BREAKING NEWS: FIRST BALLPARK VOTE IS APPROVED!

Williams’s Plan Gets Preliminary ApprovalThe Post

Bill Faces Final Vote on Dec. 14 or 21

WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO! The council in a 6-4-3 double play, err, 6 yays, 4 nays, and 3 absentions, voted to approve ballpark funding. We have one more tough hurdle to get through and the next two or three weeks will be hard. Hopefully, our dream will be realized. The debate within myself is whether to get that blue Nats hat that I like — gosh, I feel like Linda Cropp.

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IS TODAY THE DAY?

Will there be agony or ecstasy? Has Linda Cropp fouled it all up again? Will they even vote? I am going to try and avoid the news while I am at work, this is the sort of thing that can kill productivity.

Cropp Offers Alternate Funding PlanThe Post

I am simply shocked, shocked that Cropp would propose something at the last minute. I am not even going to try the tea leaves on this one, rather just hope they do not blow it. The Wash. Times has a more optimistic article: Stadium approval coming today.


Thomas Boswell – Hot Stove Puts Redskins On the Back BurnerThe Post

I am not sure I agree with all of Boswell’s conclusions and he acts as though ballpark funding was fait accompli. It is not, as we all know. I just hope they cut a deal today.

More from The Post: Nationals Acquire Fourth New Player

PRANKSGIVING

My brother sent me a link to a great site and a fantastic prank pulled off by some Yalies. Go to harvardsucks.org and see what they did. Boola boola blue!

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SOLOMON SAYS

George SolomonWishing the Home Team Would Hurry Up and ArriveThe Post

The D.C. Council has the power to make the home team arrive for good by passing the funding bill tomorrow. Make it happen!


PENN STATE 2004 POST-MORTEM

A few media outlets did their season review over the last few days. Here they are:

  • Defense only took Nittany Lions so farCDT
  • No defending play of offensePatriot-News
  • Analysis: Paterno sacks idea for changes at PSUPost-Gazette
  • Looking ahead: possible starters next year for Penn State’s football teamPost-Gazette
  • There was also beat writer Heather Dinich’s farewell column: Change can be a good thing — even in this townCDT

    And of course, Dave Jones gets to be the wet blanket by suggesting entirely plausible possibilities: JoePa saga doomed to end badlyPatriot-News

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    BLACK FRIDAY

    Today is the busiest shopping day of the year, they say. I am going to celebrate the way I always do, by going to work and avoiding malls and big box stores at all costs.


    SEASON TICKET CLARIFICATION

    After a long absence, an alert reader in Fairfax e-mailed me to clarify how many season tickets have been sold:

    I think you’re miscounting the deposits on season tickets. I put down money for 4 season tickets. But the way I had to enter it on the website, I put down 4 “deposits”. You have to put a deposit on each seat you want. So, if you want 10 seats, you put down 10 deposits.

    So, 15,000 deposits means the same as 15,000 seats.

    The attendance, then, is already more than 1.2 million — a phenomenal total, since the council hasn’t even voted yet. Watch what happens when partial game plans go on sale (assuming of course that the council will get the deal done).

    Thank you, ARIF!


    RONNIE CHRIST RETURNS

    Ronnie ChristNittany Lions finally find their wayPatriot-News

    Longtime beat writer Ronnie Christ is feeling good about the Nittany Lions following the Michigan State game.


    SOME D.C. PRESS FOR MARN

    Steeler Fans Still Dialed in to CopeThe Post

    There is not much that we do not already know in this article, but it is nice to be reminded of him aggravating Dan Synder, boy owner of the Washington Red-faces.

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    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


    You see, back in those days, rich men would ride around in Zeppelins, dropping coins on people, and one day I seen J. D. Rockefeller flying by. So I run of the house with a big washtub and… hey! Where are you going?

    … Anyway, about my washtub. I’d just used it that morning to wash my turkey, which in those days was known as… a walking bird. We’d always have walking bird on Thanksgiving with all the trimmings: cranberries, injun eyes, yams stuffed with gunpowder. Then we’d all watch football, which in those days was called “baseball”…

    - Abraham Simpson

    I think Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday these days. It is certainly the most American holiday and proof that America beats everybody else (on points) because we celebrate our holidays by feasting, not fasting. What could be better than stuffing one’s self silly with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc. and then sitting by the fireplace, watching the Cowboys game? I know I look forward to sitting in front of the game and a roaring wood fire that I have built with my own hands (no remote control gas fireplaces for me!) at my folks house and eating a leftover turkey leg during the fourth quarter more than any other holiday. I also look forward to writing run-on sentences.


    LOTS OF SEASON TICKETS SOLD

    Nationals Have 15,000 Deposits For TicketsThe Post

    You have to figure that is at least 30,000 seats of a 45,000 seat stadium already sold. That puts attendance well over 2 million and individual game tickets are not on sale. This has the makings of a ticket crunch, which is very good for the franchise, District, and MLB.

    More from The Wash. Times: Ballpark agreement to require union standards.


    Cost Cap Proposed For SE StadiumThe Post

    It sounds like good fiscal policy, but it could blow the whole deal. Do you think council chairwoman Linda Cropp wishes she was not at the City Museum on Sept. 29? It is going to be up to Jack Evans (D, Ward-2) to get this through.

    Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com reported yesterday that after much consideration, Bonneville radio stations (WTOP, WGMS, Z104) are not interested in carrying the Nats.

    Q&A with D.C. Mayor Williamsnationals.com

    A good interview of hizzoner by MLB.

    BIG11TEN HONORS

    Big Ten honors 5 Nittany LionsPatriot-News

    Hali, Posluszny, Zemaitis named to 2nd-team defense

    Not even an honorable mention for MLB Dan Connor though. Hopefully, he will feel slighted and take his frustration out on the opposition next year. The others, including Andrew Guman and Jeremy Kapinos are not surprising.

    Bob Flouders has more on the Connor snub: Connor deserves all-conference notice


    Will Robinson spend his last year at QB or wideout?The Morning Call

    While the NFL looms, he said he’d like to play the position that is best for his future.

    Sorry Mike, your best future position is not QB. Zack Mills basically said MRob needs to be a wideout last week.

    PENNSYLVANIA TURN-STRIKE

    Turnpike runs free on 1st day of strikePost-Gazette

    Union workers walk out, leaving toll gates wide open

    The annual threat of a strike on Black Wednesday became more than a threat this year. Toll booth attendants on the Pa. Turnpike decided to picket at 4 a.m. yesterday. I had at least two emails on the subject before 11 a.m. The good news was that yesterday, the road was free. The bad news was that today, scabs are in place, so even with flat rates, there will probably be backups. The really good news is it does not matter to me since I am not traveling! In the end this is just representative of how the poorly the Pennsylvania Turnpike compares to other Northeastern toll roads, which are generally cheaper, better designed/maintained and have friendlier, helpful attendants. They also have EZ-Pass in every lane and fewer indirect connections (Breezewood) between other superhighways. While I recognize that working in a toll booth is not the greatest job, they get better benefits than most of us do, so I do not have a lot of sympathy. These are probably largely patronage jobs anyhow, I doubt anyone can just show up, apply and get the job, methinks you have to know someone. In other highway news…


    NJ Route 42Interstate 295 - New JerseyInterstate 76
    N.J. promises to untangle a traffic knotThe Inqy

    Fast lane: Codey vows a quicker fix at merge of Route 42, I-295, I-76

    Even as a kid I knew this interchange was not a great idea. Granted, it is worse for I-76/NJ 42 traffic than I-295 in my experience, but this needs to be fixed. It sounds like in about six years, if all goes according to plan, I may be able to get down the Shore three minutes earlier. Also, NJ 42 and the Atlantic City Expressway need to become an extension of I-76.

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    BLACK WEDNESDAY

    A happy busiest travel day of the year to you and yours. I will celebrate it the way I always do — not traveling!


    COUNCIL DOES NOT LIKE ANGELO$ SUBSIDY

    Council’s Stadium Opponents Question Prospective TV DealThe Post

    Most of Network’s Profits Would Go to Angelos

    That is a really good point and hopefully that will lead to a better TV deal for the Nationals.


    Still Smarting Over Senators, ‘Baseball Bill’ Looks AheadThe Post

    A New Team in the District Could Inherit ‘Ultimate Fan’

    A profile from a while back of Bill Holdforth, alleged to have dumped a beer on Bob Short in 1972. He says he would “never waste a beer like that.” It turns out in addition to being “the ultimate fan” he really, really likes beer. He also put out an ad in the old Minneapolis Tribune two days before an election bashing Senate hopeful Short, who then lost.

    Expo turned National, Tavares is man on moveThe Sun

    A good profile of Nats president Tony Tavares from Baltimore’s paper of all places.

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    DON’T MESS WITH CHARLIE!

    Thom LoverroBrotman is willing to fight for teamThe Wash. Times

    Note to the D.C. council, pass the funding bill or Charlie “Bad News” Brotman is going to get upset. Brotman, 76, the first guy to pull that obnoxious protestor away from the podium. Also, Loverro makes the case for D.C. baseball again, which is always good to hear.

    More from The Wash. Times: Baseball adopts Nationals name

    More from The Post: Nationals Are Reborn to a Mixed Reaction


    It turns out that the MLB Shop did get the hats mixed up.

    Editors note: This corrected on December 26, 2004, due file names on the MLB Web be changed and thus showing the incorrect hats.

    Home Away

    That blue one is really sharp, I wish they would wear that one at home.


    ZEMAITIS TOUCH

    Zemaitis likely to stay for senior yearThe Collegian

    I doubt he is a 1st round pick yet, so for him it makes sense to come back. Our defense could use him too.


    David JonesPSU’s 2004 defense simply defied logic

    Patriot-News

    I think the offense defied logic too, but seriously, this was one special defense. I doubt they will be that good next year, but hopefully they will not need to be that good because our offense will score.

    PORTLAND TAKES LEAVE

    Portland is taking leave of absenceThe Collegian

    Not much has been said about why Women’s basketball coach Rene Portland is leaving, but hopefully she will be okay.

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    IT IS OFFICIAL: WASHINGTON NATIONALS

    D.C.’s Team Officially Renamed the NationalsThe Post

    It is official, they are the Nationals (new and improved Web site) and have a logo and the two hat designs I posted earlier today. Everyone was wearing the red cap (see video from The Post) on the stage, so I have to wonder if the MLB Shop is incorrect in calling the blue model (I like it!) the home cap. Now, the internal debate, do I go and buy a cap with the deal not sealed? Also, there was a knucklehead from the D.C. Statehood Green Party who went up on stage uninvited and began speaking in opposition to baseball. Charlie Brotman and Harold Brazil (D, At-large) grabbed him and whisked him off stage.


    Phil RogersThese Nats should flyESPN.com

    A Chicago sportswriter thinks that we could see success sooner than later. We shall see.

    PENN STATE WRAP-UP

    PSU REPORT CARDPatriot-News

    They got an “A” this week — ’bout time.


    David JonesPaterno kept everyone guessingPatriot-News

    I did not think Joe was going to hang it up this week, despite the media speculation. His post-game comments (goPSUsports.com) were a bit odd too.

    FIELD GOAL CHAMPIONSHIP

    Congratulations to Sam Basile, who in addition to being the WWN Maryland Bureau Chief is the champion field goal kicker. Sam iced the title, overcoming the terrible conditions (mud, wet grass, and um, victory celebration) that we all faced.


    SIR, HARVARD’S CHEATING WAS MUCH MORE BLATANT THIS YEAR

    Harvard trounces Yale in The Game, 35-3Yale Daily News

    Sounds like things got ugly.


    CLY IN USAT

    My brother Christopher had an item published last Wednesday on USAToday.com. Pop Candy columnist Whitney Matheson asked, “what is your guilty pleasure?” Go here and see what he had to say. Also, his questions page is now in blog form, be sure to check it out and ask him a question.

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    NATIONALS NAME AND UNIFORMS DEBUT TODAY

    Ribbon Helps Tie Together Main Logo For NationalsThe Post

    The unveiling will be at noon in Union Station, which is a great venue for this sort of thing. I am getting used to the name Nationals, even though I preferred Senators or Grays. Of course, the name could change when they move to their permanent home which is hopefully — maybe even probably — South Capitol Street.


    Expos Acquire J. GuillenThe Post

    Angels Suspended OF After Tantrum in Sept.

    This trade would be akin to the Wizards picking up Ron Artest (okay, maybe before Friday night), which I fully expect to happen someday. Guillen had a good year in 2004, but so did Juan Rivera, who was traded to the Angels for Guillen.

    Community Responses Mixed to Baseball PayoffThe Post

    The Web headline was “Libraries to Enjoy Funds.” Perhaps the copydesk on 15th Street and the Web desk in Arlington have a different take on baseball. All I have to say is, support the library bill, D.C. libararies need the money. I think there a rider on that bill, better pass it too.

    WE WON, NOW WHAT?

    Saturday’s victory (CDT) was a wonderful way to end the season and send out the senior class, especailly Zack Mills (CDT). It would have been nice to see Anthony Morelli play more. It also would have been nice if COMCAST had worked this morning. I am out of time and have more to say. Check back this evening for another update, with more on Penn State and a look at the Nationals uniforms.

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