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

 Dan Steinberg
Dan Steinberg (The Washington Post)
Dan Steinberg
D.C. Sports Bogger
Tuesday, November 10, 2009; 11:30 AM

D.C. Sports Bogger Dan Steinberg was online Tues., Nov. 10 to break down all your questions about the Redskins, the Caps, the Wizards, 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: Hey everyone. Apologies as always for all the negativity and Redskins obsession lately. It's like an addiction. I just can't stop. That said, I have two planned posts for later today that, while Redskins-related, aren't particularly negative. Believe it. And any day now, I'll go to Kettler to ask various injured Caps how long they plan to be out.

The Wizards? Don't ask. I'm trying to pretend that isn't happening.

Anyhow, I'm hope with a sick toddler today who's currently parked in front of Max and Ruby, so I'll do this as long as she lasts. Better get your questions in quick.


Washington, D.C.: Lets talk dream jobs: How does one get to become a cheese buyer for Whole Foods? Where do I send my resume? Can I list you as a reference?

Dan Steinberg: Well, you'll probably have to start as a specialist, which means cheese-cutting and floor-mopping grunt. After that, if you show a certain passion and willingness to stand in walk-in coolers counting large and smelly rounds of fermented curd, you maybe can move on to assistant buyer, and then buyer.

There's a nice employee discount and revenue sharing, or at least there was when I worked there. But at some point, you might feel like you want to write and even start a Cheese Lovers Newsletter for customers, and then realize that maybe you should be doing something else.

Plus, nights and weekends. Lots of em.


Washington, D.C.: I was watching Pittsburgh vs. Denver last night. Some actual professional football. Quite a different game than the one the Redskins are playing.

Dan Steinberg: Well, maybe, but Kyle Orton didn't look like anything special, did he? Denver offense scored exactly zero touchdowns. But every NFL team turns in some poor offensive performances here and there. The problem in D.C. has been a poor offensive performance just about every week.

But thanks for mentioning MNF. The big takeaway for me, besides the belief that next week's game will be close, was that there tens of thousands of Steelers fans there. Think about it: home team midway through the season surprisingly has six wins, big Monday night game against the Steelers, and yet the stands are just crammed with Pittsburghers. And this wasn't a city four hours away filled with ex-pats, this was DENVER. So maybe we need to revise the theme of last year's Steelers game. Maybe this was much, much, much more about Pittsburgh than it was about Washington.


Washington, D.C.: In the history of sports has there ever been a good team that banned signs at their stadium? I would wager not, its always bad teams. The sign ban seems to have infuriated a lot of people, in future years will we look back on it and the lame excuses coming from the Redskins about it, as a turning point in the Revolution?

Dan Steinberg: Redskins general counsel and COO David Donovan pointed out that the L.A. Dodgers have a sign ban. They're not bad.

I'm not sure when they instituted the sign ban, or why.

I think the Redskins could certainly have gotten away with making such a change in the offseason. It just smelled funny because the change showed up in the public consciousness just as the protests were rising. But who knows how we'll look at this in the future. My guess is, no one will even remember most of this five or 10 years from now.


Washington, D.C.: On one hand, I respect Riggo leading the charge against Snyder on YouTube, even if he's gone a bit overboard. On the other, it was just two years ago he was an enthusiastic Snyder employee. Obviously, something really bad happened behind the scenes. As such, how do we know if this is a principled stand for the team he loves, or the rantings of a disgruntled guy who got fired?

Dan Steinberg: We do not know. I'd much prefer that John Riggins put out some of his specific complaints about Daniel Snyder, not as a team owner (he's done that) but as a "bad guy." If he has the goods, he should spill 'em. Otherwise, he's just calling names.


Former Fansville, Va.: OK, with all the latest injuries, several of which could now be season ending for some players, with Portis out with a concussion (this could actually help improve the running game with Betts in the backfield again at the primary back), with the offensive line still in disarray, who will the team bring in to play? My guess is another running back (not needed) and no offensive line help.

Dan Steinberg: Well, as much as I've shared the common view that more running backs haven't been needed (and they've been through eight now, including fullbacks), this would seem to be the week. Ganther got cut, so we're basically down to Rock and Betts, who, incidentally, are two of the longest tenured Redskins.

Seems to me that a certain third-round pick who's been inactive the past few weeks might be available to offer help on the offensive line. And if not now, then why the heck is he on this 53-man roster?


Arlington, Va.: Should the Redskins just do a full make over next year and go with a new name, a new coach and as much of a new roster as they can? Seems like that might be the only way to get people to be interested in them again.

Dan Steinberg: New name - no (from an interest point of view, anyhow)

New coach - absolutely

New players - on one side of the ball, anyhow. It's gotten popular in some quarters to say that the defense is overrated and not actually as good as people think, but I'm not buying that. Demoralized, maybe, but I still say this is an above average NFL defense that could be a part of a playoff run. On the other hand, of the 11 guys who will be starting on offense this coming week, how many are desirable starters in D.C. next season? Two, maybe? Maybe three?


Potomac, Md.: Regarding this DeAngelo Hall-Mike Smith incident: - I'm not going to defend Hall for going over to the sideline. It was inappropriate, given where Landry was when he arrived, and certainly served as fuel to the fire. - However (and especially in light of your brief recap of the Antonio Bryant episode), I cannot recall a time when an NFL head coach (or an assistant coach) has engaged an opposing team's player as the aggressor. Can you? - Are you aware of any rules governing sideline behavior for coaches that might prohibit putting hands on an opposing team's player? - Do you think the NFL will do anything about this that is made public?

washingtonpost.com: D.C. Sports Bog: Inside the DeAngelo Hall sideline melee (Washington Post, Nov. 9)

Dan Steinberg: I don't have any specific examples in front of me, but I'm sure it's happened. Jeff Van Gundy, in another sport, springs to mind. And Don Zimmer, I guess. And plenty of hockey coaches have, at a minimum, got into the jawing.

I'm not sure what the rules are governing sideline behavior, but I feel confident that if Smith gets disciplined, we'll all know about it. I liked Jim Zorn's response on Comcast SportsNet when asked about Smith's actions; he said he didn't want to comment, but that if he ever got involved in a scrum, it would be to drag his own players away. Clearly, that wasn't Smith's approach.


Fairfax, Va.: Jason Taylor took millions less to play in Miami instead of staying with Washington, and Sean Payton gave up $250,000 of his salary to get Gregg Williams to sign on with New Orleans.

The coach Danny did not want is in demand and Jason took about $5M less to play in Miami. Two more examples of Danny and Vinny not knowing what they're doing.

Dan Steinberg: In retrospect, the Jason Taylor thing was a big-time fiasco, but I think a big part of his desire to be there was the fact that his family lives there, his kids go to school there, he's a fixture in the community, etc. I mean, Fred Smoot went to Minnesota, hated everything about it, and wanted to come back to D.C. Things like that happen.

As for Gregggg, I'm gonna be difficult again. First of all, my parents still live near Buffalo, and I've heard about how the Gregg Williams head coaching experiment went there. Second of all, how did his time in Jacksonville work out? Third of all, if he and the owner here didn't get along, being pressured into that hire would not have been a great idea. Even if the owner agrees not to meddle, he sort of has to get along with his coach, no? It's not like Gregggg is the only guy who could have worked out here? The problem was the process, not the decision, in my opinion.


Atlanta: If this Redskins season were a Max and Ruby episode, what one phrase would Max say at the end?

Dan Steinberg: Ok, you pay way more attention to that show than I do. I didn't even know Max says phrases at the end. I manage to black out during most of these shows.


Vienna, Va.: Not to pile on here, but what about college basketball? Are we going to see the Atlantic 11 anytime soon?

Dan Steinberg: It's been on my list of things to do, for, like, a long time. I don't know. I'd like to think I'll get around to figuring something out before March, but I'm leery about promising anything at this point.


Reston, Va.: The reason there are Pittsburgh fans everywhere is that so many people leave Pittsburgh. Not a lot going on there, so you have to make your way somewhere else. But, you keep a piece of your hometown with you with the Steeler love.

Unlike D.C., where so many of us born and raised here never really leave. Thus the broken hearts and overwhelming sense of anger at Mr. Snyder - an interloper at best.

Dan Steinberg: Ok, but Denver? Tons of people leave Pittsburgh and decide that they really want to move to Colorado? I mean, maybe, but it's not like there were that many people from Pittsburgh to begin with. I know the migration from Buffalo has gone to D.C. and Charlotte and Raleigh and Tampa and places like that, but I've never heard of rust belters fleeing for Denver. Maybe I just am out of it.


Ballston, Va.: A sign ban is relatively pointless for LA. They have the least passionate fans in sports and it would involve them putting a little effort into their fandom. Also, signs are more associated with football than the other three sports, maybe because of all the breaks.

Dan Steinberg: I'll agree with all of that, but the point still stands: the Dodgers aren't bad.

I've seen both hockey and basketball teams set up sign-making stations for fans. I think hockey is actually a pretty good sport for holding up signs.


Potomac, Md.: Hey Dan - love your work lately! Can't wait till we're deep into the "other" D.C. team seasons.

What's a Redskins fan to do this Sunday? I feel completely awful about the sign ban but I'm a die-hard who tunes in every week no matter how terrible the past performance. I've been handed free tickets with a parking pass. Do I curb the jersey? Do I bring a blank sign and make a fuss? Wear black tape over my mouth? Or just shut up and watch what I hope to be a good game?


Dan Steinberg: I'm uncomfortable advising fan behavior. I think it'd be hard for most anyone to fault you for taking free tix and parking, regardless of their particular bent. I guess the concessions is where things would get interesting.

As for what you wear, again, I don't know that wearing a shirt you already own would mean much of anything one way or the other. I think a blank sign would go against the sign ban, so you'd have to fight that rule. Black tape would only be visible to your immediate neighbors and probably wouldn't be comfortable. So I don't have much for you here.


Roanoke, Va.: Seriously, who cares about the Redskins? Let's go Caps! Have you heard any rumors about Nylander leaving and possibly Forsberg coming to D.C.?

Dan Steinberg: I've read the comments of fans salivating over Forsberg. I believe Nylander will wind up buried under the new Giants Stadium.

Does a playoff rematch with the Penguins already seem like an unavoidable destiny? Is Pittsburgh going to become the Caps' version of the Cavs? (Or the Caps version of Pittsburgh from the 90s?)


Virginia Beach, Va.: Can we just relish, for a few minutes, the quarter or so of actual professional football by players wearing Redskins uniforms on Sunday, before reality reared its ugly head? And was Santana just too surprised to actually have a pass thrown to him over the line of scrimmage to catch it?

Dan Steinberg: The third quarter was shocking. Just shocking. I can't think of much else to say about.

Sure, all the critics have said the Falcons let up, and were allowing the short stuff, and when they needed to they dropped the hammer again. Maybe. But the Skins were within a touchdown in the fourth quarter. That would have been just absurd to imagine during the first half. It was weird, is all I can say.

Not sure what the deal there was with Santana. The offense is pretty much running out of blameless folks who can call out their teammates.


Arlington, Va.: I lost all respect for Sonny and his comments that shift the blame to Vinny. Come on, Vinny doesn't go to bathroom without asking Danny's permission. Time for Sonny to go off to the old quarterbacks home.

And it seems that Joe Theismann is angling for Sonny's job on Sunday's on the radio with his defense of Danny. Way to be transparent! And doesn't Danny also sign his checks for Joey T's preseason gig?

Man, the Redskins are like a bad soap on Univision without the female eye candy.

Dan Steinberg: Certainly seems that way. It's hard to know when Sonny is speaking as an insider, and when he's speaking for some ulterior reasons, and when he's just speaking. I think this might have been the latter.

Theismann certainly doesn't go in for the negativity, and he's relentlessly glass half full, but I don't think he's intellectually dishonest about it. Also, his radio show on Monday mornings is on Snyder's station as well.


Northern Va.: So, my recent college grad son, already gainfully employed, has an opportunity for a sales job in Ashburn for the Redskins. What's the sales office atmosphere like? After the Post articles about suing Grandma, did they take on a bunker mentality or do they seem like a pretty good bunch?

Dan Steinberg: Wow. Um, wow. I don't think I have enough real information to comment. But wow.



Rockville, Md.: Does Zorn have any linguistic ground to stand on in his use of the word "superlative" when he obviously means "expletive"?

Dan Steinberg: Ha, I noticed this too. Re: Hall, Zorn said when the cornerback had left the Atlanta sideline, he wasn't muttering any superlatives, or something like that. I guess maybe he meant Hall didn't say "Smith is the biggest [word] I've ever encountered in the NFL," or "I'm going to give him the nastiest beatdown he's ever received."

Also, did you hear when Zorn said his halftime speech, which players said was intense, wasn't necessarily family unfriendly? Does he really refuse to curse even in that situation? Impressive, if so.


Washington, D.C. (via Pittsburgh): Reston's sad attempt at a slam doesn't change the fact that the Steelers have the best fans. We travel the world -- and we bring our terrible towels with us. And -- do you ever see Heinz field not ablaze in black and gold? Then again -- it is easy when your team has six rings -- and is run by a family that takes their stewardship of the franchise seriously.

Dan Steinberg: Congratulations. Not sure what else I can tell you. When I go to sleep at night, I sure do wish I lived in Pittsburgh.


Washington, D.C.: Why is Riggo just calling names? He seemed to lay out a pretty clear case of what Dan Synder actually has done -- and how those actions don't jive with someone who claims that he wants to win. Snyder exploits and extorts his fan base -- and has shown no respect for fans (sign ban, suing season ticket holders, ejecting people from the stadium) -- seems like a pretty good basis for saying he has a dark heart ... actions speak louder than words, Dan --- and in this case there is ample evidence that Snyder only cares about monetizing the Redskins

Dan Steinberg: Dunno if, say, a sign ban means you have a dark heart. I mean, really, dark heart connotes evil, sign ban strikes me as, at worst, cowardly stupidity.


Odenton, Md.: Would Charley Casserly ever come back to the Redskins? Should Casserly come back to the Redskins?

Dan Steinberg: Yes, and no, would be my gut reactions.


Bowie, Md.: A bigger concern about the Caps-Pens dynamic (as a Caps fan here) is that the Caps will be the early 90's Cavs and the Pens will be the Bulls. I think the Caps, when at their best, are slightly worse than the Pens at their best, so who knows if Ovechkin will ever be able to raise the cup ...

Of course, that leads me down the path of how the NHL rigged the lottery system to ensure the Pens would have Malkin and Crosby. But I'm not bitter about that.

Dan Steinberg: Oh yeah, that is a much better comparison, you're right. Except those Cavs didn't really have a transcendent star. Hawks and Celtics in the 80s, with Ovie as Dominique Wilkins? That's really not quite fair to Ovie, though. He's better.

And feel free to make fun of me for not being able to come up with an equivalent hockey analogy.


Oaktown, Va.: I'm kinda glad the Redskins are bad this year. It keeps me from wasting four hours in front of the TV on Sunday like I did every game last year. Now that there aren't as many tourists in D.C. I'm enjoying Sunday afternoon in the city. The National Gallery of Art has a very cool 'Power of Art' display.

It also helps I'm a Caps season ticket holder.

Go Caps!

Dan Steinberg: Yeah, you hear stuff like that, but I would still feel weird abandoning Sunday NFLs, even if it wasn't my job. It's only 16 Sundays a year, plus a few weeks of playoffs. Sure, it can be awfully depressing when 4:30 rolls around, it's already getting dark out, your team has gotten smashed in a fairly boring game and you know you have to go to work in the morning, but it's also kind of a tradition thing, like leaves falling and back to school shopping and all the rest. Sure, taking a few weeks off seems fine, but I'd never be able to bail entirely.


Washington, D.C.: "crammed with Pittsburghers"

I think the word you were looking for was "Frontrun-ghers". No?

Dan Steinberg: No no, no other towns in the United States have bandwagon fans. Seriously. Definitely not Pittsburgh. Or the Cowboys. Every Cowboys fan was born in Dallas or its environs. Yankees too. And Cavaliers.


Boulder, Colo.: I was thinking the same thing about the Steelers fans last night as you. It was my wife's birthday this weekend, so we went on a staycation in town. Yesterday morning we noticed a couple kids running around the hotel in Steelers jerseys and started talking to their dad. He said that "Steelers nation travels" - indeed!

Dan Steinberg: I'm pretty sure they say the same thing about Pirates fans, too. Pirates nation travels.


Alexandria, Va.: "The big takeaway for me, besides the belief that next week's game will be close"

Denver will go up early, the Redskins will score in the second half but never really be in it, final score -

Denver 21, Washington 10

I guess if that's close, you're correct. Whatever it takes to keep hope alive, right?

Dan Steinberg: Every week I'm convinced the Redskins will cover. Every week they fail. So maybe I should just stop talking. But I think next week's game looks like the most winnable besides Oakland of the remaining schedule, no?


Arlington, Va. (also via Pittsburgh): No, Reston was right. As a former Pittsburgh resident myself, I have to agree that there are a lot of us who left over the past four decades due to Pittsburgh's dying economy and lack of things to do. But this means that all over the country, there are a lot of Steeler fans (I'm not one of them) and they turn out a good crowd on the road. Thanks.

Dan Steinberg: I will say this: I believe the Post should hire a Pittsburgh blogger to live in Pittsburgh and do the same thing I do for all Pittsburgh sports teams. The cost of living would be way less, and the interest would be way more. You could even just target it to Pittsburghers living in DC and still have it work financially, I'd guess.


Annapolis, Md.: The sign ban was installed the day of a national Monday Night game. Clearly Dan Snyder didn't want to be embarrassed in front of millions of viewers. But he was anyway.

Dan Steinberg: I don't have any proof that it was installed that day, and in fact, there were reports of confiscated materials during the previous home game, against the Bucs. I'm pretty sure the Skins-Bucs game didn't have a ton of national viewers.


Burke, Virginia: For all the talk about overhauling the roster you need to remember that this is not baseball without a salary cap - cutting Portis is cost the Redskins one way or another and there are a lot of contracts on this team that have been reworked and reworked to the point where you either need to keep them around even if they suck, or cut them and replace them with minimum salary guys. I just do not see how it would be possible to bring in any decent free agents or quality draft picks.

Dan Steinberg: Uncapped year?


Ashburn, Va.: Is the insinuation that the Steelers fans in Denver were just freeloaders who've jumped onto the bandwagon cause they have six trophies etc. etc.?

Dan Steinberg: Nah, but I'll bet Steelers Nation doesn't travel the same way if the team is 2-6. I'm more impressed--or equally impressed, I guess--that thousands and thousands of Skins fans would gut it out with this group in Atlanta. That's much more of a sacrifice than traveling to see the Super Bowl champs.


RE Northern Va.: Are you saying "Wow" because of this absurd, helicopter, over-coddling parent doing the grad's job research for him?

Dan Steinberg: No, it just feels like applying for a job at Enron or something. Not that they've been breaking rules, I just mean because the public perception of the Skins ticket office right now isn't super high.


Then again -- it is easy when your team has six rings: Yeah, sure, every Steelers fan in this entire country is from Pittsburgh and left. Just like every Yankees fan is from New York and every Lakers fan is from California. Give me a break, the majority of Steelers fans in other cities are just bandwagon fans who like them because they're always good. I haven't seen any statistics about 5 million babies being born in Western Pennsylvania every year and then getting shipped out to other cities, but I could be wrong.

Dan Steinberg: I think parts of West Virginia also root for the Steelers, and even Western Maryland. Clearly you missed the baby boom in Western Maryland.


Good teams with sign bans: The Yankees of the 60s had a sign ban. When the Mets came to town they used it as a marketing opportunity. Of course, things were a lot different back then, so it's not a completely fair comparison.

Dan Steinberg: Wow, what was the justification, I wonder? Did fans attempt to form giant human messages based on the color of their shirts?


Stockholm, Swe: Could the Washington Redskins find a roster spot for Michael Nylander?

Dan Steinberg: The Redskins are already fine at spinning in circles without going anywhere, thanks.


Arlington: Hey Dan

Have you or any members of the media contacted Zorn about a "Tell All" book after this season? Should I say, "after Zorn is no longer coaching the Redskins."

Dan Steinberg: I think you can assume that if Jim Zorn has very good reasons for not being overly critical right now, he might also have very good reasons for not being overly critical six months from now.


Falls Church, Va.: Has anyone spotted Lewis at a bingo game since he moved to the area?

Dan Steinberg: I've made plenty of bingo jokes myself, because they're funny, and it's a national punch line, but it's extremely, extremely unfair. He wasn't some bingo savant, he was a guy volunteering his time at a senior center, where he also helped set up events, came in on short notice, did meals on wheels, etc. It's not like he was getting paid by a giant bingo hall, he was volunteering his time to seniors.

Like I said, I get why the bingo jokes took off, but it really is unfair that people would apparently have a higher regard for the man if he stayed at home eating cheetos and watching NFL Network instead of helping his community.


Columbia, Md.: Dan, You think Ralph is enjoying all the huss and fuss over the Redskins? Sure taking a lot of heat off of him in the media ...

Dan Steinberg: Oh, absolutely. I'd say "taking all the heat off him in the media." Sure, the message boards are up in arms, but has any local columnist unloaded? Are the Terps leading off the local news broadcasts?

Problem is, a lack of media criticism isn't gonna sell season tickets or luxury boxes.

What a miserable year it's been for every D.C. team except the Caps and, maybe, the Maryland men. Other than that, from Freedom to Mystics to United to Hoyas to Terps football to Wizards to Nats to Redskins, one disaster after another. Even the Terps women bowed out earlier than expected.


Newark, Del: Any thoughts on when superstars give interviews about their injuries and give "joking" answers?

Dan Steinberg: That was a weird story. I'm not sure exactly what to make of the whole incident. One thing I will say: when other media organizations referred to the Puck Daddy report as "Internet reports" or "online reports," it was just foolishness. It was one interview with one credentialed reporter for one legitimate news source; if you're talking about it, let people know what you're talking about.

Let's also wait to lower the boom on Puck Daddy until we see when Ovechkin actually comes back.


Herndon, Va.: Wouldn't now be a good time for Dan Snyder to totally re-build the franchise by rebranding: i.e., changing the name of the Redskins to something else? It worked for Phillip Morris.

Dan Steinberg: I think the number one asset he still has is the people in their 30s and 40s who grew up with massive success and can't shake the bug. People in their teens or 20s probably don't feel quite the same. People who are older remember the dark years. But those 30 and 40 year olds can sustain this franchise for decades, and a big part of their link is the colors and the name and the logo. I'm blindly guessing here, but that's my impression.

This isn't about the ethical implications of the current brand, just the suggestion that it would actually help to bail on the history.


Reston, Va.: Dan - Love your blog, been following it for a while now. That being said, I have a question/comment RE: Smith v Zorn. In a recent entry of yours, you seemed to criticize Smith's fire/passion for defending his players/yelling at opposing players. At first I agreed that it was somewhat obnoxious, and I remember being annoyed by it during the game.

Upon further reflection, however, I realized that I would much rather have that than Zorn's "Stay Medium" crap. As much as I like Zorn as a person, that sort of attitude/philosophy has no place in a sport as passionate/violent as football. Definitely golf, though. Would you agree?

Dan Steinberg: I think if a fan goes off like that, the home fans will mostly approve, and the visiting fans will mostly hate it. I think the visiting media are performing a time-honored ritual by mocking the psycho coach, just like the home media are performing a time-honored ritual by mocking the foolish impetuous player.

I think you'd rather have a coach who goes above medium but stops short of grabbing visiting players and shaking their lapels. If you had to choose one, honestly, yes, you'd rather have the passion, as long as it doesn't become utterly ridiculous like Tom Cable.


Fushezzi, Md.: Just writing to see how you are. Me and the kids (Caps, Wiz) are ok since you left us. We seem to be getting by, although the kids have been struggling lately. I noticed you and your new partner (Redskins) have been getting alot of attention lately. If you ever want to come back home the door is open, but please leave Cerrato, sign stories and the FAIL campaign in that seedy motel you've been staying in. They are not welcome here.

Dan Steinberg: Dude, if you've never lived this particular bachelor life, you don't know what you're missing. Trust me, I've got all the partners I want right now. I don't even remember your name. Are you sure we know each other?


Re: Pirates fans: I will say that, of all the baseball games I've seen at Nats Park/RFK, the Pirates fans always seem to be the politest and most easy-going.

Dan Steinberg: That's because they're mannequins.


Boston: As a fan you hate to root for this, but wouldn't a 2-14 season be more beneficial at this point? Isn't that the clearest message that Vinny needs to go and drastic changes need to be made to management within the organization?

Dan Steinberg: Well, yes, and also because of the draft pick. If the season is lost anyhow, you'd rather pick second than eighth, yes?

As far as the clear message, it's hard to imagine them doing much better than 4-12 or at best 5-11, and I think those records send about as clear a message as 2-14. But I get what you're saying.

Anyone have any tips for getting a cranky and sick two-and-a-half-year-old to eat lunch?


Chevy Chase, Md.: Dan - you are doing God's work.

Dan Steinberg: What, trying to shove pesto tortellini into my daughter's mouth? Thanks.


WSOP Spoiled in Baltimore: I just found out who won before the series was broadcast tonight. Thanks WaPo! I couldn't avoid it, save for ignoring the internet today. And I could have done that, but couldn't WaPo have made the headline on the home page, "WSOP Winner Elated-Click for Details"?

I realize that's burying the lead. But pissing off readers (and they must have known it would) when readers are dumping their subscriptions left and right seems like a stupid business decision. I'm not suggesting WaPo hold back the information, which they have done on stories for various reasons in the past. I'm just asking for a "Spoiler Alert."

Dan Steinberg: Yeah, I dunno, WSOP winners have been pretty commonly known for years and years. I get that ESPN is trying to do something different this year, but any sort of delay in the modern era is gonna have this as the result. We had this same problem during the Olympics. If you think of these things as news events, you report what happened when it happened. If instead you just think of them as television programming, you probably shouldn't be covering them in the first place.


Redskins sales job: Why would the Redskins need to hire someone in the sales department? They have a waiting list of over 100,000. Those tickets sell themselves, baby.

Dan Steinberg: Over 170,000, buster.

I was reading one of the stories from 2000 or so that had the waiting list at about 45,000. It really is one of the modern miracles of the U.S. that as the team has nosedived, and as the stadium has gotten bigger, and as the economy has tanked, and as the parking has gotten worse, and as the home-viewing experience has gotten better, more than 100,000 people who never bothered to sign up during the Super Bowl years suddenly decided they needed to join the waitlist. Just an amazing turn of events. That's why we love sports: because they surprise us every day.


Fairfax, Va.: I bet a lot of the "bandwagon" Steeler fans have ties to the city -- perhaps even two generations ago. It's hard to underestimate how many people have migrated out of the Pittsburgh area over the last 40 years. Both my husband and I grew up there, and when we bought our house in Fairfax, we moved next door to someone my husband, seriously, went to high school with. Of course, we are raising our son in the one true faith ...

(And don't tease about the Pirates. It DOES hurt.)

Dan Steinberg: Yeah, I take that back. It's fun to make fun, but when you see things like jersey sales (there are Pens and Steelers all over the Top 10 list) and TV ratings (the Pens local ratings are just incredibly bonkers), you have to admit that something special goes on there. It is definitely admirable.


Are T-shirts cool?: I remember reading a chat where you confirmed that t-shirts (as long as not offensive) cannot be barred from FedEx. Could you link to that so I can print it out and show it to security when they ask me anyway to turn my shirt inside out? You'd be doing a public service as no one wants to see me sans shirt. Thanks.

Dan Steinberg: I don't know how to shorten the link but here's the long one



Washington, D.C.: "You think Ralph is enjoying all the huss and fuss over the Redskins?"

Yes, and any word on whether the executives at ESPN 360 have received Ralph and Gloria Friedgen's Edible Arrangement?

Dan Steinberg: Oh yeah, local high speed Internet providers are also enjoying this Maryland season.


Germantown, Md.: Dan... I'm the guy at the Wizards game with the custom Sellers Wizards Jersey.

Was hoping you could post this.

Go to Redskins Fanatics to print out your Redskins sympathy card. Either print it out as is, or customize the text in the burgundy box. Please print out four copies and mail them to all four addresses on the back of the card. We're planning on mailing these on Nov 13th (This Friday!)!


washingtonpost.com: Redskins Sympathy Card (Redskins Fanatics)

Dan Steinberg: Oh yeah, I still need to post your photos. That, friends, is the sign of a real D.C. sports fan: not a Nats or Skins Ovechkin jersey (though those are plenty cool), but a Mike Sellers Wizards jersey. That can only be topped by a Tough Juice Caps jersey.


Snyder's Dream: Steinz,

Do you realize that Larry Johnson, Shaun Alexander, and Edgerinn James are -ALL- available right now?

I'm honestly suprised that Snyder hasn't already signed all of them in an effort to create a real-life version of the best fantasy football team from 2005.

Dan Steinberg: Marvin Harrison too, right?


Atlanta: Dan,

Any chance the Redskins next free agent pick up will be the guy who runs the out of town scores for the Falcons? That guy was great ... Updates ran continuously on several scoreboards and up to date highlights ran throughout the game on their brand new giant jumbotron ...

Dan Steinberg: This is all true. The out of town highlights were way, way, way better than any IN-TOWN highlight/replay you'd see in FedEx. I've been given to understand that there might be a change in that regard in the future. One can hope.


Rockville, Md.: Where are Max and Ruby's parents? The only adult family figure on that show is the grandmother, and she pops in only occasionally. Are mom and dad in a Landover jail for bringing signs into FedEx?

Dan Steinberg: Great question.

Speaking of, the toddler has completely lost all patience with me at this point. got to run, sorry for so many unanswered questions. See you next week.


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