Wednesday, Jan 9, at 2 p.m. ET

Sports Year in Review

The Washington Post's Dan Steinberg gauges the mood at Redskins Park on the day that Joe Gibbs announces his resignation. Video by Dan Steinberg/The Washington PostEditor: Jonathan Forsythe/
Dan Steinberg
D.C. Sports Bog
Wednesday, January 9, 2008; 2:00 PM

Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog was online Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 2 p.m. ET to discuss the top local sports stories of 2007, from Sean Taylor's death to Gilbert Arenas's birthday party to the impact of Luciano Emilio.

A transcript follows.


Dan Steinberg: Hey peoples, the purpose of this was supposed to be to discuss my list of the most memorable-ish D.C.-related sporting events of 2007, but based on the questions I'm staring at we'll probably stray somewhat. In due time.

First, I'd like to say that it'll be nearly impossible to top Gibbs's resignation for the top memorable-ish D.C.-related sports story of 2008. Possibilities: Opening Day at the new park, Georgetown wins the national championship, Bill Cowher and Gregg Williams get in a mud-wrestling bout, I get arrested in China.

Okay, fire away.


Reston, Va.: Dan, where's the love for Gilbert's one-handed shooting exploits on your list?

Dan Steinberg: Fine question. I don't know what I was thinking. That, and the Beckham game at RFK, were the two clear and ridiculously short-sighted omissions. I saw both in-person, and both were tremendous.

Honestly, I'm not sure if the Boudreau hiring and Emilio signing really belonged; as important as the moves turned out to be, neither seemed overly dramatic at the time. But I wanted to come up with Caps/United stuff.


Washington, D.C.: Is Gilbert having another big birthday bash this year or is the cheerleader party THE party of January 2008?

Dan Steinberg: Gilbert's birthday bash made the list last year, but his birthday has come and gone. If there was a party, I wasn't invited. That would make it two years in a row.

Gil posted about his upcoming birthday on his blog last week:

My birthday is on Jan. 6. No plans this year. But I do have my birthday gifts from friends: An Olympic autographed Scottie Pippen ball, a Michael Jordan autographed bat and jersey from when he played baseball, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell autographed basketball together and shoes.

Right now I just have all this stuff, but probably after my next contract I'll build a gym and display all of it. It's just something to reflect on for when I get old. It will be something to keep my mind stimulated when I get into those old ages, especially if I'm not coaching or around the young players of that day or that millennium, or whatever you want to call it.


Arlington, Va.: What about Maryland winning the national championship?

Dan Steinberg: Wait, was this something I missed last year, or something I forgot to mention as a possibility in the coming year? In either case, what sport are we talking about?


Washington, D.C.: Not a question, but a comment:

We need more college hoops pictures of fans dressing up like wackos.

Apropos of nothing, it makes for awesome blog posts.

Dan Steinberg: Starting this weekend, I will be going to one (1) local college basketball game per week. The schedule doesn't really work out too great in this regard, but I was hoping to hit all the local powers, from Georgetown to....well, I guess the schedule won't be so hard after all.

No, seriously, on several Saturdays, Georgetown has the most compelling/most convenient local game, starting with this Saturday, when I'll be at UConn-Hoyas. As efficient and fun-to-watch as the Hoyas are, their program's lock-down mentality makes it hard to blog 'em up, so I will surely be on the lookout for fans in costumes. If you go to Georgetown and you're going to the game, please don't disappoint.


Baltimore: What time is it?

Okay, here's a real question:

It seems that a big French rugger club (Biarritz Olympique) has signed USA Eagles wing Takudzwa (Zee) Ngwenya. Zee is most well known for having the try of the Rugby World Cup against South Africa.

If he impresses and gets significant playing time, would you put in for a feature/road trip to that beautiful land known as Pays Basque?

And would you take me with you?

Dan Steinberg: Wow.

But this reminds me, it was in poor taste not to mention the Rugby World Cup in my Best of 2007, at least for an honorable mention.

Do Basque sheep's milk cheeses come from Pays Basque?

And seriously, can someone tell me why the U.S. is referred to universally as "USA" in rugby contexts? Is it like that in other international sports?


Apparently Not a Washingtonian: Wow,I've lived in this city for 15 years, but apparently I know nothing about sports in this town. So the Nationals don't crack the Top 11 even once? Not their beating the "worst team ever" preseason predictions? Not the "comeback kid" Dmitri Young story? Not the patchwork pitching that still managed to take them to 4th place in the NL East? Even the end of RFK only merits honorable mention? I love soccer, too, but I was shocked to see United make the list and the poor little Nats nowhere in sight.

Dan Steinberg: You've lived here five more years than me; your finger is 50 percent more on the pulse.

Well, I did have "Remaking the Roster" in the top 11. I was sort of trying to look for "moments," things you could look back at and say "oh yeah, I remember when...." Crushing the preseason predictions was sweet, or at least sweetish, but I'm not sure any one moment represented that. Ditto with Dmitri Young; I guess you could say the All-Star game, but I can't even remember where I watched that, so it couldn't have been that memorable.

To me, 2007 for the Nats was all about 2008, and the crazy rush of crazy signings late this year was what stood out. My clearest Nats memory ever was Opening Day 2005, and I'd reckon Opening Day 2008 will top that.


Fairfax, Va.: Steinbog!

Why wasn't Blog Show on Washington Post Live yesterday????

Have you and that other dude been cancelled? That would be dumb. You guys are the best part of that show!!!

Dan Steinberg: I'm posting this for the benefit of "that other dude," my Blog Show co-host Yahoo! Sports's Jamie Mottram.

We were pre-empted yesterday in favor of continuing Gibbs coverage. When the Gibbs story dies down (November or so), we'll be back on the air.

No, we'll be on today (Comcast SportsyNet, 5-6 p.m.), featuring our newest pro athlete blog show correspondents.


Arlington, Va.: Dan, why haven't you updated the Bog's "Daily" Top 5 in over six weeks?

Dan Steinberg: That is a great question. Are you my editor?

I need to lock myself in a quiet room for 24 hours, then emerge, delete all my e-mails and update my daily feature more often than once every six weeks.

Honestly, I was trying to feature the five best D.C.-related blog items every day. I was finding it hard to come through with five must-read D.C.-related blog items every day. When it resumes (next week?), it will be actual stories in addition to blog items. I think.


DC United pushing Nats in Wheelbarrows: You hinted you were going to organize this. When is it happening? What would it take to have it happen? My first born child cut in half between Chang and the Lerners? I could do that?

Can we start voting for which Bog related stunt we most want to have happen? How do you come up with story ideas?

Dan Steinberg: Uh, I was just joking with that, but if it happens I'd cover it.

As for story ideas, mostly I go to local events, mope around for a while, complain about my job to the PR staffers, and then just cross my fingers and hope some pro athletes will show up wearing sunglasses and fur coats. Amazingly, this sometimes works.

Also, I've started admitting that a lot of time, the humor-like tales that I try to tell might not seem hilarious in person. I try to make them more funny-like. I'm worried someone will call me on this eventually, so I want to get it out there.


Arlington, Va.: If Gregg Williams gets the Redskins job, is he the kind of coach that will provide you with enough Blog fodder? Like Joe, he tends to toe the company line in terms of saying anything of consequence/interest...

Dan Steinberg: Well, I did write about Joe a lot, because his cliches were so relentless, but also charming in a way. I'm not convinced that would be the case with Gregg. I think Bill Cowher is more of an ideal hire for me, because I could write a lot about his chin and his mustache.

In fact, I'm gonna hereby pledge that if Cowher's the guy, I'm growing a mustache.


Elon, N.C.: Dan,

I read your blog all the time, but unfortunately, I rarely post. We have exchanged a few e-mails, though, especially early on in your blogging days. Love what you do. Always entertaining. My question has nothing to do with the year in review, though. I wanted to know what the transition has been like for you from newspaper journalist to online blogger. I'm sure some basic competencies, guidelines and ethics from the world of print journalism carry over, but what's changed and how have you handled it?

Thanks for the time.

Dan Steinberg: Wow, a serious question.

If you live in Elon you might not know this, but I get excerpted in the actual living, dead-tree newspaper four days a week. This keeps me in contact with my editors, and keeps me from being completely inappropriate. Although would you believe I got a complaint last week from a reader for allowing the words "poopy diapers" to appear in the print Post? Decline of journalism, etc.

I'm not sure how much carries over, aside from writing and grammar and the rest. I try to be as accurate as I possibly can. I still use a tape recorder religiously. I still check facts.

The biggest change is the speed and lack of oversight...I can think something would make for a great post, throw it up immediately and then an hour later realize maybe that wasn't such a great idea. In print, you ALWAYS have someone double-checking to make sure you don't do something dumb. Theoretically.

Also, to me, there's a lot more pressure online, in the sense that you see your traffic every single day. If no one's reading your blog, you'll know about it the next morning. Whereas you can file a 14-inch story about GW-Rhode Island that runs on E13, but it doesn't matter, because you've still done your job.

I've handled that by drinking more.


San Diego, CA: Hey Dan! I'm looking forward (selfishly) to more Wiz content now that the 'Skins are done for the season. What's your take on the Wiz vets moving the youngsters' lockers to break up all the pre-game kiddie fun, so that they'll buckle down and become serious NBA players? I love the stories and vlogs, but we do need some actual production out of the kids with so many injuries.

Dan Steinberg: Interesting development, for sure. I haven't been over there for several weeks. I look for lightness in pro locker rooms -- that's how I make my living -- but usually I've found it from established pros: Gilbert, Smoot, Caron, Eskandarian, etc. I can see where there would be concern about two little-used rookies and Andray Blatche goofing off.

I'm not an insider, so I can't tell you exactly what the deal is, but my personal opinion is that all three of those guys have enough game to help the Wizards, and that I'd much rather cheer for guys who are overly loose than guys who are overly tight. Without all the injuries, this may never have become an issue.

I'm definitely hoping that this move doesn't take the life out of the locker room, but knowing some of those guys a little bit, I can't imagine that'll happen. And I find it at least a little heartening that the team's younguns get along so well.


Washington, D.C.: Dan - 4 or 5 times a day, I find myself overwhelmed by the power of the Bog. Maybe you can answer this -- why on earth is Omar Stoutmire in an Eastern Motor's commercial?

Dan Steinberg: This is the first I've heard of this. Really? Are you sure?


Washington, D.C.: Dan,

Do you watch "The Wire"? If not, do you know of any athletes following the show? Any thoughts about it?

Dan Steinberg: Sadly, I don't have HBO. In fact, my general cluelessness about pop culture is a huge, glaring weakness for someone attempting to the type of blog I'm attempting to do. When I watch TV at night, it's usually sports, with the sound down, which doesn't help anyone.

I know I've heard people around the Wizards locker room discussing the show in past years; next time it comes up, I'll try to make note.


Arlington, Va.: Steinz:

If NBC4's Dan Hellie and The Post's Les Carpenter were to, IN THEORY, almost get into a fight in the Skins locker room earlier this year...who do you like in that throwdown?

Okay...what about Lindsay Czaniak versus Kelli Johnson?

Dan Steinberg: Trying to make amends for my rumor-mongering....

That was completely inappropriate of me to mention, both because I didn't see it in person and because it wasn't really a big deal.

On the other hand, if I ever scuffle with anyone, anywhere, I expect someone to blog about it. I need the help with the Q rating.

Kelli is a former athlete with a huge reach advantage over Lindsay, so I'll take her no contest.


Washington, D.C.: Since you spent all year writing about pro athletes' tattoos, do you have any of your own?

And if you do, what and where are they?

Dan Steinberg: I do not. Nor do I have a mustache or funny sideburns. Kind of like a penniless business reporter, I know.

Here's a marginally related question: some Redskins fans offered to buy me a jersey. I don't own any sports jerseys, because I'm supposed to be all objective. But many of my supposedly objective colleagues wear sporting clothing, plus I'm a blogger, not a beat reporter, so I was thinking of accepting the offer.

The question: what player do you get? Portis might be gone soon. Jason Campbell's spot is suddenly confused. London Fletcher might be their best player at this point, but he's sort of boring. Where does that leave things? Smoot? Suisham? Landry?


Blog Friends are our Friends: So Bobby Boswell is gone. Joe Gibbs is gone. Esky is gone, and it looks like Gros is no longer Frisbee golfing with you. Plus you've lost Schneider, maybe Gil and who knows about Smoot.

So who are your go-to Bog guys?

And on the bright side, Da Meathook is back. I expect to see lots of kiddie mohawk pictures.

Dan Steinberg: I never Frisbee golfed with Josh Gros. Bobby Boswell did; I just stole the video from his site. And I can't remember ever going to Brian Schneider for anything, although it's possible.

My Caps coverage has completely disappeared, but Ovechkin is always bloggable, Mike Green has promise, and I hear Quintin Laing is good. Boudreau is great, and I have high hopes for Alzner.

At D.C. United, if Emilio continues to improve with the English, he could be a huge get. Beyond that, I'm really not sure any more. An amazing Bog gutting in just over a year.

I should have done more with Da Meathook than I did last year; hope to improve there. I think Lo Duca and Milledge could be great, but the former will be mad at the media for a good long while, and the latter will be super cautious. So who knows.

Smoot and Portis are still the MBPs in Ashburn, and I'm hoping Portis returns.

Caron Butler also manages to be funny, professional and damn good at basketball.


Wheaton, Md.: Steinberg, your old pic with the fedora type hat and the press ticket was much better than the HD-ready mug shot.

Dan Steinberg: When I realized that it was theoretically possible that Ernie Grunfeld or Stan Kasten might click on The Post's sports site one day and see me looking like that, I began demanding change.

Plus, the Fedora type hat didn't really fit me, which made it look even sillier.

But I've actually heard this complain from a lot of people, oddly.


Washington, D.C.: Does Rock plan on keeping his mohawk through the offseason or will it be dependent on the new coach situation?

Dan Steinberg: Hadn't even thought to ask. Has anyone seen pictures of him over the past few days? I'm guessing that it's already gone.

I found it dispiriting that no one besides Khary Campbell seemed to jump on that train. Would have loved a Derrick Frost playoff mohawk.


Arlington, Va.: Being intimately familiar with the Local 11 poll as you are, what's the point of a "local city championship" that numerous people keep on pushing?

Yes, I'm a Georgetown fan, but the college basketball in the area is so bad so often that it would seem to be a repeated stinker.

Dan Steinberg: You mean everyone together in the BB&T? I think the point is just that fans, in general, would enjoy it.

Now, would Terps fans enjoy losing to Georgetown three or four or five years in a row? No, but I don't think that would necessarily happen. Guys would get up for a tournament like that...look at what GW used to do to Maryland teams that were often more talented.

Clearly American or George Mason wouldn't likely win many games, but the times they did would make it worth it for the small guys.

Right now, Georgetown definitely has the most to lose. And in some ways the media might have the most to gain, so I can't complain too much. The best way to argue this point, though, is just to look at what Philly has, and ask why we shouldn't get something just as cool.


Frederick, Md.: What cliche, over-used phrase will replace "hard fought" and "fought their guts out" this year?

Dan Steinberg: I don't have a good answer to this, but I'm glad you asked, because that reminded's Barack Obama, late last night:

"I want to congratulate Sen. Clinton on a hard fought victory here in New Hampshire."

On the day Gibbs retired, that was a clear shout-out, right? No?


Arlington, Va.: What about Teddy winning the Presidents' race? Oh wait... maybe in 2008.

Dan Steinberg: That has to end at some point, right? Two years is a long time for one joke. The question is, how to keep the Race as amazing as it is once the defining joke is gone.

It seems clear that within a few years the Nats will become a winner (2009?), but I'm more concerned about whether Stan and friends will come up with a way to keep this race germane.


Middletown, Va.: Any truth to the rumor that Nick Young is planning on using you as a prop for this year's Slam Dunk Contest?

Dan Steinberg: I'm going to the Super Bowl, which I think is going to preclude me from going to the NBA All-Star game. If given the choice, I'd probably have chosen the latter, if for no other reason than New Orleans has lots of casinos.


Rockville, Md.: The obvious answer for jersey is Chris Cooley. Only problem is a lot of people have jumped on the Cooley jersey bandwagon so it isn't exactly unique.

The things to look for in your jersey are how long they'll be with the team, popularity/obscurity, and how much of a playmaker they are.

Cooley will be with the team for awhile and is popular and will make touchdowns. I once bought a Lavar Arrington jersey thinking he'd be around forever though.

Dan Steinberg: Also, I'm not sure I fit the Cooley demographic, exactly.

Thanks for the criteria. I've got to think Landry jerseys start flying off the shelves by next September.

I saw Leigh Torrence's parents at the Seahawks game. Both were wearing Torrence jerseys.


Reston, Va.: You're going to China? Are you going to blog about the fine cheese shops? Will Mike Wise be attacked by a bus? Will there be surly hottie rowers? There's no curling in the summer games, what would you cover? Team Handball?

Way more interesting that 2007, or your horrible influence on the destinies of local professional soccer players.

Dan Steinberg: Yes, I'm going to China. Haven't decided what to do, or what to eat? I was thinking strange Chinese candies, but we'll see.

The bigger issue: there will be 4 million U.S.-based bloggers there. I mean, there was some competition in Turin, but this will be insane.


Rockville, Md.: Dan, do you see Arenas continuing his shenanigans to the same degree of last year when he returns later this season?

Dan Steinberg: I feel like he's jamming more and more of his quirks into his blog. That way, he gets the hits, and he gets to keep the "quirky" label, but he doesn't have to face cameras, which he doesn't like.

Logic would tell you that after the past few months, he might want to just play basketball. But his stuff isn't an act. I'm telling you, it's not. Telling Gilbert not to shenaniganize would be like telling me to ignore those fans off to the right dressed like Psychedelic Croatian Kangaroos. It's impossible.

The next few months might be dry around here, but if Gilbert comes back healthy to a playoff-pushing Wiz team, I think things might get fun.


The District: Dan -- In the sea of mediocre content produced by over-hyped Web hacks, you stand as one of the evolved few, a journalist was has successfully executed in this new medium while still embracing the spirit of the Internet. This next year will be a formative one for you and for the Bog -- where are you headed? What can we expect in 2008?

Dan Steinberg: Can't ignore this question, since it was so eloquently framed.

My goal is to cash in before the local audience grows tired of reading about tattoos, locker room banter and Gilbert. Honestly, I've told many folks that at some point I'll feel silly asking kids half my age why they're wearing different colored socks, which means this thing will either change or die, assuming I'm unable to cash in. But as long as I keep getting paid, I try not to worry about that too much.

Also: expect more video.


Frederick, Md.: If Gilbert Arenas was a block of cheese, what type of cheese would he be and why?

Dan Steinberg: Nicely done.

Easy answer: Parmigiano Reggiano

It's high-priced without having airs, it's more than a little flaky and yet everyone loves the stuff.


Waldorf, Md.: Dan, fill us in on your interview with Al Jazeera please.

Dan Steinberg: I got an e-mail from a producer saying they were working on a piece about NFL tailgating and they wanted to talk to me. So a crew is meeting me at the paper to shoot me at work (checking e-mail, I suppose), and then they'll ask me some questions. I'm going to try not to make America look too bad.


Dan Steinberg: Okay, gotta run and get ready for my Al Jazeera interview. Thanks for all the questions, maybe we'll do this again next year.

Oh, and I thought of one more Best of 2008 Highlight: the release of Fred Smoot's beverage. Here's hoping.


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