Something Special: Let’s Prove It

With their first loss of the season behind them, the 1991 Washington Redskins enter the final month of the regular season looking to clinch the NFC East title and secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Most importantly, Washington looks to get momentum on its side as they head into postseason play.

This run of games against the Rams, Cardinals, Giants, and Eagles would go a long way toward determining how difficult the Redskins’ road to the Super Bowl would be.

The full episode is in the player below.

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Something Special: A Lot of Marbles

Getting to 11-0 was a lot of fun, but playtime was over.

If the 1991 Redskins were going to finish undefeated, the last remaining major roadblock would be their arch-rival Dallas Cowboys.

Coached by Jimmy Johnson and led by Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and rookies Russell Maryland and Erik Williams, the Cowboys looked to upend Washington at RFK Stadium.

It wouldn’t be easy.

It was the biggest game in the NFL that week.  John Madden.  Pat Summerall.  Redskins.  Cowboys.  A perfect fall afternoon at RFK.

What more could you want?

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Something Special: Keeping the Dream Alive

The fifth episode of “Something Special” sees the 9-0 Redskins look to become just the ninth team in NFL history to get to 11-0. Standing in the Redskins’ way would be Jerry Glanville and the upstart Atlanta Falcons, and coaching legend Chuck Noll and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Redskins took on the Falcons just three days after one of the more shocking off-field moment in sports history. On the field, Mark Rypien and Gary Clark would make a tiny bit of sports history of their own.

Then, Washington battled a man with four Super Bowl rings in Noll, as the Redskins traveled to always-challenging Riverfront Stadium to tangle with the Steelers. Clark and company didn’t miss a beat.

The full episode can be heard below:

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Something Special: A Long Time Coming

In part four of “Something Special,” the Redskins try to break a three-year losing streak against the New York Giants. Then, Washington battles the Houston Oilers as head coach Jack Pardee looks for revenge against his old team.

The Redskins hadn’t beaten the Giants since 1987, and New York was the defending world champion. That didn’t bode well for Washington as they tangled with the Giants opposite Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.

Then, the 7-1 Oilers came to town, coached by former Redskins head man Jack Pardee, who had also been a linebacker for Washington during the George Allen era.

The full episode can be heard below.

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Something Special: Why Did You Wait So Long?

In part three of “Something Special,” the undefeated Redskins face off against a veteran, Super-Bowl-winning coach, and a young, up-and-coming, future championship-winning coach.

Both men would come away impressed.

Along the way, the Redskins would discover a new gamebreaker who would add even more firepower to Washington’s already dominant offense—a rookie who Joe Gibbs suspected had star potential all along.

The new episode, featuring games against the Bears and Browns, can be heard or downloaded in the player below.

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Something Special: Putting Romeo and Juliet to Shame

Especially in these overly contentious, unbearably divisive times, it’s nice to reminisce about something that once united the Washington metro area across political, ethnic, and economic lines.

The Washington Redskins.

In part two of “Something Special,” we move deeper into the 1991 season, as the greatest fans in the NFL watched the 2-0 Redskins attempt to take control of the NFC East following their big win over the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football.

Featured this week are a pair of divisional games against the Cardinals (yes, it was a divisional game then) and the Eagles, sandwiched around a hard-fought battle against the Bengals.

The full episode can be heard below, and last week’s episode can be heard here.

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Something Special: Laying the Groundwork

The 1991 Redskins are, by some accounts, the greatest team in franchise history. They may even be the greatest Super Bowl champion of all time.

Even two-plus decades consisting largely of frustration and ineptitude can’t wash away the glory of that year.

Since 2016 is the 25th anniversary of the last Washington Redskins championship team, I thought this was as solid a justification as any to debut a new podcast series for Hogs Haven.  The podcast below published there last week.

In researching the ‘91 Redskins, one phrase that came up over and over when I read player interviews was “something special.” That’s why I chose “Something Special” for the title of this series.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be revisiting the story of the 1991 Redskins and the players and moments that made the team so memorable. You can listen to the first episode, entitled “Laying the Groundwork,” below.

New episodes will debut at Hogs Haven each Thursday, and I’ll republish them here a few days thereafter.  Enjoy.

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The WWE Has a Big Problem. Here’s the Solution. Really.

In light of recent events, I thought it might be a good idea to revisit this piece from a couple of years ago. I’m cautiously optimistic that we may be headed down a road that’s substantially similar to the path for which I pined back in 2014. And that would be . . . awesome.

The Axis of Ego

The WWE has a problem.

Surprisingly, I’m not talking about anything related to stock value or corporate governance.  I’m referring specifically to the aspect of pro wrestling that matters most to me as a fan: Storytelling.  And, whether the creative team realizes it yet or not, the WWE has a huge, looming issue that will negatively impact the long-term fortunes of the product.

Something is changing about the way WWE tells stories.  It’s a change that is heretofore unknown in the world of sports entertainment.

Look at the current WWE roster.  Notice anything odd?

Maybe not.  I’ll explain what you should be looking for . . .

HoganWarrior Not every conflict has to be “heel vs. face,” but that structure must be the backbone of the promotion.

Let’s start with a basic point: For storylines generally to work on a consistent basis, the WWE needs heels (bad guys, in…

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The Imposter

Real Tennis CourtYou’re familiar with tennis, right?

Are you sure about that?

Did it ever occur to you that the game you think you know, is, in fact, an imposter?

In this podcast, I reveal the secret identity of one of the world’s most popular sports—with the help of Ivan Ronaldson, the Head Court Tennis Professional of Prince’s Court, right here in the Washington, DC area.

This is the story of real tennis.

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Untitled Online Dating Podcast

BurningLaptop02Online dating is the worst, right?

Well, maybe not the worst, but it’s not all rainbows and lollipops, either.

Except maybe grindr.  Or so I’ve heard.

Anyway, this week, I present a podcast that’s an adapted and updated version of an online dating piece I wrote several months ago, detailing my experiences, as well as the pros and cons of various dating sites, including Match, OKCupid, Hinge, Bumble, eHarmony, and Tinder.  I also touch upon the highs and lows of my taking a “shotgun” approach to online dating.

Join me, won’t you, as I stare blankly into the darkest mirror of all!


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