D.C. Sports Bog Live: Nats, Redskins, Caps, NFL Preseason and Everything That's Keeping Dan Busy

Nationals team president Stan Kasten and GM Mike Rizzo discuss "Green Man," who danced the night away at Nationals Park on Saturday. Video by Cathy TaylorEditor: Jonathan Forsythe/The Washington Post
Dan Steinberg
D.C. Sports Bogger
Tuesday, August 25, 2009; 11:30 AM

D.C. Sports Bogger Dan Steinberg was online Tuesday, Aug. 25 to discuss the Nats, the Redskins, D.C. United, the Capitals and the latest sports news and your questions and comments about his latest bog posts.

A transcript follows.

Read Dan's daily smorgasbord of the bizarre side of D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.


Dan Steinberg: Hello. I'm here at Redskins Park, one of three media members stupid enough to get here more than two hours before practice starts.

Ask me whatever you like, though I should admit that I missed Strasburglerathon last Friday in favor of child care. Child care also means I'm probably going to be getting on the Beltway around 6 pm this Friday night to try to get to FedEx by 7:30, which sounds like fun.

One introductory point: I love Mike Wise, but his column lamenting the fact that he had to watch a preseason football game last weekend was bunk. We've been waiting two months for a meaningful local sporting event, outside the Strasburg negotiations and some United tournaments. Preseason football is awesome. It should be celebrated, not cursed.


Burke, Va.: Seriously Dan, is there anything definitive that a fan can take away from viewing a preseason NFL game that can be used to project regular season quality of play and game results? I don't think there is.

So, other than trying to make a few bucks, what's the point?

Dan Steinberg: No, but you can sure use the preseason to project the regular season roster. And to help make your fantasy football drafting lists. Look, maybe Jason Campbell isn't 1-for-7 bad, and sure, there were some throw aways in the seven, but right now you like David Garrard more than Campbell, or you're crazy. For fantasy, at least.

Obviously the preseason is a cash dead cooked cow for the owners, and I understand all the calls to fix the system, but I'd rather have preseason football this month than no football at all. And now that I actually care who the Redskins' 53rd player is, I find the games even more fascinating. I'm not joking.


Alexandria, Va.: What's up with the tacky, tacky gray parking lot? Who thought up this great fiasco? No signs pointing fans to the lot ... parking attendants that had no clue how to get to the lot. We paid to park in what amounted to a field of wet, soggy, muddy grass.

Parking should have been free, just to make up for all the cars having to be pushed out of the mud pit.

And then, the walk back to the lot was horrendous, because, again, no one seemed to know how to get to the lot.

My mentor always told me to remember the 6 P's of success: "proper planning prevents piss poor performance ..." Well, Mr. Snyder failed the six p's test. Proper planning would have guaranteed us a first- rate parking lot worthy of the money he's charging us.

I didn't see any references to the sham that is called "gray parking", so I figured this was the best place to vent. My car looks like I was in a monster truck rally!

Maybe the Post can generate a buzz and hopefully get Mr. Snyder's attention.

Thank you, and have a great day...

Dan Steinberg: My biggest regret is not going over there on Saturday. Weather issues convinced me to sit in the press box and eat potato chip and relish sandwiches all evening, but I didn't realize what was going on in the grey. I've heard stories of fans walking through hundred-acre forests to try to get from the grey to the stadium, and of course sinking into magical quick-sand-mud, and all the rest. Guess I have to hope for more rain on Friday night to take a look for myself.

Didn't anyone take photos of what the lot looked like? Or of your mudded-out cars?


Redskins: How worried are fans on a scale of 1 to 10? I think they're showing a 3, but really are a 7 or 8

Dan Steinberg: Wait, fans are intentionally covering up their worries?

I don't know, I think there are legitimately four groups of fans. The eternal pessimists, who believed before the year that Campbell and the offensive line and Cerrato would make success impossible; they're at a 10. The eternal optimists, who believe the Redskins' logo is deserving of home-field advantage; they're at a 1. The mild cynics, who have been dismayed enough by the early offensive similarities to last year that their worries are 7ish. And the mild optimists, who believe the preseason doesn't matter and are thus 3ish.

Me, I'm 7ish. Jason Campbell has to show me that he's better than a .500 quarterback in the regular season.


Somerville, Mass.: What side are you on? The Cult of Colt or the Case for Chase? Can either really be developed into a worthy NFL starter while sitting and learning? Personally, I look at Daniels and see a guy may be undersized but found ways to produce against NFL-level talent while in college (a la Drew Brees) ...

Dan Steinberg: My biggest question today: for how long in his life has Chase Daniel been called "Chase Daniels." I'm guessing it's been a while.

Also, I thought it was "The Church of Chase." Tho "Case For Chase" isn't awful, I prefer the former.

Dunno, all things being equal, I'd stick with Colt, because while I don't want to be a sizist, it's just hard to imagine someone who looks like Chase succeeding as an NFL starter, and if that's the case, what's the point? I've never seen Drew Brees in person, but I have to imagine he's got a couple inches.

The thing I really liked from Chase was that 22-yard scramble. Not something we've seen a lot of from Skins QBs in recent seasons. Also, those Brennan jerseys were displayed pretty prominently in the team stores at FedEx last weekend.


Arlington, Va.: So, Jerry Jones thinks his enormous video screens are not a problem. If the thing really is only 90 feet off the ground that doesn't sound very high to me. I would guess an NFL punter should be able to kick a ball 30 yards up in the air. Why not just make the boards in play. It could just be a local rule like some baseball stadiums have. Might add some interest to the punting game.

washingtonpost.com: NFL News Feed: Committee to Discuss Video Boards (Washington Post, Aug. 24)

Dan Steinberg: Well, that's not going to happen. Also, I'm not sure it makes for a particularly fun part of the game when balls are bouncing directly off the board onto helmets of blockers and causing turnovers.

Going to FedEx 24 hours after that fiasco, it was just amazing to look at the little 24-inch screens in the end zone. I mean, I'm not one of these "my TV is bigger than yours so clearly I'm genetically superior" kind of people, but it was a tad embarrassing.


Triangle, Va.: It's "exhibition" game, not "preseason." Don't fall for the NFL's euphemisms. (After all, we don't refer to "preseason" games in Viera, do we?)

BTW, speaking of Strasburg, apparently, one of the few places in the Mid-Atlantic area that won't be able to see Strasburg pitch next year will be ... Strasburg! That's because Shenandoah County, Va., is one of the few areas where the cable system doesn't carry MASN. The natives must be up in arms!

Dan Steinberg: I did mention that I've been in contact with the mayor of Strasburg, right? They want Stephen to do an event in town.

I don't see the distinction between preseason and exhibition. Regardless, you could call it a "fake meaningless stupid contrived sham of a game," and people are still watching and talking about them. That's why I don't go in for the "whoa is us" media cynicism about these games. We have a local sporting event that draws 50 or 60k in the rain; we should be thrilled to death.

Anyhow, don't suppose the Valley folks can get 1500 too well, huh?


Washington, D.C.: Dan,

So why didn't the Redskins go after Vick? Now a division rival has gotten him for just about nothing and who knows? Maybe he wasn't the greatest throwing quarterback, but it seems like a lot of teams need someone who can mix it up.

Especially the Redskins, who still haven't proven that they have any type of long-ball game.

Dan Steinberg: Well, what if they just convert Chase Daniel into a running back/Wildcat dude?

Look, this is one thing I will never ever criticize the Redskins for. They need to give Jason Campbell and Jim Zorn a chance to succeed, and they need to do so absent a Michael Vick carnival. If there were PETA protesters and Inside Edition cameras camped out on Loudoun County Parkway, things could get absurd, and if the team started losing, it would be impossible to separate that absurdity from the real attributes of JC and JZ. People would add this season to the ledger of Snyder failures, and the questions about Zorn would not be fairly answered. This isn't a stable enough situation to insert something combustible like that.

Though if the PETA folks brought veggie dogs, I'd be hard-pressed to complain.


Van Neezy, Washington, D.C.: Steinz - As a Silver Spring native, my travel advice for Friday would just be to take 193 the whole way.

I've been out of town so I haven't focused too much on the Redskins up to this point, so what should I look for Friday? I was thinking of watching the offensive line, to see if Campbell has any chance to be successful this year. Anything else?

Dan Steinberg: I continue to be hopeful that Rayner and Suisham will get into a kickoff, both looking at pressure-packed 47-yarders late in the game. I really really really like Shaun Suisham as a guy, but the Redskins obviously need to be better there. On kick and punt coverage, too.

Watch Orakpo, for fun. (Watch him in pass coverage, too.) Watch Kelly/Thomas/Mitchell, to see which stands out. Watch Colt/Chase, so you can be up on water-cooler talk. Watch the sort of tricks they try to pull with Haynesworth and his fellow linemates. Watch Dominique Dorsey's punt returns. Watch Big Mike Williams, if he actually plays. Watch Kevin Barnes and Justin Tryon, since one of them will need to step up at some point.


Arlington, Va.: I think Sally Jenkins writes the same Little League World Series column every year at this time. And while I agree with her to large extent I still find myself watching the games. It is actually the only baseball I watch as I am not really much of a baseball fan. But I like that it is more international these days.

washingtonpost.com: Sally Jenkins: At the Little League World Series, They Have to Grow Up So Fast (Washington Post, Aug. 24)

Dan Steinberg: I agree both that it's disturbing, and that it's extremely watchable.

I think the Little Leaguers are mostly young and innocent enough that the bright lights will wear off eventually. I think high school TV coverage is a lot more disturbing. Though heck, I watch that too.

And I'm not sure that the Little League stuff is terribly more destructive than the Spelling Bee, either. If parents are involved and strong enough, you figure a kid can deal with some on-air spitting and comparisons to Albert Pujols. If they're not, figure the kids will likely be in trouble anyhow.


Washington, D.C.: Agent Steinz:

All of this Redskins noise is distracting you from the fact that we are about to embark on the most joyously wonderful, successful, and bloggable Wizards season in decades.

How giddy are you?

Dan Steinberg: I'm a lot more restrained than most. I'm just not convinced, despite all the national experts talking about the Wiz as one of the most improved teams, a top-four-seed in the East, etc. And teams aren't really boggable, at least not in my fashion, if they're not good. If Gil is back and everything is clicking, yeah, it'd be great, but I'm going to wait and see before getting worked up.

Though JaVale McGee's YouTubeography certainly makes me smile.


Fairfax, Va.: Given that the Redskins team currently being assembled is the finest team to ever play in the history of the NFL, can they win at least 8 games?

Dan Steinberg: I have them at 7-9.

I give most Redskins fans credit for not having this team in the NFC championship game. I think expectations are proper for the most part. Every NFL city is excited at this time of year.


Virginia: Nick Young, Tony Plush, Fred Smoot and Ovie are in a room ... who gets the final word?

Dan Steinberg: Smoot talks those guys under the table. Most definitely.

I've never spoken with Ovie in Russian, which is my only caveat. But with the other two, there's really no competition.


Whoa is us: Woe to those who read this unedited

Dan Steinberg: Guilty. Though I can think of certain other co-workers whose chat transcripts are perhaps a bit rougher than this one.

Also, you forgot the punctuation at the end of your sentence.


The Best of Times: Ah, we are coming into the time of year when many sports converge to provide a veritable cornucopia of viewing pleasure for sports fans of all types - NFL, college and high school football; MLB playoff races; Pro, college, and some high school soccer, and for some, even the WNBA. Life is good.

Dan Steinberg: As always, please state your observation in the form of a question.

But heavens yes, you are correct. September, October, March and April are the best of months. I take September and October over March and April, because you can also pick apples in between the athletic competitions.


Madison, Wisc.: Re: Cowboys Video screens.

Jerry claims they are at the league approved height, but they weren't tested by actually having punters try them for real. The Colts brought in their punter when the new stadium and scoreboard were being built and had him -- Hunter the Punter -- try it out. He hit it at the 90 foot level regularly, so they raised it.

So Jerry, may not be the only thing in the new stadium with a "face lift".

Dan Steinberg: I would like to see a quarterback throw a ball into the screen, just for fun. I guess they'd have to drop back and throw the ball straight up into the air, but it'd be fun to make J.J. answer more questions and get even more mad without his neck skin moving.


Chattanooga, Tenn.: I had Redskins season tickets for 42 years and personally enjoyed two Super Bowls under two outstanding owners who truly cared for the fans and the product they put on the field. My son and myself unloaded the tickets when Snyder and his bagman Cerrato began fleecing the public beyond belief.

Recalling that Snyder made his initial fortune by conning high school and college kids out of their parents' money, how long do you believe the people in D.C. will continue to support a second rate product at the prices they are paying? I once was proud to be a Redskins fan, now its an embarrassment.

Dan Steinberg: I appreciate you temporarily shelving your great passions to ask such a dispassionate question.

I'm close to thinking the answer is never. People will never give up on this franchise. A great many people who feel like you about the front office still feel differently about the uniforms and the logos.

And look, there are two products the team is selling. One is a football team, and one is a game-day experience. The latter is undoubtedly sub-par, for reasons both within and without Snyder's control. But if the former turns into a great product--and there's not necessarily a reason it couldn't--people will forgive the shoddiness of the latter.

They just will.


Washington, D.C.: See, that's the problem, they need a lot more offensive combustion to go the distance this season ...

I've never tried a veggie dog but it sounds like a good tailgate plan.

Oh, and Vick has served his time, I think most people have realized that and are more than willing to give him a shot.

Dan Steinberg: Yeah, we don't need to have this debate again. I just meant that regardless of your feelings about the ensuing circus, the ferris wheel would definitely be here, and Zorn and Campbell just don't need that. Much better to have a quiet day of practice with two bloggers running around talking to DeAngelo Hall about whupping the posterior of JJ Redick on a basketball court.


Washington, D.C.: Long-time city resident here about to follow you to MoCo. Any advice?

Dan Steinberg: I still haven't gotten my license plate or driver's license changed. Got to do that this week. It'll be tough to say goodbye to "Taxation Without Representation." It took me a while to get used to dialing "202" to call the office from my home phone. It's a bit heart-rending to tell fellow parents at my daughter's pre-school that I live in the 'burbs. Some of my drives home from Ashburn to Silver Spring have involved Beltway traffic that made me hate the internal combustion engine.

Though I do feel like I can now sympathize with complaints about Beltway traffic for the first time in my life, which actually makes me feel more like a DC resident in some ways.


Fusheezi, Va.: Ok Dan, so Obama calls you up and says he's arranging a 5-on-5 game at the White House. He already has his team picked and tells you to pick four other WaPo staffers to complete your team. Who are the four other staffers you'd pick?

Dan Steinberg: For competitive purposes? Or entertainment value?

I guess I'll choose a mix. Wise, because he's been talking about playing with Obama pretty much non-stop for his entire life. Eric Prisbell, because maybe he would wear the basketball shoes he once bought that have an entire NCAA tournament bracket on the sides of them. Gene Weingarten, to pick up some cheap fouls and make fart jokes. And Boswell, because the three-point set shot never goes out of style.


Washington, D.C.: I know the Redskins have a ban on tweeting during practice, but if you started tweeting stuff like, "Dan Snyder is The Man!" or "Vinny Cerrato may be the best mind in football right now," would you be ejected or would they let that go?

Dan Steinberg: Great question. I don't know the answer. Are we allowed to mention the football franchise during practice? I think if push came to shove, this would be permitted.

I'm not completely sure what the justification for any of this is, so it's hard to judge the rulings, but to their credit, they pretty quickly reversed what was obviously a ludicrous rule yesterday evening. It still rankles me that they would want to restrict information, but I think the world can live if our Twitter updates on Carlos Roger sitting out a practice are 10 minutes delayed.

This doesn't mean that I won't continue to argue with Redskins PR that the policy is misguided.


HaikuMan: .500 onward

Enough to incorporate

Riggle-town next year?

Dan Steinberg: I would be shocked.

And don't forget, things could still reverse themselves. The Nats' remaining opponents have a .524 winning percentage. They did not look very good for much of this Brewers series. The bullpen appears to be in some flux. If they revert to their winning percentage, finish with 105 losses and no momentum, it would seem an odd hire.

But obviously he and Rizzo have some sort of connection.


Fairfax, Va.: I know the name "Redskins" will not go away but what are your thoughts on the Redskins logo? Isn't it about time to change it up? Don't you think that having a cartoon picture of a Native American chief's face on your helmet is a bit ... awkward?

Dan Steinberg: I'll agree, but I actually am more disturbed by the people who dress up as various Native American figures from history at games, or who paint their faces. And yes, that includes Chief Zee.

Also, the Redskins' logo is a lot less cartoonish than that of certain baseball franchises.


Gambrills, Md.: What do you think the Redskins' El Guapo will be this season? Not having a quarterback? Offensive line? No Green Man in the stands?

Dan Steinberg: I'll say offensive line depth would be tops on my list. Someone will get hurt, absolutely, without question, and then what?


Not In My Universe: Preseason football is "awesome"? Puh-leeze! It's even more boring than 'real' NFL games. Will the bog have anything between now and March for those of us who don't care about football?

Dan Steinberg: Nope, sorry, just preseason football reports from now til April, at which point it's straight into the draft and OTAs.

Of course. Certain high-ranking PR figures from Ballston have publicly cast doubt on this, but I promise, I will be doing lots of preseason Caps stuff, and tons of Wiz if they're competitive, and then there's a top 25 Terps basketball team and the U.S. Open Cup (We Win Trophies!) and, um, the Eagle Bank Bowl.

I won't apologize for writing so much Skins, because my traffic has been great lately, but this is also a function of nothing else going on right now. In September, that's different.


Barno, Md.: What will the Campbell haters say when he makes the Pro Bowl this year? (notice I said "when" not "if")

A) I knew he had it in him

B) Big deal, it was just one season

C) He only made it because it was a weak year for QBs

D) I'd still rather have Cutler or Sanchez

Dan Steinberg: E) Brian Griese and Kordell Stewart were both Pro Bowl QBs.

Barno, you've been a great voice of online D.C. sports reason when others have panicked in the past. You were 100 percent right on Gary Williams and the Terps. You were 100 percent right on Strasburg signing. But you're wrong about this.


Washington, D.C.: I am far from a Snyder apologist, but I have been going to Redskins games since 1980 and generally have no real complaints with the game day experience. Get there early, don't buy food inside the stadium, cheer loudly without being offensive and have a great time with 90,000 plus people. The beers are expensive, but it is what the market dictates and you muddle through the traffic. My only real complaint is the lack of out of town scores for fantasy purposes because of Snyder's rental of those things with the scores. Tell all the snits to not get their panties in a bunch and stay home if it is too much for them to handle.

Dan Steinberg: I would agree on the staying home if you don't like it thing, and I would also agree that some of the complaints are overblown, but I've been to NFL games in a bunch of cities now, and it's just a lot more fun. Like I said, some of this isn't Snyder's fault (he didn't put the stadium in Raljon), but there are some big and small things that would make the experience more enjoyable, and they just aren't happening.


Washington, D.C. in the 35332: What are your odds on Riggleman coming back as a bench coach again if he is not the Manager? Also, please tell me the green man is not here to stay. That's not what I want to see starting as a tradition at Natstown.

Dan Steinberg: The green man is from Rhode Island and is trying to go do his routine at every MLB stadium. So no worries on that.

As for Riggles, who do you think I am, Tom Boswell? Barry Svrluga's here at Redskins Park, and notes that a new manager would have a great deal of say over the composition of his staff. The Wizards obviously took care of Ed Tapscott after he took one for the team last year, and I can see the Nats doing the same, but it's really hard to say without knowing who that manager would be.


NOT Pittsburgh: Dan,

I still hope you can look into those PNC Bank ads that run during Nationals games on the radio. PNC, based in Pittsburgh, recycles its ads from Pirates games, so in the Pittsburgh version the actor pretending to be a player says "I want to hit the ball over the Roberto Clemente Bridge." Fine, that'd be a shot over centerfield. But in the Nationals version, he says "I want to hit the ball over the Capitol dome." Trouble is, even if he could hit a ball that high and that far, it would be a foul.

Please investigate.

Dan Steinberg: Did you email me about this? Someone did. Every time I hear those ads, I think of this. It's true. But probably inoffensive.

Man, am I sick of the radio ads. I'm sick of the PNC one, I'm sick of the Mayorga coffee one, I'm sick of the Force One Communications one, or whatever that thing is called. I'm sick of IHOP. I'm sick of Noah's Pretzels. I'm sick of the Shower Head Fitters union. Really, they should switch things up at the all-star break.


Washington, D.C.: Why is Mike Wise taking shots at you on his radio show?

Dan Steinberg: Uh oh. Details?

In happier news, Joe Bugel just gave Svrluga this quote on the Redskins' preseason schedule: "If you don't wear a jock strap, you're going to be in trouble. These guys know how to play, because they'll knock them off."


Sec 314: If anyone knows you would know; which National(s) were heckling Felipe Lopez from the dugout that provoked his looks the other night? And why is this chump suddenly a hitting machine after stinking it up for the Nats?

Dan Steinberg: I think one could make the argument that Felipe Lopez does not necessarily have the best attitude in Major League Baseball.

And sorry, I don't know.


Somerville, Mass.: Give us some insight on what Marko Mitchell is saying in practice that has all the defensive backs hating him. He sounds like the same old run-of-the-mill "keeping my head down and working hard" rookie in interviews but he's got to be jawing hard with Smoot, Rogers, and Hall to have incited such an uproar that got Clinton Portis involved.

Give us the dirt!

Dan Steinberg: I think it's run-of-the-mill trash talk, but delivered with his Alabama accent. It's more the fact that he's catching lots of balls thrown in his direction that has the DBs in an uproar.


Arlington, Va.: So why doesn't the media at Redskins Park have a massive tweet during practice and dare Redskin management to act! Freedom of Speech and all that or are all journalists in name only and a bunch of cowards.

What do you think your journalist colleagues who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan think about a bunch of pretend so called journalists at Redskin Park. Man up ladies!

Dan Steinberg: Look, we all want to be journalistic martyrs, but I'm not sure the heroism in writing "Carlos Rogers not in pads" at 2:14, instead of 2:22. As of yesterday evening, we're now allowed to tweet updates after practice is closed to the media, and practices are only open for 15 minutes.

We've already caved on video; the Redskins say we're not allowed to shoot video on their property, and so we don't. It is private property, after all.


NatsTown: Nothing on Dibble in awhile. Are you just not watching the games on TV, or has there been nothing really to report?

Dan Steinberg: I've been listening to more radio, for reasons unrelated to Dibble. Has he been good lately?

I've also spent a few recent nights at the gym. I go to Washington Sports Club, and I've been to at least four of their facilities, and they don't seem to have MASN on any of their TVs. That actually does bother me. Would a Boston gym not offer NESN? Can we do anything about that?


Wheaton, Md.: What is going on with Lance Stephenson and the Terps?

Dan Steinberg: Welcome to the chat, February of 2009.

(Stephenson committed to Cincinnati)


Washington, D.C.: Did you see/meet Bob Uecker during the Nats-Brewers series?

Dan Steinberg: I did not attend one of these games. Stupid. Forgot about Uecker.

But the best nugget I heard was that Nats coffee employees were wearing "Brew Crew" shirts. True?


Lankey Livingston: If we get 6-7 games into the season and the Redskins defense is dominating, while Jason Campbell continues to whiz footballs over heads and into the ground, do you think Zorn makes the change to Todd Collins?

Dan Steinberg: Wouldn't shock me, I'll say that.


Richmond, VA: I just read the Sports by Brooks story that you linked to this morning about PTI passing SportsCenter in the ratings.

Brooks writes the following: We all remember when PTI debuted. The over-the-top, sometimes nonsensical graphics & countdown clocks, bizarre between commercial look-ins and two well-aged gents no one had heard of outside The District.

It would be nice if he got his facts straight on a couple points. The commerical look-ins only started about a year or so ago, not when the show debuted. Also, Tony was one of the most well-known sports columnists in the country (plenty of appearance on "Sports Reporters", books of his column had been published, and he hosted his own show on ESPN Radio) and Wilbon had a decent profile as well (one of the few black sports columnists in America and a frequent visitor to "Sports Reporters".) Sorry, I just had to vent.

washingtonpost.com: PTI Overtakes SportsCenter In Ratings, Revenue (Sports by Brooks, Aug. 24)

Dan Steinberg: I don't watch it enough to know about that commercial look-in thing. I thought the same thing about the "no one had heard of these guys" line, but since I work in DC and at The Post, I thought maybe my memory wasn't quite right.


Alexandria, Va.: Dan,

Never before been to the Caps Convention scheduled this year on September 26. Is this something worth checking out? And should I bring my buddy, my wife, or my kids?

Dan Steinberg: This is the first Caps Convention of its kind, as far as I know, so I'm not surprised you've never been. It sounds cool to me, plus National Harbor is a bizarre place to visit if you've never been. I'd bring the kids, and then take your buddy to a game, since there are probably better drinking and public transportation options at an actual game than a convention.


Arlington, Va.: I think it is inexcusable that no one has created catch phrases yet for Alberto Gonzalez. How difficult would it be when he gets a hit to say, "He really tortured that one!"? Or if he strikes out or makes an error: "Hopefully that's one he won't be able to recall."

Or if he misses a sign: "He knowingly and willfully violated the National(s) trust." Such an easy target.

Dan Steinberg: And so cheerful, too!

But you're right. Maybe if he visits the mound to discuss strategy, we could use a "And Gonzalez, with some enhanced interrogation."

Actually, strike that, that's in poor taste.


Urbana, Md.: Do you think Redskins rookie tight end Robert Agnone (6-6, 260) will make the team? He's got that Jason Witten look ... What do you think?

Dan Steinberg: Well, you can't argue with his pedigree. I mean, you'd almost want him to make the team merely for having gone to Delaware. What a fine state. What a fine institution. What fine Hens.

But no. Practice squad?


Bowie, Md.: I don't think I have seen any stories in the Post yet about how the Redskins new Tailgating system worked. Did you hear anything?

Dan Steinberg: I'm assuming we're saving our ammo for the regular season on that one, but a good deal of people I talked to and heard from said it was better than expected. I heard a lot of reports of certain policies not being strictly enforced, and others said that where the rules were enforced, it worked out ok. Would be interested in hearing more.

The rain made tailgating less appealing last week, plus there were many thousands fewer fans than will be there for the regular season.


Silver Spring, Md.: Do we have a countdown clock on the end of FedEx Field yet? The Redskins now have the oldest, worst (though biggest) stadium in their division and it wasn't even built by Mr. Snyder.

Here's how I see it: The land under FedEx Field and the parking lots is only used a few times a year and will be vastly more valuable when developed as commercial property. (The government built a new exit on the beltway for it.) After D.C. United get a new home and the economy recovers, we can all agree to tear down RFK and build a new, city-owned stadium for the Redskins. Why? Well, we need a new stadium for our 2020 Olympics bid! (FedEx will be torn down after the Olympics) Tell me how this doesn't happen.

Dan Steinberg: The lease with PG County, for one thing.

Also, the Olympics in Beijing were nasty, and smoggy, and all that, but I'd still take Beijing weather over D.C. in August. Cmon, you can't have the Olympics here.


Radio Land: I listen to the Nats radio all the time, and hear the blasted ads in my sleep. But they work: I've found myself at IHOP twice since they started the pineapple upsidedown pancakes.

Dan Steinberg: And I cannot walk past a Mayorga stand without thinking to myself, "You know what, they have organic teas. Or possibly organic tees."


Anonymous: I had my tickets for ten years after I waited 14 years to get them. I gave them up this year. Nosebleed seats with one escalator looked like they were going to give my uncle heart attacks last year. I'd have bought lower level for face value but they'd try and push those club seats on me to get a chance to buy lower level and I said forget it.

Plus, he closed off my favorite viewing spot which was from the end zone bars with more seats. And, the parking is a fiasco. Last year the buses weren't marked and I got on the wrong bus after the Cleveland game and spent two hours searching for my car.

I'll watch from TV.

But wait, here's my question! Why oh why didn't they give Todd Collins a chance at first string after he threw like an all pro and won five games and personally got them into the playoffs two years ago?

Dan Steinberg: I'd be with you if he had won that game in Seattle. That game was crying out to be won. The future, man (or m'am), it's all about the future, and Jason Campbell is forever the quarterback of the future.

I'm definitely sliding rather quickly into the "not so sure JC is gonna work out" camp, and I distinctly remember an argument I had with my former boss the night Campbell got hurt against the Bills that year. (It was the Bills, right? Or maybe the Bears?) Anyhow, my boss said, "Ok, now no one cares about the rest of this season." And I said, "Bull, if Collins wins, they'll care."

Collins won, and people cared. All that matters is that you win. I think there'd be no shame in giving him a go at some point. I know people with more sober judgment think this is stupid, but I wouldn't let this season get away from me.


Fairfax, Va.: U-Md. ranked in NCAA men's basketball please.

GMU will make it to the tournament and the Terps will be playing in the NIT. Gary can no longer compete and U-Md. should can him!

Dan Steinberg: If you think the Terps won't spend multiple weeks in the Top 25 this year, you're nuts.


Purcellville Va.: Just a comment on DeAngelo hall's bashing of J.J. Redick. If he was so easy to guard why was he at one time the leader scorer in ACC history? Maybe DeAngelo should worry more about guarding the receiver in front of him instead of talking smack about something that happened years ago. There is a reason he didn't play college basketball ...

washingtonpost.com: D.C. Sports Bog: DeAngelo Hall vs. J.J. Redick and Barack Obama (Washington Post, Aug. 25)

Dan Steinberg: DeAngelo Hall is a great talker, and I find him to be one of the more engaging members of this team. I thought his bashing of Redick was wonderful and hysterical. It was all sort of in good fun, but yes, he was serious too. I asked him that very question--"if he was so easy to guard, why couldn't anyone guard him."

Hall's answer: "I was a beast, too."

Some won't like his style, and some will. I like it.


Washington, D.C.: Hey. You're still here.

Dan Steinberg: Well, I was. Now I'm leaving.

Thanks for the questions. As always, sorry I couldn't get to them all. Send your tips, funny photos, and D.C. sports rants to steinbergd@washpost.com. Come up and ask to pose for photos with me at the Skins game on Friday; I love that. And pray for me that I find some other Redskin willing to talk junk about some other Dukie this afternoon.


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