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It's Getting Kinda Drafty in Here

By Tony Kornheiser

Wednesday, April 21, 2004; Page D1

Here's the way I think the NFL draft will go for the Washington Redskins:

The Danny will spend the next couple of days trying to trade up to get the highest possible pick in the first round. This is so he can take this behemoth offensive lineman out of Iowa, Robert "How Could My Parents Not Name Me Art" Gallery, who weighs something like 480 pounds, and who is so huge that when he gets injured he has to be carted off the field in a city bus! Snyder wants this guy because in the event Gallery doesn't make it as an NFL lineman the Redskins can use him as a tool shed.

(Oh, at each report of yet another phone call The Danny makes to move up in the draft, Vinny Cerrato will knock down the story by calling the phone call "a belated April Fool's Day joke." Until someone points out that three weeks into April we're a lot closer to Arbor Day, and Cerrato begins calling Snyder's phone calls "anticipatory Arbor Day jokes.")

By the day of the draft Snyder will have worked himself into a fever at not being able to move up. Frustrated, Snyder will desperately want to do something so bold and splashy everybody will take notice. (Something other than raising ticket prices and announcing the creation of 5,000 new seats above the upper rim of FedEx Field suspended from a blimp.) So with the No. 5 overall pick The Danny will attempt to draft Maurice Clarett.

And of course this will look particularly stupid because not only is Clarett not very good -- but unless Ruth Bader Ginsburg has taken the under on his appeal Clarett won't even be eligible for the draft. The Redskins may as well draft Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia. Or a ****er spaniel.

With the 15-minute clock running out The Danny will reiterate the Redskins' commitment to youth, and announce the player they're drafting is so young and so good, he will be in the starting lineup right away -- Freddy Adu!

This will be greeted by shock and dismay throughout Washington. Until Joe Gibbs saunters to the podium, and after laughing that nutty new laugh of his -- that seems to come out of nowhere, like Gibbs is just now, in 2004, reacting to a joke George Carlin told in 1981 -- Gibbs pronounces Adu "exactly what the Redskins need. You won't have to wait until the 61st minute to see Freddy in burgundy and gold."

Then everybody is happy. There's rejoicing in the streets. Because Coach Gibbs approves of Freddy Adu. Right now all anybody asks for is Gibbs's blessing. Right now Gibbs can do no wrong. If Gibbs drafts a urologist in the fifth round and a live goat in the sixth round, people will swoon. Because everybody in town says the same thing about Gibbs: "He's a genius."

It's like Jerry Lewis in France, except we don't have to sit through "The Nutty Professor."

People here are utterly convinced Gibbs will turn water into wine. The reasoning goes like this: If Bill Parcells can take a 5-11 Dallas team and spin it into 10-6 with mostly the same bad players, imagine what Gibbs will do with players he really likes. Like Mark Brunell and Clinton Portis.

The reason Washington thinks like this is because 1) Gibbs really is good, and 2) this is April. Over the last few years no team in the NFL has looked better in April than the Redskins. April is the month when Deion Sanders looked quickest; Dana Stubblefield looked most menacing; Bruce Smith looked sleekest; Trung Canidate looked fastest; Jeff George looked sharpest; Jeremiah Trotter looked invincible; Marty Schottenheimer looked large and in charge; Danny Wuerffel looked promising; and Steve Spurrier looked like a genius.

The Redskins look their best in April; they look like world beaters in April. If the Super Bowl was played in April, the Redskins would have so many Lombardi trophies that The Danny would have permanent possession of the Lombardi family. (And he'd create new seats for them in what used to be the parking lot, but is now is designated for "stadium seating on the asphalt lawn," and comes with tailgate privileges and periscope rental at a nominal fee.)

But then September rolls around and the Redskins don't look so good. Instead of a Lombardi Trophy, they get a Lumbago Trophy. And you look around and Stubby is gone and Deion is gone, and one after another Norv, Marty and Spurrier are gone. (And their best pass defender, Champ Bailey, couldn't wait to jump ship; their promising quarterback, Patrick Ramsey, spent the winter angling to be traded, and the best player they have, LaVar Arrington, is suing the owner! It gives them a real family feel, huh? Like the Sopranos.) Yet there has never been so much optimism here. And that is all because of Gibbs.

It's amazing that such a cynical town has greeted Joe Gibbs with such a lack of cynicism and scrutiny. Everybody says the same thing: "He'll turn it around." Nobody seems to mention that he hasn't coached in 12 years, and that he raided AARP for most of his assistants. Nobody seems to be concerned that there's a salary cap, and the free agent rules have changed. Nobody seems to worry about The Danny's buzzard's luck with coaches. It's a town that eats icons for breakfast. Ask George Bush what it's like to live here lately. Ask Howard Dean what it's like to want to live here. (While you're at it, ask Jerry Stackhouse about those eight-day rental weeks. And ask The Danny how many millions a club seat is going to cost in 2007.) But everybody looks at Joe Gibbs and says, "He'll turn it around." Say it loud and there's music playing. Say it soft and it's almost like praying.


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Well Tony K liked and approved of Spurrier to a fault. Now he is bashing Skins fans for liking and approving of Gibbs when Gibbs's body of work is in the NFL and not the NCAA. Pretty petty article, IMO.

Let's hope that he was wrong on both accounts!

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This comes off like a PTI segment that ran too long and he's playing both sides. Surprisingly the jokes weren't even all that funny.

My favorite line is: "Nobody seems to mention that he hasn't coached in 12 years, and that he raided AARP for most of his assistants." The second half was funny, the first half was just Tony not paying attention. Every football analyst has mentioned the fact that Gibbs has been away a long time. :rolleyes:

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Hrrm..I do like Kornheiser but this article is bad and contradicts what he said earlier.

Read the article he wrote when Gibbs was hired:http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A63372-2004Jan7&notFound=true.

Joe Gibbs coming back is bigger than Michael Jordan coming here, bigger than Jaromir Jagr coming here, bigger than Steve Spurrier coming here. Joe Gibbs coming back is the biggest sports story in Washington, well, since Joe Gibbs quit.

Joe Gibbs coming back is unbelievable.

And so darn cool.

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