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Yet another Camp review...


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...well, not really. The afternoon practice was rained out after about 15 minutes.

So here is how my afternoon at Carlisle went, for those (like me) who CANT get enough smile.gif

I got to Carlisle about 12:30pm, got in the bleachers about 1pm.

And sweated. It was humid and the sun was out in full force.

For a few minutes at least. Then a few clouds came in and teased us with some light drizzle... Uh oh... would this ruin "Fan Day" and get in the way of me FINALLY getting my Champ and D.Green jerseys signed for my office wall? Thankfully, the rain went away for the next two hours and "Fan Day" went well.

I strolled around seeing if I could match a face to the nebulous descriptions of the posters here. I actually did find Skins57 who's CPND Tshirt stood out well. I cursed myself for not getting Extremeskins.com Tshirts made. Soon, I promise. So, I extend an apology to Terry, BOW, TC and Indy... all people I wish to meet face-to-face someday... Maybe I can talk you guys into Hogfest2001? biggrin.gif

Oops, I digressed. Back to Camp...

Finally, 2:30 rolls around and the players go out to the respective tables set up on the track around the field. After spending several hours of telling the fans to get in the bleachers, the staff finally gives up and everyone is lined up around the bleacher-side of the track. When they give the word, there is a MAD DASH to the tables... it was embarrassing. People were not watching out for the little kids.

So, I wait in line for Champ first... who was very cool with the kids and was happy to smile and lean towards a few fans who squatted next to him for pics. As I am waiting for Champ, I notice that DG is at the next table over... and the line for him is HUGE... Now, we've only been allotted 30 minutes to get signatures... I am thinking, there is no way. I see Thad Buttone 37 (who?) sitting next to DG, so I go and wait in line for him, and do the stealth-slide with the jersey over to DG who appears to really dislike this whole affair, but was nice enough to sign the jersey for me.

So I am psyched! Two Burgundy jerseys that will be the cornerstones of my Skins shrine smile.gif

I make my way back to my seat in the bleachers as the signing session ends, and Marty comes out to give a brief speech (PLEASE lose that straw hat Marty!), basically thanking the fans and PROMISING us a championship in the near future. OF course, that got a HUGE cheer.

So practice starts with calisthenics (sp) and stretching, then the players break up over three fields by position. In front of me are the QBs and WRs. George was having his shoulder worked on by a trainer, but he was tossing passes back & forth with him after a few minutes. Rosenfelds, Husak and Mike Watkins (11) were doing footwork drills. Kinda boring, but Husak looked the sharpest of the three. The WRs were running drills, and the only guy who stood out to me was #13, Darrius Thompson. Poor dude could not catch anything tossed at him. Right about then, a rumble of thunder came in and lighting started dropping, so Marty pointed the players back to the locker room and practice was cancelled.

This thunderstorm was so bad that there was a HUGE flooded out intersection on Rt.11... it was quite a challenge to get around. Made the decision to head home very easy smile.gif

Even with the practice getting rained out, it was still a very fun day. The thing I regret the most is not meeting more Extremeskins regulars face-to-face. Next year, there will be Extremeskins.com logos visible (at least on my back). And hopefully a few faces will be familiar from Hogfest2001 too.

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your note about Derrius Thompson interests me as I am of the impression this guy is never going to be a productive player in the NFL despite his ability to stick around amid all the other player movements on and off the team.

good luck with your jersey signing project.............

funny that one day we could look back and see a team with 3 hall of fame corners that were in the same backfield.

Unfortunately, one of those, Deion Sanders, was never really a Redskin. Not in the true sense of the word............

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I dont know how much stock to put into my observations of a few WR drills... but Derrius was the only guy dropping things that I saw.

The Champ & DG jerseys got signed, so my mission was accomplished. I feel silly being 31, a well educated professional.... and seriously wanting to put a pair of signed jerseys on the wall, but such is life smile.gif

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Funny you mention that you went right for Champ and saw that he was friendly and taking time to chat and take pics with fans. As it turns out, I am the fan you speek of!

When I got up there I handed him my jersey to sign. He looked at it, kind of felt the fabric between his fingers, flipped the jersey over to the front and saw the NFL Shield on the bottom of the small V-neck collar. With nodding approval he asked me where I got the jersey and we started a very friendly conversation. I got a picture of him signing the jersey. Then I asked if he would mind getting a picture together and he said sure. So the lady standing next to me in line took the picture.

Now I don't have a fancy digital camera. It's just a disposable jobbie that I got at Meijer on my way out this morning. But pics will be forthcomming if I can figure out how to scan them.

I also have pics of IndySkinsFan driving the rig through a huge flood plain (with dual Redskins window flags waiving) in the middle of Carslile on our way home.


Fight for Old D.C.!

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Hey I forgot that, and that RT11 is where we were, and points to get to High St.

I gave the Extremeskins.com info to an Air Force officer, who had some interesting information to pass on his experiences and merchandise.

Also, a couple of other Skins fans who gathered around to listen and seemed "Extremely" interested smile.gif

Blade, BOW and I were on the left side of the bleachers facing Jeff George and the other QB's and where the RB's and WR's were to sign autographs (before they started). I was cracking jokes with the others and I kept looking in the bleachers for some "sign" and couldn't see from where I sat. Of course, there was a slight "height" disadvantage, me being 5'*8". I wore 48 and BOW 24

I agree on the Hogfest 2001 event, but I will NOT drive from here, I will fly in, and use it as a "package" trip to see family and also meet anyone from here and abroad in the parking lot of FEDEX. That trip has changed my protocol laugh.gif

Braves on the Warpath, thanks for the compliment, but you the man! That is an impressive list of autographs that you now have, dating back some years! Also, your perspective is refreshing and energetic, people love to hear you speak and

the "true" excitement of being a fan makes it all worthwhile dude. I only wish my energy and time weren't sapped from the overtime, the car, the aiport trip to get another car and the heat. I laughed about that "little town" that got their due laugh.gif I told my woman and she couldn't stop laughing smile.gif Thanks.

[edited.gif by indyskinsfan on August 05, 2001.]

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Glad you made it, Blade. I liked the Carlisle camp - sorry you ran into bad weather. When I was there (Thurs and Fri morning) Derrius was catching everything and looking like Mr. All-Camp. Some other guys - notably Kenny Watson - looked good to me.

The QB drills are pretty boring, but Watkins was the guy working hardest when I watched (and isn't that the way it should be? I'm sure he knows how long his odds are.)

When I get back home, I'll e-mail you some of my pictures. I got some great shots of LaVar (with the Buckwheat do) and others.

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Well, I'd love to give you a great report about training camp and fan appreciation day, but I can't.

For a start, I didn't get to the morning practice, so that likely was a mistake.

When I got to Carlisle, I decided to park in front of the college itself, rather than near the field. I knew that the place where the players suit up is not near the dorms, and that a lot of them bike from one to the other once they are changed. I was hoping to get a chance to talk to whoever I could as they rode up.

But that left me about a 10 minute walk from the field.

Anyway, I followed the fans and headed over. It was hot and sweaty. When I make it to the gate, the security guy wants to check my bag. No video recorders allowed, and I had a video recorder! In vain, I told the guy that it was also a still digital camera (I even took his picture and showed him). He was sympathetic, but it was a Redskin policy and my pleadings were in vain.

So I trudged all the way back to my car, hid the camera, then walked all the way back PAST the camp area, and on down the road to a gas station mini mart, where I purchased a disposable for the rip-off price of $11.00 (KMart had them for $4 when I was there last).

I walked BACK to the camp, and entered. As we came in they handed us Redskin bleacher cushions. I nice freebie and I thought that things were looking up. It was around noon at this point.

The stands were around half full, so I checked out the merchandise. There was a trailer and a tent that sold stuff, a tent for signing up for some kind of giveaway, a trailer that sold drinks and candy, and a church table with a hot dog machine on it.

The merchandise was pretty good: a lot of 'camp 2001' type tee shirts, jerseys for 4 players: Champ, Darrell, Alexander, and Garner, some real nice caps, and the usual fingers, teddy bears, books, and posters. The big problem that I noticed was that they had stuff for toddlers, and adult sizes down to adult medium, but nothing in kid sizes. There was a lot of disappointment about that.

I got a commemorative Redskin ball for autographs, the 2001 press guide, and a tee shirt.

The 'Chief' was there, giving out autographs, and he's a cool guy. If you want a picture with him at a particular game, he gives you his business card so you can make an appointment and set it up. The guy's a master at working a crowd.

After a while of browsing the stores, walking around the track to look at the field, and just taking in the scene, I decided to find a spot in the bleachers. They were about 3/4 full at this point and I wanted a decent spot. So I found one and waited.

Man, it was like an oven, everybody was sweating bullets, and the crowd was pretty restless. Some folks were sitting there for hours. I scanned the crowd for anyone I might have recognized from board photos, Hogfest, or wearing a board tee shirt, but I couldn't see anyone.

They had tables set up every 20 feet or so around the track, with chairs on the field side, for the atheletes to give autographs.

Finally, the players came out and started to sit at various tables, by units, defense to the left, offense to the right. The security guys had been holding the crowds back, and then the announcer came on and said go.

It was a freaking zoo! People were running down out of the bleachers and hauling around the track to various tables. The line in front of Darrell must have been 80 people deep after 30 seconds. Everybody in the bleachers had been talking about how they would let one bleachers section go for autographs at a time, but instead they let it become a madhouse.

I found my way to the line in front of Bruce Smith, but it was already hopeless. 'Line' is actullay not the word to use, mob would be more appropriate. People were pushing and shoving, everybody was pressing, and I saw one kid who was hurt in the crush. It was a bloody shambles, and the behavior of some guys there was reprehensible.

I hung in there, but the crowd was barely moving, people were cussing at each other for pushing and shoving, someone was freaking because her little girl was up front and couldn't get back, and the security guys were getting pissed.

Then after around 30 minutes, it was over! They took the players away to practice. Most people didn't even get to see the players, let alone get an autograph.

Anyway, with the players on the field, Marty addressed the crowd. The basic message was that Skins fans didn't have to wait much longer for another championship.

The players did some warmups, then broke into units for unit drills. The offense was on the main field, defense on the auxilliary field. I decided to watch the offense for a while, then wouldf head over to check out the D line.

Mostly it was basic drills - QB's doing agility stuff, running backs hitting dummies then sidestepping cones, TE's doing some catching.

The O line did some basic plays with Watkins as QB and a couple of backs and receivers. They did some handoffs, some basic curls and outs, and one WR reverse. The only dropped balls I saw were by Thompson (he's gotta hate wearing #13).

George was with the other QB's, but didn't do the agility drills. They worked on his shoulder and arms some (stretching, rotating, etc., then he did some light throwing to an assistant (10 yds).

Well, at that point we hear thunder, and see lightning. Marty blows a horn, and they announce that practice was cancelled, and everybody get back to their cars.

Just as I got through the gate, the sky opened up and dumped on us. By the time I got back to my car I was drenched. So I sat there, drying myself off, watching the downpour all around me, and other Redskins fans scurrying for their vehicles.

I must have sat there for about half an hour or so, the rain not letting up, and I notice big guys on bicycles starting to go by. I saw Darrell with Lavar together, and some others I couldn't recognize. My plan had been brilliant, but it got washed out in the downpour.

Anyway, here's my recommendations.

Go in the during the week and in the morning. That setup isn't geared towards crowds more than a coupla hundred. And the mornings are much cooler, you'll likely see crisper drills.

The place where the players suit up and the field itself are across High Street and offset, the players go from the corner of the college to the corner of the field crossing the street. You can see the signs that say Redskins peronnel only. Wait near the players entrance for autographs. In that they start with warmups, you wont miss anything by trying for an autograph as they are walking to the field, you can then go around the field for a seat. So be there early.

Don't take a video camera or anything that looks like one.

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Originally posted by bulldog:

funny that one day we could look back and see a team with 3 hall of fame corners that were in the same backfield.

Unfortunately, one of those, Deion Sanders, was never really a Redskin. Not in the true sense of the word............

What does Deion have to do with Green, Bailey and Smoot making the HoF? biggrin.gif


"Loosen up, Sandy baby. You're just too damn tight!" - John Riggins to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

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laugh.gif Yes! redman Yes! laugh.gif

Thanks to all you guys for the camp reports. I have never had the pleasure of attending training camp. Your reports make that a little easier to handle, so keep'em coming. Not just the player reports, either. The personal stories of the trips are a lot of fun to read.

[edited.gif by Brave on August 05, 2001.]

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Thanks for the great reports, guys.

It a shame that crowds behave that way. I guess that's why it's called mob mentality.

We make an annual trek or two up to Turner Field or down to Tropicana to watch baseball and we always attempt to get some autographs before the game. It's nuts. Grown men climbing over and pushing kids out of the way to get there first. Maddening.

I'm sure none of our extremeskins brothers carried on like that.biggrin.gif

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