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The P Word


The dirtiest word around Redskins Park begins with a P and has 10 letters.

PREDICTION.

Don't even whisper it.

On the surface, it's a harmless, innocuous, pedestrian collection of sounds, but say it around Joe Gibbs and watch the man immediately perk up. Utter at your own risk. It's already become pretty clear that the sky high local expectations for the Skins iare going to create a verbal minefield for us media schlubs to dance around.

Gibbs is not making predictions for the 2006 season. In case you may have missed it, his players are not making any predictions, either. And trust me, he's reading everything they say very closely.

The other day a radio reporter asked Coach about Mark Brunell's comments from the first day of training camp about anything less than a trip to a Super Bowl being a disappointment. Said reporter made the mistake of using the P word when asking for a reaction to Brunell's statements, and Joe jumped in right there, mid-query. Coach Joe pointed out that the QB had in fact made no prediction - and rightly so - but a nerve had been struck. This is becoming sensitive stuff. For a brief moment, it seemed like the Hall of Famer might get on a rant. I never feared it would reach the level of that Monday press conference before the San Francisco game last season - you remember, the one after Kornheiser called the 49ers chopped liver and rightly called for a Redskins blowout win - but I sensed we might be heading in the direction.

This prediction/expectation business is going to be tricky. Anyone can understand why Coach Joe would want to control this situation and keep expectations under check. But after the finish to last season, and another offseason of setting NFL spending records - for coaches and players alike - including loading up on millionaires at the same position in some cases (WR), of course the fans, deprived of a quality product for so long, would think Super Bowl or bust, too. The reality of the situation is somewhere between those extremes, I suppose, considering the minute margin of victory in most NFL games, the strength of the NFC East and the fact that injuries can derail a season faster than Mel Gibson can fill up an arrest report ...

And we're not going to escape this one anytime soon. That's life in the NFL fishbowl. A hot start, and the city is on the bandwagon with a spare engine in the trunk and two kegs in the backseat. A tepid beginning, and it's all doom and gloom. Bottom line is you have to hold this team to a high standard after coming within a few plays of reaching the NFC Championship Game last season. Can they be successful without winning it all? Certainly. Would another divisional playoff defeat be grounds for anger and consternation?

You guys tell me.

-0-

Morning practice update: Cornerback Carlos Rogers did not participate due to back spasms, but Bubba says it's nothing major. We'll see if he's with the team for full pads tonight. My partner Howard Bryant's fav new player, tight end Christian Fauria, didn't practice either. Haven't had a chance to find out what's ailing him yet, but it seemed minor considering he was still taking part in some drills out of uniform. When I get a chance to grab Bubba I'll post an update in a comment on the blog or something ...

I know we've only just begun to date, and I really don't know you guys all that well yet, but I'm already throwing down the gauntlet. How about a contest for who can come up with the best Skins chant, soccer-style? For the uninformed, go to pretty much any European or Latin American soccer game and you'll hear a relentless roar of chants, many of them directed at a particular player and sung to the cadence of a widely known song. Standard chants can relate to a player's hometown, his looks, something he does particularly well, or just about anything. Most creative chant wins something - I'm willing to listen to suggestions for the prize as well - and I'm not talking something like, "There's only one Sean Taylor; there's only one Sean Taylor, sung to the tune of "Guantanamera." ...

If you make it out to training camp, try to keep an eye on the kids who are stationed beneath the huge cranes (they're called Cherry Pickers, I guess? Should I have known that? Is that on the average metrosexual's radar?). The Pickers hold the camera crews shooting practice for the coaches. When the camera dudes run out of film they wrap the reels up in a bag, tape it, then it's bombs away. They drop the packages straight down from 60 feet (I actually checked on the height), and you can imagine there's some velocity involved here. Believe it or not, most of the time the teenager at the other end seems to make the grab. I, meantime, discerned long ago not to walk too close to those cranes, because if you ain't paying attention you'll be on the fast golf cart to Bubba's ...

Fausto Carmona, the check is in the mail. God, I love this guy. He'd be the perfect replacement for the Yanks when Mariano Rivera hangs up the mitt. Was listening to the 9th inning of the Sox/Tribe game on the radio on my way home from The Park last night and nearly swerved off of 495. Good stuff, but my boys are still doomed, I fear ... Someone asked about media grub out here the other day. Well, I've got to hand it to Skins PR, they've been a big help this camp and, on Monday to my surprise, in one corner of the newly refurbished media room there were cold cuts, chicken wings, a veggie plate and meatballs all giving me that come hither look. Tuesday morning there were bagels, fruit, English muffins, croissants and other goodies. And, most importantly, they've been great about having lots of water available for us out on the field at practice. Much appreciated guys ...

Okay, back to work. We've got a meeting with NFL officials to discuss the rule changes at 1 pm, and I hope we get Hochuli again like we did a few years ago. I'm dying to ask him if he can kill a man with his bare hands.

Cheers.

By Jason La Canfora  |  August 3, 2006; 12:10 PM ET
 
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Comments

Ah yes, Jason La Canfora, a man just as at home sweating his you know what off watching 'Skins practice as he is drinking that same thing with a bunch of crazed soccer fans. A true Renaissance man indeed.

Posted by: Ann Arbor | August 3, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

When is the next open practice at Redskins Park and how can I get a VIP pass?

Posted by: TTEMPLE | August 3, 2006 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Glory glory to the Redskins
Glory glory to the Redskins
Glory glory to the Redskins
And the Skins go marching on
The Redskins are the greatest team the world has ever seen
The Redskins are the greatest team the world has ever seen
The Redskins are the greatest team the world has ever seen
And the Skins go marching on
The pride of all of D.C. were the kings of FedEx Field
The pride of all of D.C. were the kings of FedEx Field
The pride of all of D.C. were the kings of FedEx Field
And the Skins go marching on
Loyal Skins supporters and they come to every game
Loyal Skins supporters and they come to every game
Loyal Skins supporters and they come to every game
To watch the Skins go marching on

Posted by: mugamack | August 3, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

If you want to get to heaven when you die,
If you want to get to heaven when you die,
wear some Burgundy and Gold
With Redskins written on it,
if you want to get to heaven when you die.

Posted by: mugamack | August 3, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Great to see some early responses already in to the contest to end all contests.
TTEMPLE - Friday at 10 am is open to all peeps. As for a VIP pass - buy a suite, get close to a player or saddle up to one of Danny's many corporate sponsors.
Mugamack - good start
Ann Arbor - you are far too kind.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | August 3, 2006 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Rather than predictions, I think fans and players contemplate what level of succes would constitute a "successful" season. For example, with no one expecting the Washington Nationals to reach .500 last year, going 81-81 was considered a success. Unfortunately, this led people to expect that level or more this year, thus turning this season into a "disappointing" season. Given that the Redskins went to the NFC semi-finals last year, and given ALL of the off-season improvements made to their roster and coaching staff, I think most fans consider getting to the NFC Championship game the minimum for the upcoming season to be considered a success (or perhaps a 14-2 record and an upset early exit might qualify too). I think this is essentially what Mark Brunell was expressing. Not so much a prediction as much as an expectation of what the players would honestly consider a successful season.

Posted by: dsmac | August 3, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

A side question with zippy relation to your Blog today....how is the battle at punter going? I know it's not on a lot of radars, but the skins can't afford to have 25 yard shanks in the games, let alone the debacle at Tampa.

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Shyde13 | August 3, 2006 2:07 PM | Report abuse

For Giants games, but can be applied to other teams. To the tune of Pink Floyd's, Another Brick in the Wall:

We don't need no Eli Manning,

We don't need no Arrington.

We got Portis and Sean Taylor.

Hey! Accorsi, leave us Skins alone.

Posted by: Suckadance | August 3, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Today, Jason is a "metrosexual." Yesterday, a "headbanger." Jason, dude, you're one mixed up guy. Time for therapy?

Posted by: David | August 3, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

This one's the clear winner - sung to the tune of "Hail to the Redskins"

Hail to the Redskins!
Hail Victory!
Braves on the Warpath!
Fight for old D.C.!
Run or pass and score -- we want a lot more!
Beat 'em, Swamp 'em,
Touchdown! -- Let the points soar!
Fight on, fight on 'Til you have won
Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!
Hail to the Redskins!
Hail Victory!
Braves on the Warpath!
Fight for old D.C.!

Posted by: OldSchool | August 3, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life
Don't make a Dallas woman your wife
Take my personal point of view
Get a Redskins fan to marry you

Posted by: JG | August 3, 2006 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Chant? No thanks. No chants is one reason our football is better than their football. Next thing you know we'll have guys taking dives and ripping their shirts off when we score.

Posted by: Rick | August 3, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

First a Fauria update, as promised. His knees will be watched closely after years in the trenches, so he was rested this morning. He'll probably be given a respite from time-to-time this season.
Shyde13 - spoke to Gibbs about the punters the other day. He said the real competitive punting will begin with the scrimmage against Bmore Saturday. I am far from convinced Frost is the answer.
David - can't a metrosexual be a headbanger, too. Can a man not prepare paella while listening to "The Number Of The Beast" and wearing a salmon-colored tie? Can't I be both, please? If it makes you feel better I love Interpol, Bloc Party, Radiohead and TV on the Radio, too.
Suckadance - You are sitting in pole position. I like it.
Rick - Does it always have to be "Us against Them." Can't we all just get along?

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | August 3, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Jason - We can get along if we don't chant.

Posted by: Rick | August 3, 2006 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm officially placing my vote for Old School's "chant". I'm also officially asking that it be sung more often at games -- whatever happened to after BOTH TDs and PATs?

Posted by: Art | August 3, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I'd also like to point out to Rick that already having the fight song is one of the many things that makes the Skins the best franchise in the NFL. Chanting/singing/screaming during games is what makes it fun. How boring is it to sit passively and watch the game -- you can do that from home and leave one more seat for the rest of us fans who are going to vocally support the team while at the stadium.

Posted by: Art | August 3, 2006 4:20 PM | Report abuse

To the refrain of Nelly/P Diddy anthem "Shake Ya Tailfeather" (Using the Murphy Lee verse here):

Oh no, I heard them Redksins comin!
Don't stop now, Clint continues on runnin!
Yeah! Taylor tackles till the refs come on And the Bowl ring is a nice put on.

Yo, Gibbs's a big coaching type he likes them play in their mind right
Cooley's personality entertaing in an end/ tight
Brunelll ain't hurt; but J Campbell on top of that
Moss runs like he the man, but he's really a thundercat.

Oh no, I heard them Redksins comin!
Don't stop now, Clint continues on runnin!
Yeah! Taylor tackles till the refs come on And the Bowl ring is a nice put on.

Posted by: jterp | August 3, 2006 4:27 PM | Report abuse

this was the lamest song I could come up with for you metrosexuals out there:

(To the tune of Wham's "Wake me up")

Wake me up before you go, Joe
Don't leave us hanging like '92, yo
Wake me up before you go-Joe
I don't wanna miss it when you say good bye

Wake me up before you go, Joe
'Cause I don't wanna cry again for you, bro
Wake me up before you go, Joe
Take the Skins dancing toniiiight

Posted by: Barno | August 3, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Jason, How come none of you in the sports media ever point out that one possible reason Brunell and the offense didn't put up great numbers in the postseason last year was that we had early leads in both games? Yeah, the seattle game was only a 3-0 lead and we ended up playing catch up for much of the game, but in Tampa we had an early 14-0 lead if i'm not mistaken... and we played conservative ball control offense with mostly runs the rest of the game.

I'm sure Gibbs gets annoyed by this myth as well, since everyone assumes the Al Saunders hire was a result of our poor numbers in the postseason (when in reality Gibbs was thinking about hiring Saunders ever since Vermeil indicated to Gibbs that it would be his last year when we played the Cheifs in week 6.

Posted by: tired of the myth | August 3, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow, good stuff all around. Maybe I'll have to pick a final three over the weekend and then turn it over for a vote.
The Nelly version rocks and the wham thing cracked me up.
I'd put those two and the Pink Floyd one in the top three for now. I'm trying to picture 90,000 chanting the wham song to Gibbs before a game. How genius would that be? I don't think the poor guy would know what to do.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | August 3, 2006 4:47 PM | Report abuse

To "Sweet Home alabama"

Cooley has a touchdown,
You dallas fans look blue
Giant and eagles fans hide
cause he's coming next for you

Posted by: DC/madisonwi | August 3, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

tune of Afternoon delight

Gonna run our Antwaan in a route thats tight
Gonna catch some pigskins in flight
Gibbs' mottos always been if we're down lets fight
why wait until the middle of the game each night?

Wheeeen the D's a little tougher each adn every daaaayyyy
Anndd Al and Gregg can take us all the waaayyyy????

Even thinkin bout it's got Hogs working up their apetites,
Gonna win some games on Monday Niiigght
Gibbs' mottos always been if we're down lets fight
why wait until the middle of the game each night?

Posted by: jterp | August 3, 2006 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Redskins fan and their queer songs are for homos

Posted by: J Shockey | August 3, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

tired - they nearly blew the Tampa game and were putrid against Seattle. I know they were banged up, but look at the yardage. It's horrid. I agree improvement was needed all along, though, and never wrote to the contrary. The defense scored a lot of points and set up a lot of scores during that six-game run, which kind of skewed things that way.

Posted by: Jason | August 3, 2006 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Jason, is your WC blog still online? I missed most of it, but it sounds like something I should waste an afternoon reading.

I'm all for the Wham song--it seems like the only thing you'll be able to get 90K fans to memorize.

Posted by: Aaron | August 3, 2006 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Jason, is the rule change session for the Redskins or for the media?

Posted by: Dylan | August 3, 2006 7:31 PM | Report abuse

2 comments- first, I can't see the Redskins not going further than last season, which I think should be the bare minimum measure of this season's success, unless we win the division however and fail to go further in the playoffs than the divisional round (that's what the 2nd round is called right?). In that scenario I'd have to say it was also a successful year- for the simple fact that we haven't won the division since 1999.

Second comment- That wham song cracked me up!

Posted by: Ricky Bobby | August 3, 2006 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Aaron - I am not sure about the World Cup blog. Good question. I'll ask our net guys about it and see what I find out.
Dylan - the refs meet with the players and coaches, and then the media. We see the same 12 minute video and get a presentation, then get to ask an officiating crew some questions.

As for Skins news - Fauria was back for the night practice, but not Rogers. We had some lightning out here so everyone rushed off the field. They're going to try to get back out there, but I don't know if they'll be able to or not.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | August 3, 2006 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Jason, I gotta give you props... I said that you could not call Joe Elliott or Don Dokken headbangers cause they wore spandex, then you throw in the Number of the Beast... Way to pull off the Dickinson reference... you have earned a chunk of respect!!! There must have been a golden mullet in your past!!! Check the year books! LOL... OK...

Here is my shot at the chant:

1 8 7 on [Team] in the 'skins House...
1 8 7 on [Team] in the 'skins House...

Instead of Raider Nation, we would start a whole new house of pain!!! Skins Nation...

Get Snoop and Dre to come in an over dub the team names as they come... lol...

LOL... hardly a headbanger reference... I digress..

Posted by: Stewart Fan #20 | August 3, 2006 10:20 PM | Report abuse

You've got to give love to the fight song as the number 1 chant. The thing to do - really - is to make sure cats know the fight song. Make it loud and nasty. FedEx field seats almost 100,000. The demographic of NFL fans will never match the fervor from hordes of drunk college students, but if "Hail to the Redskins" was as well known as "Rocky Top" it would make opposing teams hate coming to FedEx that much more.

On that note, can we get a nickname for FedEx field? I'm all for calling it "The Fed." Being that it's DC and all, that seems about perfect.

Posted by: Doug | August 3, 2006 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I believe the nickname for Fed Ex Stadium is already taken, son.

The Big Jack

Posted by: Jack Kent | August 3, 2006 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Give us some inside scoop on camp, since we can't be there...not the dropping of tape and the tender vittles for the press, how about who's fighting, how do the draft choices look? Any long shots shaping up...a litte more roughage to go with all the unrelated teats you have been providing

Posted by: Bored Dude | August 4, 2006 12:44 AM | Report abuse

KAKA-

I think the prize for the song should be a day @ The Park with you, UNA, The Czar., BramSkin and Wixie.-ha!

Hey "Bored Dude"-this blog rocks&you suck!!!

Posted by: Pink C.C.- | August 4, 2006 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know if the scrimmage on saturday will be on TV?

Posted by: Scrimmage | August 4, 2006 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Bored Dude - this camp is not living up to your fantasy. they've only been in pads a few times and last night any hitting was cut out due to the storm.
Lemar Marhsall nailed this receiver Espy and knocked his helmet off and Sean Taylor crushed Portis the other day - my partner Howard wrote about it in his Portis story Wednesday, and that's about it.
It;s been a lot of group work, very controlled and not a whole lot of 11 on 11.
Wait for the scrimmage Saturday with the Ravens.
They like to save it for the other team.
Anyone who would try to make a call on rookies based on 4 practices like this would be wasting your time.
Maybe you'll grow to like what I've got going on here. I'm not trying to be all encompassing here - we've still got three stories in the paper everyday, ya know.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | August 4, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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