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The Riv-Era Begins In DC

2 January 2020 Views From The Booth Sports


Greetings From the Booth!

Happy New Year everyone! As we enter “The Roaring 20’s” and put 2019 in the books, arguably the biggest sports story of the past year was the Washington Nationals winning the World Series. The Nats finally “finished the fight” with an incredible run through the postseason, coming back time after time to capture the first World Championship in franchise history. It remains to be seen if they can repeat in 2020, but regardless, their magical 2019 season will never be duplicated.

Before I get to the main topic, I just want to mention and congratulate Chris Chaney and Jordan Sondrol, who over the holidays became the latest members of the Shenandoah University basketball 1000-point club. Chris was the 19th Hornet man to join the short list, while Jordan became the 20th SU female to achieve the feat. A fantastic accomplishment for both!

Yesterday, the Washington Redskins made it official by announcing former Carolina coach Ron Rivera as their new head man. By all accounts, a great hire by Dan Snyder. I guess even a bling hog finds an acorn eventually. After a 3-13 season (the lowest win total since 1961), the team had finally hit rock bottom. A toxic team culture, combined with a diminishing fan base created the need for a total housecleaning, and the Redskins seem to be doing just that.

So far this week, the ‘Skins have fired team president Bruce Allen and Head trainer Larry Hess (the Redskins seem to be the most-injured team in the NFL every year, and the Trent Williams mess didn’t help his cause). The team also did not retain O-line coach and interim head coach Bill Callahan, and even Offensive Coordinator Kevin O’Connell, thought to be one of the bright young minds in the league, is interviewing today to keep his job.

I think I’m most excited about Jack Del Rio being named as Washington’s new Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio. Del Rio is a former head coach who has constructed top-tier defenses around the NFL, and like Rivera, is a no-nonsense guy.

The hiring of Rivera doesn’t feel like, as one columnist
put it, the Redskins trying to “win a press conference.” It’s not a splashy hire, like that of Mike Shanahan or the return of Joe Gibbs, but it’s a solid hire, compiling a 79-63-1 record with the panthers (including a 15-1 Super Bowl year). Rivera, who was part of the vaunted 1985 Chicago Bears defense, is well-respected around the league and revered by his former players.

Since Snyder can’t fire himself, he must now find the right personnel man to work with Rivera, and then, get out of the way. Only then, can this win, to quote the departed Allen, “off the field” translate to wins “on the field.”

That’s it from the Booth! Happy New Year, and until next visit,
GO HORNETS!

RW


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