City Paper is not for tourists
Cheap Seats Daily’s Guaranteed Lose Night
Redskins 12. Giants 45.
Redskins lose. Both my readers win, having followed our tout to bet the mortgage and then some against the Skins. The pre-game analysis — that the Skins, despite recent gains, will play like crap because Bruce Allen needs the team to play like crap — couldn’t have been righter if somebody who knows what he’s talking about had written it.
Bottom line: Out of the gate, Guaranteed Lose Night
(Sorry, Dave F. I’m sure you’re a fab dude. But ShanahanGate
Bruce Allen will be walking around Redskins Park thick as a brick in his pants all day. He can blow up everything Vinny Cerrato ever built here right now if he wants, and nobody’s going to complain.
(AFTER THE JUMP: Who’s gone first — Zorn, Blache, Campbell, Smith or the Sherms? Who’s worse: The Skins offense? The Skins defense? The Skins special teams? Or Laron Landry’s tackling? The radio team’s special night? Sam Huff drops a Norm Van Brocklin reference? Why were all those Redskins fans wearing Giants jerseys?)
The previous few weeks, where the Skins looked ungrotesque for the first time all season, had some folks believing in the status quo. But the status quo was Allen’s enemy the moment he took over Cerrato’s job — a GM’s credo: “No changes, no credit.” Now the status quo is everybody’s enemy.
Jim Zorn? Gone. Jason Campbell? Gone. Greg Blache? Gone. Danny Smith? Gone. The Sherms? Gone.
The Skins offense was amazing. So much for the Sherman-Lewis-via-Sherman-Lewis play-calling attack. The Sherm Warfare scheme that was hailed as almost adequate in recent weeks didn’t save anybody. The Skins first first down came with about 3:35 left in the first half.
The defense was toe-to-toe with the O. With 6:02 left in the first quarter, ESPN showed Albert Haynesworth taking a knee on the sidelines for the first time. No year-end wrap-up reel of the Skins 2009 season would be complete with a montage of Haynesworth, the highest paid Skins defender of all time, lollygagging as his teammates toiled. But this was special even for him, since this Haynesworth breather came during the Giants first drive of the game,with the Redskins defense facing a third and goal. The Giants scored on the next snap.
Haynesworth later tried his best to get kicked out of the game, throwing several haymakers during a second-half scrum. But even that didn’t work out — he got a personal foul for the punches, but no down time. Laron Landry got toasted and fooled all night; in a matter of weeks, he has gone from The Next Sean Taylor to a punchline and blooper reel star.
All you need to know: ESPN didn’t get to introduce the Redskins offense until there was two minutes were gone in the second quarter.The first Giants punt of the game came with about 1:10 left in the half.
And then there were the special teams. Good god. Danny Smith’s reputation and job have been saved by a couple gadget plays this season, even though he’s put the worst kick return package in Redskins history on the field, and had a couple games blown because of missed field goals. Sure, Zorn’s responsible for calling it, but Smith and everybody else having ANY association with that fake field goal, or whatever that last play of the first half was, shouldn’t be back next season. If there’s ever been a play-call and execution that inspired so much cringing, it doesn’t come to mind.
Here are some of the Redskins broadcasters’ flash reviews of Hunter Smith’s Eephus Pitch play:
Larry Michael: “What was that?”
Sonny Jurgensen: “It was one of the ugliest plays you’ve ever seen.”
WTEM’s Skins beat reporter Frank Hanrahan:”A real head scratcher. Just a bush league attempt.”
Then there was that missed extra point after the first drive of the second half, killing whatever fan hope had survived the first two quarters. Bye, Danny.
As bad as the game was, the radio broadcast team had an OK night. They kept it fun and interesting and got along swell. In the pregame show, Sam and Sonny both admitted having reasons to hate Bruce Allen, all because of his dad. Huff said George Allen cut him and replaced him with “some fat guy” when Allen became coach of the Redskins in 1971. Then Allen immediately traded for Billy Kilmer from the Saints and put him in the starting lineup, benchong Sonny, a local legend.
“Why would I like the Allens?” Huff huffed. “I got fired by George Allen!”
Huff, 75, had some rough patches on the night, too. It was as if Huff couldn’t process such ineptitude. With 6:07 left, after Jason Campbell’s bizarre screen pass went for an interception and another Giants touchdown, Huff shrieked, “Wait a minute! They’re going to kick a field goal!”
Larry Michael politely and as sweetly as possible pointed out to Huff that the Giants were lining up for the extra point. Then, minutes later, mulling Eli Manning‘s performance after he was taken out of the game, Huff told listeners that he’d seen superior quarterback play. “Norm Van Brocklin was better than Manning!” Huff huffed.
Well, these guys won’t be around long, I’m guessing. When Dan Snyder blows everything up, he’ll blow up the radio team, too. Joe Theismann was blowing Skins management so many kisses on Snyder’s radio station earlier this week, he must be up for one of the jobs.
ESPN’s blimp shot of FedExField, even before things went to hell for the home team, showed the stadium’s grandstands looking at least half blue. And closeups revealed that the lower levels were packed with Giants-jersey wearing folks — or, as Skins chief operating officer Dave Donovan would call ’em, “Redskins fans.”
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