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What You Need to Know

Troy Vincent says the 4-8 Skins have as good a chance at the playoffs as any 6-6 team, Jon Jansen's injured leg is "big as a garbage can," Andre Carter defends his performance and says he doesn't read newspapers anyhow, here's a team MVP vote

for Rock Cartwright, who continues to draw Brian Mitchell comparisons. And Boz makes Joe Gibbs sound sorta sad. People in Philly are wondering why the end of this Eagles season matters, Brian Westbrook says Eagles fans who cheered Garcia's injury are cowardly, and here's a massive scouting report that predicts the Skins win.

The Wiz could face the awful Sixers without Webber and Iverson, which should lead to their first three-game win streak of the year, and Gil's blog is pretty boring, although he does drop this: "I'm cooking chicken and shrimp, but if you want to throw a double team my way, filet mignon gets cooked too."

The Nats offer Tomo Ohka a contract ("below market value") and still might deal Ryan Church, while they gush over their two Rule 5 picks. Oh, and Wily Mo Pena is out.

Area No. 9 Navy--off to its best start in nearly a decade--gets spanked at home by Penn, UMBC gets an eye-opening win at LaSalle, and a blogger says Maryland has the fifth-most talent in the ACC as judged by recruiting ranking. The U-Conn women more than triple Georgetown, Paul Johnson could get a $500,000 raise, and Kilgore/Prisbell demonstrate conclusively how stupid the Harris poll is.

Thom Loverro puts Olie on the Mount Rushmore of D.C. pro sports and Barry Melrose says he'd take Olie over any other goalie, the Ducks rave about Ovie, the hype for Monday's Ovechkin-Crosby meeting has already begun, and Ted Leonsis will do a WaPo live chat today. And even Rory's teammates and coaches are now voting for Rory.

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 8, 2006; 8:59 AM ET
Categories:  What You Need to Know  
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Tomo Ohka, Japanese for "12-12"

Posted by: GTB | December 8, 2006 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I would love to have HR do color analysis for the Nats. They're going to be on TV this year right?

Posted by: Marc | December 8, 2006 9:13 AM | Report abuse

12-12 would be a major upgrade,

2006 Nats starters records
Ortiz 11-16
Armas 9-12
O'Connor 3-8
Astacio 5-5
Patterson 1-2 (in 8 starts)

btw, when will the Boz give up on Patterson?? I can see the March articles already, Patterson will be the ace, IF he can stay healthy.

Posted by: pete | December 8, 2006 9:31 AM | Report abuse

he's just not the same blogger when he's on the road.

seriously though, I love the guy. now how the hell do i smuggle a hibachi into verizon?

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | December 8, 2006 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The marketing possibilities between Gilbert and Hibachi are endless...can you imagine free shrimp and filet mignon giveaways at Verizon? Hibachi!

Posted by: Ajay | December 8, 2006 9:50 AM | Report abuse

It's great to see the "Vote Rory" campaign has made it into the Washington Post. Now if only everyone would actually vote for Rory. Do So Now!

Posted by: FS | December 8, 2006 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"Tomo Ohka, Japanese for "12-12""

translates into Nationalsese as ACE.

Posted by: Kim | December 8, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Great stories about Olie in both the Post and Times today. He is the most underrated player in Washington. Why more people don't go to see unbelievable athletic talent like Olie and Ovechkin is beyond me.

Posted by: kthhken | December 8, 2006 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Olie's perhaps the most underrated player in the NHL. Look where he is among goalies in All-Star Voting (I'll save you the trouble...dead last.) At least he got nominated. And it seems like more and more people are realizing just how awesome he is.

Posted by: Teri | December 8, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The Gilbert Arenas Hibachi, it's the George Foreman Grill of the New Millenium. Just don't use it in your super-oxygenated tent.

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | December 8, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

awesome Arenas-Foreman analogy, maybe Abe can cash in on this and bring out some 'Arenas Hibachi' steak & shrimp at the Phone Booth concession stands, hmmm??

Posted by: Brick Tamland | December 8, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

thank goodness Vincent has not given up on the Skins -- I havent:

Ok, I am doing this only to make it feel worthwhile to watch football this sunday.

What will it take for an 8-8 Redskins to make the playoffs this year? A little bit of help -- but help that could come.

Here are the teams that are in contention for 8-8

Philly -- 6-6, (5-3)
Giants -- 6-6 (5-3)
Atlanta -- 6-6 (4-4)
Carolina -- 6-6 (4-5)

Minnesota -- 5-7 (5-4)
SF -- 5-7 (4-5)
St. Louis -- 5-7 (4-5)

Redsinks-- 4-8 (2-6)
and Green Bay -- 4-8 (3-5)

The skins will need to win out, which gives them the following record:
Redskins -- 8-8 (6-6)

Of the teams above, we win the wild card tie-breaker against Carolina and St. Louis. We would lose the tie breaker against all other teams that reach 8-8 (We'd tie head to head against Philly and the Giants, but if they win two more games their conference record will be superior to ours no matter what we do).

So, to get in, only one of the teams below can do _better_ than:

Philly -- 7-9 -- which means they win 1 and lose 3 in the final 4 games.
Giants -- 7-9 -- 1 -3
Atlanta -- 7-9 -- 1 -3
Carolina -- 8-8 -- 2 -2
Minnesota -- 7-9 -- 2 -2
SF -- 7-9 -- 2 -2
St. Louis -- 8-8 -- 3 -1
GB -- 7-9 -- 3 - 1

Lets pick off the lower teams first.

Green bay need only lose one game -- and their final game is on the road vs. chicago, where they will lose.

Since we will beat St. Louis, they are out vs. the skins.

SF has games against Green Bay, Seattle, Arizona, and Denver. Seattle and Denver are on the road -- they lose those games, as should be expected, they are out vs. the 'skins.

Minnesota has a soft schedule the rest of the way -- at Detroit and GB. Home vs. Jets and St. Louis. Essentially, it is a crapshoot that they lose 2 of these games -- since they have lost 5 of 6, I think we can hope. Lets say they lose to GB and the Jets.

Carolina has home games against the Giants and Pittsburgh, and road games against Atlanta and New Orleans. That is a tough schedule -- I bet they lose 2 of them (away at NO, for sure). But they also might have to _win_ their games against the Giants and Atlanta in certain circumstances. This is where things start looking like a tight rope act.

Now we get to the final 3 teams -- 2 of which must go 1-4 for the 'skins to get in. And the other team basically has to do quite well to knock out the other two teams, since they play each other. There are several ways this could come down.

Philly: at Giants, at 'skins, at Dallas, Atlanta.
Giants: at Carolina, Philly, NO, at Washington
Atlanta: at TB, Dallas, Carolina, at Philly

Scenario 1 -- Philly pulls it together w/Garcia:
Philly loses to the 'skins, but beats the Giants and Atlanta.
Giants beat either Carolina or New Orleans, but lose to Philly and the 'skins.
Atlanta loses to Philly, and beats only one among TB, Dallas, or Carolina.
If that happens, 'skins are in.

Scenario 2 -- Giants stop the madness
Giants: Loses to the 'skins, but beats Philly and Carolina. Does not matter what happens against NO.
Philly: Loses to Giants, 'skins, and Dallas. Beats Atlanta.
Atlanta: Loses to Dallas, Carolina, and Philly. Beats TB. (alternatively, beats Philly, but loses to the rest of the teams).
again, 'skins are in.

Scenario 3 -- late season Vick magic.
Atlanta: Beats Philly and Carolina. Does not matter what happens against TB and Dallas
Giants: Lose to 'skins, NO, Carolina. Does not matter what happens against Philly.
Philly: Loses to 'skins, Atlanta, and Dallas. Does not matter what happens against Philly.
(bottom line is whoever wins the Giants/Philly game must lose their other three games).
'skins are in.

Scenario 4 -- Redskins come in 5th!!
Philly: Beats Giants or Atlanta, loses the rest of the games.
Giants: If they beat Philly, lose the rest of their games.
Atlanta: If they beat Philly, lose the rest of their games.

Oh, and just for fun, Scenario 5 -- Redskins win the division!!
Dallas: Loses to NO, Atlanta, Philly, Detroit -- ends up 8-8 with a 3-3 division record.
Philly: Beats Dallas, but loses to Giants, Redskins, Atlanta
Giants: Beats Philly, but loses to Carolina, NO, and Washington.
Skins: win out, for a 8-8 record, with a 3-3 division record. We then have to go to record in "common games," where we would also tie Dallas (both 6-6). Then we go to Conference Games, where we beat Dallas -- we would be 6-6, and Dallas 5-7. There you have it, skins win the division.

I'll be honest, scenario 1 is not at all far fetched -- Philly is kind of getting things together, while the Giants and Atlanta have really come apart. It could happen! Don't give up hope _quite_ yet.

Bottom line is, for this weekend, root for:

Redskins over Philly
Tampa Bay over Atlanta
Carolina over Giants (could go either way)
Detroit over Minnesota
Green Bay over San Francisco

unless they lose, the 'skins can't be eliminated no matter what happens with the other teams. But we need help starting now to set this thing up!

Posted by: deranged fan | December 8, 2006 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Kolzig will make the power rankings for goalies in the next edition. He deserves to be in there.

Posted by: Mike | December 8, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

People don't need to know that Juergen Klinsmann dropped out of the running for the US national team coaching position, which will now be taken by Bob Bradley on an interim basis? Come on, that's just as relevant as Redskins playoff mega-pipe-dreams.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | December 8, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The entire coaching search for the US job was rather lame. They apparently only ever had one guy in mind and no backup plan at all - so we have the short-timer Bradley. Should be interesting.

Posted by: Prophet | December 8, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I think Bradley will do well, but I worry that Gulati will want a big name and go with Queiroz or even Houllier (who is 2006's answer to Rongen in '99, what with Lyon being a juggernaut and him just staying out of the way).

Klinsmann was a great candidate, but after that, Bradley is probably the next best thing. He knows the players and wants the job. I know he won't be too far removed from Arena, but is that necessarily bad? Last time I checked, Bruce did a half-decent job.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | December 8, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Know Skins' season done
When I read 'bout pucks, soccer
Must expand sports mind.

Posted by: HaikuMan | December 9, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Olie belongs on the Mount Rushmore of DC sports. Loverrero's Darrell Green comparison is a good one. Yet the moronic Washington sports media (present company excepted) largely ignores the guy. When is the last time you heard anyone on the incredibly lame WTEM or Triple X talk about him?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Nice Skins haiku dude
But wanna really impress?
Gimme Skins sonnets.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | December 10, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

1st down and three to go
Score and the season stays alive
Give the ball to Betts? No!
Three mistakes, waste another drive

Eleven more penalties
And a poor red zone offense
D.C. is now ill at ease
4 and 9, ladies and gents

Start planning for next year
Hope Campbell keeps improving
Forget this loss with beer
Ignore that whole "playoffs" thing

At least our other teams are not at nil
Just remember Gomez, Alex, and Gil

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | December 11, 2006 12:32 AM | Report abuse

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