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Paul Woody: Some calls are wrong numbers


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Some calls are wrong numbers


POINT OF VIEW Jun 28, 2004


Often wrong but never in doubt is not always the best way to go through life.

For most sports writers, though, it is a way of life.

When opinions and predictions have been needed, I've been right there with mine.

How have those opinions and predictions worked out?

Let's examine a few.

Law and order

The panel discussion at the University of Richmond law school was on the issue of Maurice Clarett, the former Ohio State running back, and his legal quest to play in the NFL.

Clarett had taken the NFL to court and beaten it over its rule that prohibits a player from entering the draft until three years after his high school class has graduated.

At the time of the panel discussion, the NFL was awaiting a decision on its appeal.

One panel member, Gary Roberts, the dean of the law school at Tulane University, said the Clarett decision would be overturned.

I have gained extensive legal training from watching "Law and Order" re-runs, so I immediately said, "I disagree. I think it will be upheld. I think Clarett will be drafted next week and in the NFL next season."

OK, so I'm not looking so good on that one.

(Appeals court decision aside, I'm still right.)

Follow the bouncing ball

Ben Wallace played his senior season at Virginia Union in 1995-96. Wallace was a dominating force on defense. He was an unbelievable rebounder. He did, however, have some shortcomings on offense.

Did I think he could play in the NBA?

"He's got an NBA body," I would say. "But anything other than a dunk is a high-risk shot for him. I don't think he has the offense to play in the NBA. Europe, maybe."

Wallace was not drafted in 1996, but he did sign with the Washington Wizards (then the Bullets) as a free agent.

Since then, Wallace has been named the NBA defensive player of the year (2002-03), twice been selected for the NBA All-Star Game, was a member of the 2004 NBA all-defensive team and, of course, helped the Detroit Pistons win the NBA championship this year. He also is becoming a trendsetter in hair fashion.

Whiffed big-time on that one. But at least I'm not the one who traded Wallace to Orlando and then Detroit.

Spiraling out of control

Theory: Winning the Super Bowl, a sports writer once said (I think it was me), requires a great quarterback, and great quarterbacks, with rare exceptions, are found only in the first round. That is why, a sports writer said (uh, seems like it was me, again), the Washington Redskins need to forget the idea of winning a Super Bowl with Mark Rypien, a sixth-round draft choice, at quarterback.

Reality: In 1991, Rypien led the Redskins to a 14-2 regular season record and three resounding playoff victories, including a 37-24 victory in Super Bowl XXVI.

Rypien also was selected as the MVP of that Super Bowl, but I'm pretty sure that was just to rub it in.

Must have been the heat

The scene: Redskins training camp in Frostburg, Md., one August morning in 1999.

Wally Bruckner, former sportcaster for WWBT-12, now a sportscaster with WRC-4 in Washington, stands beside me and says, "Woodman, how many games do you think this team will win this year?"

"Six," I said. "They're putting an offensive line together during training camp, the quarterback [brad Johnson] is coming off knee surgery in June. They haven't picked a starting running back."

The result: The Redskins were 10-6, won the NFC East and almost made it to the NFC championship game.

Don't you hate it when conventional wisdom and history conspire to work against you?

As for the future

Many have asked how I think the Redskins will do this season. Well, I'll tell you exactly . . . no, I think I'll keep that prediction to myself, for a while anyway.

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it sure was a helluva lot easier for these guys when Gibbs was here the first time..........10 win seasons and regular playoff and championship game appearances.........little reason for their predictions to be wrong :laugh: :laugh:

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