Dallas Week

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Happy New Year and greetings from The Booth!

It’s the first VFB of 2024, and for fans of the Washington football franchise, it’s Dallas Week, as another dismal campaign for the Burgundy and Gold comes to an end. When I think of Dallas Week and the twice-per-season meeting with the hated Cowboys, I think of the great moments of this storied rivalry (some not so great, but still memorable): The two NFC Championship wins against Dallas in the 1972 and 1982 seasons, Ken Houston stopping Walt Garrison at the goal line to preserve a Monday Night victory in 1973, the “Monday Night Miracle” with “Cowboy Killer” Santana Moss, RG3 putting it to the Cowpokes in 2012, and the list goes on. Yes, even the improbable Thanksgiving Day 1974 Cowboy comeback with one-hit wonder Clint Longley is on my list of memorable Dallas-Washington games.

But today’s upcoming game with Dallas in the season finale has got to be one of the strangest for me. There’s nothing I like better than seeing my Skins (yes, this is what I call them) beat “America’s Team,” no matter the circumstance. Even  a meaningless game, like last year’s season-ending 26-6 win at Fed-Ex Field was a cherry on the p**p sundae for me.

This Sunday, there is actually a lot on the line for both teams. The Cowboys can win the NFC East with a win this afternoon. For Washington’s long-term benefit, it would be more advantageous to lose today to Dallas. A loss potentially gives them a number two pick in the upcoming draft. So, who and what do I root for? It is almost sacrilege to want the Cowboys to beat my beloved team, but it’s what would be best for the future of the Washington franchise. I guess the perfect scenario for me would be a competitive effort by the Burgundy & Gold resulting in a 35-33 defeat. A moral victory on the field, but an actual one off the field (my apologies to Bruce Allen).

It would be “so Washington,” however, to somehow win this otherwise meaningless game, put the short-term screws to Dallas, and the long-term screws to themselves. A fitting way to end the Ron Rivera era. Today’s contest almost surely will be the last for the Riverboat, and a win would give him an overall .500 record, counting his stint in Carolina. This afternoon’s finale might even be the final game that Rivera coaches in the NFL as a head coach, so today’s game does have some meaning for him. He wants to win, as a final bird-flip to the haters.

Riverboat Ron’s legacy in DC will be one of failed personnel decisions, bad game management, and a posture of being almost disconnected on game day. I’m not going to beat that horse anymore. Yes, he did add some stability to an organization whose toxic culture under Dan Snyder made the team an NFL pariah. That is far outweighed by his on and off the field management. It’s now time for new owner Josh Harris to put his stamp on the team.

So, enjoy today’s game, and don’t get too worked up about the loss to Dallas. Tell yourself it’s for the good of the team. And if you look carefully at about 7:45, you’ll be able to see a Riverboat churning down the Potomac and out of Washington…

Until the next visit from The Booth, Happy New Year, and HTTR!

RW

 

Sports Dogs Podcast: We Want Dallas! (Maybe Not)

It’s Dallas Week for Washington Commanders fans, albeit a strange one, as a Washington loss means a higher draft pick for the Burgundy and Gold. What do you root for on Sunday–a Washington win (because you hate the Cowboys) or a Commanders loss to insure possibly getting your franchise QB in the draft? What is a fan to do? The Dogs break it down in their first podcast of 2024…

Sports: Friday, December 1, 2023

Area HS Basketball Scores, Caps Hold Off Ducks, Cowboys Win In Thursday Night Shootout

Tom Wilson scores the first Caps PP goal in over a month in a 5-4 win against the Ducks. Courtesy Capitals Radio Network…

The Winds Of Change

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Greetings From The Booth!

If you’re a Washington Commanders fan, don’t go ordering your tickets to The Big Game just yet. (We’ll leave that to the Dallas Cowboy faithful, who do that every September. If the NFL had it’s Super Bowl at the start of the season like NASCAR, the Cowboys would have more banners than their massive new stadium could hold.) But there is reason today to think things are moving in that direction. For the first time since 2011, the burgundy and gold have started a season 2-0, following their heart-pounding 35-33 win against Denver on Sunday.

As one player put it, “this feels different.” And it does. The Denver game could have ended like the countless games we’ve seen in the last 23 years: with a last second loss or a blown lead or a comeback that falls just short. We’ve seen that movie over and over, and the ending never changes.

Only, Sunday it did. Calls that would have gone against Washington in the Snyder era went in their favor. The football bounced their way , and the Commanders even got a fortuitous no-call on the 2-point conversion attempt by Denver that would have sent the game into overtime. That play followed a  50-yard “Hail-Mary” touchdown pass by Bronco quarterback Russell Wilson on the game’s final play. I’m sure a lot of you were grumbling something  like, “here we go again, same-ol same-ol” (I took out the expletives) as I did when that happened.

And, how many of you turned your TV to reruns of “Naked and Afraid” when the score was 21-3 Denver, and the Broncos threatening for more after a long punt return? Amazingly, the game turned on that drive with a Denver turnover, and the Commanders were able to weather the storm and get to within 7 at the half. A fired-up Washington defense shut down Wilson and the Broncos while Sam Howell and the Washington offense built a 35-24 lead late in the 4th quarter.

Old habits die hard, though. When Denver got to within 8 and the Commanders left Wilson with 56 seconds to work with, the familiar feelings of the Snyder era came flooding back. But, Washington found a way, and in the process scored it’s biggest road comeback since 1990. You remember that year, right? That season, the then-Redskins would make the playoffs at 10-6, laying the foundation for their Super Bowl year in 1991.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Two games does not a season make. But, the winds of change are blowing, and at 2-0, the Commanders are finding ways to win, as opposed to finding ways to lose. It, indeed, “feels different.”

Until the next visit from The Booth…HAIL!

RW

Sports: Tuesday, January 17, 2023

HS Hoop Tonite On 1450, Caps Beat Isles In OT, Dallas Takes Down Tampa

SPORTS 1-17-23

BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE ALL-NEW FOX SPORTS RADIO 1450, FEATURING DAN PATRICK, WASHINGTON CAPITALS HOCKEY…AND LOCAL HS BASKETBALL. WILLIAM MONROE VISITS SKYLINE ON TUESDAY…WITH RYAN RUTHERFORD ON THE CALL.

IN GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL HOOP YESTERDAY

STRASBURG ROUTED RAPPAHANOCK 54-31

THE CAPS SNAPPED A 2-GAME LOSING SKID WITH A 4-3 OVERTIME ROAD WIN AGAINST THE ISLANDERS. THE CAPS CLIMBED OUT OF A 3-0 HOLE AND GOT THE GAME WINNER FROM DIMITRY ORLOV IN THE EXTRA FRAME. THE CAPS ENTERTAIN THE WILD TONIGHT AT 7.

THE NFL SUPER WILD CARD WEEKEND CONCLUDED LAST NIGHT WITH DALLAS ELININATING TAMPA BAY 31-14. COWBOYS QB DAK PRESCOTT THREW FOR 304 YARDS AND 4 TOUCHDOWNS IN THE VICTORY AS DALLAS WON IT’S FIRST ROAD PLAYOFF GAME IN 30 YEARS. BUCS QB TOM BRADY THREW FOR 351 YARDS IN THE LOSS, AS THE SPECULATION BEGINS AGAIN ABOUT HIS RETIREMENT. THE COWBOYS NOW WILL TAKE ON SAN FRANCISCO SUNDAY IN THE DIVISIONAL ROUND…

THE WIZARDS DROPPED A 127-118 DECISION TO GOLDEN STATE YESTERDAY AFTERNOON.

Tidbits

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Greetings from The Booth!

I have no major topic this week, but I did want to weigh in on a few things, so here goes…

Let’s start with Dallas-Washington week, which used to be a big deal. It really isn’t anymore. George Allen and Tom Landry are long gone, and it’s been almost 30 years since the end of the Joe Gibbs era (not counting his mini-comeback in the early 2000s). Championships haven’t been on the line in this rivalry for awhile. And Dallas seems to own Washington recently. There’s absolutely no buzz about the game this week, and that’s a shame. Random thought: given all the team name changes recently, shouldn’t Dallas have to change it’s name to “Cowpeople”?

I’ll admit it. I’m a golf geek. I must be, because I watched way too much of the President’s Cup this past weekend. I know this because my wife’s irritation meter was about an 8 on a scale of 10. In case you don’t know, the President’s Cup is the team event that is held every other year, alternating with the more popular Ryder Cup, and is formatted in similar fashion. Unlike the Ryder Cup, which pits the USA versus Europe, the President’s Cup has the USA playing the International Team (minus Europeans). On paper, this year’s PC looked like a rout, an it ended up that way, as the Internationals were overmatched by an American team made up of the top names in golf: Thomas, Scheffler, Schauffele, Speith, Finau, etc. I’m sure only us golf geeks were watching on Sunday, when the only drama was how many points the USA would win by.

I have an idea for spicing up the President’s Cup. Let’s do away with the nationalism and have a PGA Tour versus LIV Golf event. The bad blood between the rival organizations is well documented and this would make for some great drama. Who wouldn’t want to see Rory McIlroy (my new favorite golfer) against Patrick Reed (my new favorite heel)? Man, this would be Flair versus Hogan stuff and the ratings would be off the charts. The only hurdle to making this a reality would be getting the 2 organizations to sit down and hammer out the details. Come on guys, make it happen!

Finally, on the date of this writing in 490 BC, the Greeks defeated the Persians at Marathon. A Greek soldier named Phidippides ran over 26 miles to tell the good news to Athenians, dying after his announcement, but was the inspiration of the marathon race. So it’s only fitting that this week, Eliud Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon, breaking his own world record with a time of 2 hours, 1 minute, and 9 seconds. There are a lot of us who would celebrate a time of 2:01 in the half-marathon.

Kipchoge has actually broken the 2-hour barrier in the 26.2, but it doesn’t count as a World Record, because the feat came in a Nike-orchestrated event specifically created to have him break 2 hours. The Nike Sub2 Project had Kipchoge running on a controlled course with pacers, and generated some controversy in the running community. World Record or not, a sub 2-hour marathon was once unimaginable.

Come to think of it, I once had a pacer. It was an AMC Pacer. I barely broke the 4-hour barrier from college to home…

Until the next visit from the Booth…GO Phidippides!

RW