December 02, 2013
Gonna be really, really hard to bring this guy back next year after last night.
While it's generally a stupid idea to base hiring/firing decisions on largely meaningless games at the end of lost seasons, the fact remains that particularly bad losses can often prove fatal to head coaches.
If you still had faith as a Redskins fan in The Shanahii, then surely your faith has been shaken to it's core.
In short, it's hard to make a list of what the guy does WELL any more.
Certainly not roster assembly. Certainly not motivation. Certainly not in-game tactical decisions, clock management, or instant replay challenges.
Yes, his offensive concepts, by and large, remain a proven commodity. But what in the hell is he doing with this particular quarterback? It remains a mystery to me.
If he, or his son Kyle really thinks we'll be running zone-read-option-pitch plays 3, 4, 5 years from now, then they are fucking crazy. Those who have screamed that this is the "offense of the future" continue to miss the point.
Winning in the current, modern NFL, is predicated on essentially one thing: the ability to pass the ball downfield. As efficiently as possible.
The better you are at downfield, vertical, strikes, the easier it becomes to win.
And this doesn't even account for injuries to your most valuable player, the QB. Even if RG3 were an indestructible zone-read robot, this offense would still be a waste of time.
It doesn't mean I don't want all traces of it scrubbed from the playbook.
Keep these pistol, zone-read "looks" in there, and then use them judiciously. Goal-line. 4th and 2. Not as a obligatory pre-cursor to play action passing in the first quarter on your own 30 yard line.
So I now have to wonder: "What DID the Shanahii see in RG3 when they loaded the sacrificial pyre of #1 picks and light them on fire for him?"
Did they claim to see "the future" of NFL offenses, and wanted to run zone-read-option from the jump, and stick with it for years and years and years?
Did they see a 2-3 year "project franchise QB" (if there is such a creature) who would need to be slowly nursed into a pocket passer?
Or were they surprised at some things he could not yet do, and have been "winging it" ever since he landed here in town?
I don't know, and I'm not convinced that THEY know either!
And of all the sins a coaching regime can commit in the NFL - Shanny's pathetic 24-36 record not included - the worst sin is not having a coherent and sensible PLAN for your most important player.
Whatever that plan is, I'm sorry, I don't see it.
Worse yet is the relationship seems hopelessly poisoned. Part of which, may well be the fault of an image obsessed signal-calling diva.
It doesn't matter. He's who you got.
You need to coach him, mold him, manage him, and even suffer him through it all. You bought him. He's yours. Too late to complain if he's not compliant enough for your liking.
At the least, Griffin needs a truly independent offensive coordinator to be his best friend and mentor, a "good cop" counterbalance to the "bad cop" of big Mike.
That "obviously" (as Shanny likes to say) cannot be the coach's under-resumed son. It just can't. Sorry, Kyle.
Sadly, all of this only represents a portion of the team's problems. The roster is too stuffed with bad ideas, patches, and purchased, aging free agents. Watching this team run around, compared to watching other teams in the league run around, the only word that comes to mind is… "feh."
So do you really want Shanny back for a 1 year "prove it to me" final installment of his original contract?
But I'm also not convinced this owner and this franchise even knows HOW to make a decent hire. Aside from pushing a massive pile of money at a recently fired coach with two Super Bowls, the last time they tried to hire somebody they ended up with Jim Zorn.
Can they hire a hungry, non-celebrity coach (ala Bruce Arians or Mike McCoy) and then stand back and let him do his thing, create his culture, and operate the team without undermining him?
I have my doubts. But I am pretty sure we're about to find out.
When you have gone 0-5 on night games, when the stadium is half empty, when you have a 14-0 lead on a truly fetid opponent like the Giants and get swamped 24-3 after that…. well… then next year becomes a distinct MARKETING problem if Mike Shanahan is still on your media guide cover.
And there's one thing we know about this franchise: marketing always has a say at the table, no matter what might look like a purely "football" decision.
I've Always Wanted To Do Radio With A Former TE and Master Potter….
December 01, 2013
…. and now… my dreams have ALL COME TRUE!
Enjoy this nicely shot piece on my new radio buuuuuuddy, Christopher Cooley.
Not sure if the Washington Post shooting web videos is necessarily the path to profitability again in the paper business, but they are doing it. And if you want the "word story" to go with it, you can read it here.
Why I'm Thankful...
November 30, 2013
For parents, and a family... like this.
I was lucky enough to get a hold of the Czaban Family Archives in advance of my parents' 50th anniversary this summer. My pops did a great job of documenting things - often, ordinary things - along the way when I was little. And my mom, was and is, simply the best.
I am so lucky that both are alive and thriving, and living nearby to dote on our daughters and spoil them rotten.
If you ever wanted to see the backstory of my upbringing and why I jokingly call them the "mean streets" of McLean, Virginia... well here's the definitive documentary.
I hope everyone who reads this blog, also had a great Thanksgiving.
And if your parents are still alive and in your life, enjoy every minute with them.
And for your kids, take lots of pictures and video. They mature with age and become priceless family artifacts.
Get. Better. Players.
November 26, 2013
Sometimes, the simplest message is the most true.
Like Chick-fil-A's brilliantly minimalist marketing strategy, in the NFL there is no substitute for getting better players.
And despite all the problems with the Redskins right now - too many to truly list - the biggest problem remains as boring and old as the NFL hills: poor talent.
Griffin can improve. Shanahan can be fired. Those things will run their course.
Getting mo' better players, however, takes time and a persistent strategy.
Nothing sexy or quick about it.
Here's all that really matters about the Redskins right now. Going into the Vikings game 3 losses ago, the team was staggeringly healthy. All 22 of it's Week 1 starters on both sides of the ball, were suited and ready to go.
And they lost the next three.
If you were to rate each player as follows...
++ = NFL elite, All-Pro
+ = Very good, Pro Bowl Caliber
0 = A decent player, no more, no less.
- = Less than average player
-- = Liability, should not be on roster
I would say the Redskins current roster has more "minus", or double-minus players than "plus" players by a factor of 2-to-1.
And I won't go through calling them out, because I think followers of the team know exactly who they are.
So in other words, the Redskins' roster - full of "minus" players - doesn't even have young backups who are pushing and taking over starting jobs.
Which makes the bench "double-minus" caliber talent.
Shanahan is eager to get at that sweet, sweet, salary cap money which will be finally be available this spring. Hell, he talks about it more than a teenager talks about the upcoming One Direction release.
But you can't buy more than a few decent guys with cap space.
The Rams have our first rounder this year, as final payment for RG3. It's looking like it might be Top-5, perhaps (gulp!) #1/#1.
That's sobering enough if Griffin were good this year, and the team was still bad due to other reasons.
But in my nightmares........ I see Joe Webb.
In my nightmares, I see the great RG3 Experiment morphing into a guy who is not much more than a "run around guy", still trying to pull miracles out of his Superman socks.
I still have faith, maybe stupidly, that this guy is smart enough, committed enough, and skilled enough to play the position at an elite level.
But he needs better coaching, a big dollop of humility (currently being installed by recent events and games) and... alas.... MORE. BETTER. PLAYERS.
Here are the notable screen shots from last night's game. None are comforting. Especially, the kick to the gonads!
Tony Sirico Makes Canine Cameo on Family Guy
November 25, 2013
I could listen to his wet, whistle-ish, Italian voice all day long.
Just So You Understand "Roger Goodell's Super Safe NFL Rules" Better...
November 24, 2013
This was a penalty.
This was not.
Happy 4th Anniversary, Tiger Woods Scandal!
November 24, 2013
To me, Thanksgiving means all the wonderful things in life to savor and enjoy. Family, friends, food... and a remembrance of the car crash and subsequent bimbo-palooza that brought down Eldrick T. Woods from the Mount Olympus of sports and commercial endorsement.
Oh, how the time flies.
Still no majors since then.... but hey, he's a young* 37, there's plenty of time. Right?
I remember exactly where I was when I heard that Woods had been in a car crash and was in "serious" condition at an Orlando hospital. I was driving up to my driveway when my golf bro Gitter rang my cell phone with the news.
Holy, crap! My mind raced with thoughts of what it would mean if he never played again at a competitive level. Or perhaps was as bad as Hogan. Or... of course... the worst.
Well, turns out the crash was the LEAST of his problems.
The unfolding several weeks after that night, was beyond brain melting in terms of what we, the media, and fans, had FORMERLY thought about the multi-ethnic, can-do-no-wrong, golfing superstar.
I mean, hey, we were naive to think he perhaps didn't *dabble* just bit outside the lovely Swedish model-turned-nanny-turned-housewife. But the skanks just kept coming.
And the voice mail. And the porn stars. And the Perkins waitress! And the sex rehab clinic in Mississippi. And the "fake" Tiger his agent paid to try to throw the paparazzi off the trail.
Well, for the first time I can recall, there's a very specific (and thorough recap) of the "Three Nights in November" at the Woods compound in Florida, that began the unravelling. I am not sure where the NY Post's Maureen Callahan sources much of this very private intelligence on the whole mess,
but I am sure there are now bimbo's (and perhaps Elin herself) more than willing to whisper out the facts despite payoffs, NDA's and sealed divorce records.
Sources close to Nordegren later told The Daily Beast that on Nov. 24, one day before the Enquirer hit stands, Woods put his wife on the phone with Uchitel, who insisted there was no truth to the imminent story. Nordegren and Uchitel spoke for 30 minutes.
Woods was satisfied; Nordegren was not. That afternoon, Woods left his cellphone unattended, and Nordegren scrolled through his call history. She found another name, Jaimee Grubbs, and called her. Nordegren got voice mail. She left a message.
“You know who this is,” Nordegren said, “because you are f- -king my husband.”
Nordegren didn’t tell Woods, and when he retrieved his phone, he, too, called Grubbs.
His call also went to voice mail.
“Hey, it’s, uh . . . it’s Tiger,” he said. “Can you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone and, uh, may be calling you. So if you can, please take your name off that. And, um . . . just have it as a number on the voice mail. OK? You got to do this for me. Huge. Quickly. All right, bye.”
On Thanksgiving night, after Woods, an insomniac, took an Ambien and fell asleep, Nordegren took his phone and scrolled for Uchitel’s number.
She clicked on it and found a text from her husband: “You are the only one I’ve ever loved.”
It was now 1 a.m. on Friday, and Nordegren, described by friends as an exceptionally controlled person, thought for a moment. How could she be sure to catch her husband in this lie?
She began texting Uchitel — as Woods.
“I miss you,” Nordegren wrote. “When are we seeing each other again?”
Uchitel replied immediately, expressing surprise that Woods was up.
Nordegren called Uchitel immediately. “I knew it was you,” she said. “I know everything.”
“Oh, f- -k,” Uchitel said. She hung up.
Nordegren’s screaming woke up Woods. He was woozy, but he grabbed his cellphone and ran to the bathroom, locking himself in and texting Uchitel.
“She knows,” he wrote. “I’m going to be packing.” He told her it looked like divorce.
Nordegren was still yelling at Woods, demanding he come out. When he emerged minutes later, she swiped the cellphone, took one look at his last sent message — “divorce” — and exploded. She threw it at Woods, chipping his tooth. She pummeled his chest and scratched his face. He wrested himself away, and Nordegren reached for the nearest weapon — a golf club — and began chasing him.
By Dec. 11, 2009, two weeks after Woods’ accident, the number of known mistresses was up to 14. He lost endorsements with Nike, Gatorade, Gillette and Accenture — the latter alone earning him between $10 million and $15 million a year. He announced he was taking a leave from golf and on Nov. 30, he pulled out of the Chevron World Challenge.
By the end of the month, Woods had entered rehab for sex addiction.
Nordegren used the time to renegotiate her prenup and mull her marriage. The day after the accident, Woods had reportedly told a friend that Nordegren had “gone ghetto” on him and that he needed to “run to Zales and get a Kobe special — a house on a finger,” referring to caught-cheating NBA star Kobe Bryant’s gift to his wife.
Woods’ golf game fell apart, and his career has never fully recovered. He now earns about $54 million in endorsements — half of what he made pre-scandal, Forbes says — and has not won a major tournament since.
Woods reportedly confessed to sleeping with 120 women, but sources close to Nordegren say she remained on the fence about leaving him until April 2010, when a 15th mistress was revealed. Her name was Raychel Coudriet. She was a daughter of the couple next door and first met Woods when she was only 14.
Now, I can already see the emails and comments below being written right now. "Geez, Czabe, way to pile on. Are you ever going to let it go? Why do you hate him so much? And on and on...."
I don't "hate" Tiger Woods, because I don't know him and he's never done anything to me and my family. But I do think he's a truly awful person, and with every low rent act ON the golf course he pulls these days, it only confirms why all of the above happened in the first place.
Plus, there are too many juicy details here, that I had never before seen or read, and the Post story bundles it all up in such a well constructed Tiger Scandal 101
He's a guy to whom the rules simply do not apply. At least not in his mind. He treats nearly everybody in his orbit shabbily, and I suspect Lindsay Vonn will be the next one to find out.
"Oh, hurt your knee again? So sorry. I really wasn't looking forward to freezing my ass off in Sochi anyway, babe. So looks like I WILL enter the Honda Classic after all this February. Text me and let me know how it's going."
Lonely Island: Jack Sparrow
November 21, 2013
It's kinda embarrassing that I only saw this one today, for god's sake! Where have I been? Not like I don't know about the Lonely Island geniuses. Not like "J*** In My Pants" isn't my favorite song of all time (no, wait.... "I'm On A Boat" is even better).
So for everyone else out there who *thinks* they are "hip to the internets" and have seen what all the kids are talking about, but still find things here at Czabe.com that you never knew existed... well.. enjoy. It's another classic.
If Tony Soprano Ran The Dolphins, Here's How It Would Go Down
November 20, 2013
I think I've finally had it with this Jonathan Martin vs. Richie Incognito bullying case.
Took me a while. But the simmer has now blown my lid right off the pot.
It's not that Martin is a mommy-clinging-thumb-sucking soft-tard for how he tattled on Incognito.
Although he might be.
It's not that Incognito is a certified psychopath, almost certain to be arrested, broke, or both about 10 minutes after he's out of the NFL. Or that he went way way waaaay over the line with Martin in particular.
Although he might have.
No, what's enough to make you want to throw an oversized ashtray through Roger Goodell's glass-case collection of NFL mini-helmets is the fact that this thing is taking way too long untangle and put to bed.
Did you know, there are now TWO separate investigations?
Two. The NFL's and the NFLPA's.
Martin left the Dolphins on October 28th. Incognito was suspended November 3rd.
Thanksgiving is next week, and we aren't even a country fucking mile from wrapping this thing up and getting on with the business of high level, professional, tackle football.
And now the league's hand-picked ESPN mouthpieces like Mort and Shefter, are talking about.... sorry for yelling here but...... "WHAT PUNISHMENT GOODELL MIGHT IMPOSE WHEN THE TED WELLS REPORT IS FINISHED!"
Punishment from the league? Against the Dolphins?
They've been "punished" enough by how they handled this. They are down two starting lineman for the equivalent of a card game that went sideways and some dick jokes. The Dolphins basically flushed what was left of their season!
To channel my inner Jim Mora: "Punishments? Puh-puh-puh-PUNISHMENTS?"
But then again, this is what this league has become under Goodell: a thoroughly unlikeable corporate drone-hive of assholes in suits.
Oh, that, and they football on Sundays.
In 2013 it's all lawyers, lawsuits, and "special investigations." I almost yearn for the days when Goodell would take Spygate VCR tapes and throw them in his personal incinerator behind his desk, clip a team and a coach for quarter-million or two, and tell them to knock it the fuck off.
Done and done.
I yearn for the days of rogue owners that would threaten to do whatever the hell they wanted, and dared the league to say even lift an eyebrow. The "league" once existed to keep basic order amongst the separate franchises, run the draft, bang the TV networks for money and to set the schedule.
If Al Davis wanted to drive the Raiders back and forth between Oakland and L.A. on every odd-numbered year, that was on him. Good luck, Al.
Bountygate was a case where the NFL essentially STOLE an entire possible championship season from Tom Benson, with a QB in his tender prime, defrauded a whole fan base with absurdly trumped up allegations - and Benson just took it all... LIKE A BITCH.
The Dolphins should have had this Martin thing handled in a week - tops.
It should have gone something like this.
Dolphins to NFL. "Stand down, we got this."
Dolphins to Martin. "Okay, kid what's the matter?"
If Martin says "talk to my lawyers" you tell him this: "Kid, we own your rights. You'll play for us, or nobody. Now tell us what happened, and what do you want us to do about it?"
If he says Incognito strong armed him for $15k for a Vegas trip he wanted no part of and rode his ass too hard in the locker-room, you tell Martin:
"Okay, kid. We're gonna make it right. Richie's gonna pay you back the $15k for Vegas, and another $15k for being an asshole. He's going to apologize to you, and apologize in public for getting a little carried away. You two hug like men, and the guys will only jump your ass when you are missing blocks."
If Incognito balks at this solution, remind him of the golf course groping lawsuit they swept under the rug, and ask him to think long and hard about how many other teams will want to sign him when the "full Richie file" gets accidentally emailed to Deadspin. "Ooops."
And if Martin doesn't want to play ball, and instead says he and his lawyer mommy are gonna sue the Dolphins, tell him: "Okay, bud. Nice career. Short, but nice. Good luck over the next 5-7 years, because that's how long it'll take. Even if we lose, we've written down more bad debt in one day than what your case will cost."
Then you re-instate Incognito, with a warning of "less asshole, more football" and we move on.
If Roger Goodell is all freaked out about what might come out, and insists that the league has some "vested interest" in helping do some "crisis management" in an intramural dispute of this low a magnitude, just ask him: "Hey, don't you have a tight end in jail for murder right now?"
Or perhaps "got those hand warmers all lined up for your corporate clowns at this year's Superbowl?"
But hey, I'm sure this thing will be wrapped by Christmas, and Ted Wells' thorough report will be available in a faux-leather bound reader on NFLShop.com.
Hallelujiah, holy shit, where's the Tylenol!
Snicky du Jour: Cindy Crawford
November 19, 2013
My god, doesn't she look stunning at 47?
Better yet, unlike that crazy narcissist Jennifer Aniston, Cindy is a rather rare bird in that you don't get new pics of her very often. She's a lay-low, I-Know-I'm-Still-Smokin'-Hot, mother of two.
And then she'll re-fill her little spending account with I'm sure a FAT 7-figure deal to pimp some anti-aging cream to women who will never look as good as Cindy - on her WORST day!
Good for her. And good for us, as these pics just shook loose from a recent magazine photo shoot.