As reported in this space earlier, former Redskins d-lineman Phillip Daniels has been posting on the message board Extremeskins this week asking fans to help him rig a player-of-the-year poll back home in rural Georgia.
Daniels’ followers listened and tried, yet the burgundy and gold faithful apparently got outrigged by the locals.
Daniel’s cousin, running back Chris Brown from Seminole County High, was among six players in the popularity contest run by the sports section of the local newspaper, the Albany Herald.
The election ended at 5 p.m. on Thursday and Brown lost to Mason Worsham, a quarterback from Westwood School. According to the newspaper Worsham got 51 percent of the votes, to Brown’s 46 percent. More than 20,000 votes were cast.
That number’s greater than the newspaper’s daily circulation.
Take out Brown and Worsham, and the other four players in the Albany Herald poll only got about 600 votes combined.
Many of the Skins fans who voted again and again for Brown on Daniels’ orders were peeved that their plan didn’t succeed.
“The poll was rigged,” said extremeskins poster brandymac27, sans irony.
And while Danny Aller, the Herald’s sports editor, said he was surprised that a group from D.C. led by a former Washington Redskins player got involved in stuffing the ballot box, the practice itself was hardly shocking.
In the heat of the competition, Aller told me he doubted Daniels effort would succeed “unless he gets a couple hundred more people to start making calls.”
Area schoolboy football fanatics usually did a good enough job fixing elections all by themselves, Aller said.
“We saw big numbers in our polls all season,” he said. “It’s a big deal here. Teachers are known to give out homework assignments like ‘Do your reading and math, and vote for so and so for player of the week!'”