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

 Dan Steinberg
Dan Steinberg (The Washington Post)
Dan Steinberg
D.C. Sports Bogger
Tuesday, September 1, 2009; 11:30 AM

D.C. Sports Bogger Dan Steinberg was online Tuesday, Sep. 1 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 smorgasborg of the bizarre side of D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.


Dan Steinberg: Hey all, sorry to be late. I did skip Roger Goodell's meeting with the media out here at Redskins Park in favor of chat prep work. Also, Skins practice seems like it might be out by 12:15 or so, so this might be brief, we'll see. I'll type fast.


Washingtonian in NYC: Hey Dan, love your work. One question. Why the "y" in Comcast SportsyNet? I feel like I missed an inside joke.

Dan Steinberg: I've mostly stopped doing that. It was an insidey joke, I guess. When I first started writing about CSN, I would call it "Comcast," like most everyone else in the world. I was pretty quickly (instantaneously) told that the proper name is Comcast SportsNet, two words, capital N. Because I chafe at being given instructions, I decided I would instead refer to it as Comcast SportsyNet. But I got tired of typing the extra character after a while, plus CSN is obviously the best way to go.


Wildcat Offense with Chase: Has there been any thought of using Chase Daniel in the Wildcat offense? He looks like a strong runner as well as a potential deep ball threat ...

Dan Steinberg: I think Jim Zorn has made it pretty clear that he's not a Wildcat kind of guy. If he were, I'm not sure there'd be a more sensible candidate than ARE, and there hasn't even been a suggestion of using him in that role. Heck, even Clinton Portis has tossed a few nice passes in his NFL career. I just don't think that's gonna happen this year, with anyone on this roster.


Andray Blache: At least he didn't cry like Rich Rodriguez

Dan Steinberg: Greg Blache, you mean. And that's true, he didn't cry.

I know some people think we (me) are making too much of that incident, but those three minutes of postgame chatter were no worse than the seventh or eighth most exciting part of the night. I would put the Mitchell TD, the Cooley catch, both Moss TDs, the Haynesworth crunch of Brady, the Suisham missed FG and the late-game timeout/fumble/timeout ahead, possibly. But this was great television, and you're damn sure gonna wanna watch Blache's appearance Thursday night.

Also, with Zimmerman and Zimmermann, Morrison and Morrisonn, and Blatche and Blache.....killing us, shorties.


London, U.K.: Why is the Matich/Blache incident relevant? Really? Blache isn't the first coach to speak so vividly to the media.

Dan Steinberg: It was entertaining.

It wasn't uniquely entertaining, or heart-stoppingly entertaining. But there was some degree of passion involved. And two people disagreeing will always make a better story than two people agreeing.


Alexandria, Va.: Are you looking forward to boring Strasburg radio interviews?

Dan Steinberg: Two in one day! Coming up soon! I'll be chatting and then out on the practice field, so I'm gonna have to try to catch up on them later.

Actually, I'm gonna try to catch up on them before. On both shows, he said he's looking forward to the challenge, hasn't bought anything big yet, was surprised that there's so much media attention focused on him, but will get used to it and knows that it goes along with the territory. Also that he's really excited to throw in the Arizona Fall League.


Frederick, Md.: Can you try not to fidget as much the next time you're on Washington Post Live? It's unsettling.

Dan Steinberg: Sure, I'll just take an extra Xanax next time. Thanks for pointing this out.

(I've said it before and I'll say it again: Going on that show is humiliating, degrading, embarrassing and soul-squeezing, and every time I see myself I realize, "Wow, there's probably a reason I don't do TV for a living.") But then I get the check, and I'm like, "Yeah, maybe I could try it one more time.")


Arlington, Va.: In your opinion, what's been your best Redskins interview during the offseason?

Dan Steinberg: I don't think there's been a much better quote than Albert Haynesworth saying of his hit on Tom Brady, "It's not like I was hitting Gisele."

Man, that guy just has no interest to do media, but if he did, he would be phenomenal. He's tremendously, tremendously quick.

I also think Fred Smoot has taken his interviewing to another level this year. I've told him this. He used to be mostly just funny, but now he's being both funny and insightful, in my opinion. Among other things, I loved his pro bowling discussion. And I also enjoyed DeAngelo Hall talking junk about JJ Redick


Blacksburg, Va.: I know this isn't really a D.C. sports story, but with all the Virginia Tech fans in the D.C. area, are you going to run any stories on the game this weekend with Alabama? Or do you have any Bog-related thoughts?

Dan Steinberg: I think I would have explored this if I were gonna be in town, but I'm going to Buffalo for a wedding, so I'll leave that to the Blacksburg press.

I understand the reasons for holding games at FedEx, but the college environment is such an unbeatable part of college football, and the FedEx environment is so eminently beatable, it just seems a shame to waste a home game and a top 10 matchup on such a sad venue.


Gilbert's Corner, Va.: Dan -

How many wins do you think the '09 Redskins get? And will we end up referring to them as the "09-10 Redskins" (meaning that they go deep into the playoffs)?

Dan Steinberg: Well, my initial reaction was the entirely lame, predictable, boring and safe 7-9. Seeing some good things lately, and listening to glass-is-overflowingly-full Steve Czaban, made me want to revise upward. But you can't make six predictions for an NFL team, because there are only about 10 possible results, and no one will know which one to believe. So once you say 7-9, you're locked in. There ya have it.

If they do make it to the playoffs, I'd kindly request they play at least one game in either Green Bay or Minneapolis, since I've still never been to either of those states, and it's annoying me.


Seattle: Over/under attendance for Sounders/United match at 15,000. Which do you choose? Of course Seattle would have drawn over 30,000 but that's okay, next time. Fortunately D.C. fans are used to losing (Natinals) so you won't be devastated by the crushing defeat. Go Sounders!

Dan Steinberg: Uh, Goff said around 15,000. I guess I'll say over. I mean, the We Win Trophies thing has to have lodged in the heads of 400 or 500 people on the fence. It's certainly lodged in mine. I haven't been to a United match in months, but I'm planning on going to this one. Not least because I've heard at least one or two Caps will be there.

I will say that a loss Wednesday probably won't provide lasting damage to the D.C. sports psyche. Sorry to spoil it for you, Seattle.

Also, you're going down!!!!!!!!

Also, your uniforms are ugly.


Ashburn, Va.: Why are they talking about Marko possibly locking up the No. 5 slot when he seems to have outperformed the guys competing for the No. 2 slot?

Dan Steinberg: Well, has he really? I mean, he's certainly outperformed them in the second half, but has he carried the offense when playing against first-team defenders? Don't you think if he was obviously better than, say, Malcolm Kelly, he'd be in there to start the game? Everyone here wants to win, and the same people who drafted Kelly drafted Mitchell, so they'd get much credit for unearthing a seventh-round steal if he became a Week 1 starter. If, like Ivan Carter thinks, Lanky winds up being the second-best receiver on the team, he will play.

My guiding belief is that coaches will almost always decide to play their best players. Of course, whenever I convince myself of this truth, I always run up against the fact that ARE spent all of last year returning punts, and that 12-year old kid started the year as the team's punter, so who knows.


Springfield, Va.: Unless I'm mistaken, the Alabama-VPI game is in Atlanta, not at FedEx.

Dan Steinberg: You know what? You're right.

I'll be damned. Why did I think it was in FedEx? Well, heck, there's no way in heck I'll be writing about it then, huh?

Jeez, that's embarrassing.

Uh, I hear the Georgia Dome is a fab place to see a college football game, then.


Silver Spring, Md.: Dan:

Are you going to the Open Cup game tomorrow? Inscrutable print advertising demands it!

Dan Steinberg: I forget to mention, I have a fantasy football draft that starts at 7 tomorrow, and there's no way to monitor it on my blackberry. So I guess I'll either do it from the RFK press box, or just make someone else draft my team for me.


CSN Means That?: When I hear "CSN" I don't think of Comcast Sports Net but Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Now I feel old. Or am I just on the wrong chat?

Dan Steinberg: No no, we welcome all people here. Incidentally, "LL" may be used to refer either to Cool J or Lanky Livingston in these parts, whichever you choose.


Boonsboro, Md.: Any suggestions on parking for a Nats game? I have tickets for a small group next week, and not everyone can Metro easily. Are the close-in lots full? The remote lots bad?

Dan Steinberg: I'll let more regular attendees answer this. I usually get to Nats games either three hours early, or 45 minutes late. At those times, I've always found street parking within four blocks with a pretty rigorous but not overly stressful search, but I understand that it's a socially irresponsible, risky and controversial strategy. So, anyone?

(By remote lots, do you mean RFK? I've heard good things about going that route.)


Washington, D.C.: Is it true that when the Washington Redskins Marching Band once played The Washington Post march by John Philip Sousa, that Snyder was so incensed that he had to be restrained from rushing onto the field and tackling the band's conductor?

Dan Steinberg: No, he just got the National Park Service to cut the slides off all their trombones.


Who's Older?: You or Goodell?

Dan Steinberg: The most interesting part of the Goodell chat, at least that I've been able to infer from looking over the shoulders of TV editors, is that the dude's shirt was unbuttoned down to about his midsection. Lots and lots of skin. See more at 6!


US States No. 51 and No. 52: You want to go to Minneapolis and/or Green Bay in January? I realize you're from Buffalo, but still ...

Dan Steinberg: Minnesota is indoors. And Green Bay is legendary. And it's not like I'd be going to get a tan. And I hear both places have fabulous tofu dogs.


Laurel, Md.: The Comcast acronym reminds me that we used to have a local classic rock DJ, who would call David Crosby and Steven Stills' band, "CSN and sometimes Y."

Dan Steinberg: See, it really is a classic rock discussion. Did you hear the memo that classic rock now includes Pearl Jam and the Black Crowes? That makes you feel really old, right?

Here, I'll one-up you: Sometimes I'll drop my two-year old daughter off somewhere, and drive another 15 minutes before I realize I'm still listening to the Wiggles. I love track 21, it's this crazy instrumental, roll the top down and blast that one, life is good.


Alexandria, Va.: I'm young and black and I read the bog.

Dan Steinberg: Whoo hoo!

Is this a reference to my interview with Mike Wise yesterday? An interview that caused at least one listener to ask that I clear my throat?

I did suggest that most of my readers are youngish, whitish and maleish. I hope I didn't do so in an offensive manner. Traffic knows, I'd like for everyone in the world to read my blog, or at least the ones with disposable income who are attractive to advertisers, but I just get the sense that my typical reader looks sort of like me. But maybe I should have just said young and male, that probably would have been more accurate.

And yes, if you are either non young or non male, this would be a good time to identify yourself.


Baltimore: The Football Outsiders website picked up the Haynesworth quote, which led to a lively discussion about how funny athletes really are. In your experience, do any pro athletes have genuinely good sense of humor, or are they just "athlete funny" ?

Dan Steinberg: I want to write something about this at some point, because Bill Simmons apparently wrote something on this topic recently, suggesting that they're not actually funny. Or that they have a different, curved scale of funny. I haven't read Bill's column, but I'd disagree. Their chances to be actually funny are extremely hemmed in by non-funny questions, the artificial nature of many of these encounters, the knowledge that we're all looking to take things out of context, the uncertainty of who's trying to work which angle, etc.

I'm not sure that made any sense, but my general thought is that yes, a lot of athletes have genuinely good senses of humor, including many who choose never to share that with the media.


Washington, D.C.: So, the Caps rookies arrive on Monday and the vets shortly thereafter. Aside from the usual Alex Ovechkin shenanigans, anything you're particularly looking forward to? Perhaps Mike Green can hook you up with some phat shades?

washingtonpost.com: Official Site of Mike Green - Washington Capitals Hockey Player (greenlife52.com)

Dan Steinberg: Has anyone gotten confirmation that the site is actually Green's? I guess we can ask him that.

I want to talk to Karl Alzner. I'm pretty sure he'll have something interesting to say. And I want to meet Knuble for the first time. And I want to see if I can convince Matt Bradley to stop calling me bloggy. And I obviously want to ask young Anton about his workout routine.


Nats Parking at RFK: The Nationals Express shuttle buses work well; you park at RFK Stadium (usually lot 8 but sometimes lot 7 if United has a game) and ride a shuttle bus to Nationals Park. The service starts 90 minutes before game time, runs until 90 minutes after the last out, and buses operate every ten minutes or so during the game. Details are on the Nationals' website.

washingtonpost.com: Nationals Express Shuttle Bus (nationals.com)

Dan Steinberg: Advice!


McLean, Va.: What do you think will be a sadder day for the Bog, the day when Fred Smoot leaves the Redskins, or the day when Stevenson leaves the Wizards?

Dan Steinberg: At this point, Smoot, by a massive margin. Smoot is on, every day, every minute. He can deliver on any topic. Stevenson sort of has to have a jumping off point.

Plus, hard as this is to believe, Smoot (as the nickel back and the fill-in starter for Carlos Rogers) is probably more important sports-wise right now than Stevenson, who's coming off a serious injury and part of a suddenly packed backcourt.


Ashburn, Va.: I am really glad Jason Campbell picked it up last week and hopefully gets better every week.

That being said, I am a member of the Cult of Colt but also like Chase. Is there anyway possible to keep both Colt and Chase?

Dan Steinberg: If you're counting the practice squad, sure.

Or if you're hoping to convert Chase into a running back.


Rockville, Md.: Any chance that rookie tight end Robert Agnone (6-6, 260lb) can make the team? He looks like a replica of Jason Witten of the Cowboys.

Dan Steinberg: And he went to the University of Delaware, which we all know adds an immediate 10 points to your postgame grades.

Practice squad. If he's on the 53, I'll eat a stuffed blue hen.


Rockville, Md.: While I am youngish and whitish, I am definitely female. And a big fan!

Dan Steinberg: Child please. Up here, it's diverse as the UN


Washington, D.C.: Looking at the Redskins schedule, they have what appears to be an incredibly easy first half (I know that no game is won until it is actually won).

Do you think that this type of schedule could potentially set them up for failure in the second half because they could head into the bye week 6-1 or 5-2, and therefore have a false sense of confidence?

Dan Steinberg: No.

I don't think they tailed off last year due to a false sense of confidence. I think they tailed off because the offensive line was battered and they were playing games against the Steelers and Ravens and Cowboys and Giants, plus two cross-country trips.

If they were falsely confident last year, losing at home to the Rams should have cured that.

And it's not just that no game is won until it's actually won, it's that in the NFL teams you're sure will be great end up awful, and teams that look weak end up going to the Super Bowl. It's just totally fruitless, aside from assuming that the Patriots and Colts will be above .500 and the Lions and Raiders below that mark.


I'm Young, Male and Latino and I Love the Bog: You're on your way to a real Rainbow Bog Coalition now ...

Dan Steinberg: This is also the most demographic chat I've ever hosted. Next we should start identifying ourselves by zip code, and then we can draw a map with little colors for all the coalition members.


S. Rockville, Md.: Identifying myself: I'm a man! I'm 40!

washingtonpost.com: Video: Oklahoma State Football Coach Mike Gundy Upset (YouTube)

Dan Steinberg: Except Gundy is no longer 40, clever washingtonpost.com producer. Sadly, "I'm a man! I'm 41!" just doesn't sing.


Jacksonville, Fla.: Are you going to be at the game this Thursday?

Dan Steinberg: I have a small travel allotment, but it does not allow for preseason game No. 4 expenses. So no. And as previously mentioned, I dang sure want to watch Greg Blache on the postgame show, anyhow.

I also just realized that the game at the Lions is on the eve of Yom Kippur, so it looks like I'll be deprived the unique pleasure of spending a Sunday afternoon in Detroit. Curses.


Old Fat Bald White Chick Magnet: Does that help?

Dan Steinberg: Tony?


Nationals Parking: I don't think any of the lots fill up. It's just a matter of how much you want to pay vs. how much you want to walk. The close lots are $40. You can get decent parking within a few blocks for $20. There are some $15 lots but they're a bit of a hike. Even with low attendance, there's plenty of people and uniformed personnel around, so as long as you're within a block or two of M Street SE you're fine.

Dan Steinberg: More advice. Also, it's not a question, so I don't have to work. While I'm just twiddling my thumbs, have I pointed out yet that my daughter began preschool today? Any questions on that? Is this still running in the sports section?


Upperville, Va.: I am 50 years old, white, straight and herd sheep!

Dan Steinberg: You know, I've had it with your dogs; I want to profile of you. Assuming you're a real person, and not a spam bot from Bangladesh.


Arlington, Va.: DeAngelo Hall looked like Monte Hall when he was covering Randy Moss. Randy would like what's behind Door No. 2 or what Jay has on the table? DeAngelo Carol Merrill could do a better job covering Moss. Now someone tell DH to take what's behind door No. 2 and get out of here and retire ...

Dan Steinberg: Also not a question.

Here's what Blache said about that yestersday:

"Whenever you single things up and you single up on randy moss you're gonna have some issues, and we got a little cocky and we tried it, we said let's go see if we can match up with him and he did what he can do to people. He runs, he bodies you, the quarterback comes in rhythm, throws it up right now as the back foot hits and they got a play on us. So you live and you learn."

Dang, practice just ended. Got to run. Sorry. Email me more questions and your age and race if you want, otherwise enjoy the weather and I'll see ya next week.


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