Redskins – Rams (who I’d put back in L.A.) prediction

You know what’s weird? Since I started following the NFL in 1983 and the St. Louis Rams have been around longer than the Los Angeles Rams. I still don’t know why the Rams left Southern California for a fairly small Midwestern market with a so-so NFL history. Given that they won a Super Bowl and lost another, I suppose you can make the argument that it was a good move.

Los Angeles is likely going to be back in the NFL within the next 5 years — a stadium in downtown L.A. is planned and seemingly needs only a team to break ground. There is another potential stadium in the City of Industry that is also shovel ready. If it were up to me, the new L.A. team would be in the NFC West and called the Rams. If I were the St. Louis Rams, I’d sell the nickname to the L.A. group that gets the team and maybe get a 1st round pick out of it too. The St. Louis team would be something like the Archers or something and have current colors, while the new L.A. Rams would go back to the traditional blue and yellow gold. I’d also have the new Rams jersey uniforms be throwbacks to the 1980s version with one difference:

New L.A. Rams primary uniform concept:

The Rams ever move back to LA, this should wear this uniform I mocked up

There is precedent from the Rams history as well as the Lakers and Kings for wearing yellow/gold at home. They’d only wear blue if they were on the road and the home team wore white.

Here is what I’d have the St. Louis Archers look like:

I'd rename the St. Louis Rams to the St. Louis Archers

Pretty much the same uniform as now, but with a different helmet logo and the arch on the sleeve would match the arch on the helmet (too hard for me to reproduce)

Then again, maybe the Rams just move back to L.A. anyway, as seems to be feared in St. Louis.

Meanwhile, back to the present reality, the Washington Redskins are headed to St. Louis to face the Rams. It seems like they play annually and that the Rams have the upper hand for some reason. The Rams have won 2 of the last 3 meetings with the one Skins win being a 9-7 victory during Jim Zorn’s second year. I think the Rams luck continues as the Redskins regress to the mean. Rams over Redskins 24-16 — two Rex Grossman turnovers.

Uniform graphics adapted from Gridiron Uniform Database

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40 years ago today, the Washington Senators played their final game

The darkest day in D.C. baseball history was 40 years ago today. That night, the Washington Senators played their final game which they forfeit after fans overran the field at RFK Stadium. They appeared to be on their way to a 7-5 win over the New York Yankees when bedlam ensued. The Shirley Povich column in The Post the next morning, “The Senators final game” is one of his most famous:

…Arlington, Tex., which, to embittered Washington fans, is some jerk town with the single boast it is equidistant from Dallas and Fort Worth…

…The mad scene on the field, with the athletes of both teams taking refuge in their dugouts, brought official announcement of Yankees 9, Senators 0, baseball’s traditional forfeit count almost since Abner Doubleday notched the first baseball score on the handiest twig at Cooperstown. But by then the crowd-mood was philosophical, “So what?” Or more accurately, “So whatha hell?” The Senators were finished, even if the ball game wasn’t.

The Post gamer: Rowdy Fans Hand Senators Final Loss

The villain in the matters was Bob Short, the Senators owner who, according to some, planned to move the Senators along. At the very least, Short was under-capitalized and his tactic of selling the highest priced tickets in the league did not help D.C. baseball’s cause or improve his cashflow since he drove fans away.

Last year, Steve Ray, uploaded the entire 151 MB final Senators game broadcast featuring Tony Roberts and Ron Menchine. It is worth a listen sometime. Menchine infuriated Short who was listening via telephone speaker back in Minnesota. Menchine’s reaction to “WE WANT SHORT” chants is brilliant.

PREVIOUSLY

Forgive the Texas Rangers? Never!
Rooting against the Twins and Rangers; final Senators broadcast and more history
Why We Fight: Texas Rangers

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Blue White Roundtable: Penn State at Indiana

Week 5 of Blue White Roundtable — Isn’t it weird that the Nittany Lions are traveling to play the Hoosiers, but not going to suburban Maryland to play the game? I was all ready to get on the Blue Line to FedEx Field.

BSD: Is it worth starting Matt McGloin this week at QB? Will we settle the QB competition this week, or are we destined to see this last throughout the Big Ten schedule?

WFY: Sure, what the heck, start McGloin and bring Rob Bolden off the bench so Bolden has the advantage of seeing how things develop. Oh wait, McGloin disagrees with Joe Paterno that puts him at advantage? Who knows? I think the only way this competition gets settled is if one of them gets hurt.

I’ve been on the side of making Bolden the #1 all season long, based on his potential, but that is getting harder. McGloin looks better against bad teams and worse against good teams than Bolden — but neither can beat a good team right now. In short, I don’t know what to think any more.

BSD: Penn State is deep at linebacker, but Mike Mauti was one of the best players on the field. How much will his absence impact this defense? Can Nate Stupar keep up the frenetic pace he set last week in Mauti’s absence?

WFY: Mauti’s latest injury is a tough one because I think he has that extra something that you need late in a close game. The interception against Temple comes to mind. However, if you had to pick a position to suffer a serious injury to a starter, you’d go with linebacker. Instead of being at least 2 deep at every linebacker spot, they are now 1.66 deep at every spot, right?

Stupar seized his opportunity last week and caused all sorts of havoc against Eastern Michigan, including a great read that almost turned into a pick-six. I don’t expect him to continue it at that level as the Big Ten season progresses, but I think he’ll be solid.

BSD: Let’s turn to Indiana. Highly regarded assistant coach takes over a struggling, low-tradition program. Is Kevin Wilson the guy to turn it around? Shouldn’t they be at least a little better than they’ve looked this year?

WFY: I don’t know whether Kevin Wilson can turn around the Hoosiers — he has so many disadvantages there. I don’t think the state of Indiana knew much about football until Peyton Manning started playing Indy’s stolen NFL team. I will say that Indiana made a good decision to try and find a hot assistant rather than some MAC coach. I have a feeling they will improve next year, he’s finding out what he has and needs, while weeding out the players who are too beat down from being a Hoosier.

BSD: Pick one – Dukes or Beachum.

WFY: Dukes, he’s healthier, right?

BSD: Predictions.

WFY: Matt McGloin will light up the Hoosiers. The quarterback situation will have the clarity of the Susquehanna after Tropical Storm Lee. Joe Paterno will coach from the box. Rob Bolden will continue to be taller than McGloin. Songs from the Bruce Springsteen of Indiana, John Cougar Mellencamp, will be played throughout the day. In other news, New Jersey is so much better than Indiana. CB D’Anton Lynn will be missed more than Mauti. Slias Redd will rush for over 100 yards.

Isn’t it weird that the Nittany Lions are traveling to play the Hoosiers, but not going to suburban Maryland to play the game? I was all ready to get on the Blue Line to FedEx Field.

The Roundtable

Black Shoe Diaries
Nittany Lions Den
JoePa’s Doghouse

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Nats winning record bid ends in penultimate game of 2011, Florida Marlins and Sun Life Stadium

Nationals vs. Marlins: Bryan Petersen hits walk-off homer to deny WashingtonThe Post
Ninth-inning loss costs Nats a chance for winning seasonThe Wash. Times
The Washington Nationals bid for a winning record in 2011 ended in the penultimate game of of the season. A ninth inning home run by the Florida Marlins Bryan Petersen off a Doug Slaten resulted in loss #81 for the Nats. A win tonight, in the final game of the Florida Marlins before they leave Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphin/Dolphins/Land Shark/Sun Life Stadium for a new ballpark in Miami, would leave Washington with a 80-81 record for the season. Third place is already clinched for the first time since 1945 for D.C. according to @MarkZuckerman when there were no divisions.

Today’s game is a 4:10 p.m. start with Stephen Strasburg on the mound for the Nats and South Florida native Chris Volstad for the Marlins. Don’t be shocked if ¡LIVAN! gets into the game — he was the hero of the 1997 Marlins that won the World Series over the Cleveland Indians.

Michael Morse may be done for the year (and what a year it wasThe Wash. Times) and Ryan Zimmerman might be too (nationals.com).

This is what the new Miami Marlins will wear on their cap next season:

The Miami Marlins are really going to wear this on their caps

Canadian Chris Creamer’s Remembering the Florida Marlins Identity, 1993-2011 is worth a read. By the way, according to Nationals Journal (The Post) we want the Toronto Blue Jays to win tonight and finish .500 so that the Nats are 16th overall:

If the Nationals finish in the top 15 overall, their first-round pick would not be protected if they sign a Type A free agent. In other words, the Nationals would lose their first round pick if they sign a top-tier free agent. But if the Nationals finished in the bottom 15, their first-round pick would be protected and they would lose only a second-round pick if they sign a Type A free agent.

I’m really going to miss the Nats.

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Nats beat Marlins on Morse’s 30th homer, clinch third place

Michael Morse’s three-run homer in ninth lifts Nationals over MarlinsThe Post
Michael Morse’s 3-run, 9th-inning HR gives Nats 6-4 comeback win over MarlinsThe Wash. Times
The Washington Nationals kept the dream of a winning season alive with a 3-run Michael Morse homer in the top of the 9th inning, beating the Florida Marlins 6-4. The Nats now have a 79-80 record with two games left. They need to sweep the Marlins to get that elusive first winning record since the return of baseball to D.C. and first overall since the 1969 Washington Senators.

The Nats win and the New York Mets loss last night clinched 3rd place for Washington, the highest showing since divisional play began in 1969.

Can you believe CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman didn’t make the final trip to Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphin/Dolphins/Land Shark/Sun Life Stadium?

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Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys prediction

No Washington Redskins guest prognosticator this week since I don’t know any Dallas Cowboys fans (which some might find funny).

The Redskins have been solid so far, but I think they have been talking too much trash for this early in the season, especially since they have to go on the road. I think Tony Romo will be quite focused and put the rib and lung injuries aside. I anticipate D’Angelo Hall will look a little foolish for talking too much after he gets burned for a touchdown. All in all, the Cowboys will probably be hungier and the Redskins will see the averages catch up with them a little.

Redskins 13
Cowboys 24

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44 home wins for the 2011 Nats

I was unable to get to yesterday’s Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves game and from what I saw on twitter and heard over TV and from pros like Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington, I missed a great game. The 37,000+ crowd was lively and the Nats responded with a 3-0 shutout. Is this the beginning of DC as a good baseball town? I hope so in the 100,000 every weekend sort of thing — big enough crowds to make the park really alive, but still have tickets available the day of the game.

The Nats won 44 times in D.C. this year, D.C.’s best home season since 1969 when the Senators won 47 games at RFK Stadium.

Let Teddy Win got to talk to Jayson Werth about the President’s Race who said “It’s bigger than me, man. It’s bigger than me.” Probably, but a guy with a .230 batting average shouldn’t be dictating team policy.

There isn’t much I can add to this DC Sports Bog post (other than you, know mentioning the lottery incident in Philly) about how weird the Nats have been.

Three more games against the Florida Marlins and the season is over. A series sweep, which is not going to happen I’m afraid, would mean a winning 81-80 record.

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