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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Wednesday, October 29: Redskins Make Kids Healthy

Seeing members of the Redskins working with kids in the community makes me realize just how much more effective elementary school education could be if the teachers were celebrities. Not just celebrities, but very large, very strong celebrities. With whistles. Even then, the kids don’t fully listen, but it certainly makes for some interesting visuals.

While Jason Campbell was reliving second grade yesterday, a few of his teammates were turning the tables on their gym class memories. Antwaan Randle El, Rocky McIntosh, and Leigh Torrence joined Andre Carter and his wife Bethany as they hosted the 1st Annual Carter Boot Camp to support the United Way of the National Capital Area‘s Child Wellness Initiative, and all four players seemed to relish being the ones blowing the whistles and giving instruction.

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Player’s POV: Casey Rabach and Jon Jansen Amuse Themselves

Time spent on a plane is boring. It doesn’t matter if you’re flying with a random cross-section of humanity or with a professional football team, being trapped in a large metal cylinder thousands of feet above the ground is going to limit your entertainment options.

In the back with the staff, people tend to watch the in-flight movies, zone out to music on their headsets, or try to get some work done. Up with the players, from what I’ve seen, things are pretty much the same. Most guys completely swathe themselves in blankets and sleep, they listen to their music, or they watch movies on portable DVD players.

That’s most guys. Casey Rabach and Jon Jansen also have other ways to entertain themselves, as they demonstrate on camera here on the flight to Dallas. (For those of you wondering why Ethan Albright seemed grouchy boarding the buses to the plane, this video may provide some illumination. It’s possible that he knew what was awaiting him on the flight.)


(Also, I’m experimenting with different types of encoding for video. Let me know if this one looks any better or worse than the previous few.)

Player’s POV – Rabach Asks Cooley About Food

Continuing with the Casey Rabach footage from the Dallas road trip….

The title of the post is actually misleading: Rabach doesn’t actually ask Cooley about food, he just encourages Cooley to talk about whatever’s at hand. In this case, whatever’s at hand is food.

So this video can be viewed as an answer to yet another fan favorite question: what sorts of things do players eat on the road? I found the answer somewhat surprising, but maybe I’m just easily startled.

Thursday, October 9: Player’s POV – Casey On the Bus

Let me get the bad news (at least for some of you) out of the way first: I won’t be at practice today, so there won’t be a practice update on the blog. Sorry about this, but don’t panic, it’s not the start of a trend or anything like that.

The good news is that I’ve finally managed to get the technical difficulties with center Casey Rabach’s road footage sorted out, so you get to start seeing that stuff.

This first clip is Rabach leaving Redskins Park to board the bus for Dallas. Remember, this was a little while ago, so his references to the then-hot Milwaukee Brewers made sense at the time. For everyone who has asked what the buses look like, here you go. Rabach is behind the camera, so you can blame him for the more Blair Witchy moments of camera shake.

And, to head off the inevitable question, the seat I’m advised not to sit in belongs to Jon Jansen.

Tuesday, October 7: Randle El Hip Hip Hoorays

It’s been up on Redskins.com for awhile, and it’s also been picked up around the blog-o-world, but if you haven’t seen Antwaan Randle El leading the “hip hip hooray” after the win over the Eagles, it’s an excellent way to start off the day.

Monday, October 6: On the Road to a Win With Rock Cartwright

A slightly frightening portion of my mail is made up of questions about traveling with the team. People want to see the team plane; when I explain that it’s not some sort of decadent private jet, but a chartered commercial aircraft — just picture the last plane you were on, only filled with Redskins players — they want to see that. People want to see the team train; I explain that, like the team plane, it’s a chartered Amtrak that looks more or less like any other train, and people still want to see it.

So I brought a camera myself, but my view of the team plane and train (and hotel) just looked like a plane or train (or hotel). What makes the travel interesting, I figured, would be a player’s eye view. So I gave the camera to Casey Rabach last week and let him do some filming. That hasn’t worked out as well as I’d hoped — I’m having technical problems with some of Casey’s video files, so all you’ve seen from that was the few seconds of the fans at Redskins Park. Hopefully, you’ll see more of his stuff as the week progresses.

For the trip to Philly, I gave the camera to Rock Cartwright, and those videos seem to have turned out fine. I’m still in the process of editing what he gave me into a manageable clip (or series of clips), but for now, here’s Rock’s view of the team in line for the escalator at Union Station, preparing to board the train to Philly.

(Click through the image to get to the video; proper embedding should be enabled soon.)