1. I would like to say congratulations to our good friend Kevin Ewoldt and his new bride, Lexie. They were married this weekend in New Orleans, which--as it turns out--can cause a hell of a fog in one's brain. I learned something about myself over the last four days: if I lived in a town where I could walk in to a restaurant/bar, order an adult beverage, and then walk out with that beverage in hand, I would live in perpetual fog (and happiness). Bourbon Street is not for the faint of heart...or liver. Congrats also to St. Megan, who gave New Orleans all it could handle.
2. I also wanted to offer a bit of thanks to my cab driver from Thursday night. I wasn't going to let St. Megan walk or cab it back to the hotel alone, so I exited the bar, put us in a cab and had it take us back to where we were staying. Once she was safe and sound in the hotel, I asked the cab driver to take me back to the bars. In a classic "the next thing I knew" scenario, the cab stopped in front of Harrah's. I thought to myself, "I know this isn't where he picked me up, but nobody even knows where I am right now. I'll just walk in, check things out, make sure the casino is on the up and up and then proceed to find my group on Bourbon Street." Four hours later, I was still in the poker room, doing quite well at a No Limit table. That's what you call "good cab driving."
3. As the Redskins enjoyed their bye week, I was knee deep in San Francisco 49er fans down in the French Quarter. All in all, they have a solid fanbase full of some pretty great folks. It wasn't lost on the wedding party that we could have fared worse. Imagine if the Philadelphia Eagles or Dallas Cowboys were in town to face the Saints? That could have ruined the whole wedding! Granted, Alabama was also in town, so there were plenty of front-running college football fans walking the street, but all in all, we were pretty lucky with the crowd we were part of in New Orleans this past weekend. All I could think about was, "The next time the Redskins are in New Orleans, I have to be here." Look for the Hogs Haven party announcement details...we will rain burgundy and gold beads on Bourbon Street.
4. I missed most of yesterday's action as I made my way home, but I caught up on wins and losses late last night. Unfortunately, my fears from a week ago were confirmed: that game against Minnesota was probably (almost certainly) our last best chance to get back into the playoff picture. This morning, the Redskins find themselves sitting 15th in the standings in the NFC, thanks to the numerous tiebreaker scenarios. Had we taken care of our business, we would be a full SIX places higher, with only two teams ahead of us on the outside of the playoff bubble. The odds would still be stacked heavily against us, but we would have some decent momentum thanks to the return of Robert Griffin III and the refreshing play of our defense. As it stands, even seven straight wins would likely not be enough to put the Washington Redskins into the playoffs. (Just last year, the Arizona Cardinals experienced the joy of being 10-6 but missing the playoffs.)
5. I did get to see a decent amount of last night's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. Does anyone remember how close we were to landing Jay Cutler in 2009? He was all but on his way to DC before Chicago swooped in with Kyle Orton and closed the deal. Listen, it is obvious how much talent Cutler possesses and it is clear he can put the ball pretty much anywhere on the field with a flick of his wrist. That said, I think the most surprising thing about the Redskins not getting Cutler is how naturally he would have fit into our parade of dumpster fires at the quarterback position. He has the perfect mix of undeniable talent and unlikable personality to be the kind of quarterback to carry on the Jeff George legacy that was started when we jettisoned Brad Johnson. Can you imagine how salty Jay Cutler would have gotten by now playing behind Tyler Polumbus? If a quarterback was allowed to carry a gun on the field, Polumbus would have been shot in the face. It would be refreshing to have a quarterback that could literally give two shits what Redskins fans thought of him, but the thought of a locker room split by the quarterback...wait a second...crap. On the plus side, we could have looked forward to the hiring and firing of a half dozen head coaches hired specifically to "get the most out of" our starting quarterback...wait a second...crap.
6. Great news everyone! You know how I said we were currently ranked 15th out of 16 teams in the NFC this morning? Well...good ol' #16 is coming to town this week! The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are towing their 1-8 record into town and the networks are already prepping for what will be a game seen by literally tens of people. Naturally, I expect Dick Stockton to be on hand, holding a microphone that he somehow always manages to plug in, despite everyone's best efforts to prevent it. My guess is that Fox will identify an eager and deserving intern out of grade school to round out the two-man booth. Thankfully, I will be at the game, so I will be spared from that. Hopefully I am not trading one debacle for another. I love the fact that I have already told myself, "We can win this game!" The fact that I am pumping myself up with reassurances ahead of a tilt against a 1-8 team is telling. Wins still matter, and this organization is in dire need of positivity. At this point, there is no team in the league that can't beat the Redskins, so let's not sleep on the Buccaneers. Mike Evans looks like he is capable of running wild on our secondary, and they have a pretty solid pass rusher in Michael Johnson if he is healthy enough to play. Home wins in Landover come at a premium, so if we net one against Tampa Bay, I will be celebrating. Coming off of a strong week in New Orleans, I would love nothing more than to keep the party going.