Sunday, September 28, 2008

Goodbye Texas Stadium!

The Redskins beat the Cowboys today 26-24. Since this is the last year of Texas Stadium, it was the last time the Redskins would play there in a regular season game.

Jason Campbell was very efficient today, going 20-31 and throwing for 231 yards and two TD's. Santana Moss caught 8 passes for 145 yards and Clinton Portis was typical Clinton Portis, running with ferocity (21 carries, 121 yards) and Chris Cooley was money today late in the 4th quarter getting a couple key catches that kept the Redskins last scoring drive alive. Most important, our house was amped up and Weena, Benjamin and I were cheering throughout the game. Just a fantastic game to watch.

Now I can say that with this Redskins victory in Texas Stadium today that the following demons are now purged from this Redskin fans memory. And they've been there a long, long time too.

Thanksgiving 1974 getting spoiled by Clint Longley to Drew Pearson. The 35-34 Cowboy victory in December 1979 which Roger Staubach led the Cowboy comeback from 13 points down late in the 4th quarter. That loss eliminated the Redskins from playoff contention.

Post game recap

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Maryland 20, #20 Clemson 17

At the half, Maryland was down 17-6 and getting hammered. The Terps were having trouble with Clemson QB Cullen Harper's multiple fakes and their spread offense- four receivers at times, just stymied the Terps. Clemson had 17 first downs to just 6 for Maryland. They had 195 rushing yards to Maryland's 28. If not for three Clemson turnovers it could have been a lot worse for Maryland. Two penalties pushed the Terps back when they were inside the Clemson 20 and threatening to score a touchdown. Both times they settled for field goals. Brutal!

Long story, short, Clemson really hit the Terps hard during the first half. For the Terps they were a mad bunch going into the locker room.

So in the second half, the Terps came out a much different team, especially the defense. In the first half, Clemson RB's James Davis had 11 carries for 100 yards, and C.J. Spiller had 93 yards in ten carries. In the second half, Davis carried six times for 26 yards, Spiller four times for 5 yards. They kept Clemson off the scoreboard.

The offense woke up too. In one of the more beautiful plays I've seen as a Terps football fan and season ticket holder, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey took an end around, cut toward the middle of the field and ran 76 yards to the Clemson 4 yard line. The Terps scored two plays later as WR Torrey Smith caught a TD pass from QB Chris Turner to cut the Clemson lead to 17-13. Momentum clearly on Maryland's side as everything changed after Heyward-Bey's run. Clemson, which had 260 yards total offense in the first half, punted the next three series after Maryland's score. A 1 yard TD run by Da'Rel Scott with 10:25 left in the game gave Maryland the lead 20-17.

Clemson still had time and they moved the ball to the Maryland 40. However, Clemson was faced with a 4th down and a yard. Everyone seemed to know Clemson would try a quarterback sneak. Everyone tries this on 4th and a yard. Terps LB Alex Wujciak hammered the Clemson QB short of the first-down. The Terps sideline was fired up but there was still work left to be done to put away the game.

Playing with an injured shoulder, RB Da'Rel Scott is a flat out warrior. The stats show 23 carries for just 39 yards but he came up big a couple times today. One was on Maryland’s last scoring drive when the Terps needed a key first down, he got it. Later he scored the go-ahead touchdown. After the Terps defense stopped Clemson and got the ball back they ran out the clock. However, at one point on this possession they were faced with a 3rd and 7 with a little over a minute to go. Scott caught a pass, got the first down and that was it. No way was Da'Rel 100% today but he did what he had to do help his team win.

The Terps (4-1) are at Virginia (1-3) next Saturday 10/4 at 7:00 PM.

Quote of the Day:
Maryland Defensive Lineman Dean Muhtadi as he turned to his teammates on the sideline and said: "Hear that? Nothing. We just shut up 85,000 fans in their own stadium."

Fact of the Day:
Maryland has beaten four straight ranked opponents. Rutgers and Boston College in 2007, California and Clemson in 2008.

The Good:
Darrius Heyward-Bey had just one touch this entire game but that 76 yard end around changed the game's momentum for the Terps.

Chris Turner managed the game well again. 16-30 for 172 yards and 1 TD.

Obi Egekeze made two field goals and has now hit five in a row after missing his first five to start the season.

The Bad:
First half dominance by Clemson, 260 yards in total offense.

In the first half, on two possessions inside the Clemson 20 yard line when the Terps were trying to get a touchdown, they were penalized twice. Instead of a TD, they ended up with field goals.

The Ugly:
Channel 20 losing the feed for this game. The game time was 12:00 PM and it didn't come on until 12:30 PM. Just reading the Terps Message Board while this was happening was ugly enough.

Coach Ralph Friedgen's voice after the game during an interview. There wasn't much left.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's Dallas Week!

My little guy is ready!

Sunday September 28th
4:00 PM on FOX
Washington (2-1) at Dallas (3-0)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Yankee Stadium

Tonight is the final game at Yankee Stadium. I'm a baseball fan and I was fortunate to have been to a pair of games during the 1987 season. I rode up with Miller Young and other friends from The Malt Shop, a bar above the Dancing Crab restaurant which was my favorite drinking establishment at the time. While I was there I visited Monument Park and snapped a bunch of photos. Ushers there were nice enough to let me invade the box seat area and take pics during batting practice. These photos are tucked way in a drawer and I remember writing on the back of them the date, the opponent and score. Thanks to Retrosheet baseball fans can go back and review box scores from years past. I did that here and posted them.

Here are the two games I saw at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees vs Twins on May 10, 1987 and Yankees vs Indians on August 16, 1987

Two other games from Yankee Stadium I will never forget that I watched on TV are:

Reggie Jackson hits three homers in game 6 of the 1977 World Series on October 18, 1977

The day after Yankee Captain and Catcher Thurman Munson died, Yankees vs Orioles on August 3, 1979

This blog, Sliding Into Home has been an excellent read all year.

NRBQ, one of my favorite bands even named an album At Yankee Stadium

So many great events were held there since it opened in 1923. Baseball games, boxing matches, pro and college football games. The Pope said Mass there three times. Yankee Stadium, and Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain are two legendary landmarks I'm happy and fortunate to have visited.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Maryland 51, Eastern Michigan 24

Today the Terps ended the non-conference part of their schedule and enjoyed themselves on their way to a 51-24 victory. They ran gadget plays, they got backup quarterback Josh Portis more involved in the offense and he responded by rushing for 98 yards and scoring his first touchdown. They blocked their first punt since 2006. When the game was over, some players leaped into the student section to celebrate.

The Maryland Defense gave up 453 total yards, including 282 passing yards. Despite missing three starters (Terrell Skinner, Nolan Carroll and Richard Taylor), EMU was able to move the ball effectively and that has to be of concern to the Terps, who begin their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule next week at Clemson.

Wide Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had another fine game, rushing for 81 yards on end-arounds of 46 and 35 yards. He also caught a 32 yard scoring pass from Chris Turner (2 TD passes) that put the Terps up 24-7 in the second quarter.

The coolest play of the game occurred midway through the fourth quarter. Maryland was ahead 37-24 and Heyward-Bey took a handoff and lateraled to wide receiver Danny Oquendo. Oquendo launched a 43-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Isaiah Williams.

Overall a great day in College Park for the 3-1 Terps but a tough test is ahead at Clemson next Saturday at noon and the following week at Virginia.

The Good: Kicker Obi Egekeze finally made a field goal, going 3 for 3 today.
Special teams blocked a punt for the first time since 2006 (Josh Wilson against William and Mary). Running Back Morgan Green has his first two career touchdowns.

The Bad: EMU had three touchdown drives of 80 yards.

The Ugly: The Terps had so much fun after the Oquendo touchdown pass that they were penalized 15 yards for excessive celebration. Come on refs, lighten up. Let the kids have some fun.

Postgame quotes

The Post's Eric Prisbell's recap

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

2008 Reston VA Light The Night Walk

Reston VA Light The Night Walk

Date: October 4, 2008 7:00 PM

The Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's nationwide walk to raise awareness and funds to cure leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma as well as to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, LLS has invested more than $550.8 million in research specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Although research is responsible for increasing survival rates for these diseases, there's still work to be done. Since I've been looking for ways to get and stay fit, I decided to join our group at work and will be participating in the walk, along with Weena and Benjamin.

Here's a little history of the event from the Light the Night Reston web site.

For the 8th consecutive year, balloons will light up the night sky of Reston, VA during the 2008 Light The Night Walk. Thousands of Walkers will once again fill The Reston Town Center and surrounding streets, enjoying an evening full of family fun as we celebrate and commemorate lives touched by blood cancers. The Reston, VA Walk is one of five Walks hosted by the National Capital Area Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This nationally recognized campaign consists of evening walks that take place in all 50 states and helps build awareness of blood cancers as well raise funds for cures. In 2007, the efforts of Walk Teams and Individuals came together to the tune of $540,800 just at the Reston Walk alone, $1.84 million in the DC Metro Area, and nearly $40 million nation-wide!

This year, we hope to raise $2 million in the National Capital Area and we are well on our way. Dario Marquez, CEO of MVM, Inc. has joined Light The Night this year as the 2008 Reston Corporate Walk Chair and is working to help secure the support of companies and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. Additionally, our Executive Volunteer Planning Committee is already hard at work garnering additional sponsorships, in-kind donations and volunteer support in the area.

I've set up a web page if you wish to contribute and help the cause. You may access it here. If you have further questions or wish to send a donation via mail, please click the View My Complete Profile section to the left of the blog and contact me.

Thank you very much. Full report after the walk.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Maryland 35, #23 California 27

Last week was perhaps the worst I've ever felt after a Maryland football game. This afternoon was perhaps the best I've ever felt. Honestly, I had no expectations going into this game. California was a two touchdown favorite and if I were a bettor I would have put my funds on Cal.

Well, it's a good thing I don't bet as Maryland, which was flat out awful last week vs Middle Tennessee State, scored touchdowns on its first three possessions and beat the #23 Bears 35-27.

I was extremely satisfied with our offensive play calling. It was exciting, unpredictable, and efficient. Quarterback Chris Turner (15-19, 156 yards 2 TD's) managed the game very well today. As a fan I couldn't ask for anything more from him. I think the more experience he gets, the better he will be. Coach Ralph Friedgen has to go the rest of the way with him. Today was the perfect example of the coaches putting a player in a position to succeed.

Maryland's defense woke up from their slumber and sacked the quarterback five times. After three quarters the Terps were up 28-6. However, halfway through the fourth quarter the defense let Cal back in the game as the Bears scored 21 points. I'm not a big fan of the prevent defense. The goal is to make the offense waste time by forcing them to throw short passes and hopefully not give up a big play. Instead, the Terps defense got beat deep time after time and there was no adjustments made. I wished they put more pressure on Cal's QB Kevin Riley, who threw 58 passes, completed 33 for 425 yards and 3 fourth quarter TD's. For the record, Cal outgained the Terps 461-297.

Despite Cal clawing back in the game and all of us sweating at the end, I was very proud of the efforts of the players today. I couldn't say that last week. They played with confidence and a chip on their shoulder after getting slammed around by MTSU. The defense held a very good Running Back Jahvid Best (311 yards rushing in two games) to ten carries and 30 yards rushing. Turner completed 15 passes to eight different players. This game will do a lot for their confidence as they head into ACC play after the Eastern Michigan game next Saturday.

Props to the Cal coach Jeff Tedford for not using the noon kickoff as an excuse for the loss. He said in an article I read there were no excuses, he felt his team had prepared well, that his players were up this morning focused and ready to go. The heat and humidity were much worse than it was during the opener against Delaware two weeks ago. I saw several players suffer heat cramps throughout the game.

The Good:
Quarterback Chris Turner, DB Kevin Barnes and Nolan Carroll, Punter Travis Baltz and RB Cory Jackson. Da’Rel Scott had 19 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game with an injured shoulder. Darrius Heyward-Bey with two catches for 59 yards and a TD. He also set up another TD with a nine yard run.

The Bad:
Chris Turner getting sacked four times. Obi Egekeze missing a chip shot 27 yard field goal late in the 4th quarter. He's 0-5 in field goal attempts this season.

The Ugly:
The heat and humidity at the game today and that this game did not sell out.

Finally, check out this whallop that Terps DB Kevin Barnes put on Cal's RB Jahvid Best.

Next week: Home Saturday September 27th at 1:00 vs Eastern Michigan (1-2)

Post recap here

Monday, September 08, 2008

Benjamin in Canada

Benjamin with Cousin Ariel, pre-haircut

Post haircut

No Barney, I'm taking control of the radio!

Two sport star

Hanging at the pond

Signalling for the right hander to close it out

There's a drive, deep to right, outta here!!!!!

Post game snow cone

Cooling off on the water slide

Feeding his deer friend

See if you can out drive the ball wacker guy!

Benjamin for three.....

Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Middle Tennessee State 24, Maryland 14

I probably should have waited until Sunday to post this but I'm too worked up and since it is our sixth wedding anniversary tomorrow, I don't want to spoil that by recapping this mess.

This loss tonight was an embarassment, period. Maryland lost to the 110th ranked team in NCAA Division 1 football. Badly. MTSU flat out spanked the Terps and full credit to them for putting the hammer to the Terps. This is easily the worst game in coach Ralph Friedgen's eight years here. The Terps were not prepared at all, they had no game plan and no adjustments were made to stop MTSU. Everyone involved in the Maryland football program should be embarrassed by this display of ineptitude tonight. No one on the coaching staff had a clue what to do to stop MTSU. No one! Terrible play calling on both sides of the ball.

The Terps are now 1-1 with California (2-0) coming to Byrd Stadium next Saturday at noon. I'm expecting Cal to just march up and down the field on their way to a rout. I've lost that much confidence watching the Terps the past two weeks.

The Good: Darrius Heywood-Bey 3 catches, 88 yards, 1TD. Da'Rel Scott 12 carries, 127 yards, 1 TD

The Bad & The Ugly: Everything else.

Good night.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

D.C. United: 2008 U.S. Open Cup Champions

Sweet win tonight at RFK for D.C. United, who won their second U.S. Open Cup title 2-1 over the Charleston (SC) Battery. D.C. United took a 1-0 lead 4 minutes into the game on a goal by Luciano Emilio. Charleston answered back in the 10th minute on a goal by Ian Fuller. In the second half Fred got the game winner for United in the 50th minute.

The U.S. Open Cup is the U.S. Soccer Federation’s National Championship. It is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. It is the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world.

D.C. United's last championship prior to tonight was the 2004 MLS Cup win over Kansas City.

While the team is struggling in MLS this season, it's nice to see this team gel and win a championship. Hopefully this win will boost their confidence headed into the last games of the season and they can seal a berth in the MLS playoffs.

Charleston plays in the USL1, an hour or so drive from my Mom's house. I think a visit to Blackbaud Stadium where the Battery play is in the cards for us next time we visit Mom.

Recap here

Spend some time at Behind the Badge for a recap and photos.

I've asked friends of mine who were at the game to comment as I want to archive this. Benjamin and I watched the match last night until his bed time and when he's old enough to read and understand this, he can see what this means to United and the supporters.