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D.C. Sports Bog: October 22, 2006 - October 28, 2006

Testing the Basketballs, Part Four: The Bounce

(Btw, Mark Cuban had some actual scientists do actual scientific experiments with the old and new basketballs, and they also used the phrase "Executive Summary." Wild.) Executive Summary of Our Part Four Findings: When thrown off the fourth level of a multi-purpose stadium such as RFK, the old, leather basketball...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 5:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  D.C. United , Weirdness , Wizards  
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Testing the Basketballs, Part Three: The Roll

Executive Summary of Our Part III Findings: Unclear; more research may be needed. Some people at Lucky Strike thought the old ball had a little bit more bounce down the lane. Others thought it was harder to achieve a straight roll with the new ball, which tended to pick up...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 4:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Weirdness , Wizards  
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Testing the Basketballs: An Interlude, With An Actual Expert

So I happened to run into Spalding senior marketing manager John Salay the other day, and we had a long conversation and examination of the two basketballs. Everything made more sense. I'll give John his say. He said that Spalding introduced a composite (synthetic) ball in the early '90s, and...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 3:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Weirdness , Wizards  
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Testing the Basketballs, Part Two: The Look

Not trusting my sense of aesthetics, NBA editor Alexa Steele lined up Michael O'Sullivan, art critic for The Post's Weekend section, to compose this entry. Michael writes: Viewed from the side, with its web of criss-crossing black lines, the old game ball resembled nothing so much as the musty old...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 3:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Weirdness , Wizards  
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Testing the Basketballs, Part One: The Grip

(My research assistant and videographer in the pursuit of basketball science was Jackie Alvarado. She gets half the credit. And many thanks to the Wizards' PR wizards for providing the basketballs.) Executive Summary of Our Part One Findings: A panel of experts, which included future D.C. Council Chair Vincent Gray,...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 3:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  D.C. United , Weirdness , Wizards  
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Breaking GW News

Courtesy of The Hatchet's Jake Sherman, full story linked here: The athletic department suspended Hermann Opoku, a freshman on the basketball team, for 11 games after investigating his play on a team that may have included professionals in Austria, GW's director of athletics told The Hatchet Friday. Second player the...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Fisher to Redskins Rumors

Since people seem to be talking about it, here's the link to the wonderful rumor-mongerers who have been rumor-mongering about Jeff Fisher being courted by Mister Snyder after this season. (You must scroll down.) Here's the important part, which is not about Jeff Fisher: We've heard rumors over the past...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 11:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Redskins  
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Old basketballs, New Basketballs and Pumpkins

This day is complicated by a lecture that I need to give to some journalism students. Really. Go figure. But much of the rest of the day will be taken up with my long explanations of a series of extremely scientific experiments we at The Post conducted with the NBA's...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  D.C. United , Weirdness , Wizards  
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Where to Watch MLS Games on TV?

Help, DCU people. I have an e-mail from reader Gretchen, asking for sports bar recommendations in which to watch Sunday's playoff game. "I was hoping to find a sportsbar full of fanatics that really get into their soccer," she writes. "NW is preferable." Sadly for Gretchen, there's this growing subculture...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 10:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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A DCU Name Mystery is Solved, and a Wizards Name Mystery Emerges

So we've had some debate in these parts about whether Alecko Eskandarian's nickname ought be spelled "Esky" or "Eski." Some people have even gone with "Eskie." I asked the expert. "Great question," Esky said, as if there were any doubt about my questions being great. "My dad was known as...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 9:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  D.C. United , Wizards  
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Sean Casey = Mark Brunell?

So last night I was at a local watering hole with 50 percent of The Post's NFL Gameday crew (that's a PDF link, beware), and we were watching the World Series game, but there was bad music playing over the sound system. So I had no idea just exactly was...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Redskins  
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What You Need to Know, in Fewer Than 300 Words

Eddie Jordan seems "almost too nice" to be an NBA coach, Songaila might miss all of November and beyond, Tom Knott takes more cheap shots at Etan Thomas, newly promoted Wiz assistant Mike O'Koren talks about his promotion and Bog friend Bullets Fever predicts 50 wins, way above Vegas's over-under....

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 9:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  What You Need to Know  
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Redskins Have a 2.8 Percent Chance of Finishing Above .500

My inbox is really filling up with your strange ideas and stranger quests. Keep 'em coming. This morning's installment is courtesy of Washington Post business writer Neil Irwin, currently on leave to study at Columbia University, a fine school that clearly isn't doing enough to keep Neil busy. He writes:...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2006; 7:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Redskins , Wizards  
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Other Wizards Notes

If you weren't at practice today, you missed a thrilling one-on-one game in the post between James Lang and DeShawn Stevenson. Jarvis Hayes would feed the offensive player the ball, and the offensive player would then have to score down low, although Stevenson eventually decided Lang was a rookie and...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 26, 2006; 9:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Wizards  
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The Wizards, from the elbow

The last 15 minutes of Wizards practice were open to the media today. (The Wizards and their unstoppable team of PR Wizards did a swell job of turning out media members today. Really swell. Counting the people who were there to cover the horse show and who were freelancing for...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 26, 2006; 4:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Wizards  
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Breaking D.C. United News

Breaking D.C. United news, courtesy of beat writer Steven Goff. He reports: United backup goalkeeper Nick Rimando sprained his ankle while running with his dog Tuesday night. X-rays were negative, but there's a pretty good chance he'll miss the rest of the season, even if United makes it to MLS...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 26, 2006; 3:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Info dump, on the Wiz, and Caps, and United

This has been, to be sure, an exciting few hours. In the past 20 or so hours I've watched ESPN.com run a poll for Gilbert Arenas's nickname that looks shockingly like mine (I love you ESPN.com!!!!!); walked through and past piles of horse droppings at the Washington Horse Show in...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 26, 2006; 2:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Caps , D.C. United , Wizards  
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Fixing the Baseball Playoffs. Ideas?

Live from the Wilson Building, seat of District government, comes this proposal to fix the Major League Baseball playoffs. Bud Selig, of course, recently said he'd like to make it more difficult for wild-card teams to advance to the World Series, which seems to be an annual occurrence. David Grosso,...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 26, 2006; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  MLB  
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What You Need to Know, in Fewer Than 300 Words

Instead of reading the same boring Skins stories over and over again, watch this animated video of Brunell fighting his guts out. Thanks to MisterIrrelevant. But if you can't help yourself, Al Saunders skips the Marine Corps Marathon to, what, add pages to his playbook? Actually, some plays have been...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 26, 2006; 10:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  What You Need to Know  
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I Meet ZoneAdmin and ZoneManager

Sure, the ESPNZone was crawling with semi- and three-quarter and nearly-almost-full-fledged celebrities today, from Jim Larranaga to Smokin' Al Koken to WTOP's dulcet-throated Byron Kerr. Plus, John Feinstein. But to me, the clear highlight was meeting the men known as ZoneAdmin and ZoneManager, the co-founders of what was once known...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 25, 2006; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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The Colonial Commish on the CAA/A-10 Debate

Or non-debate, I guess. Colonial Commish Tom Yeager certainly did nothing to antagonize A-10 fans or officials. Very polite and respectful toward his Mid-Atlantic co-inhabitants. "You can't measure anything without a multi-year comparison," he said. "It would be unfair to take a one-year snapshot. Last year I'd say we had...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 25, 2006; 12:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Jim Larranaga on His Team

In a huge upset, Jim Larranaga's booth at the ESPN Zone has proved the most popular. (A side note about the ESPN Zone: there are bright lights highlighting the CAA's men's and women's statistical leaders from last season, a loop of men's and women's highlights running on various monitors, an...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 25, 2006; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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A-10 vs. Colonial, from the coaches

Well, when you ask Colonial coaches this question, they naturally favor their league. Asking college coaches about their league is not an exercise in truth-telling, I suppose. Still, I tried to get people who would have some sort of stake in actual honesty. Like Benny Moss, who was an assistant...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 25, 2006; 11:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Big East and CAA polling

The CAA released its preseason polls before media day even started this morning; the coaches are still meeting with each other in the lower level of the ESPN Zone and the best part is over. Talk about ruining the drama. I'm ready to go home. Anyhow, you can read all...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 25, 2006; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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What You Need to Know, in Fewer Than 300 Words

The search that will never end: The Mets 3B coach is now one of the Nats' top candidates, and a new name emerges, while Terry Pendleton pulls himself out of the running and could be a top candidate for the Braves job one day. Meanwhile, the new labor agreement ensures...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 25, 2006; 8:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  What You Need to Know  
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Atlantic 10 vs. CAA?

Before last year's NCAA basketball tournament, a tournament that featured a first-round game between the Atlantic 10's regular season champion (GW) and the Colonial Athletic Association's co-regular season champion (UNC Wilmington), I wrote a seemingly innocuous story about whether the CAA was gaining on, or even equal to, the A-10...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 24, 2006; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Lights Out

I've never met Shawne Merriman, never seen him in person. But if there's one thing that's been established, long before this whole Nandrolone thing, it's that he's an angry man. A very angry man. Angrier than Denny Green. Angrier even than this soccer player who was bitten by some other...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 24, 2006; 4:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  NFL  
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United Mashup, in Two Senses

So I have news about my United-Caps mash-up campaign. I got an e-mail from Caps owner Ted Leonsis this morning, reporting that he intends to reach out to United President Kevin Payne ASAP in an effort to get some cross-marketing in place, possibly as soon as this weekend. No word...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 24, 2006; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Caps , D.C. United  
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What You Need to Know, in Fewer Than 300 Words

In retrospect, it all makes sense. Last year's playoff run actually hurt the Redskins by creating a false sense of security. When Brandon Lloyd and ARE screamed at each other on the sidelines Sunday, they were actually "keeping each other cool." The punter's bizarre penalty was actually due to "a...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 24, 2006; 9:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  What You Need to Know  
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Is D.C. the Worst Major League City?

I wrote something on this topic about two months ago for the paper, but I never followed up, so here is the follow-up. I wanted to find a way to measure which Major League City, defined by having at least one franchise in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, had...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 23, 2006; 6:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Caps , Nats , Redskins , Wizards  
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Randle El's Inspiration

At first I thought Randle El was just being a goof with that running into the goal-post thing, but then I just received a link to this touching video, part of a documentary about an obsessive marathoner and his quest to make everyone else run. Anyhow, watch the clip for...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 23, 2006; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Weirdness  
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Cosmo Kegs

Or, today's reason No. 2 that Caps fans should come to RFK Stadium next Sunday afternoon. Mixed drink kegs, courtesy of a gent who's last name is, legitimately, Rumberg. I'll be honest and admit that I was a bit worried when I boarded the Screaming Eagles bus on Saturday morning...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 23, 2006; 3:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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On Stopping the Team Bus, and Rest Areas

For some reason, talk radio yammerers (read: Steve Czaban) are in full yammer mode this morning about Joe Gibbs, after he apologized for not stopping when the Redskins team bus passed some fans the other day. Now, I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would care...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 23, 2006; 1:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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This Week's Oddsmakers' Top 25

(Yes, United people, I'll get to last weekend, keep checking back.) (My roofer just used the expression "wedge of cheese" in explaining why water comes inside my house when it rains.) Here's this week's Las Vegas Sports Consultants Top 25 poll, with AP rankings in parentheses. Point of fact: When...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 23, 2006; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Football  
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What You Need to Know, in Fewer Than 300 Words

The contest? Who can be the most existentially miserable. WashTimes: "the Redskins' season essentially ended yesterday." Dan Daly: "Say so long to their playoff hopes, folks." LaCanfora: "it will take a monumental reversal to salvage the season." Boz: "R.I.P." (with some choice words about Gibbs). Rick Snider: Joe Gibbs's honeymoon...

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 23, 2006; 8:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  What You Need to Know  
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