Hey Bill, Great to hear from you, and I apologize for my negligence. I have been busy trying to catch up on a number of fronts, and I had not realized that I had not put up Dallas yet. I started working on it, but tumblr just crashed before I was about to put up a couple of photos with you. Will be up soon! Hopefully within the hour. THe rest of the trip was great. Jacksonville got its first snow, about 7 flakes total in decades, and it was ridiculously cold and windy. Smashed my back windshield backing up in a space in the hotel parking lot in Atlanta on Christmas eve. Had to rely on a patch up job for 3 days, driving to Jacksonville and getting poured on the night before the flakes. South Carolina was wonderful. Tremendous food, great people, and fun times.
Thanks so much for your hospitality in Dallas. I enjoyed meeting your crew. Next time you are in DC, come by the Museum! It seems the Redskins are trying to convert me into a Cowboys fan, between Haynesworth being charged with punching a guy in a road rage incident, and then the next day having a waitress allege that he sexually assaulted her, well caressed her breast anyway; and Dan Snyder trying again to squash free speach by suing the DC City Paper for defamation. Don’t hold your breath though, although my Skins have not given me much to cheer about in recent years, it’s a geographical thing, my fanhood.
I had to this this pre-game video at the beginning of this post, since it was more fun, once again than the game itself. I know many toy with the idea, and some actually do buy parking passes and come party in the lot, but do not go into the game itself. Good way of knocking a couple hundred dollars out of the red column!
At last the final game. After consulting with weather.com and going the old fashion way and calling up 936-1212, I was assured that their was only a chance of light rain in the morning, which according to my phone call ended at noon, and according to weather.com, decreased to a 20% chance at noon and a 10% chance at 1 pm. Oh yeah, and it would be mostly sunny. At last! a little comfort from the football weather gods who conspired against me in Jacksonville, and who have made December cold and generally miserable. Wah! Is the road trip over yet? Oh yeah, one more to go. My friend Walker, who has a stand-up tent was doing his island get away, so we were left without shelter from the storm. I headed over to pick up Matt, who was hooking me up with a club seat, and his buddy Rob, who was working on a small pot of chili when I arrived. I brought two specialty sausages to the tailgate. The first was a deer sausage made with cheddar and jalapeno and not commercially available from Val’s dad in Greenville, Illinois. One has to shoot a deer, or run one over (by accident hopefully) and then bring it to this processing plant, that cuts and packages different cuts and makes this amazing sausage. The second sausage was the Super Hot Met, a smoked sausage, from a top notch Cincinnati butcher at Findley Market. This was not to be confused with the regular Met or the Hot Met, it was the Super Hot Met. I bought a five pound package after sampling it to go with my five pound pack of bratwurst and my one pound of Goetta, a scrapple like sausage / oatmeal loaf of German origin, which seems to be only eaten in German places in Cincinnati. After stopping at CVS, as I needed some materials to make some protest signs and at Talbert’s on River Road to get some quality champagne glasses we pulled in to F 20 and joined Steve’s tailgate. IT was the proverbial sausage fest, as Steve had brought 40 sausages, brats, etc to grill, and there was a bit of dearth of the fairer sex present, perhaps partly because the weather was not so fair. Is that inappropriate speculation? In any case, it was a fact. We doctored up Steve’s sausages with Rob’s chili and Sharlene’s homemade cheese dip. Matt doctored his up right.Note the huge ass Super Hot Mets on the grill as I size up my sausage.Matt very kindly brought the finest of Veuve Cliquot champagnes to celebrate the end of the road trip, and he allowed me to do the honors. Throughout the season, my patience and tolerance of the ways of Mike Shanahan waned. From his poor personal decisions, bringing in aged veterans with vastly diminished skills, which kept players like Anthony Armstrong, Brandon Banks, Terrence Austin and Ryan Torrain on the bench or the practice squad, to his terrible handling of Albert Haynesworth, airing out all of his dirty laundry in a blatant attempt to humiliate him, pouring gas on the fire rather than stomping it out and dealing with Albert behind closed doors as Joe Gibbs and others would have done, to his inexcusable public display of Donovan McNabb, one of the most deserving of respect players ever, to his blatant lying to the fans about putting the best players on the field when sitting Haynesworth. to his propensity for throwing players under the bus, such as Santana Moss, one of the toughest and hardworking players for dropping one pass; by game 16, I was pissed.So, taking a page from last year, when I was kicked out of the Monday night game against the Eagles for refusing to hand over my signs, I made these three posters to express my displeasure, most fans’ displeasure with the way Coach Shananagan has handled things.
Professor BB Wigglebutt, our canine companion, has just returned from his sabbatical exploring the South and the Mid-west, and has cancelled office hours to be in the Studio to give his final prognosis of the season. Professor?
It is amazing this Redskins team still has a heartbeat after the way Coach Shanahan has demoralized the players and alienated the fans. His propensity for throwing players like Donovan McNabb, Santana Moss, and Chris Cooley, of all people, under the bus in outrageous and just plain stupid.
Message to Mike…IT IS YOUR FAULT! Not the players’. Stop blaming them, and look into the mirror. For goodness sakes, check your ego at the door and go back to the 4-3 defense. Sorry Coach Has, may be a great defense, but not for our personal. YOu have wasted the talents of Andre Carter and Kedric Golston in particular. The Redskins had a good defense last year, you two messed it up big time!
On a side note, being a total jerk is a horrible way to go through life. Being an egomaniac can’t be great either. Blaming those who you are supposed to be leading is wrong. Being Mike Shanahan must be the worst!
The players have to dislike their coach as much as the fans do, but he has nearly ruined many of their careers by making them look bad and speaking ill of them. The players have heart, and they are fighting for their careers and reputations. Coaches around the league will put little stock in what Shanahan says about players; they will rely on the film. Shanahan may have killed the trade value of Haynesworth, McNabb, Fred Davis, and others, but players who are allowed on the field will put up a fight against a much better Giants team that needs to win for the post-season.
Redskins 23-20. My apologies for giving less of a prognosis than a rant, but in my snout, I have a lot of bottled up anger at and frustration with Mike Shanahan. To him I will simply say, “Bad Cop, No doughnut.”
Although I had my two great lower level seats, my buddy Matt Simpson offered me club seats a week before the game, and I was happy to have the possibility for a bit of cover since they were calling for rain back then, not to mention to share Matt’s good company.
I had lined up a friend who works for a news network to do some pre-game video work for me and join me for the game, but unfortunately she had a family member with health issues, and she had to leave town. I scrambled to get a replacement to no avail…not a lot of interest on a rainy morning the day after New Years Day.
I had picked up a nice Mitchell & Ness replica of Sam Huff’s 1969 Redskins jersey basically for free in an auction lot, featuring he NFL’s 50th anniversary patch. I own a real 1969 Huff game jersey, but would not want to wear it out. The replicas go for over $200, and Mitchell & Ness is the king of the vintage replica. I was psyched to wear this tribute to a great Redskin and Giant, one who made the cover of Time Magazine in 1959 when he had barely graduated from the West Virginia Mountaineers.
There has been some talk that Huff might not be coming back to do the radio play by play with fellow legend, Sonny Jurgensen, so I thought it was time to pay him a bit of tribute for his fine years as a Redskins linebacker and broadcaster.
Now I just had to make sure nothing went wrong, and I made it to my final game of 2011.
Good times, good food. Very dog friendly city. I kept getting reminded of Redskins safeties…
Let’s just start with the Big nasty…This is the specialty at the Homonie Grill in Charleston, a legendary spot for good eats. So good, that after eating the Big Nasty, that’s a fried chicken breast on a biscuit smothered in sausage gravy, we decided we had to come back for lunch to try the she crab soup and the shrimp & grits. Deeeelicious! We stayed downtown at the Wentworth Mansion, where upon our arrival we proceeded to a sitting room in the manor for wine & cheese and some fresh fish cakes.Aside from the appearance of the guests at the mansion, Charleston was not all high society, sipping martinis.On the last day of 2010, we walked at least six miles around Charleston, checking out the lovely houses, taking the Professor to various parks, and scoping out potential bars for the night before taking a pedi-cab with the Professor back to our mansion, before setting out to eat some oysters at a place close to Folly Beach. We saw them unload huge quantities of oysters from the boat and hose them down.The oystermen secured the oyster / crab boat for the eveningas we imagined the night ahead based on the deck artand climbed the stairs to check out the view.We were a bit early for oysters, as they didn’t open until 5 pm, so we drove to Folly Beach and brought the Professor out for a romp in the splendor of a lovely sunset.We arrived back at the oyster joint in time to snag the last available table. I ordered a tray of steamed oysters for $14 and a couple of beers, and we were golden.The oysters, I ate over four dozen larges and countless smalls, were sweet and succulent, and just needed a bit of knife prying to open. All done!We decided to head back to Folly Beach to have a couple of Margaritas, some beer and a couple of fish tacos at a great Mexican place called Taco Boy.After getting some info from our bartender, Meghan , I asked the patron next to me if he knew of any good live music happening. He told me of a reggae band playing at a bar we had scene earlier and of a surf music band playing at the Surf Bar just around the corner. The Surf Bar sounded a bit more promising, so we headed over to have a couple more beers. Before leaving Taco Boy, I asked Meghan if the cops were tough on New Years Eve around the area. She asked where we were headed, and I told her we would be driving back to Charleston. She told me there was a 100% chance we would be stopped at a checkpoint, as se had just heard from a couple of friends who said there was one on the way to Charleston. A bit of panic set in, and we headed to the nearest hotel, where there was a seemingly very cheesy looking New Years Eve Party taking place in the lobby. They only had two rooms left, both ocean side for $289, and the best they coulddo was $239, and they would wave the $25 pet fee. Not happening. Plan B - Start calling the cab company.
After freezing our buts off in Florida, we had intended on spending more time in the frigid South. We abandoned our plans to go to Hollywood Beach in Florida when we discovered a week before leaving DC that the hotel we were planning on staying discriminated against canines. We discriminated against their hotel and their whole state, and decided to do our “chill” time in South Carolina.
Before leaving Florida, over by Doozer’s Pub, in God knows where,we finally found a shop that dealt in used glass, and was able to replace our back windshield, the cardboard version of which had held up well in its first downpour, but was not providing optimum (any) rear visibility.
Moonlight Autoglass was not only photo worthy, it was a part of me.THe owner was a collector of “stuff”, like me. Not necessarily vintage stuff, and not archival, museum quality pieces, but nonetheless, stuff…and even…Redskins stuff? Well, tangentially, and in a stolen name, stolen logo sort of way, as portrayed by this somewhat vintage Pee Wee League helmet sitting above the pet parrot.
Anyway, used glass costs less, and since there was no new glass available, $179 for a new back windshield sounded pretty good.
We hit the highway and made a pit stop for lunch on Amelia Island. It being Monday, our first choice, The Down Under (down under the Shave Bridge), a locals hangout off the beaten path, literally a ways down a dirt road called Otis Trail, was unfortunately closed.Our next choice was Marina Seafood Restaurant, a good bit more touristy, and in town, but it had one all kinds of awards, and we called to make sure it was open.The chow was excellent. We attempted to walk off our lunch hangover by walking the one mile round trip to the end of the fishing pier at Fort Clinch State Park, rumored to be the longest fishing pier on the East Coast.
Our next stop was Palmetto Bluff, an island in South Carolina 50% bigger than Manhattan.
The glorious Foodfest we enjoyed in South Carolina will also be addressed in depth.
A victory snatches away all chances for a high pick, as most players on the team fought for their jobs next year, as Comandante “Coach” Shanahan continues to throw players under the bus. Apparently our woes are all their fault, not his. Great leader. Great guy. Not.
Val and I ate breakfast at Denny’s. A woman came in and caused a ruckus by shouting with glee that it was snowing. Many of Denny’s staff and customers started scurrying out to see if it was real. One of the waitresses came in and declared that it was not snow, it was hail. I went out and it was the sparsest hail which did turn into snow that I have ever seen, but apparently it counted, because people were stating that it was the first snow since 1989.
Val dropped me off at a bar right by the stadium, and I started wondering the lot looking for a ticket. It was frickin’ freezing, and the wind was whipping. It was December 26, and the coldest day ever for a Jacksonville home game, so I knew it was a buyers’ market. Scalpers were offering decent tickets starting at $100. I scoffed at them. I had many discussions, indicating that I could get a good end zone seat in the lower level from the box office for about $68. I went to a few tailgates asking if they had any extras, and eventually a guy heard me and offered me his ticket in the lower corner for $30. Perfect! I met some nice tailgaters, who kindly offered me up beer and fresh oysters.This man was serious about seasoning up his steaks!
My tailgating crew before the game.
Not sure if this was a jaguar or a cougar.It was good to have a great seat for $30, but I was not dressed warmly enough.Not as warm as most of the Jaguar faithful.
The entertainment was stellar at the Jaguars game, providing good distraction from the blistering wind. Even the cameraman was laughing as he filmed Gano missing a kick in warm-ups, eliciting a “No Good” signal from the Jaguar mascot.The cheerleaders posed.Soon mischievous elves joined the Jag & the cheer team in demonic pomp & danceWhile my buddy Nick Sundberg perfected his snapping techniqueand the Jag covered his privates with good holiday spirit as the Jaguar brought down the house with a big finish.Redskins Tight End Fred Davis, auditioning for other teams who might put him to better use caught a Grossman pass for a touchdown, and the Redskins pulled off a victory that was sure to set them back many spots in the draft.I always root for the Redskins and never boo them, but ultimately, I am more content if they lose a game like this, because 6-10 season offers no comfort that a 5-11 season also failed to provide. A number 6 pick in the draft vs. a # 10 pick could be the difference that would allow a team to get a game changer, who could make us 9-7 vs. 7-9 next year, which could mean a playoff birth-very meaningful to me as a Redskins fan. So I always root for the players, but deep down, not always for the team.
After the game, I hung out for about 25 minutes to see if I could say hey to any of the players by the bus, but I was to meet Val by the bar where she dropped me off by the stadium, and I was not sure she was going to be able to access it. They had cut the traffic off from entering the area, so I had to walk a ways up the road and catch Val before she got forced to divert to a highway that compelled you to go over a large bridge over a large body of water, going who knows where.
A cop instructed me that I could absolutely not get into a car picking me up on this highway that was being diverted. I walked a ways past him and kept my eyes peeled for Val. I was freezing my ass off and was very relieved when she did come up the hill, and I flagged her down and jumped in quickly.
As I like a good fish fry, Val suggested we go to Whitey’s Fish Camp, which was a bit of a trek, and seemingly far from civilization. We were quite entertained by the decor at Whitey’s.The fried grouper was excellent! Upon entry, I had noted one of those bizarre carnival type games in which you insert money to have a chance at lowering mechanical prongs to pick up a crappy stuffed animal from China, worth less than the dollar you threw down to play. As we walked out, I saw something even more bizarre…That’s right, you pay $2 to be a lobster fisherman for a moment, and try to pull one up so that they can throw it in the boiling water for you. I was already stuffed with grouper, so it was not an option.
Story coming this week!
We are so privileged to have the Professor live in Jacksonville, as he pays homage to our final road game of the season, which is…AHHHH….today. Have to repair the car and score a ticket. Kinda tough when you don’t have a rear windshield, it is pouring rain, and there is no covered parking that ANYONE knows of. Don’t worry, the program from Dallas is being stored in an archival manner, protected from the elements.
Professor, you r quick thoughts on the game?
Maurice Jones-Drew, big time back for the Jags, having rushed for over 100 yards in 6 straight games appears to be too banged up to play. Good news for the SKins, as the Jags will face heavy winds and perhaps a continued drizzle, and be forced to rely on David Garrard to throw the ball.
Also good news for the Redskins, whose run defense struggles even more without Albert on the line. Jags tight end Marcedes Lewis has 9 td receptions, and the Redskins also strugggle against good tight ends, see Jason Whitten last week.
Jags need this game to keep hope alive. Skins only need it to keep more fans from jumping off the edge. SKins do have pride and will relish the role as spoilers. Problem is, they are not a good team and have too many holes.
Redskins 16 Jaguars 13. Weather is tough out there. it is 39 degrees, going up to 41, and it is windy. My kinda weather!! Woof!