Great Moments in Capitalism, Special 9/11 Edition

On this date in 2005: Get your Tragedy Hats!

None of the Redskins marketing endeavors under Dan Snyder dropped the jaw faster than the “Redskins Flag Hat” that went on sale on the team’s web site and at FedExField at the beginning of the 2005 season.

For $23.99 plus shipping where applicable, Snyder would sell you a Redskin baseball cap with a red, white and blue Pentagon stitched on the side to tug the heart strings and stir more nationalism at a time when the country was already crippled by an oversupply. The hats were a great way, according to the radio ads that ran on the sports stations owned by Snyder, to “commemorate Sept. 11.”

The punch line: The proceeds weren’t earmarked for any charity or cause. Unless you consider the owner’s wallet a charity or cause.



(AFTER THE JUMP: Bankers going for Michael Vick haters? Bob McDonnell, you lie? Boswell basking in the afterglow of his Snyder bashing? DC Divas become video stars? A bump in the Nats’ Road to 100 Losses?  Jaycee Dugard jokes?)

It didn’t take long for signs of the Michael Vick influence on the football season to show up. The first commercial coming out of the first pregame show on NBC this season was for Wachovia. It featured a woman and her car full of dogs, and had her talking about how she needs to save money at the bank so she can make sure her dogs are cared for.

Coincidence? Heck no!


Sticking with notable commercials: Virginia governor wannabe Bob McDonnell ran his new campaign spot again and again on WRC after the Steelers/Titans broadcast.

In the commercial, McDonnell is seen walking down a suburban street while being followed by a cameraman as he lists a litany of political goals for the Commonwealth. To capture the football crowd that would be watching the spots, at one point in the ad McDonnell’s son interrupts the boilerplatitudes by throwing the candidate a football and asking with a big smile and an excited shriek, “Dad, how ’bout a game?”

McDonnell answers, “You’re on!”

But then he keeps walking down the street and talking politics! The commercial ends with McDonnell and his family standing together at the end of the street for no good reason.

Bottom line: There is no game!

If you tell your son, Game on!, and then there is no game, how can you expect Virginia voters to trust anything you say, Mr. McDonnell? How?

Answer the question!

Butt seriously: You’ve never seen a lower-aiming, dumbassier ad than this one.


Tom Boswell came off the top rope and landed on Snyder earlier this week. In his chat yesterday, Boswell told readers, “I’ve never had such near-universal positive reaction to a tough column.”

Pretty soon, you could hold a convention of Snyder’s supporters on a golf cart. Oh, wait. Maybe you already can.


Albert Haynesworth seems like a real funny tough guy. In an interview that aired yesterday on WTEM, the Redskins’ only major offseason acquisition was asked if the size of Giants’ running back Brandon Jacobs worries him. It doesn’t.

“What is he, 250 [lbs.]?” Haynesworth said. “I weighed 250 when I was in the 10th grade.”

But here’s Jacobs dominating Skins’ safety Laron Landry last year. “That’s getting run over!”  yells John Madden about the hit, which is far more brutal than when Bo Jackson’s famously gelded Brian Bosworth in a “Monday Night Football” game. Jacobs’ hit was enough to get writers of the NBC TV show “Friday Night Lights” to reference it in a script last season. In a scene where some characters are watching the highlight tape Dillon High fullback Tim Riggins sent to U of Oklahoma scouts, the guys all agree he looks like “Brandon Jacobs running over Laron Landry.” (God, I miss that show! Come back soon!)


In case you missed it: The most viral sports column of the year, on so many levels, comes from Mark Whicker of the OC Register, perhaps the only employed writer on the planet who found inspiration for giggles in the Jaycee Dugard kidnap/rape/impregnancy/enslavement.

Read his non-apology, too. And the comments! It’ll take all day, but it’s worth the time.

Funny is hard, and damn if I don’t hear a time bomb ticking every time I try to get chuckles here, what with New Media’s typing demands and aversion to paying gatekeepers. But how many folks had to sign off on Whicker’s words before they actually showed up in print?


I was in Delaware for vacation recently.

Few states like gambling the way Delaware likes gambling. There are casinos at the fairgrounds in Harrington and at Dover Downs, where there’s also horse racing.

All the talk while I was there was about the feds siding with the NFL to crush Delaware’s attempt to bring in single-game football betting.

Scads of evidence of the local love for wagering were available at Kupchick’s, a nice, low-key restaurant in Lewes, Del. On the bulletin board, the results of the recent Travers Stakes from Saratoga were written in magic marker above the daily dining specials. There were stacks of fliers on the counter with instructions on how to enter the deli’s Suicide Pool for this NFL season, entry fee and all.

So I asked the guy behind the counter what he thought of the appeals court’s ruling that stopped the state’s gambling pursuits. I guessed he would.

“Somebody made a phone call,” he says. “They had to help Vegas.”

I’m with him. No other explanation makes sense.


The DC Divas lost the Sup-Her Bowl, but the First Ladies of Women’s Football* are featured in a new video I discovered on youtube. It ain’t ever gonna be Soulja Girls — I was the only one to have seen the video according to the Youtube counter last night, and as of this morning the count was up to just six views — but, I gotta say, the song’s catchy. Sing with me: “I like football..I like it a lot…I like girls that play…and even when they’re not.”

This thing deserves double figures in views!


Nats win! Countdown to 100 Losses™ stalled at 8!


*Dan Snyder really did trademark “First Ladies of Football” for his cheerleaders, a clear affront not only to women’s football players, but also to the guy cheerleaders in his troupe. But not surprising. Snyder’s amusement park chain, Six Flags, has also tried trademarking “Daycation” and “You Are Here.” He likes claiming ownership of things™.

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