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It’s Dallas Week again. Though Redskins Nation is a more peaceful place this time around.

Of the many awful acts Dan Snyder pulled in 2009 on the way to snagging Cheap Seats Unsportsman of the Year Award, none were more Snyderiffic than his calling off the fan sign ban just in time to hold a fan sign contest to promote his sports station.

But, fans who showed up on November 20 at Dave & Busters in Rockville for the WTEM event, billed as a “We Want Dallas Pep Rally” — the Skins were playing in Dallas the following weekend — found that Snyder hadn’t gotten totally Glasnosty.

According to advertisements on WTEM, the holder of the best “Beat Dallas” sign would win six tickets and VIP Tailgate Party Passes to this Sunday’s game against the Cowboys at Fed Ex Field.

Jim Burnetti, who describes himself as a “31-year-long casual fan,” brought a sign he made and planned to enter Snyder’s contest.  Burnetti won’t be going to this Sunday’s game, however: “My sign was banned at that contest!” Burnetti tells me.

The prohibited placard, pictured above, advised Snyder to “Fire Vinny, Hire a GM, Beat Dallas 2011!”

(AFTER THE JUMP: Redskins cheerleader says she’s cured, story goes away? Urine therapy? Dunbar alums are lighting up the NFL in 2009? Tsnownami is no Dead Balls Era? Another plug for “Dead Balls Era”?)

Burnetti shouldn’t have been shocked Snyder put the kabosh on his handiwork. Burnetti had already had a sign confiscated by Snyder’s security staff before the “Monday Night Football” game with the Eagles in November. That one said:

Enough of
No more Vinny

But even so, he says, he thought the sign he brought to Dave & Buster’s sounded all the right notes. Subsequent events have made him feel better about his banned message.

“Funny thing is, it was right on theme (beat Dallas), and had a helpful suggestion for how to do so that Mr. Snyder has since implemented,” Burnetti says. “I think it would have won using the fan applause meter method that was used to judge the contest. Mr. Snyder owes me free tickets!”


While I’ve been hawking my Unsportsman of the Year honoree, everybody else’s putting out their decade wrap-ups. But the Redskins fake field goal immediately transcended those time limits and went straight to much more historic status: “Worst Redskins Moment of All Time” and “Worst Play Ever” among them.

That play, all by itself, set fake plays back, well, at least a decade. But we should remember that the same three musketeers now getting nailed for this debacle (Jim Zorn & Danny Smith & Hunter Smith) were hailed as heroes when the fakes worked against Denver — yes, after a timeout — and the New York Giants.

Live by trickeration, die by trickeration.

So where’d Danny Smith get that play, anyway? A caller to Joe Theismann’s show yesterday on Dan Snyder’s sportstalk station, WTEM, said, with no giggles, that an opponent of his son’s McLean Wildcats 85-pound team used the exact same fake field goal play that the Redskins used last night. It didn’t work for the pee wees, either.

“Now we know where it came from! Good!” Theismann said. He sounded angry.


Remember Desiree Jennings, the Redskins cheerleader who said she suffered permanent neurological damage from a flu shot and immediately became the spokesmodel for the anti-vaccination crowd?

Well, she’s been healed. Or, anyway, she’s better now.

But this is an odd one. Check out this video of Jennings, shot at the alleged height of her affliction. She said she couldn’t walk forward or talk, but showed she could walk backwards and jog or sprint and talk fine while she did any of those.

“There is no cure,” reported WUSA-9 in October its Jennings piece.

Now, she’s all good. The cure came shortly after she hooked up with Dr. Rashid Buttar, a controversial North Carolina M.D. who’s been accused of various quack-like tactics — quacktics? — including advocating strengthening kids’ immune systems by injecting them in the hip with their own urine.

The Jennings story was global. She was on all the tabloid shows. Drudge even picked it up. A colleague has apologized to me over and over for not telling me about Jennings before her story broke, since his girlfriend knew of her and her version of events a while ago. Now, I’m real glad he didn’t tell me. This thing has started to smell…though maybe it’s the urine.


Dunbar’s football squad had a rare off year in 2009, missing out on the Turkey Bowl for the first time in forever.

But the Crimson Tide’s alumni have done the program proud: 49ers tight end and former Dunbar All-Met Vernon Davis (Class of 2003) went into the NFL weekend leading all receivers with 11 TD catches.

Then Josh Cribbs, the Cleveland kick returner and former Dunbar quarterback (Class of 2001) broke the NFL career record for kickoff returns for a touchdown by taking two kicks all the way back as the Browns beat the KC Chiefs.

Back to me: I typed “Tsnownami™” in a blog post about ShanahanGate last week, about the then-imminent snowstorm. It made me giggle. But whenever you think you’re clever, Google will tell you otherwise. Somebody’s even already trademarked “Snownami!”

“Call for Mr. Obvious! Mr. Obvious to the front desk!”

I think I’m being paged!

Speaking of… Time for a “Dead Balls Era” update! It gets 19 separate hits now. I thought I was clever when I first put “Dead Balls Era” in print in 2005 to describe the period that major league baseball was dominated by steroids.

I used to sorta know a guy who, right around the time I concocted “Dead Balls Era,” came up with a phrase of his own: “folksonomy.” That word describes some internet tagging system that’s way over my head.  In 2007, I compared how our two phrases were doing. While the masses still found nothing about my “Dead Balls Era” worth repeating — it was getting eight Google hits — his “folksonomy” was netting 2 million hits and change.

Well, folks: “Folksonomy” gets only 232,000 hits now. Two morals there:
1)the internet fad is dying, and,
2)”Dead Balls Era” (19 hits) and “folksonomy” (232,000) have never been closer!

But, “folksonomy”‘s inventor still makes a living traveling around the world explaining “folksonomy” to everybody. And I’m still explaining “Dead Balls Era” to both my readers. (The pre-home run era in baseball is called the Dead Ball Era; the only obvious downside to the use of steroids, which fueled baseball’s home run binge of the last dozen years or so, is they can kill your testicles. Dead Balls Era. Get it? No?)

I can’t quit you, Dead Balls Era! Or, rather, Dead Balls Era™!


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