Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pitino's Punctuality

The worst named arena in all of sports is home to a great early season college basketball game tonight.  Of course we are talking about the #12 ranked Georgetown Hoyas facing off with the undefeated and #4 ranked Louisville Cardinals at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville (We guess that’s probably a better name than Pitino’s Prophylactic Pavilion, or maybe the Sypher Center). 

Yesterday, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino announced he would not continue to coach after his contract expires in 2017.  I guess you could say Rick Pitino prematurely announced his retirement, which if you know Pitino’s story, is not out of character for him. We figured rather than previewing tonight’s heavyweight tilt, we would just make fun of Pitino and his inability to hold his sauce longer than it takes to read the back cover of a DVD.

Hey Rick, how many seconds was it?

We wonder if Louisville will release the players on the basketball from their scholarships early, once Pitino retires in 2017.  It would be a fitting homage to their coach who once (and probably many other times) released members of his swim team early.

2017 won’t be the first time Pitino has released a group of children mothered by women he met only once.

When working with his wing players, Pitino has always stressed an early release on their jump shots.  Makes a lot of sense now.

The NCAA shot clock can outlast Rick Pitino in a bathroom stall. Hell even the NBA shot clock can outlast Slick Rick.

Chris Johnson’s 40 time is impressed by Pitino’s 69 time.

Even this burp lasted longer than Rick Pitino's short and sweet "crapper encounter".

Sprinter Speed is when a guy is fast in one direction, leaving everyone electrified.  Pitino Speed is when a guy is fast in one direction, leaving everyone disappointed.

Even Ben Roethlisberger thinks what Rick Pitino did in the bathroom stall was pathetic.

Step Your Game Up Rick.

There are few things more fun than ripping on Rick Pitino’s short lived bout with adultery.  There are jokes for days on this topic but we decided we would keep this one short and sweet, just like…well you get the point. GO HOYAS!

Pitino's Vinegar Strokes

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Doghouse Has a New Landlord

By Ben

Way back in July I wrote about how my Doghouse was in disarray due to the Redskins releasing the much-maligned Casey Rabach (the Doghouse’s landlord).  I was searching for a new landlord and was accepting applications from many athletes on the DMV’s professional sports teams.  Kevin Gregg filled in admirably for Rabach as interim landlord, but he left his post in October to go on a much-needed vacation.  I expect him back somewhere between March and April.  However, it does not appear that Kevin Gregg will resume his role as Orioles closer therefore he is no longer needed as the landlord, but merely as just a tenant in the Doghouse. Andray Blatche has been the superintendent of the Doghouse since 2007 and I denied his application for landlord based solely on the fact that my passion for the Orioles and Redskins outweighed my passion for the Wizards.  Well, just like Joni Mitchell once said, “you don’t know what you got til it’s gone” and that is precisely what the NBA Lockout did for my Wizards fandom.  When the season did not start on time, I began to miss the Zards and the random Tuesday night game on Comcast vs. the Milwaukee Bucks.  I immediately began to pine for the sounds of Steve Buckhantz’s silky smooth voice promoting home team bias, and the booming baritone of Phil Chenier’s color commentary. 

HOWEVA, the NBA is back and the Wizards opened up the season last night with a very uninspired and disheartening loss to the equally woeful New Jersey Nets. Yet, it was the actions before, during, and after the game of team “captain” Andray Blatche that has captured the DMV’s attention.

After an extended offseason (in which I’m sure Andray lifted more bottles of Champagne than barbells), one pre-game speech, a brutal game, and some ill-advised postgame tweets, Andray has affirmed everything I believe in, and is no doubt the only candidate to become the new landlord of the recently renovated Doghouse, cut to a disappointed MeAngelo Hall. 

Sorry D-Hall. Maybe next year, but hopefully you're not around.

Blatche was named ceremonial captain for last night’s game so he could give the speech to the fans in the Verizon Center an honor that had been bestowed upon role models and productive members of society such as Antawn Jamison, Brent Price, and Gilbert Arenas.  Andray took the reins last night and delivered a passable speech in which he anointed himself the team’s leader, and thanked the fans for sticking with the team throughout the Lockout.  Throughout the game Blatche would hoist up jumpers, spend less time in the post than Donte Stallworth spent in jail, and he killed Wizards possessions like he was Seal Team 6 breaking down the door at Osama Bin Laden’s compound.

The Wizards would go on to play hard for three quarters only to shrink in the fourth quarter and lose.  In other words, the anti-Tebow or perhaps you'd prefer the Lebron.  Blatche was underwhelming on the court, and quite vocal (via twitter) off the court. We here at the Battle of the Beltway (@Beltway_Battle) do not follow Andray Blatche nor do we promote the following of Andray Blatche, but his diarrhea of the keyboard last night was retweeted multiple times to the point where our timeline was flooded and we had to take notice. 

 His first tweet read:

“@drayblatche: I may have had a bad game but that's cause I need the ball in the post not taking jump shots all game”

This can be interpreted in two ways. The first being that he is calling out his coaches and the team’s game plan of having him out on the perimeter and not in the post.  This is the way many people have chosen to take it, but since Blatche is 6’11” and has a worse jump shot than the sweaty bald guy at the JCC, I do not see the Wizards coaching staff drawing up a game plan that would facilitate Blatche’s affinity for hoisting up jumpers.    

The second way this tweet can be interpreted is that Blatche was venting his frustrations in the way he played, was placing blame on himself, and is FINALLY realizing that he is better suited playing in the post, and not jacking up ill-advised jumpers like he’s Nick Young or something.  This is probably the more accurate assumption for what Andray was trying to accomplish with his tweet, but his public cry for sympathy is not going to win over this town!  We as a fan base have watched Blatche party harder than he trains, get in trouble off the court, and be an overall drain on society over the past six or seven seasons.  Therefore he is not going to get this fan base’s sympathy what so ever, but more so he will receive a bit of backlash.  That is what probably led to his next tweet…

“@drayblatche:  Every body need to shut up I didn't call out my coach or team mates I said I had a bad game need it n the post instead of jump shots”

Actually Andray, you should probably shut up my man (and consider the usage of punctuations).  I haven’t been this incredulous to a moronic tweet since Rashard Mendenhall felt he needed to air his dirty laundry.  Blatche was the one who spoke to the fans pre-game, calling himself the team leader and saying how much the team loves the fans.  It is probably not the best idea to tell fans to shut up then.  I’m not a professional athlete, but I know I won’t be selling too many FatHeads if I tell the fans to shut up. 

I cannot stand Andray Blatche because for years I have watched him show promise on the court and then expect him to improve in the offseason.  However, Blatche comes back every season looking worse and even more out of shape.  No seriously, this guy has bigger muffin tops than the breakfast counter at Starbucks. He has zero definition in his arms and does not have the stamina to be effective for four quarters of a basketball game.  He also lacks any kind of drive or work ethic to compete with the other big men in the NBA. Being Andray Blatche’s personal trainer is a bigger waste of time than watching a Say Yes to the Dress marathon. I just do not ever see Blatche maturing or wisening up; he is and forever will be the same old Dray. Oh and I almost forgot… he wants to be considered a leader? Come on man, the only place crazy enough to let you be their leader is North Korea (I hear they have an opening).

So without further ado, and for all of these reasons and more I would like to congratulate Andray Blatche as the new Landlord of the Battle of the Beltway’s Doghouse.  Congratulations on the promotion Andray, time to move that futon into the master bedroom!

Picture taken after Blatche was informed that he had been promoted from Superintendent to Landlord.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Breakin' It Down With Dr. Dilfer: Matt Barkley

While everyone has been Sucking for Luck, literally and figuratively, another Quarterback has emerged as a top draft pick.  This is none other than Matt Barkley out of USC, who appears to be the next in line of Trojan Quarterbacks who will be drafted highly in the NFL Draft.  The only question that remains is whether it will be in 2012 or 2013? Barkley is a junior and has been the starter at USC since his freshman year, but the past two seasons have been handicapped by sanctions levied on the program by the NCAA. Somewhere Reggie Bush is wondering what he misses more, the Heisman Trophy or Kim Kardashian’s booty.

Advantage: KardASSian

Barkley has not been able to play in any bowl games or the Pac-12 Championship the past two seasons, and there are many who think he will return for his senior year when the sanctions are lifted.  Barkley has a scale and it is not tipping in either direction. On one side is one final year in the SoCal sunshine to compete for the National Title and the Heisman trophy.  He’s got the chance to chase many records set on the field by previous Trojan Quarterbacks; not too mention all of the records set by Leinart and Sanchez off the field. On the other side there is the chance to be a top 5 pick, franchise quarterback, and millions of casheesh to place into his bank account. So for the sake of this article we will assume Barkley is announcing his intentions to go pro which places him directly in the Redskins’ crosshairs. Whatcha got for us Dr. Dilfer?

Take a seat! Class is now in session.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy @MattBarkley, like Andrew Luck is WAY more prepared for NFL than most because of system run in CFB & skill set trained by coaches

Battle of the Beltway Says: USC runs a pro style offense that has produced high draft picks Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, and Mark Sanchez. Being the commanding officer of this system for the past 3 seasons has Barkley ahead of the curve and ready for the NFL.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy Lane Kiffin deserves tons of credit for MB's development. Great scheme, trained QB like a pro, put tons on his plate. MB responded

BOTB: This tweet is the direct example of what makes Dr. Dilfer so knowledgeable. When any of us hear of Lane Kiffin we immediately think of the guy who kept getting high profile coaching jobs despite some questionable credentials.  Yet, as Dr. Dilfer helped point out, Kiffin really is a good football coach.  Kiffin knows offense, and more importantly he really knows the quarterback position, cut to a drunken Tennessee fan cursing at the heavens with a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand and a lit picture of Lane Kiffin in the other (let it go Vols fans).  Coach Kiffin has crafted a pro style offense that Barkley runs with the precision of an MIT student doing long division. Kiffin immediately challenged Barkley to lead the Trojans offense while preparing him for the NFL.  Barkley clearly is a talented quarterback, but he is also a very smart football player as evidenced by his ability to handle everything the USC coaching stuff loaded him up with.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy Barkley:Awesome LTA (load to arrival, combination of ball speed & delivery) good arm, but release & anticipation is special.

BOTB: There’s the Dr. Dilfer we all know and love. Throwing out football jargon like it’s nothing, but quickly explaining to us laymen what the heck he is talking about. However, we are still confused on what exactly” load to arrival” is but of course our minds are racing a mile a minute with a jokes full of sexual innuendos. For your all’s sakes we will contain ourselves and just move along. Essentially Barkley has a strong arm, but he also has a quick release which when combined is a more effective combo than peanut butter and jelly. 

 @TDESPN: #filmstudy Barkley:Very few CFB QB's & 1/2 of the pros are accurate to their 2nd,3rd, & 4th options, BARKLEY IS! Progression passer=UNIQUE

Football plays are designed with a certain receiver in mind as the top target.  However, on every play there are other receivers who perform as alternative options for the quarterback to throw to if the top target is well covered.  As we talked about in the Griffin piece, college quarterbacks have the tendency to not go through all of their progressions, but Barkley appears to be different.  Barkley sees the whole field and knows what routes all of his receivers are running so he can be prepared for any situation the defense throws at him.  This is a very advanced trait of a college quarterback that will no doubt serve him well with the Redskins, I mean whichever team drafts him.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy Barkley is not a great athlete, but plays very athletic in pocket & is extremely accurate on the move. Very good pocket awareness

BOTB: Well Trent in fairness, you were not a great athlete either. Gosh, we are sorry Dr. Dilfer there we go again being an armchair quarterback.  Our sincerest of apologies; we will kiss your Super Bowl ring later. Please continue with the film session…

@TDESPN: #filmstudy @MattBarkley My favorite thing I see is his eye work. Eyes stay level, smooth through progressions & uses them to manipulate D.

BOTB: This is an extension of what we talked about before in regards to Barkley going through his progressions.  Defenders can learn a lot from reading the eyes of a quarterback, and Barkley uses this to his advantage.  He looks at a receiver on one side hoping to lull the safety over to that side, and then throw the ball to another receiver on the opposite side. Still with me? Barkley looks off defenders one after another to free up his other receivers which will be a huge plus for his NFL career.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy @MattBarkley has NO FLINCH in his game! Tremendous poise in chaos, doesn't make panic plays, & the game is NEVER too fast 4 him

BOTB: “@MattBarkley has NO FLINCH in his game!” This can mean one of two things.  Allow us to investigate both meanings:

1) Matt Barkley is smooth with the ladies, or as the kids say, his game is tight.  When he is picking up chicks he never hesitates nor does he flinch even if something the girl says to him SHOULD cause him to back pedal.  Example:

MB: So tell me a little about yourself. What kind of music do you listen to?

Lucky Girl: Well I do not really listen to music; I just listen to the tones of earth and allow that to guide me.

MB: Wow, that is really interesting. Mother Nature works in mysterious ways huh?

BOOM! KID’s GOT GAME! No flinching, just kept his eye on the prize.

2) As a quarterback, Barkley is not intimidated by a pass rush.  When linebackers and ends are coming for his head and the pocket is crashing down around him, he remains calm, poised, and in control.  For the opposite of what we are talking about, just watch Jacksonville Jaguars next game and see how Quarterback Blaine Gabbert handles the pass rush. Seriously, Gabbert flinches when the girl behind the counter gives him his change.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy @mattbarkley does tons at the L.O.S. for USC, changes protections, run game, audibles vs advantage looks & directs traffic.

BOTB: First of all, L.O.S. could mean many things. For instance the most powerful labor union: Legion Of Strippers; one poor dog’s tragic day: Loss Of Scrotum; or our buddy’s ex-girlfriend’s excuses: Lies of Slutitude. However, we think Dr. Dilfer is talking about the Line of Scrimmage. Essentially the Good Doctor is saying that Barkley is like Peyton Manning but with training wheels. Barkley is able to read defenses before the snap and adjust the play, or change the assignments of the offensive linemen (protection changes).  This is a very savvy skill and one that will be very useful in a Shanahan offense. 

@TDESPN: #filmstudy Barkley: The main challenge I see in his game will be deep ball accuracy. Other evaluators that value HUGE arm will knock him 4 it

BOTB: This is the skill which RGIII has a slight edge on Barkley.  Barkley has a strong arm, but he lacks the ability at this stage of his career to throw the deep ball accurately time and time again. This by no means should be a red flag because this is something he clearly will get better at.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy @MattBarkley has learned to "deal" to his playmakers on RHYTHM, this will help him transition to NFL game.

BOTB: Time for some honesty. We have no idea what Dr. Dilfer is trying to say here, but we have come up with 3 potential ideas. We will start with the least likely scenario:

Possible Scenario #1: Matt Barkley gets together with a crew of midget-Michael-Irvin-impersonators (Why not? It’s L.A.) every week to play poker.  Of course Barkley is the dealer and he deals in rhythm to whatever crazy music those Petite Playmakers are listening to.  

Possible Scenario #2: Dr. Dilfer had a RARE typo and meant to say “deal WITH his playmakers” because as we all know wide receivers can be bigger divas than Cher, right Terrell Owens? Being the starting quarterback at USC prepares you for many aspects of the NFL, i.e. the bright lights, the lose women, and the whiny wide receivers.  So if we are interpreting Trent correctly, Barkley has figured how to handle his primadonna pass catchers.

Possible Scenario #3: In baseball when a pitcher is locked in and is pitching a really good game this is known as “dealing”.  One could assume that this is what Dr. Dilfer is talking about.  Barkley is so in tune with his receiving corps that he has the ability to hit his receivers in stride, and connect with them for big plays.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy @MattBarkley will definitely be a 1st round pick, but he could do something special if he stays. Heisman/1st pick/National Champ!

BOTB: And this is what it all comes back to.  If Barkley stays he will no doubt re-write the record books and add to his already fully stocked trophy room.  Think about it, if Barkley returns, wins the National Title and the Heisman (we make it sound so easy don’t we?), he could go down as arguably the best Quarterback in the history of USC football.  Is Barkley willing to pass all of that up for the chance to potentially throw deep balls to Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney? Barkley has not set a specific date for when he will announce his decision, but the NFL’s deadline is mid January for underclassmen to declare for the draft.  Only time will tell on Barkley’s decision but if he declares for the Draft, Redskins Nation will eagerly embrace him with a Dexter Manley sized hug.

We once heard Trent Dilfer on an ESPN podcast and he was breaking down the quarterbacks drafted in the first round of the 2009 Draft.  He said every draft class of quarterbacks has the one quarterback who is the driver.  This means that if all of the quarterbacks went out for a bite to eat and hopped in the car, who would be the guy they all flipped the keys to? i.e. the best leader.  In the 2009 class (Stafford, Sanchez, Freeman) Dilfer said without a doubt Sanchez would get the keys.  This is honestly, one of the coolest ways to break down a group of dudes.  Every group has a leader and he’s the bro we’d all flip the keys to.  Just a classic example of why Trent Dilfer is one of the best in the business. 

In the 2012 draft class it is clear that if Andrew Luck, RGIII, Barkley, and Nick Foles hopped in the car to cruise down to In-N-Out Burger Barkley would get the keys.  Don’t you want Matt Barkley to get the keys to the Redskins offense too?

We already know he sure rocks the heck out of the Burgundy and Gold.

Questions, comments, concerns, please do not hesitate to email us at

Follow us on twitter @Beltway_Battle

And Check us out on Facebook at “Battle of the Beltway” for updates, posts, and pictures of Tyler in scantily clad clothing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Breakin' It Down With Dr. Dilfer: Robert Griffin III

The Ph.D of Pocket Passing

 Our beloved Washington Redskins will be selecting near the top of the Draft come next April, and it is no secret that the biggest hole they need to fill is at the quarterback position.  Redskins Nation, whether it’s the team or the devoted fan base, cannot afford to enter another season with Rex Grossman and John Beck duking it out at the top of the depth chart.  This year’s draft class is projected to be one of the deepest in recent memory as far as quarterbacks are concerned, headlined of course by projected number 1 overall pick Andrew Luck, USC’s Matt Barkley, Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, Arizona’s Nick Foles, and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones.  Everyone and their mother expect the Redskins to select a quarterback with their first round pick, hell if Matt Millen was the Redskins GM, even he would select a quarterback.  Seeing as Luck will be off the board after the Colts select number one, it makes the most sense to delve into the remaining quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL Draft Pool. 

However, we are just amateur bloggers, and when it comes to football the only thing we are good at are watching it, criticizing the professionals, and cracking wise. Therefore who better to help breakdown the nation’s top quarterback prospects than ESPN’s Trent Dilfer? I know your instinct is to stop reading and go back to whatever you were doing, but in the words of John Lennon, “Give Trent a chance!”  What Dilfer lacked in physical abilities as a quarterback he made up for with his cerebral approach to the game.  Dilfer has become one of the top NFL analysts on television especially when it comes to breaking down the quarterback position.  He has mastered the art of analyzing and dissecting the intricacies of playing quarterback, while keeping it in laymen’s terms for all of us to understand; sort of.  Therefore we have enlisted the Quarterback Guru Trent Dilfer to help us breakdown this year’s crop of signal callers.  And by helping us breakdown we mean reading his tweets (@TDESPN) and translating them so we all can all get a better idea on who the Redskins will be looking at in April.

Today’s prospect is Heisman Trophy Winner Robert Griffin III out of Baylor.

Trent Says: #filmstudy CFB QB style, spent all day studying RGIII. Love what this kid has in the tank! Superb athlete that is comfortable in the pocket.

Battle of the Beltway Says: OK, so according to Trent, Griffin is very athletic which when translated from college to the NFL tends to mean he is not the greatest passer/quarterback.  However, RGIII IS a great passer and is poised in the pocket.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy RGIII: Excellent Arm Talent & able to change tempo of his throws while maintaining a high level of accuracy. Can #ripit

BOTB: Griffin has a strong arm and is able to throw it with some mustard, but he can also loft it with touch when he needs to.  Griffin is an accurate passer regardless of how much zip he is putting on the ball.  “#RipIt” is a Dliferism that has gotten us a little confused. Does this mean RGIII can chuck it a long ways? Or does it mean he has a very weak stomach and tends to have bad gas? I think #ripit is a little from column A and a little from column B; RGII uses his flatulence to get that extra zip on the ball. 

@TDESPN: #filmstudy RGIII: INCREDIBLE deep ball accuracy! 7 games studied today and 14 #DIMES on the long ball. Kid can locate on the deep stuff.

BOTB: RGIII is accurate when he throws the ball deep down field.  How do we know this? Because Trent watched seven of RGIII’s games in which he threw 14 perfect deep balls. “#DIMES” is Trent’s jargan (Dilferism) for when a quarterback throws a deep ball accurately and drops it in the wide receiver’s hands. Griffin sees well down field and is able to use his accurate arm to create big plays for his team.  Or we could be completely wrong and Trent was analyzing RGIII’s work in the bedroom. 

@TDESPN: #filmstudy RGIII: Quick & compact release w/suddenness in his body allows him to play w/bodies near buy. Have to have this to play well in NFL.

BOTB:  Thanks to Griffin's quick release he is able to get the ball out timely and accurately even when the defense is closing in on him.  This will benefit RGIII in the NFL, especially if the Redskins draft him.  The Redskins can promise three things: a fat signing bonus (rookie slotting system be damned), a rabid fan base, and minimal protection from the offensive line.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy RGIII: Uses his athleticism to extend play and improvise, but doesn't abandon the pocket too soon. Obviously been trained well.

BOTB: One of the biggest knocks on mobile quarterbacks when they come out of college is that they rely too heavily on their mobility and tend to leave the pocket and look to run too soon (i.e. before going through their progressions).  Griffin uses his speed and agility to keep the play alive and allow his receivers to get free from their defenders.  No matter how good defensive backs in the NFL are, it is hard for any of them to stay with professional wide receivers for an extended amount of time (just ask any DB who has faced the Denver Tebows, err I mean Broncos lately).  RGIII has been coached to use his speed and mobility as a safety net and not as an end-all-be-all.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy RGIII: Is very accurate from multiple foot platforms. Common trait with the BEST QB's in the NFL, no guarantee of clean pockets.

BOTB: RGIII does not lose his accuracy when he is wearing platform shoes.  Apparently the Best QB’s in the league can do this, but I’ve never seen Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady in a pair of Spice Girl Boots. I guess we will just have to take the Ph.D of Pocket Passing’s word here.
@TDESPN: #filmstudy RGIII: Only challenge I see translating to next level is common to most spread QB's, they throw mostly to primary rec. #pick&stick

BOTB: The Spread Offense is the system Florida ran with Tebow and Urban Meyer, and has become very popular in the college game.  This scheme has not translated very well over to the pros for the simple fact that defenses are much faster and their ability to read plays is far more advanced than at the college level.  Typical problems Spread QB’s struggle with when starting off in the NFL are center-to-quarterback exchanges (HUT! HUT! HIKE!) and the instinct to focus on the primary receiver.  The Dilferism for this is the “pick and stick”, it’s pretty easy to understand: pick your receiver and stick with him throughout the play.  In the NFL defensive players will read a quarterback’s eyes and if he never averts his gaze on a receiver, you can bet the defense will realize this and thwart the play.  In the NFL, RGIII will have to be able to read plays and not isolate one receiver. 

@TDESPN: #filmstudy RGIII:I am hearing from very reliable people that he has tremendous FB IQ & a thirst to be great. If true could become a #surgeon

BOTB: FB IQ means Face and Breasticles Intelligence and he will be forgoing his senior year of college to enter med school to become a plastic surgeon.  

Correction: RGIII is a very smart football player and has the focus and drive to be great.  He truly wants to be a great NFL quarterback and has the work ethic to get there.  “Surgeon” is a Dilferism for quarterbacks who slice and dice up defenses with precision.  

@TDESPN: #filmstudy RGIII:Puts on a deep ball clinic (teaching tape) vs KSU including one of the BEST throws iv's seen all year. #DIME to Wright

BOTB: Pretty self explanatory, but if it isn’t enough here is the video. Skip ahead to :36 mark.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy RGIII:Kid makes a throw vs A&M where he flicks it 50 yards in air, WHILE HE IS IN THE AIR! #sick jump pass 50 yards, WOW

BOTB: The last time Trent Dilfer was this excited was when Sean Salisbury left ESPN.  We couldn’t find the video of this pass, but it sounds nasty. Here is a highlight reel that should suffice.

So after further dissection and a few more Dilferisms, we have come to a conclusion:  Robert Griffin III is the real deal.  He is a little shorter than most NFL GM’s would like, but then again so is Drew Brees.  RGIII is accurate, has a strong arm, and is fast and athletic to boot.  He looks like a legitimate NFL star and a quarterback that would look great in the Burgundy and Gold.

Next: Breakin’ it Down with Dr. Dilfer: Matt Barkley

Questions, comments, concerns, please do not hesitate to email us at

Follow us on twitter @Beltway_Battle

And Check us out on Facebook at “Battle of the Beltway” for updates, posts, and pictures of Tyler in scantily clad clothing.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Stern Mistake

By Ben

Whenever I here the relationship between NBA owners and NBA players compared to the relationship of slave masters and their slaves it makes my stomach turn.  I just do not see the rationale to comparing millionaires who play a kid’s game for a king’s ransom to people who were taken from their homes, separated from their families, and forced to work in the hot fields of the south while being fed very little and whipped without warning.  A proper comparison would be between asshole bosses and their employees.  You know what I’m talking about; NBA owners are the bosses of your department who do nothing but give you projects and deadlines.  They then sit back and wait for you to produce something worthy of their approval so they can turn it in to the higher ups and take all the credit.  David Stern is the CEO who promotes these kinds of shanahanigans and he is the King Prick.  He and his crew of crony owners tried a hard stance during the NBA Lockout and made the players feel like inferior employees.  The players put the butts in the seats, their names are on the back of the jerseys that sell, and it’s their faces and showmanship that make the money (Cut to a confused Dan Gilbert, but more on that jabroni later).  And Stern did it again last night by listening to the gripes of the owners and vetoed a blockbuster trade between the Hornets and the Lakers. 

The particulars of the trade go as follows:

New Orleans Hornets trade Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers trade Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets, and Lamar Odom to the New Orleans Hornets.

The Houston Rockets trade Kevin Martin and Luis Scola to the New Orleans Hornets.

Ipso facto, the Hornets traded away their franchise player (who had NO intentions of re-signing with them at the end of the season) and acquired three veteran players who could make the Hornets a very competitive team.  Kevin Martin can score, Luis Scola does all the dirty work while putting up very respectable numbers, and Lamar Odom will bring Khloe Kardashian…

The Rockets would acquire a silky smooth Spaniard who would be a calming veteran presence on a mostly young nucleus made up of Chase Buddinger, Kyle Lowry, and college standouts Jonny Flynn (sorry Mish, not Larry Flynt), and Hasheem Thabeet.  

The Lakers would acquire a superstar point guard to play alongside Kobe until Kobe’s knees give out, and then turn the team over to.  The trade seems essentially fair on the surface, but I’m assuming where the owners had an issue was that the Lakers did not include Andrew Bynum in the deal.  It was assumed that Bynum would then be flipped to Orlando for Dwight Howard, thus forming another team of three superstars.  


So now we are all caught up on the trade that was cancelled faster than How To Be a Gentleman. (QUICK SIDEBAR: You can’t duplicate Johnny Drama especially when you put him on CBS and prohibit him from cursing.) By vetoing the trade David Stern, NBA commissioner, launched a public relations nightmare for a league whose ink was still drying on their Lockout Peace Treaty.  The NBA owns the New Orleans Hornets and therefore employs their front office and makes the personnel decisions.  The trade was accepted and was announced and then the other NBA owners began whining and complaining about the trade.  The loudest complaints came from a city in the United States that most of us are better off not acknowledging, Cleveland, Ohio.  Cleveland is that septic tank in your backyard that keeps overflowing. Where does all this hatred for Cleveland come from? Well, I do not have time to get into it right now, but someday we will tell you all about how the city of Cleveland wronged us. 

I would not visit Cleveland if you paid me $130 million dollars spread out over six years, cut to Lebron James nodding.  Speaking of turning down Cleveland’s money, Dan Gilbert the owner of the Cavaliers, was up in arms over this trade and sent David Stern this email pleading for him to nix the trade. OK, Dan we get it. Lebron left you high and dry that caused you to meltdown like a high school cheerleader who just got dumped by the quarterback for a sexier and sluttier girl on the dance team.  Now Dan Gilbert is that girl who just because she can’t get a man is now making everyone else miserable and dragging her girlfriends away from the guys they are talking to.  Quit being the bleeding heart Dan, not all small market teams sympathize with you, just ask the Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit Pistons, and the San Antonio Spurs.  They’ve made it work.  I mean there must’ve been a reason why no big time free agents wanted to come to Cleveland to play with arguably the most exciting player in the league.  Well Dan, good luck ever signing a big time free agent now after this stunt.  Plus trying to lure a free agent to Cleveland is like a Roseanne Barr trying to lure anyone of us to leave the bar with her. 

Mehhhhh, come here often?

But enough about an owner so bad that even Peter Angelos is disgusted.  Stern’s main motivation for nixing this trade is the idea of “competitive balance”.  I hate this argument because there has NEVER been competitive balance in the NBA.  The Celtics have won 17 NBA titles including an unprecedented reign with championships in four consecutive decades.  The Lakers have won 16 NBA titles including a three-peat from 2000-2002 and back-to-back championships most recently in 2009 and 2010.  Jordan’s Bulls had two separate three peats in the 1990’s.  P.S. when Jordan was retired the Houston Rockets won back-to-back titles.  The Pistons won back-to-back titles before the Bulls first three peat.  And the Spurs have won 4 titles in the past decade. My point being the same teams are always at the top and the only league that has figured out competitive balance is the NFL.  Every year any team can emerge and compete.  The NBA is a long way off from that, and based on history will probably never get to that.  Somewhere Roger Goddell and Bud Selig are sharing a drink and toasting the man who has taken all the heat off of them.  David Stern truly is the worst commissioner in sports; even Gary Bettman (WHOSE LEAGUE FOLDED FOR A YEAR) thinks David Stern is a power drunk moron. 

David Stern has unleashed a public relations shit storm not even a day after the Lockout officially ended.  NBA Free Agency starts today and everyone was anticipating a great few days similar to the NFL’s past free agency period.  But instead we will be talking about the incompetence of the league’s commissioner and his dictator-esque ways of ruling his players like a greedy monarch. Thanks to “King David the Dick”, the biggest losers here may be the New Orleans Hornets (remember, the NBA owns the Hornets!).  They felt like they had lined up the best deal they are going to get and traded away their franchise player.  Chris Paul is a free agent at the end of the year and will more than likely sign with the Los Angeles Lakers or the New York Knicks, thus leaving the Hornets with nothing.  At least they would be able to gain a few players and field a competitive team.  It will be hard to trade Chris Paul now because no other team will want to give up the assets necessary without the assurance that Paul will sign an extension with them.  Otherwise, these teams will be mortgaging their future for a one year rental.  Insert U.S. Economy/Housing Market joke here.

My personal guess, is that Stern will see what a mistake he has made and will eventually allow the trade. But until he comes to his senses he will have to answer these questions: Where was Stern last year during Lebron’s decision? Is he going to veto Dwight Howard’s potential trade to the New Jersey Nets? Why didn’t he veto Carmelo’s trade last year when he essentially dictated where he was getting traded?  

And just when you thought it could not get any worse, David Stern has made a few more major decisions that will no doubt impact all of us.

David Stern has cancelled Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanza.

David Stern has eliminated Saturday and Sunday from the week. No more weekends.

David Stern has placed Tim Tebow on the IR.

David Stern has signed Rex Grossman to an 8-year extension for the Washington Redskins.

David Stern has cancelled the 2012 Presidential Elections and named himself President of the United States. May God have mercy on us all.

Screw this, I'm moving to China.

Questions, comments, concerns, please do not hesitate to email us at

Follow us on twitter @Beltway_Battle

And Check us out on Facebook at “Battle of the Beltway” for updates, posts, and pictures of Tyler in scantily clad clothing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Washington's Sneaky All Stars

by Ben

Washington D.C. is home to the President, the Supreme Court, Senators and Congressmen, and Senators’ and Congressmen’s mistresses.  Our nation’s capital is also home to professional sports franchises whose expectations are higher than Trent Williams off the field, yet they underachieve like Trent Williams on the field. But enough about the Silver-Baked Gorilla, hasn’t he suffered enough? Rather than going on and on about how futile our professional sports teams are, let’s take a look at the underappreciated players on our beloved squads.  These are the guys who fly under the radar, make major contributions to their teams, but do not get the same recognition as their big name teammates.  I have selected two guys per team and named each segment after a player who was underappreciated on these teams long before George W. Bush couldn’t say “totalitarian”. Everybody good with the rules? Ok…LEGGO!


SP- Jordan Zimmermann

Heading into the 2009 season Jordan Zimmermann was the Nationals top pitching prospect, but he instantly became no. 2 the millisecond Stephen Strasburg signed his contract.  Granted, everyone wants to focus on Stephen Strasburg, and rightfully so, but Jordan Zimmermann WILL BE the 2 in this legitimate 1-2 punch for years to come.  Zimmermann was called up in 2009 and was relatively impressive over his first 16 starts, but in typical D.C. sports fashion he succumbed to a torn UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) in his right elbow, which required Tommy John surgery.  Tommy John requires about 18 months for recovery, some guys heal faster, and some guys heal slower.  Regardless it generally takes 1-2 years for pitchers to get back to full strength.  Zimmermann is one of the guys who heals faster, and was back pitching in the minors in 2010.  He made it back up to the Big Leagues later that season, and made a couple of quality starts before the season ended.  Last year was his first full year back with the big club since the surgery and the Nationals wisely limited his innings.  2012 will mark the season in which Zimmermann is completely recovered from the elbow surgery and I expect him to really take off.  Zimmermann is very polished on the mound and rarely gets flustered out there.  Control is not an issue with Zimmermann as he throws more strikes than a disgruntled labor union.  He has been hit around a little bit but that’s purely because he is a young pitcher still learning how to get big leaguer hitters out.  Jordan Zimmermann should form a dynamic top of the rotation with Strasburg for years to come.

1B/OF- Mike Morse aka Big Mike aka The Code aka Beast Mode

I know what you are probably asking yourself…how could a guy who hit .303 with 31 homers and drove in 91 RBI’s last season possibly be a Sneaky All-Star?  Well because this is D.C. Sports and we as fans have been conditioned to believe that when things seem too good to be true, odds are they are too good to be true.  The feeling amongst many Nats fans is that Mike Morse’s 2011 season was too good to be true and it will be hard for him to duplicate in 2012, thus qualifying him as underappreciated and not getting the recognition he deserves.  Those of us who know baseball knew that Mike Morse was capable of this kind of season because Big Mike dropped 15 bombs and batted .289 in limited spot duty in 2010.  For whatever reason Mike Rizzo felt it was in the best interest of the Nationals to throw money at Adam LaRoche and keep Mike Morse on the bench.  Well the baseball Gods intervened and sliced LaRoche’s labrum thus giving Big Mike the 1st base spot and a season to flourish. Big Mike’s biggest asset (besides being tall, dark, and handsome) is his freakish athletic ability for being a guy that size.  He was drafted as a shortstop by the Mariners, and rose through their system as an IF/OF combo guy; you don’t believe me? Check this video out.  With LaRoche “healthy” the Nationals are expected to move Big Mike to left field.  You should have no worries about Big Mike playing left field after watching that video and seeing Jay Buhner working one-on-one with Big Mike.  Mike Morse aka Big Mike aka Beast Mode aka The Code is a great big league hitter and so it really does not matter where they play him defensively just as long as they find a place for him in the lineup to protect Ryan Zimmerman.  We like to dog Mike Rizzo, but he deserves a ton of credit for trading Ryan Langerhans for Mike Morse back in the summer of 2009.  Say that again, Ryan Langerhans for Mike Morse.  The General Manager of the Mariners basically traded away a used car that was reliable, got you from point A to point B and showed signs of really being a stable car for years…for a Gremlin.  Whether it is 1st base, Left Field, or serving $12.00 Margaritas at the Red Loft, Mike Morse is a major contributor to the Nats and I am looking forward to how he follows up his impressive 2011 campaign.


Jeff Reboulet was under-appreciated by his own parents.

SP- Jeremy Guthrie:

Being the ace of the Orioles pitching staff is like being Albert Haynesworth’s favorite stripper because even though you’re making good money you’d rather being doing it for someone else.  But this is exactly why Jeremy Guthrie is a true representative of the Sneaky All-Stars. He has been the O’s no. 1 since 2007 despite being given some of the worst run support in the league coupled with a bullpen who blows saves like Lindsey Lohan blows 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chances.  Guthrie does not have the wins to his record that he deserves, but he maintains a low enough ERA, keeps the O’s in games, mentors the younger pitchers, and never complains about things that John Lackey and A.J. Burnett would raise hell about.  Jeremy Guthrie is a very talented pitcher and even though he is a major asset to the O’s (isn’t that like being the tallest Oompa-Loompa?) I wish he would get traded to a good team just so he can finally pitch in meaningful games and receive the recognition he deserves.  I wish Guthrie could be part of the epic turn around of the Orioles, but he’s 32 and I just don’t see him pitching until he’s 57.

RP-Jim Johnson:

Jim Johnson came up through the O’s farm system as a starting pitcher, but made his name with the Orioles as a reliever.  He features a fastball in the mid to upper 90’s and has a sinker that plummets out of the strike zone quicker than Russell Brand’s acting career.  He has been a very reliable bullpen arm for the past few seasons and boasts a career 3.31 ERA (including 2.67 last year).  He has struggled when given the ball in the 9th inning, but closing is not for everyone, just ask Kevin Gregg.  Jim Johnson has been an anchor in the O’s bullpen and very reliable set up man. But being a set up man for an Orioles closer is like being Gary Busey’s publicist; no matter what you do, or how hard you work, he’s just going to screw it up anyways. The Orioles are contemplating moving Johnson into the starting rotation this year, and if this is true he may finally get the recognition he rightfully deserves. 



D- John Carlson

Last year was Carlson’s first full year with the Capitals and he emerged as a cornerstone of the franchise and a very talented defender.  When us common folk talk about the Caps, we talk about Alexander Ovechkin, Nicholas Backstrom, Mike Green’s orange vespa, and how much Alexander Semin is the biggest waste of talent since David Hasselhoff left Baywatch.  These are the big name players on the Caps, but John Carlson has just as much talent!  He is a big guy at 6’3” 218 lbs. and is an enforcer on defense.  He is only 21 years old so he has a lot to learn and a lot to improve on, but the sky is the limit. He is an offensive minded defenseman and can be pretty explosive back there based on his rare combo of size and speed.  His instincts and high ceiling of potential will make John Carlson a household name in the DMV in the coming years.  To recap: John Carlson is big, talented, and could go unrecognized even if he was dancing the Cupid Shuffle at Union Jack’s at the Ballston mall.

C- Marcus Johannson

Marcus Johannson aka “Mojo” is an electric spark plug for the Caps who makes an impact every time he comes flying in off the bench.  Like Carlson, he was a 1st round pick of the Caps and came up through the Caps farm system.   Mojo is one of the fastest skaters on the team and is smoother than the top of Bruce Boudreau’s head.  Some of you may remember that Mojo was called up from the minors last year, but was not expected to stick around for the whole year.  But it became pretty apparent that he had what it took to stick around and notched 13 goals and 14 assists.  Already through 25 games, Mojo has tallied 6 goals and 8 dimes (do they call them dimes in hockey?) and will continue to add to these numbers. The major knock on Mojo is that he is a bit undersized, but his ability to score and his lightning fast ability to skate will continue to make him a building block for the Washington Capitals.


SG- Jordan Crawford

The NBA Lockout has ended! Did any of you notice? Well for many of you the news that the lockout ended made as much noise as a fart during a Disturbed concert, but I personally am glad to have an NBA season.  The NBA lockout was damaging because it turned off many fans, teams lost revenue, and not to mention the extended time off gave Andray Blatche, Javale McGee, and Nick Young more time to eat Chipotle, play video games, and continue to abuse social media.  These three clowns aside, there are some pretty good young players on the Wizards roster.  We all know about John Wall and his unlimited potential, but his backcourt mate Jordan Crawford has just as much upside.  Many of you may know Jordan Crawford as the apple of Gus Johnson’s eye, or as the college kid who dunked on Lebron.  It is my hope that we will all come to know Jordan Crawford as the jelly to John Wall’s peanut butter; the ham to John Wall’s cheese; or perhaps the Fred Davis to Fred Davis’s bong.  Jordan Crawford is undersized, but he is athletic and he can flat out score.  Since coming over from the Hawks in yet another quality trade by Ernie Grunfeld, Crawford averaged 16 points per game with lethal three-point range.  He also dropped 39 on the Heat and followed that up with 29 vs. the Pacers.  Crawford is labeled as a shoot-first guard, but in reality he is a shoot-first, shoot-second, and even shoot-third kind of guard.  Jordan has never seen a shot he didn’t like, but unlike Nick Young, he actually makes a lot of them.  Crawford is a bit of a liability on defense, but he is still very young and has a lot to learn about basketball.  He may project as a 6th man or as a key bench piece, but ideally the Wizards will let Nick Young leave via free agency and open up the starting guard spot to Jordan Crawford.  It’s not unreasonable to think this guy can average 20 points per game this season, and as a Wizards fan his potential is something I am really looking forward to in the 2011-2012 season.

Peanut Butter (right), Filet Mignon (center) Jelly (left)

F- Chris Singleton

The Wizards selected Chris Singleton 18th overall in last year’s NBA draft, and has been deemed by many NBA people as potentially the steal of the draft.  He had a standout career at Florida State and brings with him a solid offensive game and an even stronger defensive presence. As mentioned before, Singleton is from Florida State so we know three things, he’s got toughness to his game, he’s supremely athletic, and he has been brainwashed to think Bobby Bowden’s farts smell like Febreeze. He is only a rookie so it’s impossible to name this guy as underappreciated when he hasn’t even played a game, but he is definitely under the radar.  People only want to talk about Jan Vesely because he was the top pick for the Wizards, but Singleton will inevitably be a better player for the Wizards.  Singleton will make an impact on the Wizards immediately because he will be the plus defender on the wing that this team has needed worse than Paris Hilton needs to get her Valtrex prescription refilled.


LB/DE- Lorenzo Alexander

When giving this segment a title, names ran through my head like Ladell Betts, Darnerian McCants, Lemar Marshall, and Ade Jimoh (anyone?).  But at the end of the day the most underappreciated Redskin of the past few years has got to Lorenzo Alexander.  Lorenzo has played all over the field, guard, tight end, linebacker, and defensive end.  He is a special teams stalwart and team leader.  He has done everything asked of him by the Redskins and then some.  His flexibility and ability to adapt to many positions on the field has made him an invaluable player for the Redskins ever since 2006.  Lorenzo will probably never be a full time starter in the NFL, but his contributions to special teams and in the locker room make him an unsung hero.  He has continually been a bright spot for the Redskins over the previous forgettable seasons, and deserves to be overlooked no more!

OG- Chris Chester

Think back over the past few seasons at how many times we had to hear Casey Rabach’s name called for holding or false starts.  This number is roughly 124,803, which is startlingly equal to the number of times I would like to kick Jerry Sandusky in the balls.  Quick sidebar: 124,803 is way to low for the number of kicks that should be administered to Sandusky’s nether-regions but I just don’t have the endurance in my legs to kick anymore times than that. But I digress; you NEVER hear Chris Chester’s number being called for silly false starts or dumb penalties.  The point I’m getting at is that Chris Chester is a massive upgrade whether he is playing center or guard. He has been a steady presence on the offensive line in a season where our offensive linemen have been dropping faster then a 12 year old’s nuts.  (WOW, I am really talking a lot about nuts aren’t I? I’ll try to rein it in!) Chester is very athletic for an offensive lineman, which was obvious when he ran a 4.84 40 yard dash at the scouting combine back in 2006.  A sub 5.00 40 yard dash for an offensive lineman is about as common as hearing Bill O’Reilly compliment President Obama’s decision making.  Chester is a good fit for the Shanahan zone-blocking scheme because of his athletic ability, agility, and high character.  He is a smart player who has a committed work ethic and can literally go a full game without ever having his name or number called.  This is the life of offensive linemen; the only people who recognize their contributions are their coaches, the quarterbacks, and the running backs.  Offensive linemen are the unsung heroes of football, but they are also the American Idol’s of the buffet line.

There you have it, the first annual Washington’s Sneaky All-Stars Team, if you think we missed anyone shoot us an email at or tweet us @Beltway_Battle.