Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Grief and anger over Sean Taylor

Elizabeth Kubler Ross famously identified five stages of grief for patients with terminal illnesses. Versions of the "stages" are popularly applied to those who have lost loved ones.

Denial (this isn't happening to me!)
Anger (why is this happening to me?)
Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...)
Depression (I don't care anymore)
Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)

Regarding Washington Redskins star safety Sean Taylor, I'm at the angry stage.

I hope they nail the bastard sonofabitch murderer who took Sean away from his family and his fans.

Does Florida have a death penalty?

Yeah I said it.

I am native to Washington, DC, but lived elsewhere in 1986 when Len Bias died prematurely. Bias' death hit the Washington, DC community like a tidal wave. Bias, from Landover, Maryland, was the native son on the verge of making good. The perception of life changed with Bias' scandalous death. People still talk about it.

Though not from the Washington area, Sean Taylor's death will have a similar effect on local fans.

Taylor was not as good a football player as he was going to be. You could see his development, especially this year. His best years on the field were ahead of him.

Widely admired from the day the Redskins signed him, he was the player the team would build the defense around. That Gregg Williams-Joe Gibbs strategy of upgrading the secondary to boost the pass rush was to take maximum advantage of Mr. Taylor's skills. And it was working.

It looks more and more like Taylor was targeted for attack. To be awakened in the middle of the night and cut down by an armed intruder in your own home violates so many principles sacred to us. So, lets find this guy and . . . [mess] him up.

Monday, November 26, 2007

God bless you, Sean Taylor

Several story ideas noodling around the old noggin following the Redskins loss to Tampa Bay. None of it is important today.

Today, the important thing is Sean Taylor who was shot in his home last night. It doesn't look good. The bullet that struck Taylor severed his femoral artery. He went into surgery today for life-threatening injuries and is said to be in a coma.

I pray that he lives. I hope that he walks. All that football stuff can wait.

Ben at The Curly R is leading on the blog updates. Look there for the latest.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Redskins turn game over to Bucs

I like to think that my alter ego and I provide thoughtful analysis about the Redskins and football. That's why "we" pay attention to stats. The answers and the tendencies are revealed by the numbers.

It's also a truism that stats don't mean anything. The score is the only stat that matters.

Could today's 19-13 loss to the Buccaneers prove that any better? The Skins dominated the Bucs, statistically, in the second half while the game was in reach. Their effort was undercut by turnovers from the first quarter to the last.

Bet there's a mathmatic formula for that; something like losses result when possession is undercut by turnovers [L=P/TO].

What do you do when your stars fumble their opportunities? That meek, mild-manner guy who lives here will probably have more to say about that on Hog Heaven Tuesday or Wednesday.

While, I haven't given up on the Redskins or the season, I'm only watching for entertainment value from this point.

This team just isn't good enough to go deep in the playoffs.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Michael Vick Surrenders

Micheal Vick turned himself in to U.S. Marshals to begin serving his anticipated prison sentence for interstate conspiracy early. He is scheduled to be sentenced by the U.S. District Court on December 10.

He is being held in a regional jail pending his sentencing.

This is the second smartest move Vick made in his dog fighting saga. The best was hiring a first class legal team to represent his sorry butt when the damage was already done.

This move was smart because Vick will at least avoid the media excess and the protests and counter-protests that accompanied his earlier court appearances.

Vick still faces Virginia dog fighting charges. To put it in a football context, that's a late hit. Federal prosecutors accelerated their action when it appeared that the Commonwealth Attorney was dragging his feet at prosecuting a charge.

The State's case is based entirely on evidence developed by the feds and Vick's guilty plea to those charges. Legal fairness demands that Vick and his legal team were aware that they were putting themselves in jeopardy by his plea.

Virginia may have a case to proceed, but that's not justice. Fifteen yard penalty and loss of down.

I always say that Jesus lives in jail. So many people seem to find Him there.

This intervention may the the thing that causes Vick to get a grip and reassess the direction of his life and choices. That's not a bad thing and Vick's life and career is not at an end. It's a time out, perhaps making up for the time-outs he didn't get [when needed] in his youth.

So, while Vick finds God and gets religion, he might also take inspiration from Martha Stewart, convicted of securities fraud in 2004. Like Vick, she chose to enter prison early, to complete her five month sentence early. [Her prison nickname was "M.Ditty."] So, she resumed her life and career that much sooner, albeit with some restrictions, and is still admired and beloved by her fans. She even made peace with PETA.

Michael Vick has a life and it's in football. I believe Atlanta is the best team and best market for him, if he can overcome Arthur Blank's sense of betrayal to get another chance.

The other market is Oakland, that NFL haven of former bad boys. The Raiders not only have a cultural ambiance where Vick can find acceptance, but a supportive African-American demographic that is attuned to prosecution and second chances; sin and redemption. It's a population deeply suspicious of the case against Vick that would resist the appeals of perceived Utopian outsiders like PETA.

More to the point, in three years, the Raiders may need a quarterback. We don't know yet if JaMarcus Russell is the answer.

Some of the Bad Newz dogs may be adoptable.

Running Redskins' Michael Vick archive

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Soooooo Close

The Washington Redskins have had their share of ugly wins and nasty losses. Today's game against the Cowboys was not one of them. It was a good loss.

A good loss is the kind where you played at your best, executing a good game plan, but lost to a better team playing a better game.

While the Redskins were not perfect, they were in the game until the last 90 seconds. That's better by far than I expected. Would Terrell Owens, that emotionally needy man-child [used to call them sissies], have made four touchdown passes over the middle if Sean Taylor was lurking in the secondary?

Taylor and Fletcher-Baker are the two defensive players who cannot be replaced. The team showed they could cope with other injuries.

Al Saunders showed that his offense can work here. Joe Gibbs showed that he could trust it to win games. Jason Campbell showed his growth as a quarterback running that offense. That's something to build on for the rest of this season and in the future.

Campbell has shown that he can run the offense. Now he has to learn how to win!

I feel good about that.

Oh yeah, you only get one "good loss" per season. No more moral victories, guys.

Who's hitting the Redskins?

I can't prove anything, but I think the DB who broke Brandon Lloyd's collar bone in practice is the same guy who tried to assassinate LaRon Landry with that paint gun.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Brandon Lloyd will be glad to leave

Can anything else go wrong for this guy?

Lloyd broke his collar bone on the last play of practice Wednesday. He's likely done for the season. [I'm fighting the temptation to say he was done anyway. Oops.]

His season here is a bust. He's an athlete. This surely wasn't what he hoped when he signed his contract.

The Redskins are more patient with him that I would have been. They need him to succeed and were giving him every chance to be successful. I need to see him succeed, but had no expectation of seeing success.

With Moss gimpy and Thrash out, Sunday at Dallas was Lloyd's golden opportunity. And he broke a bone. In practice. When it was nearly over.

"We're talking about practice." ~~ Allen Iverson

LaCanfora at The Post says the Redskins will sign WR Jimmy Farris, who has been on and around the Redskins the past few seasons. The Redskins added Burl Toler to the practice squad.

Everyone expects Lloyd to be released by June. With everything that's happened to him here, he will be glad to leave.

Sometimes a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered. Doctor. Oops!