When Kevin and I first took over Hogs Haven back in January 2009, our days consisted of instant messaging each other from our work desks about all DC sports matters under the sun. We tended to gravitate towards the Redskins and football in general, but on any given day, we just never knew where things would end up. On his birthday, I convinced Kevin to get back in the saddle--from his new perch in Charleston, South Carolina. At least for us, this is how we started, and I am hoping this is what we will get back to on a regular basis. The rust wears off as the conversation progresses...Kevin has never had a problem dropping the gloves when debating me on Redskins matters. Kevin and I might not have known each when we were the kids in the picture above, but we might as well have...there is nothing really sacred between us except for the friendship itself. We even kept our original handles from those early days when our names just didn't matter--wait, that is still technically the case. Enjoy:
Sugar: Happy birthday, old man. I gotta ask, you softening up at all on this team? I know you are a fan to the bones, but covering this team damn near crushed your soul. I am not sure how I survived to be honest.
Ewok: Yea. It all makes sense now looking back when both John Keim and Grant Paulsen said they were amazed I lasted as long as I did. Covering the team you love in any sport is a recipe for disaster. Every franchise has skeletons. As for my current feelings for the burgundy and gold, to play a metaphor, the Redskins brass is Jim Carrey in "Liar Liar", and I am the son. I'm always promised they'll be there for me and every time I'm let down. Who knows what the truth is anymore with these announcements? I guess all of our drafts would be the claw ripping out my heart. But dammit, my father is so damn entertaining. It is true also that not being invested so much on a daily basis is quite nice. I still laugh how much everyone freaked out when Shanahan said he was going to work out Jamarcus Russell...and nothing ever came out of it. Trolling fans at its best. It was a terrible 24 hours for Redskins bloggers.
Sugar: I think it would be a true statement to say my ‘fandom' has been altered over the years as well. We maintained a safe distance from the killing floor, though--have no idea how guys like Keim and Paulsen did it. The franchise viciously went after beat reporters. I think that is one thing that Wyllie has done better about, though even he has gotten sucked into the fray at times. But let's not stay in Negativetown right now...McLovin is on the scene and this free agency period stands in stark contrast to everything we covered during those "Vinny and Danny" years (worst show ever...that I watched every single episode of).
Ewok: I mean, it's hard to stay super positive even with McLovin. No doubt he's been great, but we've been down this street with Gibbs 2.0 and Shanahan, where smart people were in full control...and sure enough Danny weaseled his way back into the cockpit both times. That movie "Problem Child" comes to mind. I'd like to say I'd be a better owner but it's hard not to get involved personally when you REALLY want to fix things, ticket sales are slipping, and you've "successfully" run multiple multi-millionaire companies. I probably would have Tom Cruise and Matt McConaughey snapchatting draft prospects daily to join the Redskins. The Redskins have not had back-to-back seasons where they finished top two in the NFC East since 1986-1987. Until a Redskins team does that, I won't return to full, Ken Meringolo super-fan mode.
Sugar: Wow. You hyperlinked Problem Child AND managed to feed Danny's desperate need to suckle from the teat of Tom Cruise. Who hurt you? Oh yeah...that's what we're talking about. Let's heal together. Kirk Cousins looks like he could make a career out of this quarterbacking thing. Keeping him around for that career would be like marrying your high school sweetheart. The Redskins haven't committed to a relationship like that for quite some time. I know he is technically on a one-year deal right now, but a) I see a long-term deal in the near future, and b) the Redskins have no intention of exposing him to anyone else's filthy overtures. Speaking of filthy overtures, remember that time you hit on Derrick Frost's wife wearing a red, sleeveless t-shirt that read, "These Guns Have No Safeties"...damn, that just reminds me that the Redskins also have no safeties.
Ewok: I think the only reason I remember that story is because you remind me about it every three months, which I do appreciate. I had already walked over all the seats and people, sat down, and started the conversation when I put 2+2 together (her grapefruit sized engagement ring and the fact that she's the only owner on planet Earth of a Frost jersey). It's still debatable who that conversation was more awkward for. In regards to Cousins, it does bother me a bit that #8 did not beat any teams with a winning record last season; however, his progression is undeniable. I think everything worked out perfectly. Kirk does not deserve big money long term yet, and the Redskins get another year. I couldn't be happier with that situation. Also of note, BMitch just wished me Happy Birthday on Facebook. I should quit while I'm ahead.
Sugar: Wait..."does not deserve" a long term deal yet? Come on, dude. We drafted two quarterbacks in 2012. One prepared as if he was a starting quarterback from that moment until now, emulating traits and practices he studied from the greats of this game, stumbling and falling in his initial opportunity before displaying one of best stretches of quarterback play we have ever witnessed in burgundy and gold. The other just got walked out of the building by security. That is called making a choice. Regardless of how this team has acted in the past, you don't date franchise quarterbacks one year at a time. Nobody is in a better position to decide whether or not to commit to this guy than the Washington Redskins. We have watched him every day for four years. If we don't know by now, that is the same as knowing he isn't the guy. As far as "big money" is concerned, take a look around. Quarterbacks get paid big money. Not for nothing, but big money today is not big money in two or three years. The salary cap is going to explode. Kirk's salary will only look better and better as time drags on. Like you and I.
Ewok: You pay big money to QBs that win big games. Big money is guaranteed. Nothing with Kirk is guaranteed right now. It's a very NY Jets/Miami Dolphins thing to do to just throw $100 million at a guy and have the Redskins Band play "Kumbaya." There are such things as mediocre QBs...you should know that as well as anyone from your time QB'ing flag football. "Is Kirk Cousins an Elite Quarterback?" can maybe be the new Flacco thing. It's OK to pump the brakes, Ken. I know you love spending Dan Snyder's more than anyone, but let's see him when some big games then stroke a check mid-season. It's good business.
Sugar: That's like saying, "Let's wait to see where this guy Bill Gates is going before we invest in his little startup. A computer in every home? That's ludicrous!" A $17-$18 million per year deal could have already gotten this thing done. By the time we wait to see him tear a new one in this league, we actually will be looking at paying big money. Also, I am not talking about signing someone else's guy. I am talking about signing OUR guy. And irregardless (definitely a word) of his competition, there was nothing mediocre about his play once he got past week 6 (where he posted his fourth 1 TD, 2 INT stat line...damn it Kirk, you're not helping me). Good business isn't waiting until a guy is worth over $20 million per season before offering him $17 million per season. By the way, do you honestly think that if Kirk Cousins does set the world on fire, he will just turn around and accept a team-friendly contract mid-season? His agent and the NFLPA will never allow that, because he would be in line for a minimum 20% raise the following year if the Skins had to tag him again. No, if and when he turns into the guy I--and many others--think he already is, he is going to walk up to Snyder's office and say, "You asked me to prove it on the field, now you get to prove it in my paycheck." Then again, I am sure Ryan Fitzpatrick will be looking for a job again next season. You do love beards.
Ewok: There's a 0% chance anyone has read down this far. I'll simply say you're wrong based on your previous GM articles. There was the time in 2009 when you said: "I am thinking [Haynesworth] has plenty to play for and plenty of motivation." Then there's the time you creamed yourself when we traded draft picks for McNabb: "The offense this year has instant credibility inside the offices of defensive coordinators around the league." Then there's the time you said right before drafting RGIII, we should also sign: Tebow, Mario Williams, and Vincent Jackson to compliment him. You might be worse than Danny. That prediction, of course, was after you posted RGIII was surely going #1 overall. Go ahead Little Danny, pay $140mm to Tannehill, I mean Cousins, and see how that works out.
Sugar: I believe it was Homer Simpson who said, "Oh, everything looks bad if you remember it." I can't believe I am being called out by the same blacked-out guy who famously turned to me in a bar in 1998 and said, through one open eye, and with your finger-gun pointed at the hottest chick in the place, "If I had a rocket launcher, shemagunnarawruthingymitchub." Granted, we had just played 12 straight hours of Goldeneye while crushing 30-packs of Busch Light...wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, bad decisions. Who said anything about $140 million? I have been saying 5 years, $90 million with $35-$40 million guaranteed. I think that could have gotten done a while ago, and I think it would look pretty damn good today. At the end of the day, I think we are both happy that Cousins is under contract for 2016, and his future remains under our control. Don't you miss this? Don't you miss us?
Ewok: I guess it's confusing that you're selling "In Scot We Trust" t-shirts on this site yet you're blasting him for how he's handling Cousins' contract. This business isn't about feelings. Let Kirk sac up this year and if it goes well, his agent can twist an Oreo and drop "pay heem hiz money" on the Redskins brass. What you're missing is there is a chance Cousins lays an egg this year (see previous 20 years of Redskins QBs for examples).
And that...is how we do that. On his birthday, Kevin gets the last word (though it is worth noting that I think McLovin is actually going to get the long term deal done with Kirk, which means I support the way he is handling this situation).