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  It's Time to Make Hay While the Sun Shines on the Bandwagon

By Tony Kornheiser
Washington Post Columnist
Tuesday, October 15, 1991; Page C01

Tony Kornheiser Group rates are now available for the Bandwagon. So take advantage of this midseason special. Purchase a full adult membership, and receive one companion fare absolutely free! And just look at the benefits for signing up now:

Free parking in The Squire's alley; Free pizza delivery -- and no conversation -- from Art "Harpo" Monk.

Free Bandwagon T-shirt with Official Bandwagon slogan: "If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home By Now."

Free antifreeze guaranteed to 60-below for your drive to Minnesota.

Free photo of Mike "That Toddlin' Town" Wilbon at Soldier Field.

(Who's on the Bandwagon already? Legendary wide receiver Russ "The Flea" Grimm is. In fact, after the Cleveland game, Russ said, "The Bandwagon's too small now with everyone piling on. We're gonna need a semi." So honk if you see Russ.)

Well, the Browns had a notion, didn't they? Scored one touchdown on a fake field goal (I don't want to say that Webster Slaughter was all alone out there, but I've seen larger crowds around Andrew Dice Clay at a NOW convention), and another on a scooped-up fumble. I thought Cleveland was only a fumblerooski, a Statue of Liberty, a flea flicker and a tackle-eligible away from a big upset. Any day now I expect the Browns to name Inspector Clouseau as their offensive coordinator.

Those of you familiar with the Bandwagon Effect -- like my neighbor, Jeff, who asked, "Are you gonna write that stupid column again?" -- know what's coming next. A special recap for people who've been stranded in the biosphere these last few weeks, or haven't moved from C-Span since the Clarence Thomas nomination:

Most points. Most shutouts.

Plus 149. (If it gets to 180, Sell!)

Hey, Zonk, seven down and closing.

As a public service, the Bandwagon again offers this space for reasonable opposing views. In the past, detractors have talked about various misfortunes befalling Redskins opponents at the worst possible times, such as muscle pulls (Barry Sanders), tummy aches (Emmitt Smith), knee strains (Jim McMahon), silly people starting at quarterback (Tom Tupa), and a momentary slump (the Bengals, then the best 0-3 team in the league, now the best 0-6 team in the league, and perhaps soon to be the greatest 0-16 team since the 1988 Orioles.) So let's ask if there are any extenuating factors in the Cleveland loss? Any awful injuries? Anything weird, you know, like a mysterious ailment that turned the quicksilver Bernie "I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can" Kosar into something about as mobile as, say, the Pentagon?

Enough about bad stuff that happens to other teams. Here's what's true: The Redskins get injuries also. Alvin Walton, A.J. Johnson, Donnie Warren and Markus Koch all went down. According to the rules, you're supposed to have warm bodies in reserve. When Earnest Byner hurt his hand, Ricky Ervins jumped up and gained 942 yards in 30 minutes. You get 47 uniforms to give out. Nobody says Pat Ryan has to have one.

As you know, it's the Redskins' bye week.

What are you doing during the bye week, Tony?

I'm staying home and preparing the Bandwagon Tailgate Picnic to eat outside the Metrodome on Super Bowl Sunday. After consulting with Arne Saknusseum, head chef at Minneapolis's famed Casa de Sven, we've planned a menu of smoked smelts casserole, ragout of moose and the traditional Minnesota beverage, the 8-pack.

Getting back to the bye week, while Coach "Joe" Gibbs promised the players one day off for every game they won -- he didn't promise the days would be consecutive.

"We hoped that's what he meant," Brian Mitchell said with a shrug. "But we knew he didn't."

"I chose my words carefully," said the Joe Man.

As a result, the Redskins have off until Friday, then off again through the weekend. The split time makes it impossible for the players to attend the Randy Bush, Al Newman, Paul Sorrento and Mark Guthrie Week Long All-Scrubeeni Curling And Ice Boat Biathlon -- a huge disappointment to many players, particularly Mark Schlereth, who was born in Alaska and thinks of Minneapolis as Miami Beach with earflaps.

So what will the Redskins do with their free time?

"Because we're a bunch of Neanderthals, most of us will sit around and lift weights," said Eric Williams.

"If I was filthy rich, I'd hop the Concorde for Paris," said Mark Adickes. "But I'll probably stay home and lift weights."

"Yeah, lift weights," said Jim Lachey.

"I'm on husband duty," said Monte Coleman. "I'll clean out the garage, and plant flowers."

Anything else, Monte?

"Lift weights."

Sounds keen, huh boys and girls?

Just think, someday, if you drink your milk and lift weights, you can grow up and become someone who . . . lifts weights on his week off. Just like Ah-nult!

(Venturi Watch: Rick "What, Me Worry?" Venturi closing in on 1-36-1 as head coach, now 0-2 at Indianapolis. Venturi's Colts were outscored 21-3 in his debut, then fell 42-6 last Sunday. Next Sunday they host the Jets, and hope to avoid 63-9 loss.)

Due to the bye week, the regular meeting of the Coach "Joe" Gibbs "I Warned You About The Tidal Wave When You Booked The Cabin" Poseidon Adventure Orchestra, And Little Big Horn Brass Section has been postponed. It has been rescheduled for two weeks hence in New Jersey, and will feature a motivational address from Bill Parcells (accompanied by wonder dog Phil Simms) entitled: "If You Win, It's Only Because I'm Not There Anymore, And Not Only That, But Ultra Slim* Fast Paid Me More Than It Paid Gibbs."

See you then. Please remember to water the Bandwagon and keep it healthy.

© Copyright 1991 The Washington Post Company

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