D.C. Sports Bog Live: Redskins, Caps, Nats, MLB Playoffs, NFL and College Football

Dan Steinberg
D.C. Sports Bogger
Tuesday, October 6, 2009 11:30 AM

D.C. Sports Bogger Dan Steinberg held his weekly chat Tues., Oct. 6 to break down all your questions about the Redskins, the Caps, D.C. United, the Nats 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: Hello out there. It's Tuesday, my favorite day of the week, the day I get to pretend I'm doing work while eating donuts, recording the Redskins Insider podcast, and trying to find suitably clever answers to your always clever questions. The longer you ask questions, the longer until I have to search through the archives for evidence of Redskins players talking about their great talent. So have at it.


Truthy, Ind.: Has Snyder put Tebow and Cowher on the season tickets for next year yet?

Dan Steinberg: You like that rumor better than Bill Simmons's Tony Dungy/Mike Vick combo? That one would sure be a lot more interesting.

Maybe bring Gibbs back again and turn Tebow into an H Back, no?


Silver Spring, Md.: Hey Dan, just wondering, why are the Verizon Center seats purple? And why are the seats at FedEx Field orange. Whats the deal with that?

Dan Steinberg: Wait, is this a joke? Remember, last week I wondered in this space why the Verizon Center seats were purple. I actually got two answers emailed to me, one said that purple looks good on TV and the other said that Abe Pollin's wife's favorite color is purple. I guess now I have to call Matt Williams to ask him.

No idea on FedEx.


Fusheezi, Md.: If the Capitals go 40-40-2, the Wiz go 41-41, the Terps go 6-6 and the Redskins go 8-8. Who gets fired first, Boudreau, Saunders, Fridge or Zorn? Who doesn't get fired from that group?

Dan Steinberg: The only one who could get fired with those results is Zorn. The rest would all survive. And if it was an ok 8-8, maybe they'd all survive.

Jon Forsythe sends his best.


Washington, D.C.: Hey Dan. I'm wondering what you think about the Washington Capitals effect on the Redskins faithful as of late. It seems a lot of people are now bandwagoning a team that they should have shown more support to over the years but haven't because of loyalty to the Skins organization. Other than the obvious reasons of bad feelings towards how Dan Snyder is running the team and lack of effort on the teams part and just wanting a winning team to grace the city again, what's your take on this?

Dan Steinberg: Well, my take is this: the primary reason people are comparing the Caps to the Skins right now is because the Caps are winning, and a huge part of the Caps' winning is because of Alex Ovechkin. I like Ted Leonsis very much, but I still believe this to be true. So when people talk about how much better run the Caps are than the Skins, I sometimes have trouble swallowing it all.

That said, here are things the Caps have done better:

1) They've explicitly refused to trade prospects (the equivalent of NFL draft picks) for older veterans, even in an effort to win now. The future, they've continually said, is more important. If they're actually challenging for a Cup, that might change, but that's when you want to mortgage the future: for a legit chance to win it all, not for a bad year from Jason Taylor or TJ Duckett.

2) The in-game presentation is just phenomenal. Maybe that doesn't matter if the Caps are losing, but they've made it fun to go to games. The Redskins haven't.

3) For better or worse, Ted Leonsis is accessible, as much as any pro sports owner in America. He talks to the media, he talks to bloggers, he emails with fans, he constantly and willingly admits to past mistakes. He's not a saint, but there's a real benefit to his strategy.

4) The Caps have capitalized on this moment to make fans people like they're part of something special. I made fun of Rock the Red, but it works. So does Unleash the Fury. So have the Caps' women's group, and the amazing Web site, and the openness with bloggers. True or not, a great number of Redskins fans feel like the organization is about making money more than this feeling of being a part of something.


Des Moines, Ia.: In your opinion, what are the toughest beats in sports journalism? I ask because I recently read how difficult the relationship between Dan Snyder and The Post has been over the years. Your thoughts? Thanks.

Dan Steinberg: I think a lot of people have said that covering a big-time university in a small college town is the toughest thing to do. A University of Michigan or a Penn State. There are so many more rules to break on the NCAA level, and so many more feelings of born-and-bred loyalty, and so much more pressure to "support" the local institution, and so many fewer entertainment distractions.

The NFL is tough because of the incredible competition for stories, from both national and local outlets, and because of the rules that make it harder for us to do our jobs.


Washington, D.C.: Do you think they will pull Jason Campbell by the sixth game? (please say yes)

Dan Steinberg: No.

But more and more, I'm drinking the haterade. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'll try to admit it if I am, but why are we 40 games into his starting career and still watching an offense that's averaging 3.25 points in the first half after having played the Rams (who gave up 35 last week), the Lions (who gave up 40-something) and the Bucs (who have given up an average of 32 over their previous five games). When is Jason Campbell going to lead the Skins to an explosive performance?


Arlington, Va.: When if ever, will the Wizards get the message that their uniforms are disgusting? They need to switch to a red, white and blue Caps feel. Maybe then the team will start getting some wins. Do the Redskins have any throwbacks or alt's they will wear this year?

Dan Steinberg: Not sure about the Redskins. I, and 97 percent of the Wizards' fans, agree with you. It's a no-brainer to me; merchandise sales would go crazy. Surely part of this is lost on me, but it's been 100 percent a win for the Caps. I don't care as much about the nickname; who's to say a Wizard can't be red white and blue? There's nothing particularly patriotic about a bullet, unless you're a big 2nd Amendment type, but the colors worked fine with that nickname.


Somerville, Mass.: Do you think all this negative attention in the local media and increasingly more in the national media (see ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown) can have an impact on a man like Dan Snyder? Perhaps it could make this Napolean-complex of a man want to be admired so much that he would....

1) Fire his lackey/enabler Vinny and hire an independent GM

2) Stop meddling

3) Adhere to whatever long-term plan his GM comes up with, no matter how unsexy

Is this a pipe dream?

Dan Steinberg: Yes.

I don't know Daniel Snyder well, and his rhetoric has been about how he's matured and grown and learned so much as an owner. And I think, if we assume that's true, that he's in a very tricky place right now. even if he DOES think that Jim Zorn is the wrong man for this job, firing him midseason or after two years would feed into all the negative refrains from Snyder's early years. The "mature" thing to do would be to stay the course. But what if, objectively, the course is a curly slide into dung? Snyder would either have to accept a swim in dung, or would have to fire Zorn and listen to 5,000 analysts talk about his impatience and ego.

I think it's a very tricky situation, that can be solved only by Zorn getting some wins.

The Cerrato thing demands a little more time to judge. This is Vinny's time running the show, and 20 games isn't enough of a sample size. I've tossed lots of snark in his direction for some of his quotes, which I think is fair, but I'm not willing to say he's a failure as a talent evaluator, not after 20 games.


Alexandria, Va.: Does Washington still have that baseball team? The Nationals, I believe?

Dan Steinberg: Yes.

Finally, a question I know how to answer!

Good thing you didn't ask me how many season tickets they'll sell for next year. That I couldn't answer. As always, I believe that the Nats will eventually start winning games, and that when they do, D.C. will embrace them and the atmosphere will be tremendous.


Annandale, Va.: How badly would the Redskins have been thrashed Sunday if they were playing a good, or even mediocre, team instead of lowly Tampa?

Dan Steinberg: It's a fair question, but we all know that the Redskins have played better against better opponents and poorer against the dregs. So I'm not willing to say they'd have lost to the Eagles or Giants on Sunday. As I just said on the RI podcast, I'd be much more surprised if this team winds up 2-5 going into the bye than if they wind up 5-2. Probably they'll be neither, but three straight wins seems more likely to me than three straight losses.

The question I want to know the answer to is what would have happened had they lost, or been shut out. Zorn fired that day? The angriest fan booing in FedEx history?


The Fax, Va.: I know you're supposed to be objective when it comes to the teams you cover, but which D.C. team do you tend to "root" for the most?

Dan Steinberg: Well, if I answered that, I'd sort of ruin the "supposed to be objective" thing, right?

I'll say this: if I got fired or quit or found another profession and no longer had to worry about objectivity, I'd probably be most likely to attend D.C. United games. But that's mostly because I'm friendly with a lot of season ticket holders, and I find it to be a great spectator experience.

The team whose wins and losses most affect my ability to find good material is probably the Wizards. When they're rolling, there's nothing more entertaining (from a bloggy humor point of view), and when they're losing, it's just impossible. So from that standpoint, I probably gain the most when the Wiz win.


Washington, D.C.: Has Leonsis ever weighed in on the Wizards vs. Bullets debate? Once he takes over the team after Abe Pollin goes off to that great NBA owners box in the sky, any chance he'll change the name back?

Dan Steinberg: I've never heard him weigh in on this. I think it'd be a fair question to ask, but one that he'd likely dodge.


Campbell: The more appropriate question is when are the Redskins going to get a supporting case (line, receivers) that give him a chance to be explosive. How did everybody's next quarterback star Rodgers look last night without offensive line protection, even with much better receivers than the Redskins?

Dan Steinberg: Well, this is true. This is the debate Rick Maese and I just had. What I turned to was the end of the 2007 season: with the same talent, Todd Collins got this team into the playoffs, and it sure didn't seem like Campbell was getting them there. Yes, Collins had been learning the Saunders offense since grade school, but still, he did it.

Also, the Packers are averaging 26 points a game. The Skins haven't come close to reaching that total yet. Sure, both teams are 2-2, but the Redskins have the defense to be better than that, and with the oldest roster in the NFL, there's nothing they're building toward. This is the future.


Woodbridge, Va.: When are D.C. United going to get any respect in this area?

Dan Steinberg: When they start making the playoffs in a league in which e93 percent of the teams make the playoffs.


Palisades, Washington, D.C.: It was hard to tell on T.V., but it looked like there were way more empty seats at FedEx on Sunday than usual. Do you think that was the case? I'm talking the upper level, not just that yellow section where squishy math is used to count a sell-out.

Dan Steinberg: I'm not sure. I was in the 400 level at kickoff, and there were thousands of empties. But they slowly filled up as the game went on, and I think that's what normally happens. There have been empties up there as long as I've been going. Maybe it was slightly more this week, but not dramatically.

You know that I haven't been shy about this fan dissatisfaction, but no matter how dissatisfied people are, tens and tens and tens of thousands show up every single home game. It's impressive, regardless of the exact number.


Germantown, Md.: Red, White and Blue for the Wizards. ... just put Washington on the jersey.

Really, every team in the city should use the Curly W logo, just with their colors.

Dan Steinberg: It is kind of cool when cities have official colors, like Seattle and Pittsburgh. The Wizards are the outliers in this town: D.C. United, the Nats and the Caps all have red, and the Skins at least have red in their names.


Fairfax, Va.: So where were you Saturday night? I don't see anything on the bog about the Caps home opener. (Props to the Caps vs. Redskins by the number of posts, though.)

Dan Steinberg: It's a fair point. Saturday night is probably about the worst traffic time for a blog on our site, and I've generally been working M-F plus Sundays this fall. I sort of needed to not work that day. But it's for sure a fair complaint, especially when I've complained about the media coverage the Caps have received from other outlets.

As to where I was, I was in my house. Chillin.


Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: Buy or Sell...

Caps score more points in October than the Redskins.

Dan Steinberg: More goals in October than the Skins have points? No way, not after the 16-point explosion vs the Bucs. The Caps will average more goals than the Skins will average touchdowns, though.


Still A Nationals Fan Even In My Dotage: May I respond to the question about season ticket sales at Nationals Park next year?

I'm giving up the season tickets I've had since about 90 seconds after they went on sale in 2004 for that first season at RFK but it's not because I'm abandoning my fanship for the team. I'm retiring and moving out of the area this winter.

But I will still be following and cheering for the Nats from afar, so please discount the drop in season ticket sales by at least two to account for my departure.

Dan Steinberg: Will do.

Boz has made a lot out of the attendance spike that will be provided by Strasburg starts next year. I'm curious about that. The first few, absolutely. The first one will be a zoo. But if he has the sort of non-dominant rookie season you have to expect, will it really be a huge deal to see a Strasburg start in mid-August? I don't know the answer, but I'd be surprised, I think. At that point, I think the overall record will be more important.


Sec 114, Row E: "Alexandria, Va.: Does Washington still have that baseball team? The Nationals, I believe?"

Wow, can someone be that insecure about their Redskins that they are lashing out at the Nats?

Dan Steinberg: I'm not sure what the point of that question was. Asker, you want to answer?


New York, N.Y.: Dan, please point out to the guy who asked the Campbell question that Rodgers still had 386 yards passing last night and two touchdowns. It might take the Redskins three games to put up those numbers.

Dan Steinberg: I'll gladly point that out to him. His response, if I can put words in his keyboard, is that both teams are 2-2. And as I previously noted, my point is that the Redskins have the defense and the schedule and the age that 2-2 after four games cannot be considered a success.

Though with all these things, talk to me in December. I think smart money would be on neither team making the playoffs at this point.


Washington, D.C.: Last season Zorn did a interview show with the "Sports Reporters" on ESPN 980 at around 4 p.m. on Tuesdays after a game. This season he's being interviewed on the same network by the "Sports Fix" announcers at around noon on Tuesdays after the game. Did he move because Sczaban and Andy were harsh on him?

Dan Steinberg: I don't know the answer to that question. Maybe 12:25 was a better time for him. Speaking of which, 12:25 is coming up in about nine minutes, if anyone wants to start streaming ESPN 980.

Andy and Steve deserve eternal respect for not changing their tune at all after the mothership was boarded. I haven't noticed any change in their perspective since they got those @redskins.com email addresses.


Fairfax, Va.: He is my favorite player on the team, but I think the Redskins should consider trading Chris Cooley this offseason. I have to imagine they can get at least someone's No. 1 pick and an upgrade at offensive line. Thoughts?

Dan Steinberg: Because the Redskins have such a strong history of trading for other teams' No. 1 picks. And for offensive linemen.

It's too early for me to think about the offseason, but based on age and productivity, Cooley is this offense's number one weapon. He's also the team leader in uniform sales, and he says it's not close. No way does he get traded.


Reston, Va.: The Redskins are looking at yet another running back? Are there any other NFL teams that have six running backs on their active roster?!

Dan Steinberg: I think the implication would be that one of the five gets disappeared first. No chance they'd have six. I'm not even sure how many other teams have five. Something for my research assistant to do after lunch.


Blowouts: Dan,

For the past two games, most "experts" were saying they expected a Redskin blowout. Have these experts seen any Redskins games in the last 4-5 years? When have the Redskins blown anybody out?

Dan Steinberg: Great question, and absolutely true. Under Zorn-Campbell, the Redskins have never beaten a team by more than 8 points. Under Gibbs-Collins, by the way, the Redskins had three wins by double digits.


Soccer Respect: D.C. United is going to get respect around here when they become a top tier team in a top tier league. Otherwise, they get more than enough respect, support, and coverage. They are the Frederick Keys, the Bowie Baysox, the Towson whatevers of division III football. They are a nice local product, but they are not big time. So, please, sit down.

Dan Steinberg: Whoa, I had no idea Tony Kornheiser reads my Chat. What's up, Orange dude.


re: Starsburg: If Strasburg makes the opening day rooster, do you think they would put him second in the rotation? That's basically two opening days and his first start will guarantee an additional 20,000 seats sold. On the flip side, the Nats might only sell 25,000 for opening day with Livan or Lannan on the mound and then jump to 44,000 for game number two! That would be something!

Dan Steinberg: Who do they open with at home? Can they invite Phillies fans again?


Fairfax, Va.: At Wizards games they've put up a graphic of a Dallas Cowboy logo to get fans to boo during free throws.

What would happen if they put a picture up of Dan Snyder's face?

Dan Steinberg: That would not be very friendly to their D.C. sports neighbors. Plus, there are Redskins at home games regularly.

Plus, you know what the answer is.


Arlington, Va.: Actually as MLS continues to expand it is getting more difficult to make the playoffs strictly on a percentage basis. It's still more than 50 percent of teams in the playoffs this year but it will be only 50 percent next year.

Any thoughts on the alleged dust up between a woman who may have been Soehn's wife and some D.C. United supporters wearing Fire Soehn! shirts on Saturday? Is there any possible way he won't be fired after this terrible season?

Dan Steinberg: Uh, how come no one sent me any photos of anyone wearing Fire Soehn! shirts. I like Tommy as a guy, but I also like posting photos of fans in funny shirts. Or provocative shirts. Or whatever.


Arlington, Va.: Dan,

I think the tipping point for the Redskins woes took place on that Monday night football game the night prior to the election when Redskins Nation let FedEx Field be turned into Heinz Field South. Going into that the game they were 6-2 and I think tied for first place and for some reason the fans gave up (sold their tickets) and the Redskins haven't been the same since. Thoughts??

Dan Steinberg: A lot of people have said something like this. I don't think so. I think the Skins cratered in the second half because of the offensive line injuries and a touch schedule. And I think fans gave up their tickets because they could get tons of money for them since the Steelers hadn't been here for so long, and because the traffic was gonna be nasty


In the Seats: I always think of the Verizon Center seats as blue, matching the main color of the Wizards and Caps at the time it was built.

Did the FedEx seats start out as red, and fade to orange in the sun over the years?

The FedEx club level seats were originally all yellow, but now some of them are an appropriate burgundy color. But from what I can see on TV during the CSN pregame, those seats are distributed randomly. Or do they spell something?

Dan Steinberg: Someone just emailed me the same thing about FedEx seats being red. I had no idea. Did the RFK seats start out red too?

The Verizon Center seats aren't blue. Sorry.


Campbell, Washington, D.C.: Dan - bear in mind all the stuff about Campbell though - different offensive coordinators each year, terrible receivers (except Moss and Cooley), horrible o-line that management refuses to upgrade, etc. And despite that, his numbers have improved each season. The guy can't call the plays. If the management gave him tools that other teams give their QBs, then you coudl make the decision. I'm not sure Peyton Manning could win in the current offense.

Oh, and as proof: the Redskins bringing in Chris Henry (RB No. 6) for a tryout while there's no news on any o-line prospects.

Dan Steinberg: well, we have a difference of opinion. I think Peyton Manning would win here.

The Bears found random receivers in later rounds and are riding them. The Giants are making Manningham and Smith into stars. I'm just getting skeptical.


Minneapolis, Minn.: Dan - you told us last week about D.C. United players being in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue - when are we going to hear more about this naked photo shoot?!

Dan Steinberg: Wednesday.


In My Dotage Again: The Nationals' first 2010 games are April 5-8 against (you called it!) the Phillies.

Dan Steinberg: Sweet. So the games will all be packed.


Campbell Questioner Again: For NY, NY, Rodgers has six TDs this year, Campbell has 5. Rodgers has 1,098 yards, Campbell has 963. Not much difference when considering the Green Bay offense is built around the passing game.

Dan Steinberg: There ya go. You guys should exchange phone numbers.


Vienna, Va.: The Redskins' win seemed to quell the uprising. Are the peons distracted that easily?

Dan Steinberg: Yes. Like I said, you give them some chocolate and fruits, and they'll forget about the grain famine.


Space Ghost Stadium, Fla.: Can you get George Michael to guest host one of the Redskins Insider Podcasts? Or would that cost too much money? Or, if you could somehow get him and Riggo into a room with a camera and a bottle of whiskey every game day, I would watch that and pay 9.95 a week for the privilege. I am not the only one. This could save print journalism.

Dan Steinberg: Great idea. I would actually like to have some guests on the podcast, but our budget (five donuts/week) might not allow for that. Unless you'd like to appear.


Dan Steinberg: I'm actually doing this while listening to Zorn on the radio. It's kind of distracting. Kevin Sheehan just said it's been 10 games since the Redskins scored a first-quarter touchdown. Didn't realize that.

Among other things, he's said he thinks there's too much self-examination. And he was just asked what would cause him to make a QB change; "if he was just unsure of what he was doing, if I called a play and he was either throwing the ball or not reading or not creating on the line of scrimmage that confidence....that panic over and over again, I would definitely make a change."


Washington, D.C., Eyestreet: Is it the lead in the water supply? Why are so many Redskins fans certifiably delusional? Even the estimable Boswell tries to convince himself that he saw a glimpse of past glory in last Sunday's four-turnover disgrace.

If not for the errant foot of the Bucs' placekicker, the Redskins would have lost to the other worst team in the NFL. At home. Against a rookie replacement quarterback.

First you say the words. "We are truly bad." Then you can start to heal.

Dan Steinberg: I tend to agree with you, but with the major caveat that the Redskins have made a habit of playing poorly against poor teams.

My takeaway from the game, though, was different from a lot of fans and the Boswell/Wise take. My take was, Wooof. Gack. Ugh. Yuck.


Arlington, Va.: If the Nats went 81-81, would there be a parade?

Dan Steinberg: The Nats have gone 81-81. There was no parade. But it was bloody fun for a while in '05.


London, U.K.: For those of us who weren't there and don't live in a country where they show the game on TV ... how did the fans' reaction to the win against Tampa compare to the win against the Rams?

Dan Steinberg: Completely, completely, completely different. Fans cheered. Fans were happy. Against the Bucs, I mean. A lot of fans have said they were booing at the end of the Rams game because the Skins didn't make any effort to score after regaining the ball inside the 10. Of course, many others were booing because of general angst. No matter how badly they played against the Bucs, the second half was certainly exciting in a way the Rams game wasn't. So yeah, cheers, no boos that I heard.


Germantown, Md.: Dan-

Is it true that after hearing about the signs and paperbags coming to FedEx last weekend that the Redskins changed their rules to ban all signs?

Dan Steinberg: I asked a Redskins spokesman about this and was told no, there was no change to the rules. The rule banning bags is posted on the team's Web site, and also was apparently not a new rule.


Somerville, Mass.: Should Larry Michael and Vinny Cerrato really be using Snyder's ESPN980 as an outlet to bash local media? Have we seen the nightmare of Snyder using his propoganda organs (Michael) and media empire (980) to silence his critics come true?

Dan Steinberg: Larry Michael isn't using 980, he's using Comcast SportsNet and the Redskins Broadcasting Network. And I don't think they're silencing critics, I think they're criticizing critics. In the past, there seemed to be massive numbers of Skins fans who agreed with the media criticism. This time around, it seems fans are mostly siding with the media, but that's because of the record more than anything else, I believe.


Washington, D.C.: I really can't stand NFL football generally, and the Redskins specifically. I have two questions:

1) What should I tell people at parties when they blather about the overpaid, overfed, overhyped, overwrought drama that is Jim Zorn's team?

2) What should I do on Sundays when everyone is either glued to their TV, or paying through the nose for the worst fan experience available locally?

Boy, I miss baseball already.

Dan Steinberg: Overfed? Like, they eat too much? I don't see why they're overpaid, any more than a MLB guy is overpaid. I mean, athletes generate a ton of money, and are thus paid a ton of money. I'm way past being outraged by that.

1) Tell them you don't like the NFL.

2) Go to the old town Takoma Park street festival. Technically it was last week, but I heard it was great fun.


Chantilly, Va.: Fedex Club Seats were all yellow to begin with. Then the team used the enticement of burgundy leather (probably cheap vinyl) if a fan renewed their club seats at the new higher (and now ridiculous) prices Danny Boy instituted when he took over the team.

Dan Steinberg: Seriously?


When is Jason Campbell going to lead the Redskins to an explosive performance? : When are the Reskins going to get an adequate offensive line?

See I even formed my response in the form of a question for you, Dan.

Dan Steinberg: In the eight games before Jason Campbell was hurt in '07, the Redskins went above 24 points once. (They had 25, in a loss.) In the four games after he got hurt, they had 24, 22, 32, and 27. They have the second-longest drought since reaching 30 points in the NFL, behind the Lions. They have an all pro left tackle, an all pro fullback, and an all pro tight end. Is the offensive line depth an issue? Yes. Do they have one of the best lines in the league? No. Am I convinced that other quarterbacks could have done more than 13 first-half points through four games? You know, I think I am. I'm sorry if that's offensive.


Club Seats: The burgundy seats in the club level at FedEx only spell "straight cash homey," for Dan Snyder. Club level ticket owners can purchase a padded burgundy seat for like 200 dollars per season and have their name put on it. The unwashed club seat owners must sit in plain old hard plastic gold. The horror.

Dan Steinberg: I always wondered about those speckled colors in the clubs, and just hadn't realized this.

Are you allowed to bring big stacks of paper towels to sit on?


Greenville, N.C.: Shouldn't the Mystics also change their colors to red, white, and blue?

Dan Steinberg: Yes. Absolutely. I thought I heard this was under discussion. No?


Washington, D.C.: In the interview with Mike Wise, George Michael said that Dan Snyder doesn't understand why fans hate him. Do you buy this? Is it that he doesn't understand or he doesn't care?

I mean, if I went up to him and said, "Mr. Snyder, fans hate the way you treat us like walking ATMs and can't stand the gameday experience at FedEx," would he be genuinely surprised to learn this, or would he have me escorted away by security?

Dan Steinberg: I'm not in the habit of mindreading, I guess. I'd say that generally, I can believe what Michael said.

It's like this: I wrote dozens of rude things about the Nats this year. But if Stan Kasten, or a diehard fan, came up to me and said "I hate you," would I understand that? I mean, I guess I'd get where they were coming from, but I have arguments in my own mind for why I was justified in making those posts. They worked in my own interest, at some level, but even though they didn't work in the Nats' interest, I still think they were justifiable.

Without being a mindreader, I have to imagine that Daniel Snyder has arguments in his own mind for why most/all his decisions have been made, and why they're justifiable. I mean, it's either that or you believe he's some sort of evil villain who cackles at home when he comes up with more ways to mistreat fans. I, for one, do not believe that happens.

So yeah, I believe George Michael, I think.


Rockville, Md.: Do you think if the Redskins post a winning record (i.e. 9-7 or 10-6) but miss the playoffs that Jim Zorn will be fired as head coach?

Dan Steinberg: No. Certainly not if they're 10-6.


Fed Ex section 429, row 7: I told my brother (at Sunday's game) I would give him $5 if he spotted a bag on anyone's head following the Sports Junkies plea for all game attendees to wear one. Never had to pay him; although I almost wore one myself at halftime. Don't you think Redskins Nation deserves props for resisting? AND cheering enthusiastically till the game ended? God luv Redskins fans!

Dan Steinberg: Well, the Skins confiscated hundreds or thousands of bags, due to a stadium rule against bringing backs into the facility. So you definitely made a smart bet, though I'm not sure if anyone gets props. I've seen at least two photos of fans wearing bags on their heads at the game, plus one of a stuffed animal with a bag on its head, despite the rules.

I don't know that Redskins fans did anything remarkable this week. They booed when the team played badly. They cheered when the team did well. That's about what I'd expect from most NFL fans.


Bethesda, Md.: I see that the Redskins are looking at Chris Henry since it's now apparently OK to admit that Portis is a little banged up. But if no one among Betts, Cartwright, Mason and Alridge is adequate to replace Portis, why are they all on the roster? Is it the oft-cited "contributions on special teams"?

Or are we perhaps going to go with an all-running-back offensive line? Like, Ladell hasn't done much as a third down back, but he'll be a beast running the center sneak?

Maybe, since Coach Z is so enamored of CP's throwing abilities, we're going to line up running backs at EVERY POSITION on the offense. Is that it?

Dan Steinberg: Zorn said on his radio show today that they won't be signing Chris Henry. So sadly, we won't get to explore any of these options.


Washington, D.C.: If Campbell is gone after this season, do you think he'll get another starting gig in Tampa, Oakland, or St. Louis? Or is he, as Rodney Harrison claimed, a back-up?

Dan Steinberg: If he's gone after this season, I'd guess that he has a chance to compete for a starting role with another team. I'd further guess that he would win the starting role, and I'd further guess that he'd lead his new team to several 18-point showings. Or maybe 17 or 19.


Jon Gruden: Hey Dan, as someone who enjoys the humorous side of sports, you must like my contribution to MNF. Aside from leading the charge on the Brett Favre slurpfest last night, I referred to Mike McCarthy as the league's best "challenge coacher," after he threw the red flag. Am I bog-worthy?

Dan Steinberg: Nah bro, I didn't watch you at all last night. I was too busy trying to decide which hemp sneakers to buy online. F'real. I chose some brown iPaths.


Urbana, Md.: Is Colt Brennan done with the Redskins? Will the Redskins trade him and start looking for another QB in next year's draft?

Dan Steinberg: Is there a huge market for third-year QBs who were drafted in the sixth round, have never taken a regular season snap and are coming off season-ending hip surgery? I mean, what exactly are you getting in that trade? A stack of leather burgundy seat cushions?

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Skins draft a QB for a lot of reasons: they don't have a franchise QB on the roster, their backup is extremely old, and their third stringer looked pretty poor in the preseason.


Boston: Dan, love the Bog. It typically makes my day which may say more about my life than your talents, but I'll chalk it up to your talents for now.

Do you feel like a certain "maybe we really aren't that good" attitude is starting to permeate the skins locker room? I mean, clearly they aren't, but some of the recent quotes like this one from Jason Campbell:

"We need to win games the way we win games, not the way people want us to win."

or Rabach:

"I want to be that offense that's scoring 30, 40, 50 points a game, that would be awesome, it really would be," center Casey Rabach said of his offense, which is averaging 14 a game. "But it is what it is, we are where we are at right now, we're taking wins where we can get wins right now."

Not criticizing the players for saying this necessarily, but this awful play has to wear on their mentality/confidence, which doesn't give much hope for the rest of the season (if there was any left). You're the one in the locker room though, what are your thoughts?

Dan Steinberg: I'm chalking it up to your life. Though I also think I should get a bonus for every made day I'm responsible for. I think $10 for making a day is easily justifiable. Please email my editor about this.

I think these quotes came from Tracee Hamilton today? So really she's the one you should be asking. Yesterday, I was writing about revolution, not football.

I think you could maybe say that about the offense, but I think players honestly believe it when they say "a win is a win." Which makes sense. They're not looking for entertainment from a game in the same way fans are. They also don't seem prone to the same introspective angst that fans and especially media members engage in, because this isn't their hobby or their passion exactly; it's their work and their life.

And I also think the Skins genuinely believe that they're capable of executing better, which would lead to more and better offense.

All that being said, duh, they're not that good. You and I both see that.


Springfield, Va.: Do you think Marko Mitchell will ever see the field again?

Who gets cut if they sign a punter?

Dan Steinberg: I'd guess Anthony Alridge gets cut, but that's a 100 percent uniformed guess. Last one in, first one out, kinda thing, plus he was inactive this week.

And Mitchell may not have played, but he had more receiving yards than Fred Davis, Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas combined. I'd throw him out there in a what the heck sense, but I never, ever, ever watch practice. Malcolm Kelly was also productive in the preseason, so maybe the preseason really is a different story.


The Fax, Va.: Since we've had some months to take it all in, wondering how you think ESPN 980 and 106.7 The Fan are comparing?

Seems to me like 106.7 is over-playing the "no owner censoring the station" card. Both seem to be pretty negative about the skins. Both lack any insight on anything other than the Redskins (although Czabe does know his HD). Thoughts?

Also, do you get radio numbers? I'd love to see how they are stacking up against each other.

Dan Steinberg: I don't get radio numbers, but DCRTV does. If I recall slightly, they're almost identical in overall numbers, but 106.7 is doing better in the target demographic (men my age).

I try to be friendly and collegial with guys from both stations, and I can honestly say I listen to about an equal amount of both. Both absolutely beat the Redskins drum harder than anything else, but so do I, so I can't complain about that.

Here's what I'll say for sure: 106.7 has been more reliable about quickly podcasting their interviews, and much much better about getting every segment online every day. In my line of work, that's a huge, huge thing. 106.7 has also invited me on several of their shows, which I appreciate.

And as much as I think Tony Kornheiser makes great radio, he will never make news in his "interview old journalists and talk about '60s music" genre. Each of 106.7's shows has regularly made news this season.


Dan Steinberg: Ok, lots more questions but I figure I should actually do some work, or "work that generates page views," anyhow. If you have a specific question that I didn't get to, feel free to write me at steinbergd-at-washpost-dot-com. Thanks everyone, be back next Tuesday, to apologize for everything I said about Jason Campbell.


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