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Look out, I’m driveling

By Mark Solway | September 18th, 2007

I’ll warn you up front: this may not be pretty, and I’ll explain why. As the new season began, my thoughts drifted to the responsibilities thrust upon me as a member of the Blog Hogs forum. As I began to think about it, I became a little uneasy. I’ve done the ‘Rah rah Redskins’ blog, the ‘No respect from the Media’ blog, the ‘Never say die, even though we stink!’ blog, even the very common ‘Comparing the offseason to my wisdom teeth extraction’ blog, a variation of which can be seen on every sports site on the Internets. I was tired of the old drivel I’d written. I wanted to write new and fresh drivel. Drivel that made THNers exclaim, ‘Wow, that’s some really fresh drivel.’ So this is usually the part where the author states his new and fresh idea. Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with one. So I decided to just ramble on and hope no one notices. And you? Yes, you’ll sit there and read it, and you’ll like it! Why? Because I said so! Okay, just kidding about the whole no-idea thing (although I do reserve the right to ramble uncontrollably at any given time). I thought to myself, ‘What is a ‘blog’? It’s a ‘web-log’, a log of my thoughts and actions that I post on the web, in the hopes that someone will read and comment on it, thereby proving my self-worth to my wilting ego.’ So that’s what you’re going to get this season – my blow-by-blow account of each game from my perspective – whether you want it or not. I believe that this style of blog will suit my style of thinking – coincidental, random and unorderly. Hopefully you’ll find it amusing. At worst, it’s probably better than a sharp stick in the eye, although I have never had a sharp stick impaled into my eye, so I can’t be certain. And without any additional foreplay, here are my thoughts and observations on last night’s game, as random and wandering as they come…. Where’s my heart medicine? I hate Sunday night and Monday night games. It might be because we seem to always be playing a good team on the road when we do play in primetime, but it’s mostly because of the hour. It’s 11:48 p.m. (eastern standard time), the Eagles stand close to our goal line on a 4th down and look to tie the game, I’m on my feet, my heart is beating rapidly – suddenly the ‘skins make a play to deny the Eagles, and I’m jumping up and down and cheering silently (sleeping kids and wife upstairs). A few minutes later, the game is over…..and now I’m supposed to go to bed?!? Oh sure, give me a few seconds to dial down my heart rate here and I’ll be snoozing in no time. Nope, doesn’t work that way. The way it does work is that I stay up and watch the highlights several times, watch the interviews, watch South Park reruns, and maybe get to bed by 1:30 a.m. For some of you, this may be normal. For a guy whose 3-year old climbs into bed at 5:50 a.m. the next morning and announces that he has to go poop, it’s not good. Ouch. Really. Emmit Smith is bad. And I mean that in a nice way. Maybe he needs to take out the mouthguard when he speaks, because he fumbles all over the place. I’m sure the guy is trying really hard, but it’s painful to watch. I try to look away but I can’t. But at least it’s not Michael Irvin. It goes to 11. What’s up with Suzy Kolber’s hair? She looks like Nigel from Spinal Tap. I had flashbacks to my 80’s days. Wait, is that real? I’ll admit that I had a moment of stupidity when I thought, ‘Did they get all those Redskins to charge McNabb like that?’ for the opening. But when I saw McNabb throw aside ‘Sean Taylor’ (if that is his real name), I knew it was as fictional as Scientology. Ooops. This will be discussed all over the Internets this week, I’m sure, and scrutinized by Eagle fans in prisons throughout the country. Andy Reid decides to ‘ice’ a kicker on a field goal to close the half. A 31-yard field goal. Practically a chip shot. This decision had a huge impact on the game. If Andy Reid doesn’t have a brain toot and lets Squeeze ‘Em kick the 3, they go into the half knotted at 6. Instead, they’re down by 4, and demoralized to boot (Nigel even said so in her halftime report). Granted, they lost by more than 4, but the momentum swing was ginormous. Who are these people, and what have they done with the Redskins defense? I realize that McNabb was off tonight, but you can’t put it all on him. The Redskins did two things that they haven’t done much of lately – they got pressure, and they covered really well. At the end, they seemed to slip back into zone coverage, but I think they were just looking to give McNabb whatever he wanted underneath to take time off the clock and prevent the big play. But during the game, they played great bump and run, and the d-line, while they didn’t get many sacks or hits on McNabb, definitely made him uncomfortable. Apologies. To Todd Yoder. I cursed you when you dropped that short pass on an early 2nd down that eventually led to a punt, but later on you made a very clutch catch and run to set up Portis’ touchdown. Plus, you hurt Dawkins. Sorry, bro. To Carlos Rogers. I cursed you (loud enough to wake the wife, actually) when you gave up the crucial 4th down catch, and you let a pick go through your hands later on, but you made a clutch tackle in the final moments to save the game. On the 4th down, I’m not sure how you let a receiver get inside of you when you know the house is coming after McNabb. He’s going to be throwing quickly, let him take a chance on getting the ball over your head. He’d have to make a perfect throw. Man on a Mission. Man, did anyone else get the sense that Portis wasn’t kidding when he said he has something to prove this year? In two games, the man is bouncing off people and giving third and fourth efforts. The idea that giving Betts more carries will keep Clinton fresh for the end of the year gives me goosebumps. Props. Jason Fabini did have a couple of false starts, but you didn’t hear his name the rest of the night, and he helped open some nice holes for the running game and protect Campbell. Like most of you, I’m concerned about the o-line with two starters down, but if anyone can whip ’em into shape, ol’ sour-puss can do it. Duh. I love it when the refs all stand around and look at each other after a play. It just symbolizes the ineptitude that results when you have 60 year-old guys trying to make sense of a game that moves very fast. It’s like watching my dad try to work his cell phone. The ball was moving before his knee hit the ground, by the way. I was surprised they overturned the call. Like, bowling ball size. I LOVED the deep ball call on second down when the Redskins were trying to run out the clock. Loved it. Al Saunders got mucho respect from me on that one. He has weapons, and he’ll use them as necessary to get the win. And folks, Jason Campbell will hit those throws, and when he does, he’ll be dangerous. And you have to love that Gibbs and Co. have enough confidence in the defense to do something like that. They’re saying ‘We’re going to try to put the game out of reach with our offense. If it doesn’t work, our defense will stop them.’ I love the confidence, and the swagger that a play like that suggests. Did I say bowling ball size? I was not enamored, however, with the decision to go with a halfback pass up only 10-6. It was a great decision by Portis to abandon the play since no one was open. Sometimes I think Al makes calls just so he can see the look on Joe Gibbs’ face. You know things are bad when… The applause by the crowd for a fair catch was comical. As toothless as they are, you have to admit that sometimes Eagles fans are funny. Pet Peeve No. 1. I don’t understand what the deal is with fireworks and fog before the game. The first few plays look like a scene from Hamburger Hill. It’s a wonder that anyone down there can breathe. The future’s so bright… I love what Jason Campbell can do. He has impressed since he stepped onto the field last year. But what I loved about him more in this game is that you can actually see his maturity in progress. He looked off the defense several times, made good decisions (for the most part), and took a few hits but delivered the ball, and then bounced back up. I don’t know how much more potential the guy has in him, but I don’t think we’ll need too much more to be a participant in the playoffs. I know, he’s not there yet, and he’s still making mistakes. But the guy played a great game against a hard-hitting defense in a hostile environment. If he keeps growing as quickly as it seems he has over the first two games, we could be in for something special. As Emmit says, ‘Um…uh…..um…well…..’ Thank you sir. How long has Tony been watching sports, and he doesn’t know to keep his mouth shut about winning when there’s still 12-minutes left in the game?!? Was he TRYING to jinx us?!? Rock the Vote. Barkley for Governor in ’13! Best Use of an Expletive Award goes to…. Me. For telling Mr. Portis to get in the bleeping end zone. I’d like to thank the…

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