Despite the best efforts of Extreme Skins, Chief Zee lost the Most Fierce NFL Mascot Competition to Poe the Raven of the once-irrelevant now-hated Baltimore Ravens. Son of a bitch.
Final vote was 52% in favor of Poe, 48% in favor of Chief Zee. Congratulations CBS Sports, you've managed to split this already horribly divided nation once more. Inexplicably Poe the Raven, who I had not even heard of until this competition, defeated the greatest sports fan in the history of the NFL. I would lament through poetry but it's been done.
It's not worth thinking about.
So, in other "news," let's talk about the running backs. Washington Times goes first spoken through their new fan blogger, Robert Janis, trying to identify the greatest Redskins RB of all time. After much deliberation, his list:
So taking into account the stats, the honors/awards and having seen each one play, here is my selection of the best Redskins running backs in order:
John Riggins -- It really couldn't be anyone else. Watching that touchdown run against the Dolphins to win a Super Bowl is enough to make him #1.
Larry Brown -- The stats prove it, the awards prove it and his running style proves it. He could have played for a few more years if George Allen didn't over use him.
Steven Davis -- No doubt a surprise to you. Definitely a surprise to me. But his stats make him worthy -- yards and touchdowns -- and he went on to prove himself with another team -- Carolina Panthers. I don't think Turner and Marty knew how to use him. And Spurrier let him go for a guy name, what? Trunge Candidate??
Clinton Portis -- His numbers are good and he's still playing. And he's a good team leader. I think he keeps things lose in the locker room. I just wish that he could add a Super Bowl to his resume.
Ernest Byner -- I debated placing Byner third or fourth. After all he did help us reach and win a Super Bowl.
I don't beef with the list and would say that after Riggins, Brown, and Davis (and it shouldn't surprise anyone -- he was a great Redskins RB), I'm not sure I either am capable of contributing much to the discussion or willing to do so. That's the cream of the crop with everyone else just looking up, for now, as far as I'm concerned (CP isn't distant). I think Terry Allen might be better than Ernest Byner as well.
Elsewhere, at ESPN, Jeremy Green has running game rankings for all the teams. I can't afford the entire article, but the one showing up on this link happens to have a Redskins blurb. Enjoy:
Clinton Portis is one of the most underrated RBs in the NFL. In six seasons, he has topped the 1,200-yard mark five times. The only season he didn't top 1,000 yards was in 2006, when he played only eight games due to injury. Though nicked at times, he has shown the toughness to play through injury. One of his biggest issues has been fumbling and he put it on the ground six times last season. In 2006 with an injured Portis out, Ladell Betts totaled 1,154 yards. He struggled last year because he didn't get enough touches, but he is one of the better backups in the NFL.
Don't disagree with much here, either. If one of the backs is going to get criticized for fumbling, though, it should be Betts. Portis drops the ball around once every 77 carries, Betts around once every 55 carries. Beyond that fumbling issue, the question raised here implicitly is whether Betts will improve as his touches increase, which is predicated on... his touches increasing. I think they will, but can anyone put to print a reasonable explanation as to why that will happen this year? I need help in the comments section, as I have no reasonable basis for that belief that I'm currently capable of articulating. And yet, my gut sayeth: Betts must have more carries.
What caught my eye more than the ranking is the heading of the list, which reads:
Rankings show just how far some running games have fallen
Of course this isn't true. What rankings show are just one person's interpretation of the results, either future-predicted or past-in-review. What shows how far a team's running game has fallen or not are actual results. I only point this out because I'm as guilty as anyone of overstating the importance of lists when, YARLY, they don't mean much of anything.