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

Dan Steinberg
D.C. Sports Bogger
Tuesday, November 3, 2009 11:30 AM

D.C. Sports Bogger Dan Steinberg was online Tues., Oct. 3 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 smorgasbord of the bizarre side of D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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Dan Steinberg: Hey peoples. It wouldn't be a D.C. Sports Bog chat if I wasn't 15 minutes late, from trying to post Fatheads that have been plastered on the wall inside the Wiz practice gym. My fault. But go look at them, if you love Fatheads.

Anyhow, it was a successful Redskins Insider podcast this morning, as I was able to eat three donuts. Listen in later in the day. And now feel free to ask me questions that I don't know the answer to.

Oh! I also think I'm going to make my road debut in Atlanta this weekend. So if anyone's going....

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Centreville, Va.: It is apparent that little Danny Snyder is not at all concerned that he is at war with his revenue stream: the fans. What will happen if the majority of season ticket holders refuse to renew for the 2010 season? And how many fans on this mythical waiting list will actually purchase tickets having seen how Little Danny treats his customers?

Dan Steinberg: The first thing that will happen if the majority of season ticket holders refuse to renew? I'll fall off my chair. If I'm standing at the time, I'll sit down, then fall off my chair.

I just struggle to see it happening. Also, the general admission tickets are actually pretty reasonably priced, if you discount parking and concessions and all that. (Of course, you have to pay for preseason tix, which is among the biggest rip-offs in humanity.) If 20,000 general admission seats open up, I think a lot of them would be snatched up instantly, even if the Skins were coming off 2-14.

Now, maybe I'm wrong, but that's my guess. Do you disagree?

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Sanibel, Fla.: DS,

Love the Bog. Keep up the great work. Any feedback from the Redskins on the sign controversy?

Dan Steinberg: Feedback to me personally? No, I have gotten no feedback from the Redskins. I have to imagine, though, that they didn't expect this to be that big of a deal. I was on a rampage in the press box last Monday Night, screaming to a PR guy that I thought this new policy was outrageous and was going to become a national story, and he seemed surprised.

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Cooper City, Fla.: Hey Dan,

Have you heard anything from any outlets receiving fan cards from Redskins nation?

Thanks!

Dan Steinberg: I have not heard a word. Which doesn't mean it isn't happening.

I do know WUSA and WJFK are both inviting sign drop-offs. WUSA's is digital, and WJFK is actually inviting people to physically drop off signs. Of course, the prize involves a Wizards suite, so they're promoting their own sports property here.

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Herndon, Va.: Banning signs at FedEx ... Would someone please tell Napoleon that he has no clothes?

Dan Steinberg: Did you see where the Redskins' owner reportedly went to France during the bye week? (That's via the Wash Times.) If so, as City Paper's Dave McKenna noted, he theoretically could have visited Elba. Or, you know, Moscow.

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Rockville, Md.: Dan -

If the scale of Washington fans' anger went from 1 to 10, with 10 being most angry, and if they were at, say, six or seven right now on that scale, would a loss to Dallas on November 22, in your view, bring them to 9 or 10? Or do you think the needle is already at 10 and there's nowhere left for it to go up?

Dan Steinberg: A 33-32 loss? Probably not. A 72-0 loss? Possibly.

But do you, Rockville, believe the Redskins will likely beat Dallas? I mean, it seems pretty clear that, at a minimum, the Skins will be underdogs for their four remaining NFC East games. They're 10-point dogs at Atlanta.

But no, I don't believe you can ever really reach 10, and I certainly don't think we've reached it now. 10 means that every single fan in FedEx Field is furious. Sure, there were tens of thousands of furious people last Monday Night, but there were also families enjoying themselves, and drunk kids stumbling around being drunk, and just regular old football fans watching football. The anger was impossible to miss, but I don't think it was universal.

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Re: I was on a rampage in the press box last Monday Night, screaming to a PR guy that I thought this new policy was outrageous and was going to become a national story, and he seemed surprised. : Seriously??

Dan Steinberg: I'm being serious. If I'm misremembering, someone can correct me. I was definitely ranting, I remember that well.

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Oh! I also think I'm going to make my road debut in Atlanta this weekend. So if anyone's going ... : Are you're offering us a ride? What time should my huge signs and I show up?

Dan Steinberg: I believe I can go to Atlanta and back on Sunday out of DCA for like $250 on Delta. I'll give you a ride to the airport. You pick up the donuts. I'm especially partial to Maple frosted in the morning time.

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22202, Va.: On donuts, I have a perennial debate with a friend: cake or fluffy? I'm a fan of fluffy myself, as I think the cake ones are too dense. Thoughts?

Dan Steinberg: Fluffy, for sure. And not filled, although I did have some weird sort of apple-pie filled one today. I just like a plain, frosted fluffy donut.

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Richmond, Va.: Hi Dan, thanks for taking questions. I've heard a lot of online chatter about various efforts to highlight intensifying fan discontent with the Redskins in general and with ownership and upper management in particular. Please give us your thoughts on how effective things such as the "turn in your Fan Card" drive, the multi-section "color by seat numbers Fire Snyder sign" plan, and/or the "alternative game day tailgate party at RFK" protest might be in bringing about meaningful change to the structure of our beloved team. Thanks again!

Dan Steinberg: Don't you need permission to show up at RFK and start tailgating? If not, that sounds like the most fun, for sure.

The Fan Card thing would be very, very difficult to accurately measure and/or publicize. The "Color by seat numbers" sign plan is fairly ingenious, but requires a level of cooperation that would be implausible even if every new the plan and was on a mass e-mail list. In the real world, which involves potty breaks, visiting fans, people who don't read blogs, and alcohol, it's just a pipe dream. Sorry.

I believe it's been said, oh, 4,000 times or so, but the number one clearest message is an empty stadium, where the cold and soggy french fries sit cold and soggy in their bins instead of in your belly. There is no stronger message than that, period, end of story.

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Downtown, Washington, D.C.: There are moments in history when a populace can no longer take an obvious injustice and men (and women) of good consience rise up in some manner. Yes, this is just sports, but the censorship stories add an entirely new dimension. Dan Snyder is obviously not a student of history. That said, I was still very surprised at the number of fans at the Philadelphia game. Is this uprising for real or is it all just internet chatter?

Dan Steinberg: My sense is it's mostly Internet chatter. People are very very very very very very angry, but they're also still going to the games. Sure, maybe you're not, but Fred from Fairfax is buying your seat on Craigslist and showing up in his Dexter Manley jersey, so it looks pretty much the same on TV.

I'm not trying to say the vast majority of Redskins fans aren't extremely irritated by what's happening. I'm just saying it's my personal belief that, if the team wins 10 games next season, the vast majority of Redskins fans will forgive them. And, in the meantime, enough people still want to go to games that the comments of hundreds of people on WaPo blogs can be drowned out.

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Georgetown, Washington, D.C.: Please rank the top-five clowns on the Wiz for 2009-10

Dan Steinberg: In a good way or a bad way?

Well, I don't like bad way clowns, so I'll judge this in a good way

1) DeShawn Stevenson

2) Nick Young

3) Brendan Haywood

4) Fab Oberto

5) Gilbert Arenas

Gilbert is both stubborn and smart, and I think he'll carry on his grouchy useless media routine for a good long while. But I also believe he'll eventually break down. I hope so, anyhow.

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Reston, Va.: Hey Dan,

Out of curiosity, what's the general mood of the Redskins in the WaPo office? How would the head office feel about putting a nice half or full page "Sell the Team, Dan!" headline on the front or sports page once we go 2-14? (Or, 3-13, if luck strikes us in Oakland)

Dan Steinberg: I'm not sure I understand the question.

I believe that everyone involved with producing editorial content is making their best effort to be completely objective. Certainly the editors, which would include the people who write the headlines. The columnists have obviously made their views known.

You definitely feel more anger being at FedEx Field than you do at the WaPo. WaPo staff, the people who put out the paper, just want the games to end promptly and without any catastrophe.

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Washington, D.C.: What do you think Snyder's strategy is here in the face of the growing PR disaster around his football franchise? Will he ever have the backbone to face the press? Mr. Micro Manager suddenly goes into hiding? He doesn't want to deal with this mess? The "Great" business man runs and hides when the heat turns up? He lets a lackey like Donovan make a epically moronic statement about the media being responsible? Isn't Snyder letting the entire franchise down but not stepping up and taking control? Is he that ignorant or just that callous?

Dan Steinberg: Well, this is many questions.

I think once the Redskins have come out and said that Daniel Snyder's policy is not to address the media during the season, they'll likely stick with that policy. I think the justification offered by Vinny Cerrato--that Snyder doesn't want to take attention away from the football folks, or something along those lines--doesn't make a lot of sense when his silence ends up taking that same attention away.

In general, I think an owner opens himself up for some criticism by talking too often--he's meddling! He's consumed by his own ego! But this case does seem different.

Many of Snyder's past interviews have been with "friendly" media members (George Michael, for example), and those don't do much to satisfy the critical fans, either.

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Georgetown, Washington, D.C.: Who are the top-five clowns/jokers (good way) on the 2009 Redskins?

Dan Steinberg: Jeez, I don't even know any more. In August, the list would have probably included Fred Smoot, Mike Sellers, Chris Cooley, Clinton Portis, Casey Rabach and Devin Thomas. Now, though, I just stay away from Ashburn and read rants on my BlackBerry from angry fans. It's hard to joke when you're losing. Or when your ankle is busted.

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The Way It Is: Redskins fans will mumble, but when it comes to addressing "what the fans want," the owner, in this case The Daniel Snyder, goes to France.

Owners do not care about fans. They don't even care about their money. What owners know, is that there will always be a sizable bunch of people who will buy tickets, whether season tickets or gameday tickets, and those people generally go to games hungry.

Much as I love the Redskins, and I love them far and above NFL football, owners will never change. If you throw out The Daniel Snyder, you'll make way for A. Solemn Putz, who will re-destroy the Redskins just like The Daniel.

Thank goodness this is just entertainment, and that I have books to read, sudoku to work, things to write, kids to raise, walls to paint, people to see, places to go, and the like.

The only way the Redskins will shake off The Daniel Snyder is if the Redskins will shake off the Daniel Snyder. It's not going to happen anytime soon. And no, he's not going to realize that he's made mistakes. But it's all good. Washington/Alexandria is a great place to live.

Dan Steinberg: After a long, long break, I started doing Sudoku again during a recent flight to Vegas. I'm horribly out of practice. It took me forever to do the "Easy" one in the Southwest magazine. Just humiliating.

I mostly agree with you, but there are certain things that are, in my mind, unforgivable. Or maybe not that, but at least worthy of change. The lack of out of town scores is a joke. The scoreboard itself is an abomination. The food choices are just miserable. I mean, going to Nats Park is so much more enjoyable in every way. And this is just me, but I hate hate hate hate hate the sign ban. I hate it, because it even further adds to the perception that you're not a willing participant in an entertainment event, you're merely a robot marching through lines and plunking down dollar bills.

But everything else you wrote, I think I agree with.

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Rants, raves and minor assaults: Any fist fights in the Sports department?

Dan Steinberg: There's one famous anecdote of a writer challenging an editor to step outside. I'm not even sure if it's true. Neither of the participants works in sports any longer.

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Fed Ex Section 429: My idea is to encourage corporate boycotts; like Papa John, Fed Ex, etc. Write/email those companies and explain WHY you're boycotting them. Isn't that where Danny's real cash comes from???

Dan Steinberg: Others have said the same thing. If you can't even get Redskins fans to stay away from FedEx Field in mass numbers, I find it hard to believe this avenue could really be effective. But if it is, that would sure be a story.

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Doughnut Diplomacy: Early in a Capitals vs. Maple Leafs game three or four seasons ago I got into a debate with the Leafs fan across the aisle about which was better, Krispy Kreme or Tim Horton's. By the start of the third period we'd reached a diplomatic agreement that Krispy Kreme has better doughnuts but Tim Horton's has better coffee.

The State Department would be so proud.

Dan Steinberg: See, I think I'd take Tim Horton's for the donuts AND the coffee. I'm not now and have never been a huge fan of Krispy Kreme. Most people come down pretty strongly one way or the other on this question.

What has more fat/calories, a donut or a muffin? I've always wondered. This might be my chance to find out. I assume it's a muffin, but I'm wondering if two donuts is around equivalent to one muffin.

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Alexandria, Va.: I don't think an empty stadium is really going to turn Snyder's head all that much. Almost all of those empty seats have already been paid for and how much does 20,000 cold french fries affect a guy who is worth several hundred million dollars? What will it take to get the systemic change in attitude this franchise desperately needs?

Dan Steinberg: 30,000 cold french fries, I guess.

The empty seats have indeed been paid for, but they would at least auger a future in which the seats are not paid for, if I'm using auger correctly. Also, they would probably prevent the Redskins' COO from telling reporters that in terms of the behavior of actual fans, they haven't seen that much of a change.

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Washington, D.C.: Interesting comment from readers. I stopped watching/going/ buying anything redskin a couple of years ago. If there really was redskin backlash I won't be the only one in the office who actually doesn't know the score from the last game. To all the complaining fans, put up or shut up, listening to people whine about the Redskins is even worse than listening to them go on and on about how great they are.

Dan Steinberg: I was in Wheaton Plaza on Sunday. There's a Redskins store there. There was a mom in there, buying some Redskins gear for her 8 year old or so daughter. (At least, I assume that's who she was buying it for, I'm not sure.)

I wanted to be like, 'Wait, is the boycott off? Are you no longer angry? Is all forgiven?'

But again, not every Redskins fan reads the D.C. Sports Bog. They don't all listen to 106.7 The Fan, or The Sports Reporters. They don't all read Extreme Skins. Some sort of gurgling brook of normalcy has to be running underneath the exterior rage, right?

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Tenleytown, Washington, D.C.: Great stuff from Mo Williams in today's Plain Dealer on the Cavs' "non-rivalry" with the Wiz:

Said Williams, "As far as talk is concerned, we don't talk, we play. There's nothing to talk about, to be honest. It's a basketball game. It's the fifth game of the year. I think we're more concerned about ourselves than Washington."

Does he not remember his guarantee that they'd beat Orlando during last year's playoffs? That seems pretty talky to me.

Dan Steinberg: I'm looking forward to this game way more than I should be for the fifth game of the season. Or fourth, I guess.

And I'm going to the Wiz game on Wednesday. At least one person has already told me he's bringing a Skins-themed sign.

I know it's more important for the Wizards to win dozens of games rather than individual meetings with the Cavs, but these Cavs games are real highlights in an endless schedule, and I think that's a good thing. Same with Pittsburgh and Philly for the Caps. The Rangers less so, IMO.

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Washington, D.C.: More importantly than muffin vs. dougnut, what about bagel vs. doughnut?

As a member of the Tribe, I've long wondered about the wisdom of having three cinnamon-raisin bagels for lunch.

Dan Steinberg: You go to William & Mary?

Oh, wait, you're Jewish. Are Jews especially partial to cinnamon raisin?

I have to assume that even a bagel with extra cream cheese is healthier than either a donut or a muffin. I'd even argue that three bagels with light cream cheese seem healthier to me than one jumbo muffin.

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates: re: effective protest.

Everyone should bring a sign to FedEx Field and march around the stadium 30 minutes before the game and then discard their signs before entering. That would certainly be do-able. Don't you think?

Dan Steinberg: I mean, it's within the realm of possibility. But any suggestion that begins with "everyone" seems likely to meet failure, if I'm being honest.

I thought the suggestion that fans bring signs proclaiming their eternal love for the Redskins, Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato was at least a funny one. Would be humorous to see those piled up in the trash.

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Baltimore: Re the poster saying "owners do not care about fans." I think that's too much of a blanket statement. Robert Kraft of the Patriots seems to care about fans and shows it by letting the organization deliver a good product year after year without meddling. I think Steve Bisciotti of the Ravens cares, based on the way he has conducted himself since buying the team and how he has encouraged players to get involved in the community. (Joe Flacco, Todd Heap and other Ravens helped conduct a fund raising auction yesterday--one day after beating the Broncos).

I could cite other examples. Just because Snyder obviously sees the fans only as walking ATMs doesn't mean all owners are that way. Yeah, they want to make money. But some are smart about it.

Dan Steinberg: The community service thing is a different thing altogether. The Skins are doing a big event out in PG today concerning local football fields. There are players in the community every Tuesday. That, to me, says almost nothing about the ownership. Every pro sports team runs dozens of community projects.

I do agree that the best way to treat fans well is to give them a winning product. Even easier to control is the game day experience, and I haven't seen any credible argument that the Redskins are passing in that department.

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Rockville, Md.: Anyone who raves about Krispy Kreme doesn't really like donuts. Like sugary warm goo.

As any real New Englander will tell, donuts are supposed to be cakey, and they are literally supposed to be dipped into your coffee.

Anything else is an imposter.

Dan Steinberg: I'm not a real New Englander, but I do agree. There aren't many things in the world better than an early-morning donut dipped in coffee on a frosty October day.

You know what else is awesome? Concord grapes. I'm just gorging myself on them lately. I guess that's part of my Western New Yorkness coming out.

Also pumpkin beer.

October is terrific. Drew Magary's ranking of the months on Deadspin in early October was solid, all around.

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FedEx 214: How about the fans that must attend games, show up in black and agree to buy nothing from Snyder.

Then, all rise with eight minutes remaining in the third quarter, stand in silence for two minutes, then quietly exit the stadium ...

Sure to draw attention and show fan commitment, right?

Dan Steinberg: See, again, anything involving specifics like "eight minutes," "two minutes," "black"....you're requiring mass coordination in a crowd of 90,000 people. I think you could literally get 10,000 people wearing black without anyone really noticing. At the first "blackout," I asked four or five people why they were wearing black, and they all looked at me like I was insane.

"Because my coat is black" seemed to be the general idea.

Sure, in a perfect world, a collage of fans wearing color-coded t-shirts that mold together to form the faces of Skins leadership with an 800-word manifesto from Redskins fans to be delivered while overhead helicopters create smoke trails reading "HELP US" and bucket drummers pound out a funeral march would be impressive. But very very very tough to coordinate. An empty stadium is the easiest thing to coordinate.

As always, I'm not advocating anything, because if I bought tickets and I was still enjoying myself, I'd probably still go.

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FedEx Tailgating: Regarding an empty stadium ... there are those who feel that, because the tickets for the entire season were purchased in the Spring, it is in vein because Little Danny already has our money. While this is true, an empty stadium would affect his concession revenues as well as those from the various stadium shops and stands throughout FedEx Field.

Many of us still go because of the tailgating. What we need to do is just stay in the parking lots for one of the upcoming afternoon games and watch with our portable televisions. We cook our own food, drink our own drinks and enjoy Sunday afternoon football.

Dan Steinberg: There ya go. That sounds realistic. I met a few people at the Eagles game who promised they were doing just this.

The tailgate seems to me about as fun as it's ever been. Man, tailgating is fun.

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Speaking of Donuts and cake like desserts ...: Did Dan $nyder go to France to eat cake with Marie Antoinette?

Dan Steinberg: Am I right in remembering that her use of the word "cake" was actually referring more to bread than to a dessert?

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Raleigh, N.C.: "Also, the general admission tickets are actually pretty reasonably priced" My Upper Level Redskins tickets are cheaper per game than my parents' Maryland Terrapin Upper Level Tickets.

Dan Steinberg: Wait, so I was right? Whoo hoo.

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Arlington, Va.: Only about 100,000 people can go to a Redskins game. Is there any indication that those who don't go are watching less (ratings), buying less merchandise (sales) or anything else to show that Snyder's universe of willing slaves is shrinking?

Dan Steinberg: We wrote an A1 story a few weeks ago that used some of these numbers. I think the idea was that merchandise sales are down; the Post reported they're down fairly significantly, while the Skins countered that their decrease is in line with general retail sales decreases in this economy. The TV ratings were down some, as I recall, but the Skins pointed out that the early-season opponents were non compelling, which is certainly true.

My own feelings about the Redskins do not in any way make me less likely to consume news about them, or to watch their games (of course, it's part of my job, but even if it weren't) ... Look at the questions I've gotten here? They're almost all about the Redskins. My blog last week had more traffic than any other blog on this site. People aren't caring less; at least, the people who are angry aren't. If anything, they're caring MORE.

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Donut/Muffin/Bagel hierarchy: In terms of nutrition, I would rank from least to most nutritional: Donut -- deep fried, essentially fried dough Muffin -- batter that is baked, but can have almonds, bran, blueberries and such Bagel -- dense boiled/baked dough filled with almonds, bran, blueberries and such that has more "staying power," in that it can actually be a meal on the go, whereas the other two items are mid-meal snacks; empty calories.

Dan Steinberg: But donuts seem so much lighter in weight than muffins. And muffins always leave those weird grease stains.

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Visiting France: Just a point of clarification Elba is not "in" France.

And as for Moscow ... Napolean had a Grand Army following him there, Dan ... not so much.

Dan Steinberg: See, I sort of knew that. But it's closer to France than Ashburn is, right?

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Fairfax, Va.: Did the Skins Front Office ever explain how "all signs" are now prohibited, and yet the team itself handed out GEICO/Redskins signs to attendees at the Philly game?

Dan Steinberg: I have not gotten an explanation on that. I told a Skins PR person I was writing that item and asked to be told if I was missing anything. I didn't get a response to that.

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Homer Simpson: Hmmmmmm, donuts dipped in pumpkin beeeeeerrr. Agahhhhhhh..

Dan Steinberg: Really? Never tried that. I can see it working. But it'd have to be a plain donut, I think. Old fashioned, or whatever those plain ones are called.

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Effective Protest: How about everyone bring at least two signs to the game. The sheer volume of trash would make it at least a little funny.

Dan Steinberg: The group t-shirt protest (not massive group, small group) would also be effective, now that all non-profane t shirts have been deemed acceptable. Four rows of six people each; I can see that working.

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Marie Antoinette: The actual French word is brioche, which is more like a bread, but it has been translated cake, and most likely incorrectly attributed to Marie Antoinette (even though it's assumed she said, the first printed reference came out when she was 13). But I thought it was funny that Snyder went to France so it made me think of this quote that is often cited to show the contempt the rich have for the poor.

Dan Steinberg: If I worked for ESPN.com, I would say something here about how I love my readers.

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Papa John's Promotion: Steinz,

I was watching sportsynet the other night and had a thought: Do Washington-Area customers qualify for the Ravens' free topping per touchdown promotion, or is that Baltimore-Area only?

It's not far that they get all the free toppings and we don't jsut because our team sucks. They probably don't even use the free toppings, because Papa John's doesn't offer Old Bay or Boog's BBQ as topping options.

Dan Steinberg: The Ravens have a Papa John's proposal? I didn't know that. I agree, this is outrageous.

Really, though, I only like two toppings: peppers and onions. I've never understood the six-topping pizza. At some point, that's like a meat salad more than a pizza. Just get a bowl and throw all that stuff in there and eat it with a spoon. I'd much rather have $1 off the pizza for every TD than one free topping.

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There's nothing to do in Cleveland: The first thing I thought of when I read that yesterday was the "Fun Times in Cleveland Today" video from YouTube.

Have you seen that?

Dan Steinberg: I have, and it's miraculous. We were actually watching it in the Wizards press room yesterday. I could watch it every day, I think.

That said, Cleveland's a fine place. It just has an incredibly obnoxious basketball team.

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Spellchecking by Request: "auger a future in which the seats are not paid for, if I'm using auger correctly"

Actually, Steinz, an auger is a kind of drill. An augur is a seer or prophet.

But don't feel bad -- have you ever seen how many typos and misspellings Boz puts into his chats?

Dan Steinberg: I'm really feeling kind of spacey today. It must be the donuts. I was pretty sure I was going down a bad road with that auger bit. (Get it? Does that work? No? Oh well.)

And if you don't think half the pleasure of the Boz chats is the phraseology, I don't know who you are.

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Washington, D.C.: Re: "Game Day Experience"

I don't like Danny and think he has made a dog's breakfast of the on-field product, but the complaints about the Game Day Experience are puzzling.

Parking/Traffic: It's a 90,000 seat stadium plopped in the middle of a residential neighborhood, used for 10 games a year, of course traffic is bad. But Danny didn't do it, blame the Beknighted Squire and Sharon Pratt Dixon Kelly. Otherwise suck it up and put up with an hour sitting in traffic each way.

Expensive Beer, Food, Merchandise; Hits of the 80's played to extreme volumes; Annoying announcer. Welcome to the NFL! The same program exists in every NFL stadium I've been to. Don't like it? Don't buy Danny's crap, or don't come.

Dan Steinberg: I'm not talking parking/traffic. I didn't mention that, and won't. I think the Metro is acceptable, and the 90,000 person thing makes it unavoidable.

I'm talking the bad food choices, horribly small screens with burnt-out bulbs, lack of out-of-town scores and replays, etc. Especially on those last few items, I've been to enough other NFL stadiums to know that's not always part of the drill. Or the auger.

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Broiche: She said let them eat brioche, which is a rich bread made with a lot of butter.

Dan Steinberg: So, to get this straight muffin is less than donut is less than cake is less than brioche is less than bread is less than donut with beer is less than bagel with lite cream cheese.

Agreed?

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Tenleytown, Washington, D.C.: OK, time for a break from Skins angst and pastries to discuss the Wiz.

What's an ideal outcome/scenario from a bog perspective on tonight's matchup with the Cavs? Presumably a Gil buzzer beater and something along the lines of DeShawn burning a LeBron effigy during pre-game warm ups?

Dan Steinberg: This reminds me, someone promised me they were dressing like Abraham Lincoln on Halloween, complete with a DeShawn Stevenson tattoo on his neck. Who the heck was that? And why have I not yet seen a photo? Pleeeeease?

I'm going to say the thing we all want to see is the Wiz up two with 0.2 seconds left, and LeBron on the line for three free throws, and Gilbert whispering in his ear.

Or something close to that.

All I need from DeShawn is one fourth-quarter hand waggle to get the crowd going nuts.

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Washington, D.C.: Is the no-sign policy being enforced uniformly? I.e., are the hypothetical "We Love Vinny and Dan" signs being trashed?

(This could lead to an interesting experiment...)

Dan Steinberg: No, my experience and the anecdotes I've received indicate it's been enforced non-uniformly, but not based on the content. Some people got in with positive signs, and some with negative. Some peoples positive signs were trashed, and some people's negative signs were trashed.

All the reports I've gotten about fans being asked to stop chanting or to turn in their t-shirts involved negativity, but that's a different question.

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Columbia Heights, Washington, D.C.: How's Lindsay Czarniak?

Dan Steinberg: She's great. And how are you and yours?

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Doughnut Diplomat: We have a word, where I come from, for people who assert that "Anyone who raves about Krispy Kreme doesn't really like donuts," insists on having round cakes dipped in their coffee, and chauvinistically proclaims, "Anything else is an imposter."

That word is "damyankee".

Dan Steinberg: Does this relate to the World Series? Also, is anyone else having trouble staying up for the end of the World Series games? Or, say, the third inning?

Yes, I'm old.

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Washington, D.C.: Re: Pumpkin beer

The most important thing is that there's a hint of pumpkin but it's not so over-the-top that it's like you're drinking out of a pumpkin.

Dan Steinberg: Well sure.

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Washington, D.C.: I must be naive. Do people really think that by boycotting Papa John's and other companies for sponsoring the Redskins, for advertising on Redskins broadcasts, that they're really going to make Redskins ownership/management do what they (the boycotting fans) want?

People here loved that Mr. Snyder (of whom I'm no fan) got rid of Norv Turner, hired Messers Schottenheimer and (the greatest of the great) Spurrier, loved the hiring of Joe Gibbs until he wasn't winning, signed this free agent and that free agent and money be damned (as many wrote and said on sports talk radio, pay him whatever he wants, just sign him to the Redskins). Look, Mr. Snyder and his partners are in the business of business and that he's a fan of the team is a benefit.

What will placate everyone? Nothing. Because everyone wants something different. For everyone who wants a Haynesworth signing, there are those who think it's a waste of money to spend on one person, that he's not worth it because they need offensive help, etc.

The only thing the fans have in common is they have a good media - newspaper and sports talk - in which to complain, one of the sports talk stations which is, in fact, owned by the Redskins owners and hasn't muzzled them in their criticism, some of which has been heated.

Dan Steinberg: So what's the question?

I think there are certain trends to what people want, though. Like, a lot and lot and lot and lot of fans didn't want three pass catchers in the second round in 08. And while some thought it was kind of cool, virtually no one I've talked to wanted Kevin Barnes last year. At that point, people were into the Orakpo thing, and they wanted to follow it up with some beef on the lines. That's not rewriting history; that's what people were saying in the middle of the draft.

I realize this isn't really your point, but I think there are certain things most Skins fans agree on.

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Alexandria, Va.: Hi Dan, game boycotts never work, the seats will always be filled. So now I'm refusing to buy all Snyder related investments. Gave up the tickets, no more Six Flags, won't listen to Snyder Radio. Is there anything else Snyder related I can boycott?

Dan Steinberg: Johnny Rockets, I guess. Dick Clark somethings or other. There are lists out there. I've never actually eaten at Johnny Rockets, not out of any principle. Just sort of happened that way. Maybe i had a grilled cheese once.

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Takoma Park, Md.: Hey Dan-

I'm really excited about the Wizards. They've won twice already (how long did it take to win two last year?), looked good doing it, and one of their best players has been out of the lineup. Are you excited too?

Dan Steinberg: I will admit to being excited at the prospect of not just a winning team, but a winning team filled with quotable players who aren't willing to have some fun. Just a little bit of fun. No distractions or anything.

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RE: I hate hate hate hate hate the sign ban.: I am so with you there, brother. I've never been to a high-school football game without seeing signs of any kind. College football, too. Sign banning is just not right.

I could suffer the scoreboard and I'm really good at smuggling chick-fil-a sandwiches and a flask of gin. But I swear the sign ban does it for me, as I hope it would be a line drawn in the sand for anyone who has a brain and a beating heart. Conservative or liberal, Redskins or Bad Guys, We're Americans, and we fought great wars to do mundane things like carry a "D-Fense" sign into a home game.

Dan Steinberg: See! I'm not the only one with spelling issues!

But yeah, I'm with you on this. I've been meaning to do a post with some of my favorite signs I've photographed for the bog over the years.

(Number one is easy: Scheyerface montage)

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Muffins vs. donuts: dunkindonuts.com says --

Blueberry muffin: 510 calories, 16 g fat

Maple frosted donut: 230 calories, 10 g fat

Dan Steinberg: So I'm right. Two donuts is fewer calories than one muffin. Thanks. But more fat, I guess. Well, still. Those muffins'll kill you dead.

Next task: Johnny Rockets' cold, limp fries.

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Maputo, Mozambique: Are towels banned too?

I recall seeing a lot of terrible towels at the Monday night game last year. I don't think Danny was thrilled with all the yellow towels in the stadium. I wish they had Pittsburgh at home this year.

Dan Steinberg: No, they gave out towels last week. I've heard nothing about a towel ban. Not sure what would happen if you wrote on your towels.

Wait, are you really in Mozambique? Is anyone at the next table also reading this chat?

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Washington, D.C., 20008: An article in today's sports section says the Cleveland Browns are "the NFL's closest equivalent to a daily soap opera." Isn't that a strange statement to include in a D.C. newspaper? I'm not too up on the Cleveland situation, but it's hard to think there's another team anywhere close to the Redskins' operation when awarding the top NFL "soap opera" designation.

Dan Steinberg: They're pretty close, but I'd probably choose Cleveland. Star player getting in a fight with friend of NBA superstar and native son, then getting traded? Golden boy QB sitting on the bench? Massive turmoil in the front office? One blowout after another? The bingo thing is tough to beat, but I'd vote Cleveland.

I was going to post something about how Clevelanders and Washingtonians could commiserate on this day of their basketball battle, but instead I decided to spend all day writing about donuts.

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Section 440: Re: The lack of out of town scores...

At the Cheifs game I saw the out of town scores shown a grand total of two times. One of which showed the prior week's scores. Ineptitude apparently exists at every level within this organization.

Dan Steinberg: Yeah, that happened in the second quarter I think. Obviously a screw-up, but perfectly emblematic of the lack of scores. This is something so basic and so easy to do.

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Can You Investigate?: I've been exploring renting out RFK Stadium on Dec. 27th (Dallas comes to town) for a fans' night, but I haven't able to get a quote (they must think it's a prank). Can you dial them up and get what a ballpark figure would be for the night?

Dan Steinberg: Haha, I could try. I don't think you could afford it. When's the EagleBank Bowl this year?

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Switching to GEICO: A State Farm advertisement with LeBron as the star has been hanging from the rafters in the Gallery Place movie theater adjacent to the Phone Booth for weeks now. Am I the only one who is outraged in this city?

Dan Steinberg: Oof, I didn't know that. That's outrageous. First Tiger invites Romo to play in his golf tournament, and then this. Where's the Crosby ad going?

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A-11: Hi Dan,

Last week the major reason for not having the A-11 Poll was that you lost your voters list. I sent you the voters emails as of 11/07, so does this resolve the problem? I know it was in the midst of "Sign-Gate", so if you missed it, I can resend.

Dan Steinberg: Please re-send. I absolutely did miss this, and would gladly use it.

You know, I have to go do some work or something. I'm sorry, there are dozens more. See, Skins mutiny causes great passion. If you have something I need to see, I'm at steinbergd-at-washpost-dot-com. Thanks for all the questions.

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