefully groomed even at practice.

Opinions on it were decidedly split. “It’s AMAZING,” said beard guru Chris Cooley. Clinton Portis sounded a bit more disgusted: “He looks like a truck driver,” he said, as if that’s automatically a bad thing.

“I love it,” said Mike Sellers, smiling, “I told him to dye it black.”

And Marcus Washington managed to split the difference: “He looks like a truck driver,” he said, but not nearly as critically as Portis.

Yoder\'s facial hair, in 3/4 profile.

Yoder's facial hair, in 3/4 profile.

As for Yoder himself, he’s okay with that. Asked if he had a name for the style, he shrugged and bowed to the inevitable. “Call it the truck driver,” he said.