Category Archives: Redskins

RGIII Is Still Here, You Guys

Griffining Pose

It’s easy to forget, after the devastating knee injury and nightmarish sophomore season, just how valuable Robert Griffin III remains and how brilliant he can be. Here with a reminder, from his annual trade value column, is Grantland’s Bill Barnwell:

15. Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington

This is the player with the biggest gap between his ceiling and floor, right? The floor is Griffin suffering another knee injury that would make his issues (both in terms of physical fitness and ability to avoid hits) critical and evaporate his value. The ceiling? I mean, you can make a case that Griffin was the best quarterback in the league on a per-play basis as a rookie. He was fifth in completion percentage, first in yards per attempt and interception percentage, fifth in QBR … and that was with Josh Morgan and Logan Paulsen as two of his starting pass-catchers. He replaces those two in 2014 with DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed. The wild card: new offensive coordinator Sean McVay, infuriatingly just 28 years old. Anything is possible from here.

I added a little emphasis on that bit about his rookie season, because I think people forget, if they even knew to begin with. In a league featuring Manning and Brady and Brees and Rodgers, rookie RGIII may have been the best of the bunch. As an added bonus, the Redskins won the division!

That seems like ancient history. It was a year and a half ago.

18 New Redskins Names Inspired By Marvel Comics

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We’re approaching the point where literally every person in America with a soapbox of any kind will have weighed in on the Redskins name. As part of staking their flag into a small square of this hotly disputed rhetorical soil, most of those people will suggest possible alternate names. Eighty-five percent of those names will be the goddamned potato joke, and the remaining 15 percent will be terrible.

The current front-runner for worst in the clubhouse comes from Fortune Magazine managing editor Andy Serwer, who suggests in a Politico column (for a section of the site, it’s worth noting, that is literally called “Soapbox”) that the team be renamed the Washington All-Americans.

Serwer’s argument hinges on three points. First, the obvious squishy liberal inclusiveness the name implies. Second, “All-American” has a positive connotation in a sports context. And third … well, I’ll let him tell it:

I did some digging around and discovered that “All-American” used to be an obscure Marvel comic book super hero back in the 1980s. And get this, he was a football player! The All-American character was ‘really’ Giovanni “Jack” Magniconte, star quarterback of the fictional New York Smashers, nicknamed “Mr. Magnificent” by the press.

And … yeah. Hoo boy. Using this as an argument for choosing a team name is like naming your baby “Ishtar” because it was the title of a big-budget movie with some big-name stars. Let me get my geekhat on so we can do a deep nerd-dive on this.

Magniconte was the star of a doomed book called Kickers Inc., which was one of the launch titles in an equally doomed Marvel sub-imprint called the New Universe. Launched in 1986, the New Universe was meant to be “the world outside your window!” — a more realistic look at people with super powers running in something like realtime, basically — as an attempt to recapture the IP-generating lightning in a bottle that was the launch of the original Marvel Universe 25-ish years prior.

Kickers Inc. was arguably the stupidest book in the line, and was one of four launch titles canceled at the end of its first year. The imprint as a whole lasted just two more years, flailing around in increasing desperation before being mothballed. In those two years, Magniconte resurfaced as a supporting character whose role is basically “government stooge.” Not exactly a pop-culture icon to name a football team after.

Just to drive the final nerd-nail into the coffin of this idea, there’s this: The New Universe popped back up in 2008 as an even grittier “re-imagining” of the concept. This time around, Magniconte’s powers manifest while he’s on the field mid-game, which results in a graphic, on-panel depiction of him stiff-arming a dude so hard that he explodes in a spray of guts and bones. This is EXACTLY the kind of association the NFL is trying to draw in these days of concussion awareness and increased player safety concerns. (For a fun thought experiment, try to imagine the league’s earnest “don’t use super-powers on-field” ad campaign following that disaster!)

In summary, the “Washington All-Americans” idea is every bit as terrible as you think it is, and dragging in this stupid Marvel reference only makes it worse.

Which is not to say that the idea of borrowing some of the names or concepts from the Marvel Universe is inherently terrible. Here are 18 other Marvel-inspired potential names that are marginally less awful, or, at least, better thought-out. Continue reading

The McConaissance Comes To Redskins Park

I’m not even gonna hate on this.

Dan Snyder Is Hardline On Redskins Name Change, Even By 1972 Standards

Dan Steinberg did the good service of curating 40-plus-year-old newspaper clips about the Redskins name-change issue. While the material rings familiar to those following the modern debate, which is kind of the point, this bit is noticeably different.

In response to protests from American Indian groups, then-owner Edward Bennett Williams modified the more cloying lyrics to “Hail to the Redskins” and changed “psuedo-Indian” outfits the Redskinettes wore at the time. He also had this to say:

“All the reaction I’ve received on the nickname question has been unsympathetic to the protesting Indian groups. We would not carry a symbol offensive to any group. No one has persuaded me that the Redskins, as a symbol of our football team, is offensive.”

“Had I been persuaded,” Williams added, “we would have taken action accordingly.”

Williams stressed that he doesn’t have a “closed mind” on the subject.

That was 1972. Now, contrast it with what Dan Snyder told USA TODAY Sports last year:

“We will never change the name of the team. As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it’s all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season.”

What if his football team loses an ongoing federal trademark lawsuit? Would he consider changing it then?

“We’ll never change the name,” he said. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”

Seasons change, as do owners. The name does not.

Redskins Are Day 2 Draft Winners

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The Skins did well on Day 2, according to USA TODAY Sports:

They didn’t get to play in the draft sandbox Thursday while paying off the rest of their Robert Griffin III tab to the Rams. But the ‘Skins were back on the clock Friday and pried an extra third rounder from the division rival Cowboys by dropping 13 spots in Round 2. By evening’s end, Washington came away with three potential starters: Stanford OLB Trent Murphy, Virginia T Morgan Moses and Nebraska G Spencer Long.

The always trusted John Keim wasn’t so sure, saying they did well with Murphy, so-so with Moses and not so much with Long.

They have four picks left, one in each round, today. Help in the secondary would be nice.

DeSean Jackson Just Doesn’t ‘Get It’

Sporting News’ Ross Tucker wrote this HOT TAKE on DeSean Jacskon today. So let’s do what we do in these instances, and FJM this thing. Tucker’s words in bold, my responses in italics.

I don’t know anything about DeSean Jackson and his “ties” to gang members and frankly I don’t really care because in my mind, that isn’t really the issue anyway.

I don’t know anything about DeSean Jackson. But here is my 500 word opinion on DeSean Jackson.

His problem is one of decision-making and professionalism.

I can’t wait for you to enlighten us with the horrible decisions this extremely successful millionaire has made!

This isn’t one of those columns about how he needs to distance himself from some of the nefarious characters he grew up with or apparently still chooses to associate with. That can’t be easy and I know that I would have a tough time just completely shutting off any of the friends I grew up with. For all I care, Jackson can hang out with them all day every day.

Ross Tucker can totally empathize with DeSean Jackson’s upbringing.

Continue reading

DeSean Jackson Is A Washington Redskin Now

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Well, that happened fast. The Redskins signed DeSean Jackson last night to what’s being reported as a three-year, $24 million deal, $16 million guaranteed.

Reasons why I like it:

*He is a very good player who is still just 27 years old.
*He gets to play and break off big plays vs. Philly twice/year.
*He gives the Skins their best receiving corps since the Posse.
*This is an exceedingly small contract for this caliber of player.*

Reasons why I do not:

*Philly must’ve gotten rid of him for a reason.
*This kind of signing reeks of Offseason Champs-iness.
*Dan Snyder is probably drowning in Crown Royal right now.

But what do you think?

*Two years ago, the Redskins gave Pierre Garcon five years and $20.5 million guaranteed, and the Eagles gave Jackson himself five years and $20 million guaranteed.

The Redskins And DeSean Jackson

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Maybe because of some sort of gang affiliation and probably because of shit we don’t know about yet, DeSean Jackson is no longer with the Eagles. So let’s talk about what that means for the Redskins.

First, unless the Cowboys or Giants grab him, it means they won’t face him twice a year. That’s a good thing, because here’s what Jackson did in 11 games vs. Washington, dating back to 2008:

*32 receptions for 572 yards and five TD’s
*11 punt returns for 173 yards and one TD
*Six rushes for 96 yards and one TD

That’s seven touchdowns in 11 games, and all seven were big plays, 25 yards or more. Hell, they averaged 57 yards. That’s a lot of yards.

The Redskins went 4-7 in those 11 games, and 1-5 in the six games Jackson scored. I’m not sure what the correlation is between those numbers, but it doesn’t reflect poorly on him.

And maybe that’s why the Redskins are bringing Jackson in to talk. There’s smoke coming from Buffalo, Oakland and others, but you’ve got to think this is a buy-low situation too.

If the Skins can get him cheap to pair with Pierre Garcon and face Philly twice yearly, that’s an interesting proposition. Of course the other side is that he’s a “cancer,” which I put in scarequotes because we may just be making that up.

But I’m curious what you think. Take the poll, let us know.