D.C. Sports Bog Live: Nats, Redskins, Caps, NFL Preseason and College Football Openers

 Dan Steinberg
Dan Steinberg (The Washington Post)
Dan Steinberg
D.C. Sports Bogger
Tuesday, September 8, 2009; 11:30 AM

D.C. Sports Bogger Dan Steinberg was online Tuesday, Sep. 8 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: So I came to Caps rookie camp this morning, hoping, among other things, to run into the crew filming a certain reality show focused on Washington that you might be familiar with. The depths to which I'll sink for page views.

Meanwhile, it'll allow me to stick around for media fantasy camp, hopefully allowing me to see Dan Hellie beat the head of Dave Feldman for the second year in a row.

If you have questions about either of these things, or about how to judge your 53-man roster projection pools and why The Post didn't launch World Wide Steinberg this morning, this would be an appropriate place.


Cherry Hill, N.J.: Kornheiser dropped in a Cheeseboy reference before any reference to me (Dan Levy) or the show. Proud moment for you?

Dan Steinberg: Hey Dan. I'm glad that in addition to communicating on Twitter, Skype and email, we can now also communicate on this live chat. Hit me back in a few.

Anyhow, the stream defeated me, and I'm just sitting here listening to nothing. So I haven't heard much of this besides on Twitter.

As I understand (from you), the reference to me on Tony's' first day back on local radio was about me not being half the man of World Wide Wilbon, so I'm not sure that I'm particularly proud.


McLean, Va.: First time poster on your bog ...

Now that Marcus Mason has finally made the team, I think a nickname is in order. M&M is my suggestion, due to his small size and sweet running style. Thoughts on any others?

Dan Steinberg: Hmm, I'm not sure this really counts as my blog. Or bog. I sure don't get credit for the hits here.

M&M would also work for Marko Mitchell, due to his sweet running style and crispy exterior that comes in many different colors and can be bought for $1.00 or so out of vending machines.

I liked the fact that at least two local sites used "Mason Nation" references when Marcus finally got the good news. Can never have too many Mason Nation references in this town. Someone could redo those ad spots for Marcus instead of the green and gold.

I still haven't answered your question, though. I think we should see if he's getting any real time before we hand out the nicknames. And I think his nickname should have Free Mason overtones.


Cherry Hill, N.J.: No way this gets through. You've seen the pageviews, wouldn't the World Wide Steinberg do better for washingtonpost.com at this point?

washingtonpost.com: In Wilbon's World: About World Wide Wilbon (Washington Post)

Dan Steinberg: What's up dude! How's things!

seriously, after four weeks in a row where I was deluged with too many questions to answer, everyone appears to be sleeping off their burgers this morning, so it might just be the two of us.

And everyone, go check out World Wide Wilbon and give us feedback.

I think the D.C. Sports Bog is basically World Wide Steinberg, and I also think that when Mike brings it, a lot more people are interested in what he has to say than what I have to say. Though he isn't nearly as good at publishing photos of his television.


Wild World of Wilbons Webbified Wit and Witticism: Thanks to everyone at the Post for providing a quick and easy repository for information about all of the people Wilbon has had dinner with recently.

washingtonpost.com: In Wilbon's World: About World Wide Wilbon (Washington Post)

Dan Steinberg: Come on. It'll be more than that.

People he's talked to on the phone, for example.


Miami: Think Virginia Tech will still win the ACC? The team looked good, but Alabama just keep making plays!

Dan Steinberg: I guess the fact that Virginia Tech couldn't technically move the ball was worrisome. On the other hand, no one from the ACC is ranked in the Top 5, and an early season loss to an SEC team is a lot better than an early season loss to, say, William & Mary.

So yeah, I think Tech will still win the ACC. There's nothing to say Bama and Tech won't both be in the BCS, and even if that happens, one of them would have had to lose this week.


Frederick, Md.: I decided to try and follow local college football this year, and wouldn't you know it: the first Terps game I watch is an old-school beatdown. Is it me? And/or are the Terps that bad? And/or is Cal that good?

Dan Steinberg: So many factors here:

1) Cross country travel

2) Extremely young Terps team

3) Cal is good

4) Cal wanted revenge for a year ago

5) Nightmare start made it out of control immediately

Terps will still be what we thought--around .500 overall, contending for a lesser bowl.

Oh, and also, yes, it's you.


Gaithersburg, Md.: So, I left the Nats game on Sunday after the Marlins scored two runs in the top of the ninth. How much of an idiot am I?

Dan Steinberg: I don't think you were the only one. I was on daddy duty and so we were changing Elmo's diaper or something, meaning I didn't see it live. But I watched the highlights, and there weren't too many people there when Zim lived up to his Mr. Walkoff name again.

I mean, you had just seen them come back in the 8th. Why would you give up on them in the 9th? If you had stayed, you probably would have remembered the ending for as long as you live, or at least for a year. Tho you'll also probably remember being an idiot for a while, and that might be a better story.


Falls Church, Va.: When will you finally take Tony down. Bald v. Bald. Mano e mano.

The world waits.

Dan Steinberg: I'm curious how much he's getting from Daniel Snyder to yak for two hours five days a week. A lot more than I'm getting from Don Graham, I can promise you that. I think he wins until I can reverse that situation. And I don't think I'm reversing that situation until he's retired, or possibly dead.

But if you have any suggestions, I'm game.


S. Rockville, Md.: Any boggable stuff about local college football? With the big guys falling down this weekend, the small guys have picked up - Richmond, William & Mary, and even Old Dominion (in their modern debut) all won! Isn't it time for a DMV college football poll?

Dan Steinberg: I've mostly stayed away from college football. And I don't think there are enough teams for a real poll. Though basketball season is just around the corner.

And now, an unrelated aside. Smokin Al Koken is at Caps practice. At least twice a week, the highlight of my day is seeing Smokin Al riding the exercise bike at my gym. Does this say more about the power of Smokin Al Koken, or the drudgery of my days? Tough call.

It's only a matter of time before I start twitpicking this, by the way.


Western Alexandria, Va.: Not that it drives pageviews or anything, but will you be visiting the Nats again this season? I'm really curious why Livan! is so fond of the Nats/D.C. I have not heard anything specific yet and I really want to know. Is it the dipping dots or something?

Dan Steinberg: Ok, for you, I'll try.

I have about 15 questions I had wanted to ask Nyjer Morgan. They're still in my closet.

Also, did anyone see that Tweet from Drew Storen about his dad being in Hoosiers? I didn't understand that. Was he being serious?


Frederick, Md.: Did you pick up on Marko Mitchell's "Talladega Nights" reference on Redskins Insider?

"If you're not first, you're last."

Any thoughts on the film or this adage?

Dan Steinberg: I'm pretty sure that, before last month, that was the last movie I saw in the movie theater. Wilbon bragging about not using Twitter| Me bragging about not seeing movies.

Marko Mitchell does a lot of things well; give interviews is not yet one of them.

Malcolm Kelly, on the other hand, is improving at the jabbering every day, which is why The Post has had about 17 items on him this week. Well, and the fact that he's starting, I guess.

I definitely wish I had taken him in the late rounds of my keeper league draft. By the way, never try to do a fantasy football draft while at the U.S. Open Cup final.


Wry Words of Wilbonian Wonderment: Wilbon promises "an entire page of online content." Does Wilbon understand how the internet works? (Spoiler alert: the answer is no.)

washingtonpost.com: World Wide Wilbon (Washington Post)

Dan Steinberg: Hey, he can send his own emails, right? So that puts him ahead of at least one of his friends.

Anything we get online from Mike is better than nothing, right? Let's be happy in our work.


Vienna, Va.: What's up Dan? There seem to be multiple Mike Green facebook and twitter accounts. Can you do a little detective work for us?

Dan Steinberg: Sure.

How come no one's asked me yet wither Trevor Bruess or Brettt Flemming is on Twitter?


London, U.K.: Can the Nats do it? Can they hold off the Royals for the right to wait until the last minute to sign Bryce Harper? Is the tension in the clubhouse palpable?

Dan Steinberg: Done deal. No tension necessary.

But the last few weeks have shown again just how impossible that 120-loss threshold is. Even with the awful baseball they've been playing, the Nats are struggling to get their pace anywhere above 106 or 107 losses. You just have to be monumentally bad to lose 120 games. I guess 105 seems like the best bet right now, right?


L'enfant Terrible: Who'd have thunk the Eagles could sign Michael Vick and not be the franchise with the most questionable corporate character in the league.

Dan Steinberg: I assume this is referring to the local NFL owner?

Look, say what you want. Say he's a money-gouging, PR-deaf, ego-obsessed tyrant, if you want. But you can never, ever, ever, ever convince me that he's worse, right now, than Al Davis.

You also would have a hard time convincing me that if the Skins managed to win 13 games or go to a Super Bowl, popular opinion wouldn't swing in the other direction. Now, the cynics will say that the man in the corner office will keep 13 wins or a Super Bowl from happening, and maybe so, but I'm unconvinced.


Drew Storen: To clarify, my dad is Popeye Doyle.

Dan Steinberg: I don't understand this any better than I understood your original Tweet, Drew. If that's even your real name.


Wiggles: Dan, I almost snorted the beverage I was drinking through my nostrils I was laughing so hard during last week's chat when you mentioned listening to the Wiggles long after you dropped off your young one - and really liking it.

The Wiggles music and videos are absolutely addictive so I am with you on that count. Dorothy the Dinosaur and other Wiggles tunes 'stay' with one long after the CD or video has stopped. Maybe they should be added to the 'controlled substance' list and obtainable only with a prescription.

Dan Steinberg: Well, my wife doesn't agree with me, so some people can evidently resist this addiction.

I'm not sure if I already mentioned this last week, but I hate the "me hearties!" references in all the Wiggles Pirate-song genre. That makes me embarrassed.

And Dorothy isn't really my favorite. I like Wags the Dog, though.


Washington, D.C.: I'm slow - are you saying the cast of The Real World is at Caps' Rookie Camp? What are they doing there?

Dan Steinberg: More later! Don't spoil the big tease!


New York, N.Y.: The Gints cut David Tyree. Any chance the Redskins might pick him up?

Dan Steinberg: What, just so they can fill the practice squad with nothing but Giants?

Nah, this one isn't happening. The Skins are actually very happy at WR. You can't cut Moss, Randle-El or Mitchell, and the second-year guys are protected by virtue of being second-year second-rounders, and they don't need more than five receivers.

Best bet would be a new offensive lineman, if they bring in anyone new early in the season.

As for the whole drama yesterday about signing Giants castoff Andre Woodson, wow, we're already hard up for story lines. This is a function of the 10 days between the end of the preseason and the regular season opener. There are at least 106 guys who will have more to do with this week's result than Andre Woodson.


New Jersey: Wait, you put questions in your closet? I know you just moved, but your new house is big enough for a question closet?

Wow, that Wide World of Steinberg money must be Wilbonesque.

Dan Steinberg: I have a clothes closet, which I actually didn't have in my old house. I always lose my little pieces of paper on which I write stuff. So I took the Nyjer Morgan Questions piece of paper and put it by my shoes. I'll lose it eventually.


Biddeford, Maine: A Redskins fan here in Patriot Nation.

I'm curious -- how good do you think Malcolm Kelly really is?

Dan Steinberg: I'm a believer. But maybe it's just because he's likable.

It's the catch he made against the Steelers that still does it for me, the one where he was going over the middle and (I think) reached behind him to snag a laser. He's got hands, and he's not afraid to take a hit. He just looks like an NFL wide receiver to me.

Now, if Campbell or the offensive line struggle, maybe we won't even be able to tell. And it gets a little old when every media member within 200 miles is talking him up. But I think he's the team's No. 1 wide receiver by 2010 or 2011.


Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.: You're at Rookie Camp?! I thought for sure you'd be in New York for Ovechkin's Zamboni ride.

Dan Steinberg: That's tomorrow. I had an initial mix-up on the day. But yeah, I do need to make my train reservation for tomorrow.

I'll be live tweeting the Great Zamboni Ride, and hopefully turning up some video at some point. Ovie is already up in New York City today, doing some other promotional stuff, but I'm going up and back tomorrow.


Reston, Va.: You may want to revisit writing about seeing Al Koken on an exercise bike as the highlight of your day before:

A) Your wife sees this, or

B) Your daughter learns how to read and Google.

Dan Steinberg: Maybe I phrased that poorly. Strike that from your memories, please.

(Post.com producers don't let us change answers once they've been published.)


Seattle: We win trophies! Do you think both D.C. and Seattle will make the playoffs? It's kinda a lame rivalry, but still fun. I'll be at the game this week, looking forward to standing in bird poo and praying for my life in the upper deck!

Dan Steinberg: As previously mentioned, congrats, but you win trophy.

Yes, I think both will make the playoffs, and neither will make the final. How's that for going out on a limb?

Man, the 400-level of RFK stadium is a weird place nowadays. Some of the ramps are locked, so I ended up having to jump over a railing. And there really are strange twits and branches lying all over the place. How did they get there? I didn't see much of a foliage overhang up there. And yeah, the bird poop....


Trip Dub Wilbon: Any clue as to why Mike is always late for his online chats, not occasionally mind, but all the time? Check the records, he never starts on time. It's always, 1:30, or 2 or he cancels altogether.

I think his new format is much better, where he can at least blog it up a bit, get feedback to his insights about his friends and pets.

Do you think he should give up the chats, since his schedule is obviously preventing him from making it on time ... or maybe you could do all his chats and he can spend more time with Charles Barkley?

Dan Steinberg: I have no information about this. I usually read his chats after the fact. I always aim to be about six minutes left, just to keep up the illusion that I have something better to be doing than talking about Al Koken on his exercise bike.

Wilbon will continue to chat, in addition to being worldwide.


Tickets: Hey Dan,

You get your lawsuit notice from the Redskins yet about defaulting on your season tickets package? Boy, talk about a PR fiasco for the Redskins. They should be candidates for the Malcolm Baldridge Award for quality customer focus and service.

Dan Steinberg: Only a small number of people seem to share my view: that suing season ticket holders for relative chump change is bad business and wretched PR, and that double-dipping by reselling those tix is just nasty, but that people who sign up for packages they can't afford are not the most sympathetic subjects making it hard for me to really fire up my loins over this one.

I mean, what is the purpose of multi-year contracts if you can simply bail whenever you want? At that point, they're not really multi-year contracts, are they?

But what do I know. I think watching games on TV at home is infinitely better than watching games from the lower bowl; you'd have to pay me to make me watch games from club, no matter how much free food there is. Which, come to think of it, The Post does.


Upperville, Va.: Missed you in Berryville this weekend. What's wrong hoss have a sheep phobia? Or did your spouse refuse to let you out of the house until you vacuumed and cleaned toilets?

Dan Steinberg: Caught a flat on the way and decided I'd best wait for another week. Sorry hoss. Luckily the herding was live streamed on the Internet, so I got my fill.

By the way, I've got the third pick in my Sheepherding Fantasy Draft next weekend. Any tips?


Herndon, Va.: Mr. S:

If a "I-AA" school beats a "I-A" school, there are two absolutes in play - 1) the I-AA must be good and 2) The I-A must be very bad. For William & Mary - Virginia and Richmond - Duke, both hold true. Duke, of course, is historically lousy, but the Tribe beating U-Va. is shock. Unfortunately for my son's James Madison Dukes, they have to play a Maryland team which is at least decent, and which might be a bit peeved after Cal stomped them.

To make the ACC more competitive, I suggest Richmond, William & Mary, and JMU in, and Duke, Va. and one other weak sister (take your choice) to I-AA.

Dan Steinberg: Football Champions of the World Series, Mr. H. Not I-AA. That doesn't exist any more.

As always, American sports would be better with relegation. It'd be great for MLB and the minors, but it'd be amazing for big-time college sports. How great would it be if the Final 8 I-AA teams were all guaranteed promotions to BCS conferences (plus the WAC and MWC, I guess), and the last place teams all had to go down to the real world, where things are decided by unseemly playoffs. I guess scholarship rules would foul all that up, but it'd sure be fun.


Richmond, Va.: Dan,

I hate to be nit picky, but I don't agree with your most popular athlete poll awhile back. You ask "who is the most popular athlete in D.C.?" However, that's equivalent to asking "Who will win the Super Bowl this year?" My favorite team is still the Redskins, but I wouldn't answer that question with "the Redskins." This stems from me not believing any hockey player is more popular than a Redskin in D.C. ...

Dan Steinberg: Well, I disagree with you, and so do a majority of my readers, or at least, my readers who voted. I think if the Redskins had a clear No. 1 star, he might trump Ovechkin even at the height of his powers. But there just isn't a clear No. 1 Redskin; Cooley is a tight end, Portis has been a distraction, Haynesworth hasn't played a game yet, Orakpo's a rookie, and Campbell nearly got benched in the offseason. How can any of those guys rank ahead of a two-time MVP who plays the most exciting brand of hockey in the world?


Arlington, Va.: Is Trevor Bruess on Facebook or Twitter?

I saw him at development camp, too!

Dan Steinberg: Trevor Bruess could be on the ice Tweeting right now and I wouldn't know who he is.

Which reminds me, in nine minutes, the development guys are coming off the ice, and I have zero questions in my head for any of em. Anyone got any great questions for, say, Garrett Mitchell?


Reston, Va.: World Wide Wilbon is Wilbon trying to be like you Dan.

It's an older guy desperately trying to keep up with the times.

Dan Steinberg: Ha. When you have his bank account, I don't think you're desperate about anything. Nor does anyone at The Post likely think, "Ahoy me hearties, I'd like to be more like that bald kid who writes about athlete haircuts."

And The Post wanted him to do this. Really, it's a fine idea.


When will you finally take Tony down. Bald v. Bald.: Tony is not bald. He's got a few strands left.

Dan Steinberg: Well, what do you think would happen if I stopped shaving my head? Seriously, it'd be awesome. I think I could challenge him.


Potomac, Md.: Dan, I don't know a whole lot about football, but I do know a lot about the rising tuition at Maryland, as I have two sons there and I also know that most of the money the football program generates goes right back into the program.

So if the team is going to lose by 40 or 50 points anyhow, what would be so terrible if I coached? I could do it for roughly half the salary of what the current coach, as I don't eat nearly as much, and I would return the savings to the school to help reduce tuition. Also, I would cut out the recruiting budget and save even MORE money as I'm sure I could find students in the Computer Science Department who would love to play, as it's a surefire way to meet girls, and they probably couldn't possibly play much worse than the current bunch. What do you think?

Dan Steinberg: Yeah but could you deal with the media? Some advice:

"I just don't know how to reach these kids."

"These kids are working so hard, and I just want to see them succeed."

"Maybe I don't know how to get through to them any more, I don't know."

"We just weren't ready to play tonight. That's on me."

"I'll go to war with these kids any time."

"This might not be my most talented team, but I just really like these kids. I see how hard they work."



I'm a believer. But maybe it's just because he's likable. : Likable. Is this what we look for?

Dan Steinberg: That's what I'm saying, I think I'm predisposed to think Malcolm Kelly is talented because he's a nice kid. Luckily I'm not the wide receivers coach. I'm not suggesting that's why the Redskins are so high on him; the Redskins don't get judged on the quality of quotes they receive.


"... strange twits and branches lying all over the place." : Really? Twits? Like who?

Dan Steinberg: Twigs.

Though possibly DCU fans would have labeled some of the Sounders supporters twits.


Dan Steinberg: Ok, I've got three minutes of Googling to try to think of appropriate questions for Caps developmentals. Wish me luck. Check the D.C. Sports Bog later for all your reality-television-related Washington Capitals news!


Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company