Saturday, December 5, 2009

Caps Destroy Sucker-Punchers For 2nd Straight Game

I was going to post a basic recap, but the Caps just sent a message out to the league so I'll just post it here in case you didn't get it yourself.

"Dear Rest of NHL:

You are now on notice. If you continue to try any of this bush-league, sucker-punching stuff on us, we will make you pay.

They say a fight will really get your team going sometimes. Unfortunately for you, if you fight dirty, you're gonna get the wrong team going. Result: Washington 8 - Philadelphia 2.

We thought we'd made this clear 2 nights ago against the Panthers, when some guy named Duco jumped Giroux from behind and started wailing on him.

We thought our thorough 6-2 beating sent the message. I guess it didn't get through.

We now lead the league in goals and sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, a point ahead of Pittsburgh.

Oh, and Ovechkin returns Monday. And he's pissed. Haters beware.

Good luck trying to stop us.


The Caps"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Week 13 Picks

Marion's Crackpipe is day-to-day with a router, so I'll be relaying his weekly NFL Picks. Expect a significant decrease in effort and analysis.

The standings (with pushes excluded):
-Sport's Guy: 6-8 last week, 96-75 overall (56.1%)
-Monkey throwing shit at a dart board: 86.5-86.5 overall (50%)
-DCLS: 8-7 last week, 86-87 overall (49.7%)
-Football Outsiders: 86-87 overall (49.7%)

Below are FO's picks listed in order of confidence, and a team is bolded whenever Marion's Crackpipe differs. Their only lock of the week is Buffalo, who is getting 3 points tonight at home against the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!

  1. BUFFALO +3 over New York Jets - I think I just hate 'the Sanchize'.
  2. Philadelphia -5.5 over ATLANTA - No healthy Matt Ryan means no picking the Dirty Birds.
  3. CINCINNATI -13 over Detroit - You think Roger Goodell is cringing at the though of Calvin Johnson picking up marketing tips from Ochocinco?
  4. Tampa Bay +6.5 over CAROLINA - I think the Bucs have moved into the 'frisky' category.
  5. Dallas -1.5 over NEW YORK GIANTS - This is the perfect game for the Giants to turn around their season, against division rival that is inconsistent. That said, I think the Giants just aren't that good, and this turnaround game isn't happening.
  6. TENNESSEE +7 over Indianapolis - The first true test of whether this VY-led version of the Titans is for real. I like Indy to win, but these games always end up being close dogfights, so I'll take the points. I'm intrigued to see how both teams stack-up and have this as my #1 game to watch this week.
  7. Minnesota -4 over ARIZONA - The Vikings look like they're on a collision course to meet the Saints in the NFC Championship. This should be another awesome game to watch.
  8. Denver -5 over KANSAS CITY - FO finally comes back down on KC. The Broncos had a long week of rest, and may be back to their early-season form.
  9. PITTSBURGH -13.5 over Oakland - Even with Dennis Dixon at QB this line should be safe.
  10. CLEVELAND +13 over San Diego - The Bolts have been playing well and are in a fight for their division title, so this looks like a blowout to me.
  11. SEATTLE pick 'em over San Francisco - Turmoil and general suckiness in Seattle is pushing me to coaching Jesus.
  12. Baltimore +3 over GREEN BAY - I see a close defensive game here, so am tempted by the points, but the Ravens struggling against the Dennis Dixon Steelers was not impressive.
  13. WASHINGTON +9.5 over New Orleans - I think this counts as progress, a few weeks ago this line would have been over 12 points. Maybe the Saints will have a bit of a letdown, but even that may not be enough.
  14. JACKSONVILLE pick 'em over Houston - Does this count as a game with big playoff implications, or just a game between mediocre teams?
  15. CHICAGO -9 over St. Louis - Even a douchebag can shred the Rams.
  16. New England +5 over MIAMI - Yeah the Pats were shredded last week, but the Dolphins O isn't going to challenge that weak secondary.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tiger is...human?

It truly sucks when someone's dirty laundry is broadcast for the entire world to see, but it's a small price to pay when your celebrity also nets you millions upon millions of dollars.

When you're the most recognizable athlete on the planet and perhaps one of the greatest of all-time, and are committing indiscretions, it is important to cover your tracks. Which is exactly what Tiger Woods tried to do in this voicemail he left his mistress about a week ago. Which had the exact opposite effect of what he intended. Which only made things way, way worse for Tiger.

Listen for yourself:

[Video removed]

This That's really the only way to describe it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

DCLS on the Road: Caps vs. Canadiens in Montreal

Ever wondered what a black hole would sound like if one materialized before you? Here's my guess: it would sound something like the noise emitted by the 20,000 French Canadians at Bell Centre on Saturday night.

When Eric Fehr scored the game-tying goal in the closing seconds of regulation, the disbelief was palpable; the utter vacuum of sound that swallowed up the seating bowl was pierced only by the screams of the elated Capitals and Washington loyalists scattered throughout, including your DC Landing Strip correspondent.

The view from section 401 during the anthems.

The Hockey Night in Canada crowd was 15 seconds away from celebrating a satisfying come-from-behind victory in which they had kept the high-octane Caps to a measly 11 shots on goal through 40 minutes; it was all erased, thanks to some guy named Fehr, who nudged a rebound backhanded through Carey Price's pads. It was a thoroughly undeserved victory for the Caps, and it was friggin' awesome.

Some additional thoughts on the Bell Centre experience:
  • We know Ovechkin's a league-wide star, but I didn't realize the magnitude of his appeal until I was treated like a returning war hero while wearing my red No. 8 sweater in the upper bowl. "You're from Washington?" a disbelieving, awestruck teen in a white Ovie sweater asked me after we exchanged some pro-Capitals pleasantries. "Yeah," I replied, "what about you?" "I'm from here," he said, "I just love Ovechkin." Similar exchanges happened more than once.
  • "Washington Suck!" Try saying that in your best (worst) Francophone dialect and you'll know how I felt during one or two rare occasions.
  • That being said, I've endured my share of heckling while wearing enemy colors before; I experienced almost none at Bell Centre on Saturday. The fans couldn't have been more knowledgeable, good-natured and welcoming to a visitor.
  • The Montreal faithful still haven't forgiven Jose Theodore.
  • The Habs sure do love their history: their pre-game video began with more than 10 minutes remainging on the center ice scoreboard, and they scrolled the names of each of the more-than 700 players who have donned le bleu, blanc et rouge over the team's 100 seasons.
  • The upper deck is extremely roomy, like sitting in first-class compared to the Verizon Center's coach.
  • The ice surface in Montreal is mic'ed by a series of suspended microphones; even if you're sitting in the second-to-last row of the building, you can hear every scrape, stick tap and tape-to-tape pass like you're sitting on the bench. How about it, Ted?
  • "You'll notice, we don't hang Eastern Conference Champion banners here in Montreal."
  • As for the game-day atmosphere, Centre Bell is no louder during a 0-0 game than Verizon Center, but here's the difference: every scoring chance or key save is met by a sharp, immediate outburst by nearly everyone in the stands. Everyone is paying attention at all times. Number of fans I saw on the BlackBerry during gameplay? Zero.
  • At the same time, I was disappointed to see the Montreal faithful start "The Wave."
  • Three Stars: Eric Fehr and Alex Ovechkin both skated onto the ice and acknowledged the crowd after being announced as the third and first stars of the game. When was the last time a visiting player took a spin on the ice at VC after getting a star?
  • Concourse clocks indicate how much time remains before the end of intermission. Nice touch.
All in all, it was a good night for the Capitals in a game they surely did not deserve to win. Regardless of the result, if you have the opportunity to catch the Capitals (or any team) in Canada, you owe it to yourself to see how the nation that invented the sport presents it for the faithful.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Week 12: Eagles 27, Redskins 24 - Knee Jerk Reactions

Yeah the game hurt, but again, who didn't see this coming? Up 5, I was happy, but once we kicked that FG instead of going for the jugular everyone saw the inevitable.

At least the Skins are back to not totally sucking. Even with the gimme first TD, we played with the Eagles that whole game. Sure we were outgained, but this was not a case of us just getting lucky.

Additional thoughts:
  • That interception at the end of the 1st half was beyond awful. Firstly, why are the Skins even attempting to run a play? We know we can't protect our QB, were scared to run any plays once in FG range a week ago, but suddenly want to keep throwing from our own 37 on 3rd and 8 with 1 timeout? Secondly, JC just can't get picked there and he has to know that. The objective at that point is to have a worst-case scenario of maintaining the current lead, giving Philly an easy 3 points is the worst possible thing that could happen and probably cost us the game.

  • That last offensive play was definitely roughing the passer, just an egregious non-call. We would have been on our own 40-yard line with 1:04 left in the game and no timeouts. Suisham stinks, but we would have needed only need about 25 yds for him to have a shot. A point to note, however, is that Campbell blacked-out after that hit, so getting those 25 yards would have been even more difficult than usual.

  • The Zornstar is the king of pained faces. He looks perpetually unhappy, until he throws-in an awkward fist pump. I am all for a Zorn camera.

  • Fred Smoot, I love you, but that was an afternoon I won't soon forget. Carlos Rogers appeared to play well because he never got picked-on, but when the other corners are Tryon and Smooty (aka giant bullseyes), it is easy to look like you are shutting down half the field.
  • Quinton Ganther is good. Rock Cartwright is not good. I am a big fan of letting Ganther get the bulk of carries next week.

  • London Fletcher was terrific, covering sideline to sideline and making several key tackles. Rocky McIntosh also had a solid game.

  • The 2nd round pass catching trio of Malcolm Kelly, Devin Thomas, and Fred Davis definitely had an impact and were a big reason this game was close.

  • Devin Thomas appears to be our best kick returner, so why not have him try returning punts too?

  • Redskins record when Brian Orakpo gets a sack? 2-4, when he doesn't get one (including today)? 1-4. Okay that didn't go anywhere, but he was quiet today in terms of big plays, despite playing a decent game.

  • Funny how Andre Carter and O-Sak-Po suddenly look human without Fat Albert in the game.

  • Yeah the o-line was better than usual, but the performance still stunk. JC was under fire all day despite the lack of sacks. Running lanes were also minimal.

Call me crazy, but I think we have showed enough the past 3 weeks that we will beat someone other than Oakland before the end of the season. As Fat Albert said earlier this week, these last few weeks are important, and he meant that it is important for us to turn around the losing culture and get back to respectability; one modest step taken in that direction today.

(Image courtesy of the AP via

Skins @ Eagles, 1 ET

And so the Redskins begin their second cycle of NFC East games at 0-3 in the division, and with nowhere to go but up.

If there was ever a time to sack up and adopt the role of playoff spoiler, I'm pretty certain we've reached that point. After all, what other type of joy can this season possibly bring?

Philadelphia and I don't really get along, but I think the other party deserves the majority of the blame for the conflict. Either way, I enjoy fanning the flames:

Video courtesy of former Redskin Ryan Clark and the once upon a time #1 WR for the Eagles, Todd Pinkston. You read that correct.