Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Ravens Are Also Getting HD Video Boards and I Helped Pay For It

So I'm scrolling through all of my bookmarked sites that I read when I get home from work and I found this interesting tidbit from Pro Football Talk:

"Earlier this week, MDS pointed out that the Patriots will be showing the NFL Red Zone on their new HD video screens.  The Ravens are now following suit."

That's pretty cool. The Red Zone channel is just probably one of the greatest things that the NFL has come up with outside of the game itself. Red Zone is right up there next to NFL Films in taking the game of football and coming up with a way to make the game more entertaining. Nothing going on in the game we're initially covering? No problem, we'll just flip to another game (a game that 2/3 of the country isn't able to watch). Say, the Giants are in the Red Zone..... let's flip to that game. But what if the Giants are in the Red Zone and in another game the Texans are about to score? What then? Split screen baby, that's what!!!! And no commercials during the entire broadcast. Let me repeat that in bold: No Commercials During the Entire Red Zone Broadcast. That means all of your 1PM (EST) and 4PM (EST) games are commercial free.

So the Ravens got new video boards that will play the Red Zone channel during the games. Good times to be a Raven fan I suppose, maybe it will convince the Skins to head that route. Frankly, I don't care that much. I've only been to M&T twice (once in 2004 when the Ravens played the Chiefs and in 2008 when the Skins played the Ravens) and don't plan to go back unless the Skins play there again (or if SHD is paying for my ticket for a Raven's playoff game- hey, I like live football sue me).

So here's the rub:

"The new 24-by-100-foot HD boards at M&T Bank Stadium will display the live feeds and highlights from other games during Ravens games............The Maryland Stadium Authority and the Ravens shared the costs of the new HD screens."

So, if you live in Maryland........Congratulations, you just helped pay for the Ravens new HD video boards with your tax dollars. Which made me start to think about the amount of revenue the state and local counties make from these sport franchises. The Ravens are in Maryland obviously, but the Redskins play in Landover (MD) even though their base of operations is in Ashburn, VA. That seems to be a decent amount of tax dollars flowing into the state, yet is there any benefits to the tax payer? I mean if you live in Maryland, do you feel that your taxes have gone down since football has been here? The sales tax actually went up a percentage point in the last few years and the state has been in the red as well. Where's the money going?

I know that in order to have football here monies are required to pay for police, to pay for road improvements on the highways to get fans to and from the stadiums and to pay for other things. It's a necessary evil.  I know as a Redskins season ticket holder I also have to pay PG county amusement tax for my tickets and that pays for some of it. But that's my choice as a season ticket holder. I choose to see the Skins live, then I choose to pay taxes on that ticket and those taxes help to keep things moving in a safe and orderly fashion.

It also brings up the question of whether stadiums for a single sporting franchise should be publicly funded by the taxpayer. It just seems like a lot of funding for a minimal return (or is it a minimal return?). Plus, is it really fair for everybody to pay for a stadium that not everybody wants? What if you don't root for that team? What if you don't even like that sport? How is a thunderdome of any use to you?

This isn't a political debate (we are not going down that road on IIWII) but just some random thoughts/questions creeping in my head as I try to wind down from a very hellish day at my job by checking out the football sites. But the next time I get a Raven fan out there giving me grief about the Skins (they exist and love to ramble about how the Skins kept Baltimore from getting a football franchise in the past.......that's a long story for another day) or how the Skins suck my sole reply will be "You're Welcome for the video boards" and continue on my way.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hey Brian, Da Bears Really Do Suck (Not Hating)

Last week a sort of "war of words" began between Bears HOF RB Gale Sayers and current Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Gale was asked his opinion (key word) about the state of the Bears. Basically he said that the Bears sucked and called Urlacher by name as one of the guys not living up to expectations.

To which Urlacher basically said that he never won anything and that he was nothing and just hating.

SHD'S Take:

Sorry Brian, but Gale is right on this one. You simply just made yourself look like a bigger idiot. The Man is a former Bear in the Hall of Fame and was just telling it like it is. What did you expect him to say? Cutler wasn't horrible? The Packers and Vikings weren't better than Chicago last year? You should have made the Pro Bowl even though you were hurt? Come on man. You even had Dick Butkus telling you to shut up.

Real fans and professionals can admit when there is trouble in paradise. If my team was in the tank, I think I would have to give a little criticism where it was due also. If you can't take the truth, then it would probably be best if you found another profession. Being in the National Football League is gonna come with constant criticism. Goes with the territory.

But if you can take it and you wanna make them eat their words, here's SHD's full proof plan:

1. Shut up
2. Work Hard
3. Be a Leader
4. Sacrifice
5. Play Football

If you do all that, no one can say that you didn't do everything in your power to make the Chicago Bears a better team for the 2010 season.

Peace,
SHD

The FedEx Field Season Ticket Myth and My New Seats......

If you're a regular reader of IIWII have you noticed a slight change on the site? It's easy to miss and I wouldn't blame you if you didn't notice it.

Figure it out yet?

Okay, I'll show you.........

This use to be the picture of FedEx that I had on the site for the last couple of months:
(picture from Redskins.com)

and now the new picture:
(from Redskins.com)

If you haven't guessed it yet, I've got new seats for the season as I was moved down from my old section (403) to the lower bowl (108). Two Saturdays ago I went out to get the mail and received a letter from the Redskins saying that I've been upgraded to my new seats in section 108. It seems like every couple of years the Redskins tweak their ticket office policies and how season ticket holders are moved around. This year, they asked ticket holders if they wanted to stay in their current seats or participate in the automatic upgrade program. If you chose to participate, then you had the option of staying in the same price range or be willing to be moved to a higher price range. You also had the option of whether you wanted to split your tickets (ie. keep your seats together or allow them to be split up).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What's Going On With IIWII?

Hey Everybody,
We'll do this post in a bit of Friday Night Video style:


Even with this being a dead period of the football season, there's still a lot of things going on. We're also working on stuff even though we haven't posted in over a week. Dan is working on a post about Brian Urlacher vs. Gale Sayers. I've got only a million things working about the Skins right now. My next post will probably be about the season ticket wait list and FedEx (and a great surprise that happened to me two Saturdays ago * hint* look at the stadium photo).



And, like I've said before because it is such a dead time, I still have some time to get in a post about the draft, the upcoming schedule and any other Redskins News and Notes that might be worth discussing (yes, that includes the rumors of Santana Moss being linked to the HGH doctor). I also (if I have time- doubtful) would love to chime in on the Nats, the Wizards and whatever else is currently going on in the area.



Thanks again for popping on the site and we're continually working on improving the site with new polls, useful info. and whatnot. I am going to say that the podcast is currently on hiatus based on Dan and my schedules currently. We just don't have time to get together and work on that project (thanks anyway goes to John Pappas of SkinsCast and everything else for some advice on podcasting that I will use when we get it going).
Keep checking back, I'm here usually everyday but too lazy don't have enough time to post anything but hopefully you'll see more content in the coming weeks.

If you have time to watch baseball (not that I regularly suggest it), you might want to watch the Orioles vs. the Nationals this afternoon. Series is tied 1-1 and it's been fun to watch.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Violating the Rules is OK at Times in the NFL, Just ask the AP

Can't blame the NFL for this one. Brian Cushing failed a drug test for a banned substance, appealed the pending suspension and now will miss four games after the appeal failed. Now as you all know Cushing was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year by the AP in a landslide (won with 39) of votes despite a pretty decent draft class of defensive rookies including Jairus Byrd, Clay Matthews and Brian Orakpo. So, in a sign of "fairness", the AP decided to re-vote on the DRotY award to see if anybody wanted to change their vote.

Some did, but Cushing is still the DRotY. Maybe the best move would have been just to strip Cushing of the award and just leave it vacant for 2009. Instead it looks like they are sending a damning message to young players who are tempted to use something that will enhance their performance (and is banned). While this failed test may not be an actual steroid, rumors continue to circulate about how this substance is used in conjunction with steroids.
(Ed. Note: The linked article describes hCG and why some steroid users have used it in the past to stimulate testosterone. That said, currently there is no proof that Cushing was doing this; also Brian Cushing denies that he ever took a banned substance to cause the positive hCG test- just making it clear that IIWII is not making that allegation or suggesting any steroid use in this posting about Brian Cushing).

And please journalists, don't give me the bull**** excuse of "we voted against the system and not for Cushing". Your comments make no sense in the PFT article. Here's a few:

"If I had known in January when we initially voted that Brian Cushing had tested positive for a banned substance, I might not have voted for him."  "However, Cushing won the award in January, and I don't feel like we should revise history.  I am concerned about the precedent."
So you guys are writers and journalists, correct? You're the guys that come up with the scoops and know the inside stuff and you mean to tell me that nobody in the press corp knew about the positive test back when it happened? And how is history being revised if the positive test occurred during the 2009 season? If this happened now or at any point in Cushing's career after the 2009 season, then I'd agree with you, but that's not the case. The positive test occurred early in the 2009 season. Thus, it should at least be factored in the voting if not disqualifying the player from the award.

And this comment by Tom Curran:
"The AP didn't mess up.  Cushing did," Curran said.  "He won't get much enjoyment from looking up at his mantle and seeing the trophy commemorating his season.  It will mock him.  But the AP didn't have to make a mockery of its awards process by giving everyone a mulligan."

So you mean to tell me that when olympians are stripped of medals because they tested positive for a banned substance or failing to comply to some rule that those who now get the medals for following the rules are given a mulligan? Same goes for the NCAA teams stripped of titles and/or wins b/c of violations. I'm not even going to get into the discussions on Clemens and Bonds and how many have been clamoring for the dreaded asterisk on their records or keeping them out of the Baseball Hall of Fame (and if memory serves neither ever tested positive for a banned substance). Jeez, now I'm defending Bonds and Clemens. Shame on you AP.

It's a bad message to send. Hey kids, don't use banned substances; but if you do test positive for one just make sure you win your awards first and you then get to keep them. That's okay.

Just in case you're curious to see who voted for whom, here's the list per Yahoo! Sports. Yeah, I don't understand why some people on that list are allowed to vote either.

Monday, May 10, 2010

LT (Sr.) Back in the News...

Everyone has heard the latest accusations against former Giants great, Lawrence Taylor. But lets recap it quickly for those without television, radio and can only read IIWII on the internet.

Last Thursday LT was accused and later charged with third-degree rape of a 16 year old runaway girl in New York. He later allegedly admitted to "sexual acts" with the girl inside a hotel room whom was pimped out for $300. Later she informed her uncle who then called the police.

SHD's Take:

Its no secret that LT has had his demons to battle. From the drugs to the arrests and everything in between. This is another tragic tale of a catastrophic fall from grace. For awhile it looked like LT was getting his act together (again). He was sober and had that Nutrisystem gig and was starting to look healthier. SHD was kinda proud of him.

Now it looks like there is a very real possibility that he could go to jail. According to what I've read, LT asked the girl how old she was and said 18. But I say if you have to question it, you shouldn't be involved in the first place. He put himself in this sticky situation and now must pay the consequences, even if nothing did happen.

As a celebrity, your life becomes a open book. Everything you do from eating out to making a speech is gonna be an open forum for criticism. So its no surprise that a scandal like this is big news. Goes with the territory.

If something did happen SHD believes he should pay the piper. Maybe after its all said and done, LT can start over and put his life back together once again and be known again as Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor.

Peace

SHD






Friday, May 7, 2010

My Thoughts on Arrington vs. Portis

Three simple words:
I Don't Care!!!!!!!
and
Can we get back to football?

I used to be a big fan of Arrington, but he soured on me pretty quickly during the 2005 season. After he wore the jersey below, that was pretty much it for me.
(I'm on the radio five days a week in DC with Chad Dukes)

As for CP. I'm still a fan, but the shtick is getting old. I enjoyed when he did the characters to not only take the heat off the team when they struggled, but to bring the team together (and who can forget Chris Cooley as "Johnny WhiteGuy" in CP's posse of characters). However, the regular issues constantly aired in public and the constant "haters" gets tiresome. Maybe for CP the "me against the world" thing motivates him (it has helped me before in the game called life) but I don't need to hear about it every month or so and I don't need it to be the topic of discussion when I'm trying to figure our what Shanahan/Allen are going to do next with this team.

Here's the facts:
- The Redskins have been known as a "me first" team in the last decade or so. Both Arrington and Portis have been prominent members of those teams. It's also a pretty fair statement that most of those teams were lousy with losing records (exceptions 2005 for both Arrington and Portis and 2007 for Portis).

-Mike Shanahan is trying to build a "team first" franchise and stuff like this is only a distraction to him. That does not bode well for Portis.

-Interesting fact: I own/have owned 2 Arrington jerseys and 2 Portis jerseys over my lifetime.


I do respect Arrington taking the "high road" on this, but here's my suggestion so we don't have to put up with this throughout the entire off-season:
These guys should have a race, pillow fight, boxing match or goofy Olympic style competition and do it for charity. OchoCinco could be a guest ref. or something. Problem solved. Issue solved.
(Chad OchoCinco: Hero of the day)

I won't be writing about this topic anymore, frankly it sounds like the premise of a bad network (or TLC) reality series minus Kate Gosselin.

Friday Night Videos: The Singing and Dancing Episode

Lot's of singing, dancing and goofy clips to get to. Let's start with a classic scene from MST3K:


and with the Phillies fans making headlines with running on the field, let's watch the Philly Phanatic's take on Lady Gaga.



and with Conan going to TBS, let's celebrate with a song and a guest singer.


and we'll get off the music and end tonight with two funny clips:
one from one of my favorite shows Tosh.0


and a link to see a great Louis C.K. appearance on Conan's last show via So Many Books, So Little Time
 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Football is Back for a Weekend.......

......but you won't be able to watch any of it.

The Skins hold their second mini-camp of the season. This is a mandatory camp for the rookies, so expect to see Trent Williams out at practice, but voluntary for the veterans. Don't expect Albert Haynesworth or Rocky McIntosh to be there.

Of course this is closed to the public and the media, so you'll need to watch Redskins Nation to see any on field footage. I'd also suggest to head over to Warpath Confidential and see if John Pappas catches an interview (or a few). The camp updates may be in a thread over at BGO as well. I'd also keep an eye on the Redskins Blog (Matt Terl will be on the field taking some nice pics), Redskins Insider and the twitter posts of John Keim and Rick Maese

Me, I will be rather busy this weekend with work- so I don't expect to have that much about the mini-camp on IIWII. I'm still finishing up some posts about the draft and the recent Skins signings, but the job that actually pays the bills comes first.......

Monday, May 3, 2010

Jason Campbell Traded for Half Eaten Bag of Doritos and Expired Happy Meal Coupon

(Good luck in Oakland JC, wish you the best except when you play the Skins)

Hardly any of the moves made by the Skins in the draft surprised me. I thought they might have taken a RB, QB or CB at some point but they didn't and that was fine with me. What was a surprise was that they didn't trade Albert Haynesworth or Rocky McIntosh and that they traded Jason Campbell to the Raiders for a 4th round pick.......in 2012!!!!.

Really? The Skins traded a starting QB, who will be the starter in Oakland in week one for a pick that they have to wait two years before they can use. Then, to do this to a team that is known to make some pretty bad moves for players (kind of like the Skins during the Vinny days) and all you can get is the equivalent of a 6th round pick in this draft? Sorry, if Vinny was still running the show every Redskins site from ExtremeSkins to BGO fans would be annoyed with the front office. Yet, I still think that Allen/Shanahan got the best they could for Jason. Again, this does go back to the mishandling of the team by Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder.

Last year, when Cerrato tried to shop Campbell to get either Mark Sanchez or Jay Cutler the writing was on the wall that the Skins didn't want Campbell here and this made him lose value. When the Broncos then traded Jay Cutler to Chicago, Campbell's value again took a hit as another rumor (truth?) came out that the deal was made primarily because McDaniels favored Kyle Orton (traded in the deal) over Jason Campbell. Despite a decent 2009 season (even though the team went 4-12 and Campbell was sacked 43 times and hit hundreds of times), Campbell's value took another hit with the rumors that Snyder and Cerrato had been "scouting" QB prospects like Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy. The trade for McNabb solidified the notion that the Skins wanted an upgrade and that they wanted Campbell gone. I never bought the comments made by coach Shanahan that he was going to keep Jason as the backup to McNabb and apparently neither did the rest of the NFL. Thus, Jason Campbell's career value went into the bargain bin of the NFL's version of a five and dime store.

It still does amaze me however that teams like the Seahawks would be willing to give up a third round pick for a player that has been in the NFL for four seasons and has never thrown a single pass in a real NFL game (preseason doesn't count.....if it did Marcus Mason would be a Pro Bowler and hold the rushing title). You'd have to think experience would trump potential in comparing Campbell and Whitehurst but what do I know.....Whitehurst probably fits in a WCO better than Campbell.

What I also find interesting in this trade is when the Skins are getting the pick. Why 2012? It makes sense to wait a season and get a more valuable pick I suppose. However, this draft class was pretty deep in talent and wouldn't the Skins want to take a player and have two years to develop him instead of waiting two years, getting a more valuable prospect but then still having to develop him? Why didn't the Skins take a pick in 2011? They have already lost a pick in 2011 for Donovan McNabb. It would make sense to get another pick to replace the one they lost. I think the reason is that there is still a deep concern that there will be some form or lockout/strike in the 2011 season. If there was would that effect the draft? And if the draft was canceled would that pick become void? I'm not sure, but it sounds like it would be a good reason to explain why they're willing to wait for 2012 to get the pick.

In the end it was a win-win-win for all of the parties involved. It's a win for Jason Campbell as he gets a new start with a team that has a scheme that fits his skill set. Campbell gets extended through the 2011 season. The Raiders get a starting QB who can get the ball downfield and has the work ethic to learn the scheme and improve upon his abilities. The Skins get rid of a player that some could argue they haven't wanted since 2008 and got some compensation (although minimal) for the player. Plus it allows the team to move on and not get distracted during camp about Jason being traded. I'm not that hyped up about it right now, but in 2012 I'll be happy that we have 8 total picks. Maybe we can finally have a draft where the Skins actually participate other than making one pick and waiting to almost the end of the draft to make another selection.

Final Note: Campbell has changed his number to #8 per Matt Terl.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Weekend to Catch Up and Belated Friday Night Videos

I don't have post draft hangover, at least not yet. No football cravings. This is a good thing since I really don't have too much time to be watching football this weekend. I did nothing last weekend, so this weekend will be cutting grass weekend. Part of my yard has grass that is up to my knees.

Anyway, it also gives me a chance to catch up on Redskins stuff tonight. This weekend I'm hoping to catch up on the draft with a special NFL News and Notes. Then a two part Redskins News and Notes catching up on all the players being signed (there was more FAs signed than players drafted this past week it seems to me), players being drafted, and all other things going on in the Redskins world.

I'll eventually get to the schedule......but trust me from now until the end of July there won't be that much to write about (yes, I know mini-camps are in May and June but we can't watch them so we really don't know what's going on) so you'll be thankful when somebody is putting out new posts to feed your Redskins fix.

Well, just about to go do some yard work (Yay!) but here's a belated FNV that I wanted to do last night but fell asleep while doing some work related stuff (continuing education required for my job) and listening to Nirvana's MTV Unplugged album (arguably some of their best work).

Three Movies I Really Want to See in the Theaters But Probably Won't Have Time to See Them

1. Kick Ass.
This film should be hilarious. Based on the comics from Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., it's definitely will not be another Dark Knight or Iron Man or even Spider-Man for that matter. I think it will be a pretty good movie in the comic genre but the dark humor and ultraviolence will make it stand out from other comic movies with the origin story and first big bad guy to deal with. Also, Nic Cage in a co-star role where he gets to go crazy as a costume vigilante. Yeah, Ghost Rider was a horrible, horrible movie but I don't think Cage had much to work with. Cage is a huge comic fan. His name is based off a comic character (Luke Cage), he named his son Kal-El for crying out loud (Kal-El is Superman's Kryptonian name, just a FYI). It should be fun, if I ever get a chance to see it.


And a bonus scene with Nic Cage as Big Daddy (warning language).


2. A Nightmare on Elm St. (Remake)
Platinum Dunes ( A Michael Bay company) is currently 0-2 with me when it comes to their remakes of classic horror franchises. I thought the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was laughable. Never have I watched a horror film where I just wanted to say throughout the movie "Just stop and pick up the chainsaw, Leatherface has dropped it again". It was bad and no amount of Jessica Biel screen time could have saved it. Not even a small R. Lee Ermey role made this film watchable. Friday the 13th was better. They got the elements down more. Friday uses a great deal of exploitation with sex and drugs and then murder/mayhem throughout the series. Ironic that you're watching a horror film where a undead/semi-living mutant monster man in a hockey mask is chopping people up, but is sending a message about having sex and doing drugs. Weird. Anyway, this remake looked more like previous films, but that was also the problem with it. It lacked originality.

I'm a big Nightmare fan....even saw Freddy's Dead in 3D in the theaters. So, I would like to catch this one. But I got a feeling it's just not going to be on par with Wes Craven's original Nightmare.



3. Iron Man 2
Doesn't come out until next week, but I'll probably be working that weekend, so I'll probably miss it.


Also, if you have Starz on your cable or satellite, I highly suggest checking out the film Moon by Duncan Jones. Very interesting Sci-fi film starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey. This is Jones' first film by the way and while you may not be familiar with his name, you may be familiar with his dad David Robert Hayward-Jones (go look him up).