Monday, November 30, 2009

City of Brotherly Love

Well, I had something exciting happen this weekend. We were in Jersey for Thanksgiving and Chrissy's Aunt Fran's 90th (!) birthday party. The original plan had been to head home late Saturday night, hopefully after the traffic had eased. However, at the party, we were talking to Chrissy's cousin Joe, who lives in Winchester, VA. Joe shares Eagles season tickets with a friend of his, and had been planning on taking his brother Mike, who was at the party too, to the Eagles/Skins game on Sunday. Unfortunately (for him), Mike had a flight leaving out early in the morning. Joe's wife, much like mine, would go with him and enjoy the game, but would rather him go with another real fan who will enjoy the game. After a little discussion, he asked if I wanted to go to the game! I'm sure he would rather have gone with an Eagles fan, but at least this way, he didn't have to find a sitter for the kids.

Fortunately for me, we had brought laundry to do, so I had one of my Redskins jersey's. And, of course, I had my Skins hat. So, steeling myself for plenty of ribbing, I met up with Joe and we headed to the Linc. I wasn't overly fearing for my safety for two reasons: 1) I'm not the type to come back at drunken idiots yelling at me. I'll just let it lie. 2) What were they going to say that I didn't already know? "Redskins suck"? I'd just shrug and say, "And?..." While I certainly think we have potential to play much better than we have, we are currently 3-8.

So we head to the park and look around for a parking spot. On our 3rd side street, we finally find a spot and pull in. There are two guys sitting in lawn chairs enjoying some pre-game beverages. Of all the possible spots on all the streets and all the fans milling about, guess what? One Eagles fan and one Skins fan! So we chatted with them as we ate the Wawa hoagies we picked up on the way in. Once we were done eating and pontificating, we headed to the stadium. As many people as we passed, I was surprised not to hear any comments until I was about a block from the stadium, when a police officer directing traffic shook his head ruefully, sighed and said, "I know you can't help it." This brought me to attention of another fan who called out, "Here's an asshole!" After that, I made it the rest of the way to the stadium relatively unscathed. A few times, I hears "Redskins... mumble mumble..." muttered under someone's breath behind me.

Before the game, Joe showed me around the stadium a bit. A little mini-tour. It is a very nice stadium. A lot more character to it than FedEx Field. There was HeadHouse Plaza, an area where various vendors hocked their wares while a band played on stage. In addition, there was an Interactive Zone with activities for kids, including Play 60 activities. I even saw a few Skins fans milling about, though not nearly as many as there were Eagles fans at FedEx four weeks ago. Inside, next to the pro shop, there was a hall of fame area that had names on the walls of past players, glass towers showing notable past players, photo collages showing key moments from each decade. In the South corner of the field was the Miller Lite Phlite Deck, where a band played at halftime.

After the tour, we headed toward our seats. Upper level, row 5. However, in our section, there is what I believe was an area for handicap seating, which took up the first four rows, and was lower than where our seats were. So, for all intents and purposes, we were in the front row of the upper level! Naturally, on the way there, I heard "asshole!" a couple more times, as well as "Redskins suck!" Once we made it to our seats, the people around us were very nice. The one exception being a Redskins fan two rows behind us. He was so annoying, I wanted to smack him, and we were rooting for the same team! He was much louder than I was, and repeatedly called for Philly players to get injured or killed. I'm all for healthy competition, and good-natured "insults" between fans, but he crossed the line. I don't want anyone (even Cowboys players or fans!) to get hurt or killed. I just want a good game, hopefully that the Redskins win. I did get a good game. Unfortunately, we lost 27-24. Not a huge surprise, but disappointing. On the way out, one Eagles fan in the row behind us even tapped me on the shoulder and said admiringly, "You guys played a tough game!" Guess that's about the most we're going to be able to hope for this season...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Letting Go and Moving On

I was looking at my sporadic blog, and at my earlier post about our new cat, Mister. I realized I hadn't posted a picture of him here. I had put some pictures of him on my Facebook, but not here. There may be some people who see this who don't see my Facebook, and vice versa. So in any case, this is Mister:

This segues nicely into the subject of my post. I've been struggling recently with letting go. I saw a comedian (I think) a while back talking about friends who have died, and how long you should wait before deleting them from your cell phone. Oh, wait. It was George Carlin. It was his last special on HBO before his passing. Interesting. Anyway, in a similar fashion, I don't know how soon is too soon to change my digital presence to reflect Buddy's passing. I have a picture of Buddy for my avatar on several different sites to which I regularly post. I have a pic of Buddy as the wallpaper on my phone. A few times, I have gone to change it, wanting to put a pic of Mister on there. But I always stop before I do. I feel like somehow I'm betraying Buddy's memory by doing so. I know that's completely irrational, and strictly an emotional reaction, but there it is. So, how soon is too soon?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some Stats on Jason Campbell

Toward the beginning of the season, I had a discussion with another Redskins fan regarding Jason Campbell. Like many others, he stated that he thought Campbell needed to go. I disagreed, saying that the problem was the Offensive Line, not the Quarterback. We agreed that we would see who was right by mid-season. Now that we're into the 2nd half of the season, I went through some stats and put together an argument for my side as follows:

During the Kansas City game, when Campbell was benched at half, and Collins came in:

- Campbell was 9 for 16 for 89 yards. 1 sack, 1 INT, 0 TD. QB Rating 46.1
- Collins was 6 for 14 for 75 yards. 2 sacks, 0 INT, 0 TD. QB Rating 60.1

Last week against Atlanta:

- During the first half, the Offensive Line gave no protection. Campbell was sacked 5 times. Portis had 4 runs for 4 yards. Then, Portis went out with a concussion. Betts came in and had 4 runs for 14 yards The team had 1 FG. No TD.

- By all counts, Zorn and Bugel completely ripped the team for playing terribly (stating, among other things, "This is not Pop Warner football!"). During the 2nd half, the O-Line began blocking much better. At which point:
- Betts had 11 runs for 56 yards + 1 reception for 23 yards. Cartwright had 7 runs for 16 yards. The Line gave up no more sacks and team scored 2 TDs.

This week agains Denver, the O-Line blocked better than they have all year, and:

- Campbell went 17 for 26 for 193 yards. 1 TD, 0 INT.
- The Skins rushed for more yards than they had all season, and scored more points than they had since week 2 of last season.
- Campbell's QB rating for the Denver game was 100.3, which was better than the week 10 ratings for Joe Flacco (98.1), Payton Manning (97.4) and Donovan McNabb (93.7).
- Campbell's current QB rating for season is 87.9, which is better for the season than media darlings, such as Matt Ryan (78.8), Jay Cutler (76.0), Matt Cassel (75.3).

All of which is to say that I think Campbell is a good QB. I'm not saying he's Payton Manning or Tom Brady, he just needs an Offensive Line that protects him. He got that in the beginning of last season, and the Redskins went 6-2. He didn't get it at the end of last season, or the beginning of this season, and the Skins went 4-12 for that period. He got it on Sunday, and we beat the 6-2 Broncos, who were and are still at the top of the AFC West. I rest my case.