Having Redskins at 2-0 is hardly perfect


September 21, 2005|By PETER SCHMUCK

Clearly, there is only one thing that could possibly be worse than the Ravens opening the season 0-2.

The Redskins opening 2-0.

In fact, it was so galling to watch Dan Snyder jumping up and down (though at his apex, he only reached the height of 5 feet 10) in the final seconds of Monday night's stunning, 14-13 victory over the rival Dallas Cowboys that I switched over to Late Night with David Letterman just in time to hear Martha Stewart explaining how much she enjoyed prison.

(Frankly, I'm a little surprised she didn't just bake a cake with a file in it and skip to the Caymans, but I guess when you're worth billions, it's better to gut it out ... sort of like Joe Gibbs with the quarterback thing and Danny with that personality.)

The Redskins went seven quarters and 11 minutes without scoring a touchdown before Mark Brunell and Santana Moss hooked up on a pair of last-ditch lightning strikes to shock the Cowboys right out of their Ring of Honor reverie.

The Cowboys had intended to spend the entire evening celebrating the days when they actually played football in Dallas. They inducted the Triplets - Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin - into the Ring at halftime and ploddingly built a 13-0 lead that seemed certain to stand up until the secondary decided it had become pointless to chase the Redskins receivers all over the place when they obviously didn't have anyone who could get them the ball downfield.

It was almost worth it just to see that vacant look on Jerry Jones' face as news reached his luxury box that Brunell's throwing arm had been found alive, but now we've got to endure two weeks of Redskin-mania (they have a bye this weekend, too) while the Ravens suffer through a fortnight of painful self-examination.

Thank God the Nationals aren't showing up the Orioles, too.

If you're waiting for the 2005 Ravens to get cooking, you should have been at the ESPN Zone yesterday afternoon, when many of the team's rookie and practice squad players donned aprons and chef's hats for a course in basic culinary skills.

I'm guessing the team might have been better served if the offensive line had shown up for a course in basic blocking techniques, but at least the young players will be able to feed themselves if the Ravens don't snap out of their early season slump.

The Redskins' fast start has totally emboldened Jamie Arnone of Hunt Valley, who has been writing me for months, insisting that they would be better than the Ravens.

"Gibbs is a legend. Don't ever forget that. Hail to the Redskins. The Ravens could never make a comeback like that. Brunell is drinking from the fountain of youth."

The message was e-mailed in giant capital letters, which I believe is intended to indicate emphasis. I hope that's all it means, because it could take days to get a restraining order.

That Mark Shapiro guy must be pretty smart. He decisively downsized the Indians a few years ago and began a controversial rebuilding process that has blossomed with the team's amazing late-season comeback.

The Indians have cut a 15-game divisional deficit to 3 1/2 games, with nearly two weeks remaining to complete what could be an unprecedented resurgence.

The only team in baseball history to come back from a 15-game deficit at any time in the season to finish first were the 1914 Boston Braves, who trailed by that much early in July. The Indians were down by 15 games in early August.

The results are in, and the Constellation Energy Classic raised more than $500,000 for six Maryland-based nonprofit institutions. The event drew 45,000 spectators, an increase of more than 25 percent over last year.

The nice weather and the return of popular golf legend Lee Trevino to the Champions Tour probably didn't hurt.

Final thought: I wonder if congressional investigators got suspicious when all of the players they interviewed about Rafael Palmeiro's alleged steroid use said that - while they'd love to tell the whole story - they would not be able to comment until after the investigation is complete.


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