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Sage Rosenfels: Unleash the Fury

Sage completes a touchdown pass, thereby unleashing aforementioned fury.

James Nicoll was in the car, on his way to Caddies on Cordell in Bethesda to watch the Redskins-Eagles game, when he got the call from a friend: Matt Schaub was sick, and Sage Rosenfels was starting at quarterback for the Texans.

"I cut across the grass on River Road, turned around and went back home so I could get his good-luck picture," Nicoll said. "Also, I had to add him to my fantasy teams."

Really? Sage Rosenfels?

Yes. Sage Rosenfels, sincerely.

Nicoll, a Redskins fan, has been following/worshipping Rosenfels, the Redskins' fourth-round pick of the 2001 draft, since the preseason of 2002. Rosenfels led a three-touchdown rally to help Washington overcome a 20-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the visiting Steelers, 35-34, and it was love.

"These guys in front of us were going ape[bleep]," Nicoll said. "They kept yelling, 'Sage Rosenfels, unleash the fury!' He destroyed the Steelers."

But as the Sage saga goes, the Redskins traded away Rosenfels to the Dolphins a few days later, opting to stick with Danny Wuerffel and Shane Matthews ("[Coach Steve] Spurrier's pets," Nicoll said bitterly).

"After that, [my friends and I] started following Sage's career," Nicoll said. "We were like, 'He has to get a shot to start at some point.' He's too good."

Six years later, the shot hasn't really come. A career bench-warmer, Rosenfels's latest gig is backing up Schaub in Houston.

Nicoll and a friend started a Facebook group -- "UNLEASH THE FURY: the legion of Sage Rosenfels fans" -- in the fall of 2006, hoping to share their unique love of Sage Rosenfels, along with bits of wisdom such as this:

Sage Rosenfels is a hero to all who enjoy football. He has been unleashing his fury on the league in the preseason and in quarters of football at a time as 2nd string mana from heaven.
His passes are carried by angels and his spirals are engineered by his perfect golden right arm. Sage Rosenfels' talent cannot be denied anymore. He is the chosen one. UNLEASH THE FURY SAGE

To date, there are 352 people in the group, myself included (I joined ironically, like everyone else -- or so I thought). Other notable members include Rosenfels's sister, Sasha, and several other family members.

"His sister found the group and messaged us saying it was the funniest thing ever," Nicoll said. "The whole family joined Facebook just to be in the group... We give moral support to the Rosenfels family."

As a starter on Sunday, Rosenfels was nearly flawless for three quarters against the Colts, helping the Texans score 27 unanswered points and looking as godly as ever in the process ("There's a hurricane in Texas, and it's coming out of Sage Rosenfels' arm!" Nicoll shouted to nobody in particular as he watched the game on a small TV in the corner of Caddies. "SAAAGE!").

Oh, Sage.

But, alas; what Sage giveth, Sage taketh away. The Texans lost that game to Indianapolis, 31-27, after Rosenfels fumbled twice and then threw a game-ending pick, all in a span of just four minutes.

"There seems to be a bad luck thing," Nicoll acknowledged later. "But he does what no other quarterbacks will do. He makes tackles, he leaps over players. The way that he plays, you'd think someone would be like, 'Well, he offers us a better shot than, say, Gus Frerotte.' But I also wonder if maybe teams are thinking, 'What, we're going to build our franchise around a guy named Sage Rosenfels?'"

Okay. Very funny. But come on. This has to be a joke. Clearly, it's a joke.

"How is this a joke?" Nicoll said. "I mean, the guy plays football the way it should be played. He's an amazing quarterback."

I pointed out that the Facebook group has a distinct Chuck Norris-like quality to it ("Lupus," "Erectile Dysfunction" and "Bird Flu" are among those listed in the "Diseases Sage Can Cure" thread on the group's discussion board).

"Chuck Norris is fantasy," Nicoll said. "Sage is actually kicking [behind]. I dare Chuck Norris to throw for that many yards."

[Full disclosure: Nicoll happens to be a friend of mine from college. He's known for putting various athletes on pedestals (please see the completely coincidental Steinberg post entitled "Sellers and Superman" as well as the Facebook group, "Gravy Boat: The Mike Sellers Army") and until yesterday, I was fairly certain the whole Sage-Rosenfels-is-God thing was a joke. Now, I'm not so sure. And while it's possible that I'm violating a sacred journalistic code by being too close to the situation, I think it's more important for people to know that a Sage Rosenfels-worshipping group of Redskins fans exists in this kooky world of ours. Brand this blog post with an asterisk if you must; I will not be censored when it comes to Sage.]

Nicoll, explaining that the glare near Sage's head is a halo, naturally.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  October 9, 2008; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  NFL , Redskins , Weirdness  
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Next: = Epic Fail


Look, we all know Gibran Hamden is the future of quarterbacking in the NFL, so come of it, James. All Rosenfels does is fumble away the game.

With Trent Edwards out in Buffalo, Hamden is one play away from leading the Bills to glory!

Posted by: Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) | October 9, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

By fury, do they mean unleashing the potential for the other team to mount a furious comeback in a matter of minutes?

Posted by: | October 9, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Hello Redskins Nation.

We are very excited to have the team come home after winning two NFC East road games against the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. HAIL!

This week we have the St. Louis Rams, and this will not be an easy game, especially if we want to maintain our growth and standing the NFC East, the NFC conference, and the league.

We are the only team in the NFL with a battle cry (Hail to the Redskins!). And now we are the only team in the NFL with a post-game celebrate chant thanks to our new Head Coach Jim Zorn (Hip-Hip Hooray!).

After beating the Dallas Cowboys, the supposedly best team in the NFL, Jim Zorn in the locker led the team in a celebration chat of Hip-Hip Hooray. It would be exciting to have the entire stadium, and the Redskins Nation, join the team in the celebration chant before they head to the locker room.

My brother and I are organizing the first Hip-Hip Hooray celebration chant this Sunday after our team beats the St. Louis Rams at the stadium. If it is clear at the 2:00 minute warning of the 4th quarter that the Washington Redskins will win the game we ask that all Redskins fans in the stadium (we will be at the game in Section 424---Row 12---Seats 7, 8 & 9) to join us in a celebration chant of Hip-Hip Hooray!

If it is not clear by the 2:00 minute warning of the 4th quarter that we will win the game then we will start the chant 30 seconds later at 1:30 minute mark. If not then, then 30 second later at the 1:00 minute mark. If not then, then 30 seconds later at the 30 second mark.

You get the pattern. At some point at the 2:00 minute warning of the 4th quarter or after we want to do the chant if it is clear we will win the game. We do not want to do the chant before the 2:00 minute warning of the 4th quarter!

To make it easy for everyone to participate for the first time we asking that the entire stadium join together in the Hip-Hip Hooray chant in unison. And yes brings to celebrate.

If we are successful in getting fans to join in after the game this week, then we will organize the second chant with sections of the stadium doing the call (Hip-Hip) and the other sections doing the response (Hooray!).

We hope this celebration chant will become a tradition for Redskins fans attending the game after each victory.

Please join us this Sunday for a big Hip-Hip Hooray, after we win the game.


Derek Silver and Marvin Silver
Washington Redskins Fans 4 Life

PS, Check us out on Facebook at Hip-Hip Hooray (Washington Redskin's Coach Jim Zorn's Celebration Cry)

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Yes Lindsay! This is so great. I'm so glad my photography skills played a role in an immaculate piece written by you. If only I had taken the flash off on that one. Despite my clear less enthusiasm than the boys, I still think Houston would be better off with Sage than Shaub.

Posted by: Dan | October 9, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Sage Rosenfels was always better than Danny Wuerffel. But lets also remember other horrible QB's of Redskins lore: John Friez, Jeff Hostetler, and Tony Banks.

Jeez they were bad

Posted by: JDP | October 9, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Your on facebook! Nice!

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | October 9, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Move over black QBs... jewish qb's are the next big thing!

Posted by: WesternSideOzzie | October 9, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

My daughter (her first game ever) and I will be there on Sunday and we will be more than ready for "3 Cheers"!!

Posted by: Monkman63 | October 9, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

What? Now Sage Rosenfels is Yngwie Malmsteen? "UNLEASH THE ****ING FURY, MAN!"

Posted by: Arlington Pimp | October 9, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I wish you would have loved me as much as Sage, but he does have a great rack

Posted by: Jame's Stripper | October 9, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I will get you, Nicoll. Seneca Valley rules!

Posted by: Chris Kelley | October 9, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

j to the mothaflippin a...

Posted by: anonymous | October 9, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Sage is a GREAT player because he plays with great TEAMWORK. Sage-ROCK deserves a shot to start in the league. It is just a matter of time? Where are the GMs. - Fred18Terp

Posted by: Fred18Terp | October 9, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Those doubting Sage will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes. This I swear.

Posted by: Sam | October 9, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't care what the score was. That first fumble in the Colts game was the manliest fumble I've ever seen. UNLEASH THE FURY!

Posted by: politically incorrect football | October 10, 2008 1:35 AM | Report abuse

LOL at anyone who thinks he's actually 6'4. I am 6'2 and I stood next to him, he's shorter than me.

Posted by: Python652 | October 10, 2008 3:29 AM | Report abuse

Sage Rosenfels has just as good a name as Fran Tarkenton for leading a football team. There's no reason he can't be the next Trent Green, given the right situation (and Houston ain't it).

Would you rather his name be Heath Shuler???

Posted by: The Peanut Gallery | October 10, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

The whole western half of Montgomery County is an epic fail.

Bonita, I'm not worried about your journalistic integrity, but I hope you are scouring this Facebook thing all the kids belong to for affinity groups themed on other incompetent former Redskins quarterbacks, such as Gus Frerotten, Tony "Money in the" Banks, Gorgeous Jeff George (charter member: Jason Whitlock), Gibran "Kosher" Hamdan, "There Are Those Who Call Me" Tim Hasselbeck, Danny Wuerffel "House," Brad "Big" Johnson, and of course the one, the only, Rep. Heath Shuler.

I'd do the scouring for you except I'm not into social networking, preferring to hole up under a bridge at night with a laptop but no WiFi. Still, I have to imagine that if this is the only former Redskins quarterback affinity group we ever hear about, suspicion will rain down on you, and the Post's coverage of this highly controversial issue will be deemed suspect.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

(Also, I'm Lindemann - post-blog upgrade, sometimes the "Name" field doesn't actually have a box for me to type in.)

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Lindemann, I'm on it.

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | October 10, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The Atlanta Thrashers already use the "Unleash the Fury" line every home game before the game starts. I'd avoid making Sage go down that road.

Posted by: JDP | October 10, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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