Norv

Ever since Norv Turner was (inexplicably?) hired to be the head coach of the San Diego Chargers I have been meaning to write about him. Back in the mid ’90s when he was the Redskins coach, he occasionally visited the carryout window at the Oakton Friendly’s (since closed) where I worked. What struck me the most about Turner was that he seemed uncomfortable in his own skin. He was not what I would have expected out of “a leader of men.” Perhaps I threw him off when I thanked him for doing such a good job turning Troy Aikman into such a good quarterback.* Anyhow, he was quiet and polite and his kids were well behaved. I think almost all of them ordered orange sherbet. Also, he drove a Buick LeSabre initially, followed by a Cadillac Seville.

It should also be noted that Friendly’s was not far from the Oakton Pettibon’s restaurant which also closed down. I wonder how often Turner passed his predecessor’s restaurant?

For the record, in some ways I think Turner got dealt a bad hand. I recall hearing that he tried to cut Michael Westbrook after the helmet incident against the Giants, but GM Charley Casserly voided it.

By the way, I once met Joe Gibbs at the long-lost Vienna Donuts (nee Mister Donut). If I recall it was spring time and he was wound up really tight. He signed an autograph on a napkin that said “To a super fan.” If he had only known. I also met Riggo in the same place one August, probably the same year. He was kind of withdrawn, though he was really flattered by my compliment of his color commentary during a recent preseason game. I think this was during the “transitional period” after he lived in a van down by the river for a while and his emergence as a football pundit.

*I was a hardcore Cowboys fan from about 1983 to 1997 or so, making for an interesting childhood at times. After a couple of years of Penn State football, the NFL paled in comparison. I no longer claim any NFL team as a favorite, though I tend to root against dome teams.

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Get well Dr. Frank

My Media Ethics (Comm 409, I think) professor Russell Frank just found out he had colon cancer, so he wrote a column (CDT) about it. His prognosis sounds pretty good, though he is wishing he had gotten screened (which makes the process seem much less unpleasant than it really is) at age 50 instead of 52. He blames a night of pork rinds for his predictament which is a good way to handle this kind of news. I’ll keep that in mind should I ever be tempted by that salty/fatty snack. That has yet to happen.

It has been a while since I have seen Dr. Frank, but I keep up on his blog Spankly Freaking on the CDT’s Web site. It was through him I learned about National Gorilla Suit Day (Jan. 31). That I failed to celebrate it in this forum is a shame I may always carry with me.

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Today’s Nats headlines

I am not feeling well, so I am just going to post headlines this morning.

The Post
Healthy Hill Makes Another Start
Claussen ‘Shooting For May’ Return

The Wash. Times
Early chance at a major future
Nationals’ recipe needs time to brew
Guzman, Lopez are adjusting to each other
Spring Report

Florida Today
Cedeno’s first trip was here in Cocoa
Fun and games
Lopez embraces move to second
Space Coast Stadium ready for relaunch

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Nats didn’t tell p.a. announcer he was fired

According to DCRTV, Jim Clarke learned from The Washington Post he was being replaced as p.a. announcer at Nationals games:

DCRTV hears that Jim Clarke has been informed that he’ll no longer be the public address (PA) announcer for the Washington Nationals this season. He tells us that he learned of the Nats’ decision via an article in the Washington Post – and not via direct communication from the team.

Looks like another poorly handled dismissal by the Nationals. I don’t have a problem with their decision, but they should have been upfront with Clarke.

Clarke will fill a similar role for the P-Nats this season.

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Tysons, Va.?

ALAN ARTHUR FOGGYou Say McLean. I Say Vienna. Let’s All Say Tysons.The Post
A Fairfax County Economic Development official wants a new zip code and place name set up for Tyson’s Corner. Currently, Vienna and McLean are both used for the 17th-largest central business district in the U.S. I don’t see any big downsides to this proposal, though the McLean Chamber of Commerce might be unhappy to see two fortune 500 companies no longer have a Mclean postmark or dateline.

If it were up to me, I would make the name Tysons. We could forever clear up whether Tyson’s Corner has an apostrophe or not that way.

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The spring training grind has begun

The third week of spring training begins with a bit of an exodus. Todd Jacobsen of The Free Lance-Star has left Viera (he’ll be back in mid-March) and so has Thomas Boswell. I wonder if Bos stopped by Waffle House while he was down south. Nats320 is also back in snowy D.C. In general, the news is slowing down a little. Today is the last workout (Florida Today) before the intrasquad games begin. So far, it has been a healthy spring (The Post) with no serious new injuries popping up. On Friday, the Nats head down to Vero Beach to face the Dodgers with their Viera opener next Saturday vs. Balmer. Shawn Hill gets the start vs. Los Angeles.

Randy St. Claire never pitched a full season in the majors (The Post), but near the end of his career he started “thinking like a coach” and eventually found pitching coach role with the Expos organization. He has been in the majors since 2003. He came awfully close to changing careers after a long season away from his family though.

LHP Ray King spends his offseason selling women’s clothes (The Wash. Times) in the Scottsdale, Ariz. store he owns with his wife. If he were not a 241 lbs relief pitcher, the story would be a lot less funny. Kind of like when a post about how King “comes romping into the Sushi Bar, with two HOT BABES hanging all over him” goes into the memory hole. By the way, I’m not mad at blogger who took that down, I would understand where he was coming from not wanting to blow his sources. I am not saying I would do it the same way though.

Robert Fick is going through spring training with a heavy heart (The Post). His mother is back in Calfornia dying of lung cancer. He took care of her all winter, but does not expect to see her agian. Fick is still the class clown though.

Didn’t guys like C Jesus Flores used to be called bonus babies (The Post)? Flores has only played A ball but because of being a Rule 5 acquisition, he has to stay on the MLB roster for a full year or be offered back to his previous team (the Mets).

More importantly, one of the Rushmores was in Viera:

Teddy Roosevelt, the only one of the four 10-foot tall racing presidents from RFK Stadium to go winless in 2006, appeared at Sunday’s workout. He greeted fans and appeared to be training for the upcoming season.

By the way, one of the guys at last week’s happy hour was trying out for a job as a racing president.

3B Ryan Zimmerman will still have a bigger leadership role this season (Florida Today).

With Nick Johnson still recovering from a broken leg, the question is who is on first (The Wash. Times)?

Here are two days worth of notes from The Wash. Times:

Monday: SEEN AND HEARD IN VIERA | Spring Report: Sunday
Sunday: SEEN AND HEARD IN VIERA | Spring Report Saturday | Q&A with Kory Casto

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Finally, a decent snowstorm (for a while at least)


ARLINGTON, Va. — The “light snow & sleet, turning to rain” forecasted today has turned out to be a 3½ of snow instead, our highest total of the season. I am not complaining though, if it is going to be cold out, it might as well be snowy. Erica, Fritz and I took advantage of it by building a snowman in Grace Murray Hopper Park, also known as the front yard of our building.



I also have more photos in my flickr set National Capital on Ice. Here is a preview:

How long until Opening Day?

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