THE WASHINGTON Redskins are 1-0 in the preseason, so it's time to eat a little crow.
My anti-Redskins diatribe on Monday touched some nerves and sparked a flood of hate mail from the burgundy-and-gold crowd that called into question my knowledge of professional football, which is admittedly limited. The spirited response also taught me quite a bit about the football fans who - shockingly - co-exist in this region.
There were the angry Redskins fans, who were upset that a Baltimoron would have the nerve to comment on their sacred team. There were the happy Ravens fans, who encouraged me to continue bashing 'Skins owner Dan Snyder and anyone else associated with his temporarily undefeated team. And there were the Eagles fans, still hung over from their annual playoff meltdown, who just wrote to tell me that if I am ever at Lincoln Financial Field, they would love to get 12 or 13 guys together and beat me to a bloody pulp.
Didn't realize there were any Eagles fans in our circulation area, but I guess every city needs bouncers.
Redskins fans concentrated on three major themes: 1. They have Joe Gibbs, who has three Super Bowl rings, and we have Brian Billick, who is a know-it-all. 2. The Ravens should opt out of the NFL national television contract and broadcast their games on Court TV. 3. I'm a football-challenged idiot who wouldn't know a gridiron from a George Foreman grill.
They can think what they want about Billick and the Ravens, but I'm going to prove once and for all that I'm not just some frustrated former baseball writer.
I watched Monday night's victory over the Denver Broncos and reached some pretty interesting conclusions, not the least of which is that the Mark Brunell-Patrick Ramsey quarterback controversy needs to be expanded. This David Hasselhoff guy looks pretty darn good - and to come into an NFL camp at his age after all those years on Baywatch (not to mention the German concert tours) and drive the Redskins to a pair of second-half scores ... Well, it was just inspiring.
Apparently, ESPN isn't the only national media entity that has it out for Baltimore. The Sporting News just released its annual list of the 25 Best Sports Cities in America and ranked the Baltimore-Washington area 17th. We even finished behind Tampa-St. Petersburg, which has a baseball stadium that looks like a fallen souffle.
No humor zone: The loss of offensive tackle Jon Jansen is a major blow to the Redskins, who could ill afford to lose the one real cornerstone of an otherwise soft offensive line. Jansen has never missed a game during his professional career, but will be lost for the entire season. Solid guy. Sad story.
Want to know the difference between the Major League Baseball Players Association and the NFL Players Association?
If quarterback Quincy Carter had been a baseball player and violated the sport's substance-abuse policy, his team would have been required to keep him on its roster and pay his salary while he underwent rehabilitation. The Dallas Cowboys not only released Carter, but they also are now attempting to recoup a portion of his $1.6 million signing bonus.
The furor over the Nomar Garciaparra deal has yet to subside in Boston, where there are whispers that public discontent and media criticism could seriously erode the stature of youthful GM Theo Epstein in the sports town that was rated No. 1 by The Sporting News. That poll apparently was completed before the Celtics acquired whiny superstar Gary Payton.
Final thought: Can't wait to see what golfer John Daly is wearing on his sleeve for the PGA Championship, which begins tomorrow. Daly raised some eyebrows when he played in the nationally televised Battle at The Bridges recently with a Dunkin' Donuts logo on one arm and a TrimSpa logo on the other, but he clearly was aware of the incongruity.
"It's like having Miller Lite and AA," he said.
Contact Peter Schmuck at firstname.lastname@example.org.