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The Washington Kastles lost to the Philadelphia Freedoms, the team named after an Elton John song or vice versa, in their home opener last night. The big stories were the sellout crowd that filled Empty Parking Lot Arena, or whatever the temp downtown stadium is called, and the appearance of tireless Venus Williams, who gave a clinic to local kids by day and starred on the court at night.

The loss puts the Kastles at 0-3. Amazing how quickly they’ve blended into the DC sports scene.


Speaking of: The Nats lost again in Colorado. Just another day at the office for the boys: Three errors for Washington (none for the Rockies), one-run loss.

Austin Kearns, he of the $8 million 2009 salary, had a huge pinch hit single in the 8th inning. Huge not for the Nats, but for Kearns, since it put his batting average above .200 for the first time in a while. Alas, the team’s mandatory all-star slot has already been filled by Ryan Zimmerman.

The Nats have a death grip on the 1st Pick in next year’s draft, and are now 14.5 games out of second-to-last place in the NL East. The team can boast a record -196-run run differential differential (R2D2™) with the league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

Manny Acta et al will try to fight off the broom with a getaway-day game this afternoon in Denver.

AFTER THE JUMP: Inevitable Chris Cooley backlash starting already? The guy who taught us “Macaca” still thinks he’s righteous? Alberto Gonzales banished to an American archipelago? The Irish play basketball?


Whereas being a wild ass came naturally to past Redskins wild-asses (John Riggins, Curtis Jordan, etc…), Chris Cooley’s wild-assishness by now seems incredibly forced. Cooley has gotten desperate to throw his wacky side in everybody’s face. Every week there’s a new stunt, promoted on his blog. If it ain’t a shot of his naughty bits, it’s a flaming cow. And on and on.

So when somebody at Extremeskins, Dan Snyder’s message board, let everybody know that Cooley will be featured on a segment of ESPN’s magazine show “E60”, with him playing around on a ranch, the reaction wasn’t all pro-#47.

The poster SkinsTerps26, whose board signature is a photo of Cooley, singed the star like a cow carcass, and probably spoke for a lot of fans as he did so:

“Cooley being all over TV and Internet bug me,” wrote SkinsTerps26. “You are a funny guy… kinda… but after the cow burning and those stupid mustard peanut butter and ham sandwiches, its time to take a time out from video appearances. Go learn how to block.”



From characters to character: The Examiner reports ex-Senator George Allen is putting out a sports book. “The Triumph of Character: What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports.

The publisher’s tease says Allen is qualified for such a book because he “spent the better part of his life with one foot in both the world of sports and the world of politics.” He spent the worst part of his life with one foot in his mouth. Isn’t his license to ride the high horse still suspended?

But, damn, his dad was my favorite football coach of all time.


Another guy who left town in shame: Alberto Gonzales, the short and disgraced former attorney general, not the shortstop for the disgraceful Washington Nationals, has been hired to teach by my alma mater, Texas Tech. Gonzales probably figured Lubbock is a fine place to go when the rest of the world hates you, seeing how it worked out for Bobby Knight. If Coach Knight were still leading the Red Raiders, you know he’d be asking Gonzales to draw up a memo on how far he could legally push his players during “enhanced workouts.” Those who want Gonzales tried for war crimes can take comfort knowing that while it ain’t jail, a stay in Lubbock is a close second.

The town gave us Buddy Holly, bless him, but has been making up for that ever since. (Before hiring Gonzales, Tech chancellor and Democrat-turned-Republican ex-Congressman Kent Hance sacrificed whatever pride the school had trying to land the George W. Bush Library.)


Speaking of my roots and coaches in exile: Great story in the Washington Times about Jay Larranaga, son of George Mason coach Jim Larranaga.

The littler Larranaga is the player-coach of the national basketball team of Ireland. The squad’s never been good. Writer Bob Cohn wraps up Irish international hoops history thusly: “In Ireland’s only Olympic appearance in men’s basketball in 1948, it lost all four games by an average of 51 points, including a 71-9 defeat by Mexico.”

Ok, but in fairness to my people, folks are still talking about that ’48 Mexican squad, nicknamed El Fuego Cinco*.

*Nobody’s really talking about the ’48 Mexican national basketball team, and they weren’t really called “El Fuego Cinco.” Continued apologies for my Los Lobos spanish. But the W. Times’ story is really fun.