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Former Redskins d-lineman Phillip Daniels has built up tons of goodwill over at ExtremeSkins, the club-owned message board, by regularly posting alongside the hoi polloi both when he was with the team and even since he got cut last preseason.
Now he wants something in return.
Daniels, who now lists his hometown as Chicago, went on the fan board yesterday with his regular handle —-pd93—-and started a thread called “Phillip Daniels Needs Your Help!!!”
Despite the three exclamation points, Daniels wasn’t asking for anything as important as organs or dollars.
No, turns out he just wanted fans to stuff the ballot box so his kin would win the Albany (Ga.) Herald People’s Choice Football Player of the Year contest.
Daniels asked folks to make sure Chris Brown, a running back from Seminole County High, finished atop the Georgia paper’s poll:
I’m not getting enough votes for my cousin Chris Brown who is up for Player of the Year. I know that there are thousands for Redskins fans on here so please go and vote for him. I will put the link at the bottom so please go sign in and vote. You can vote once every hour and the deadline is tomorrow at 5pm. Coming back from a major injury with a chance of never playing again and doing what he did this year, he deserves this award. The only way he will win is for you guys to help me out. My hometown is small and we are a bit outnumbered with other cities. Thanks to all who will help him out. Good kid who will be playing D1 football somewhere next season. I always hate coming on with non Redskins things but I really do want him to win this because he deserves it and the newspaper that is doing this has feature the guy that is winning twice and none of the other guys so you know what’s going on there.
And the regulars at ExtremeSkins responded massively. All day long, one poster after another who’d never heard of Daniels’ cousin before this scheme commenced was posting that they’d voted again and again for Brown, just as Daniels had told them to.
As of 10:52 p.m. last night, Brown had more than 8,206 votes.
Not bad turnout in an election run by a paper which as of June 2008 had an estimated circulation of less than 20,000.
But along the way something popped up that Daniels, who is a native of Donalsonville, Ga., didn’t expect: Somebody else was stuffing the Albany Herald‘s ballot box, too. For another kid in the race.
And doing a better job at it!
The voting bloc for Mason Worsham, quarterback of the state championship squad from Westwood School, wasn’t only keeping up with the outrigging the ExtremeSkins horde. At 10:52 pm, the big board showed Worsham with 8,437 votes.
So, Brown and Worsham got 16,643 votes between them.
The other four candidates on the ballot had 558 votes combined.
By last night, Daniels’ returned to ExtremeSkins with obvious desperation.
“Are there any other Redskins sites that we can put this on to help out[?]” he posted. “Let’s get everybody involved.”
Albany Herald sports editor Danny Aller, reached at work late last night, says he wondered why his paper’s website was so slow all day.
“I was trying to post a comment here and I couldn’t get on for five minutes, because the site was so busy,” Aller tells me. “I couldn’t figure it out.”
When I told Aller about the poll-rigging scheme launched at ExtremeSkins, he figured it out.
“Oh, OK! Somebody called me today and said a lot of people were having problems voting for Chris,” says Aller. “I told him I had just voted for both Chris and Mason, just to check and make sure everything was working, and it was working for both. So he says, ‘Hey, it’s not me complaining! It’s Phillip Daniels of the Redskins who’s saying there’s problems voting for Chris!’ I’m saying to myself, ‘Phillip Daniels? Huh? Why would somebody from the Redskins be talking about this?'”
Good questions, Mr. Aller.
There’s still time to get your votes in: The Herald‘s poll closes at 5 p.m. today.
Stay tuned for returns!