by Borderstan.com January 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm 0

"Football"

Football is back to the District. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes, email him at kent[AT]borderstan.com.

Hail to the Redskins!

The last time the Washington Redskins had a home playoff game we were only eight days removed from averting the Y2K disaster. Thirteen years and another failed apocalypse later, playoff football returns to the District Sunday afternoon at 4:30 pm.

Hail Victory!

After going through 13 different starting quarterbacks in the last 12 seasons, the Redskins traded several valuable draft picks for the right to select dynamic quarterback Robert Griffin III, otherwise known as “RG3.” RG3 immediately became a favorite of District area fans thanks to his infectious personality and highlight reel play on the field.

Braves on the Warpath!

Despite RG3’s immense potential, the Redskins stumbled to a 3-6 start and appeared destined to miss the playoffs yet again. But Griffin and fellow rookie sensation Alfred Morris led the team on a seven game win streak to end the season.  That streak culminated in Sunday night’s thrilling 28-18 victory over the hated rival Dallas Cowboys, which gave the Redskins their first division title since 1999.

Fight for old DC!

FedEx Field is sure to be rocking Sunday night as the Redskins faithful cheer, sing, and will the team to victory against the Seattle Seahawks. If you can’t make it to the stadium, join fellow fans at one of these local bars instead:

Dupont Circle

Logan Circle

U Street

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by Borderstan.com September 19, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,172 0

"Borderstan" "Buffalo Billiards"

Buffalo Billiards on 19th Street NW, south of Dupont Circle. (Scott Leibowitz)

Lebodome is on vacation this week. The following column originally ran October 11, 2011.

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

This is now the third bar I have reviewed and I gotta say I am sorta getting the hang of this. I have had some great feedback from you guys, but feel there are lots of hidden gems of bars and places in our neighborhood I should stop by on game-day.

As long as there are TVs, draft beer, and football on, I am willing to check out anywhere. For this week thought I’d venture south and spend the day in Dupont Circle. Enjoy.

Buffalo Billiards, 1330 19th St NW

General Description:When you hear the term “sports bar”, this is definitely what you would have in mind. It’s got wall-to-wall televisions, tons of different great bar games, lots of space, and fairly standard bar drink and food. If your team makes it to a championship game, and you want to watch with your fellow fans, this is the place to do it.

Scott Leibowitz, Buffalo Billiards

Scott Leibowitz

Why I Went There: Convenience in Borderstan. This past Sunday was great weather and a walk through the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market made it quite easy to walk to the south part of the circle for football. I have also been here for a few college games and enjoyed some pretty loud and enthusiastic crowds.

Atmosphere: This is the very spacious and activity filled bar DC needs to be considered a decent sports bar city. First off it is quite large with tons of space, so if you are a group of 25 Cincinnati Bengals fans, there is plenty of room and an available TV. Every game is on somewhere, including the center of the room with a projector screen and six other HDTVs; frankly it’s a lot of stimulation.

Its other big plus is they have so many games and activities including; a dozen billiards tables, shuffle board, darts, ski-ball, foosball, buck-hunter, and that golf video game people like. If your team is getting blown out, chuck some darts. Got a friend or significant other who isn’t a big football fan, there are plenty of games to help their Sunday afternoon enjoyment. (My girlfriend is not like that; instead she blew me out in Fantasy Football this week.)

Food and Beverage: This bar blew their money out on their HDTV’s and tons of games. That said their beer and food menu is not an escape from any other bar in the area or the country. I’d even go as far to say the beer selection, besides Batch 19, was very average (Buds, Millers, Coors, etc.). Menu seemed fairly bar’ish but gotta say for a place this large, table service was nice.

Actual Game Viewing: Tons of space + tons of HDTV + friendly staff = anywhere you sit you can see your game.

Something a Female in My Party Noticed: This was a not just a bunch of dudes watching football. I’d say half the patrons were women, and not just dates, but game invested, wearing their team’s jerseys and cheering all game. This bar is for every fan, every gender.

Overall: If you want a sports viewing bar with tons of games and TVs, this is as good as it gets.  Besides that, not much else but an average bar

Total Pigskins:

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by Borderstan.com September 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,219 3 Comments

“White Bean Chicken Chili”

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

(… Because it’s that good.)

While enjoying this past weekend’s (somewhat) cooler air, my husband managed to ruin my morning stroll when he uttered my three least favorite words: It’s football season.

Really? Already?

Yes, my friends. It’s football season… already. A sure sign that summer is over and fall is quickly moving in. And while there are some things I love about football season (making warm dishes in the crockpot and drinking beer in the afternoon — need I say more?), I also know that my Sundays are on lockdown for the next six months.

But I must be positive; and so, I look forward to the traditional “football food” (not the cocktail wiener kind). I’m talking about chili. Lots and lots of warm, hearty chili with homemade cornbread, served alongside a cool, refreshing IPA.

This white bean and chicken chili recipe is one of my favorites. Yes, it has meat in it. And yes, I am a vegetarian (except for the occasional hotdog, buffalo wing, or Beef Jerky), but I also make an exception for this dish. The chili is super thick and flavorful, and can be as spicy as you like (I like it hot). So next time you are holed up in your living room, cheering on the Patriots (ehhem — yes, the Patriots!), try this chili and spice up your fall.

(Note: I’ve also made this chili for a DC United tailgate… and it was beautiful! So pack it up for your tailgating experiences, too!)

White Bean Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 lbs of lean, ground chicken (or turkey – I’ve used both before)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 cans of drained and rinsed Cannellini Beans
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 bag frozen, chopped spinach (use a big bag for that extra boost!)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2-3 fresh jalapeño peppers, sliced

Directions

  1. In a dutch oven or deep sauce pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat.
  2. Once the butter is melted, add the onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the ground chicken or turkey to the pot, and season with the sea salt, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Stir frequently until the meat is cooked through.
  5. Pour in the drained and rinsed cannellini beans, the frozen corn, the spinach and the chicken stock.
  6. Let the mixture cook and simmer for about 10 minutes; then slice and add fresh jalapeño peppers. (Adjust this to your taste preference… maybe start out with 2-3 medium-sized peppers, let the chili cook and then add more).
  7. Let the chili cook on low for at least one hour (longer if you prefer).
  8. Serve with your choice of fixings!

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by Borderstan.com September 5, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome.

"Football"

Robert Griffin III, Lord of The Redskins. (Original picture by Chris Covatta, photographed from Athlon Sports by Luis Gomez)

The heat has subsided. The local colleges are starting to fill up with annoying freshmen. The interns are gone. Fall is coming, and with the autumn leaves comes FOOTBALL!

Over the course of the next few months, for a sizable portion of America (according to all kinds of polls and data that I don’t feel like retrieving) football will consume them in the manner of watching, gambling and fantasy football.

In the last decade, the NFL has become the major powerhouse of America’s sports enjoyment to the point that even in June, one of the most sports packed months of the calendar, ESPN was still using football headlines to anchor their shows.

I have been patiently waiting for a chance to see my New York Football Giants defend their Super Bowl title. There are also lots of great story lines for this upcoming season, and one of the major ones resides in our very backyard. Here are some of the good ones:

All Hail Robert Griffin III, Lord of the Redskins. I have mentioned this guy’s name in the past four posts I have written to  subtly embed his name in every Borderstan reader. Most football experts say that to win in the modern game, no matter how good your team is all around, without an elite quarterback you will never win a Super Bowl. RG3 is hopefully that guy.

The Redskins gave up a lot to draft Baylor’s Heisman Trophy winner and are hoping he leads the ‘Skins to the promised land. He is a nimble, run-and-gun kind of QB which will lead to a lot of exciting plays but also some hard hits and plenty of rookie mistakes. I recommend keeping your expectations in check, but be ready for something special. This guy is about to take DC by storm.

The Return of Peyton Manning. He missed all of last season due to a shoulder/neck injury but is back on the field (and in all our commercials) and ready take back his mantle of best in the game. The NFL is better with this guy back in pads and seeing him in a Denver Broncos uniform will only be a small adjustment. Question is though, can he regain his old form and how fragile will he be?

The Replacements. A bit under the radar, but as of right now, the NFL is planning to use replacement referees for the season because the league is locking out the officials’ union. Here are the details but expect this issue to come out often as the games will miss the seasoned and professional touch of veteran officials. How will I enjoy games without Mike Carey and Ed Hochuli?

There are plenty of other story lines and this should be another great season. Every team had plenty of time to practice and rearrange their lineup without a lockout this summer. The local division of the NFC East is loaded and thus every week will be a great matchup. If I had to pick my Super Bowl finalists, I would have to say Packers over Texans.

Last season I enjoyed only some of the great places in Borderstan to watch games and I hope to be back to that as the season rolls along. Please feel free to recommend any great spots in the area that you think are good for game watching. Otherwise good luck to your teams and enjoy the season!

On another note… something to look forward to: PLAYOFF BASEBALL is (very likely) coming to the district! How will we handle all this Natitude??

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Old Sportscenter commercials. Always a good watch.
  • Andy Roddick is calling it a career. US Open finals this weekend.
  • Poor UofMaryland football. Glad to see college football is back.

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by Borderstan.com October 18, 2011 at 11:00 am 0

Lebodome, football, Dupont Circle

Sunday football on Willard Street NW. (Scott Leibowitz)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected]

There are some weekends when perfect weather sets the stage for non-stop catching up with friends and long evenings in loud bars. My original plan last Sunday was to enjoy my team’s game on U street – the game wasn’t available on regular cable. However, upon waking up Sunday morning around 11:30, that seemed like an impossible feat.

Luckily, I had a back-up plan in my pocket the whole time. A friend of mine, whom I met through a close college friend, has a very nice and well furbished Dupont apartment, including a full subscription to NFL Countdown (the service that lets you watch any football game, whenever). So, instead of the ambiance of U Street, this week’s bar review is more domestic. Though my friend’s apartment didn’t lend itself to normal bar things – kegs, random people – his place hits the spot.

My Swiss Friend’s Apartment in North Dupont, Willard St

General Description: Heart of Borderstan – with an amazing roof deck and spacious kitchen. Pretty much the ideal place for a handful of middle-20s intelligent, gainfully employed/grad school gentlemen.

Why I Went There: The thought of drinking (more) in a crowded public space didn’t appeal to me. Why go to a crowded bar when I can kick my shoes off in a large living room den?  This seemed like a no brainer.

Atmosphere: Six guys checking their smart phones and/or laptops intermittently for their fantasy scores with the game(s) on in the background. On one TV, my football team streamed through a Playstation3. A second TV showed the local Redskins game (because this scene was inevitable) and a third TV ran NFL Redzone (the 21st century response to shortened attention spans). What a scene – does it get any better?

There was plenty of space and couches for everyone to kick back and yell obscenities. And with an incredible roof deck, we got some halftime rays. Access to the roof deck made the guilt of spending the better part of Sunday afternoon a little bit better.

Food and Beverage: If I was too tired to make it to a bar, clearly I was too tired to really make a good breakfast/brunch, so I did the next best thing and picked up some comfort lunch food at THE BEST deli in the neighborhood, So’s Your Mom at 1831 Columbia Road NW. Little beats the timeless tradition of lox, cream cheese, tomato, onions and scallions on an everything bagel. Throw in a “revive” Vitamin Water and a bag of chips, this lunch brought me back.

Actual Game Viewing: Anytime I can watch a football game and feel like I am sitting in my childhood home, I feel good. The luxury of my friend’s apartment has this too. And between the hours of 1 and 5 pm, I didn’t miss a single exciting play from my game or any others in the league.

Overall: We all need friends like this, who save us from our weekend hangovers and provide safe havens to enjoy our football teams. Big thanks to Stephan, Eric, and John.

Total Pigskins: The lazy in me says 5, but the practical says 2, so lets go with 3.5

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Remember Urkel? Yea well he is now a game show host on Sci-Fi Network. Good news right?
  • Hate your job? This is how you quit in style.
  • Michael Vick hates Washington Redskin cheerleaders.

by Borderstan.com October 11, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,256 0

"Borderstan" "Buffalo Billiards"

Buffalo Billiards on 19th Street NW south of Dupont Circle. (Scott Leibowitz)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

This is now the third bar I have reviewed and I gotta say I am sorta getting the hang of this. I have had some great feedback from you guys, but feel there are lots of hidden gems of bars and places in our neighborhood I should stop by on game-day.

As long as there are TVs, draft beer, and football on, I am willing to check out anywhere. For this week thought I’d venture south and spend the day in Dupont Circle. Enjoy.

Buffalo Billiards, 1330 19th St NW

General Description:When you hear the term “sports bar”, this is definitely what you would have mind. It’s got wall-to-wall televisions, tons of different great bar games, lots of space, and fairly standard bar drink and food. If your team makes it to a championship game, and you want to watch with your fellow fans, this is the place to do it.

Scott Leibowitz, Buffalo Billiards

Scott Leibowitz

Why I Went There: Convenience in Borderstan. This past Sunday was great weather and a walk through the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market made it quite easy to walk to the south part of the circle for football. I have also been here for a few college games and enjoyed some pretty loud and enthusiastic crowds.

Atmosphere: This is the very spacious and activity filled bar DC needs to be considered a decent sports bar city. First off it is quite large with tons of space, so if you are a group of 25 Cincinnati Bengals fans, there is plenty of room and an available TV. Every game is on somewhere, including the center of the room with a projector screen and six other HDTVs; frankly it’s a lot of stimulation.

Its other big plus is they have so many games and activities including; a dozen billiards tables, shuffle board, darts, ski-ball, foosball, buck-hunter, and that golf video game people like. If your team is getting blown out, chuck some darts. Got a friend or significant other who isn’t a big football fan, there are plenty of games to help their Sunday afternoon enjoyment. (My girlfriend is not like that; instead she blew me out in Fantasy Football this week.)

Food and Beverage: This bar blew their money out on their HDTV’s and tons of games. That said their beer and food menu is not an escape from any other bar in the area or the country. I’d even go as far to say the beer selection, besides Batch 19, was very average (Buds, Millers, Coors, etc.). Menu seemed fairly bar’ish but gotta say for a place this large, table service was nice.

Actual Game Viewing: Tons of space + tons of HDTV + friendly staff = anywhere you sit you can see your game.

Something a Female in My Party Noticed: This was a not just a bunch of dudes watching football. I’d say half the patrons were women, and not just dates, but game invested, wearing their team’s jerseys and cheering all game. This bar is for every fan, every gender.

Overall: If you want a sports viewing bar with tons of games and TVs, this is as good as it gets.  Besides that, not much else but an average bar

Total Pigskins:

   Links! Links! Ice Cold Links

  •     With the Occupy Wall St (also DC), Ben&Jerry’s steps up.
  •     Attention basketball junkies: Forget the NBA, enjoy this documentary on high school ball.
  •     Why is college football so inferior to the NFL? Stuff like this. What a dumb rule.

by Borderstan.com September 20, 2011 at 8:00 am 0

Grand Central, Lebodome, DC football bars

Where to watch football? Grand Central on 18th Street NW gets four out of five possible Lebodome Pigskins. (Scott Leibowitz)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find him @Lebodome on Twitter or email him at [email protected]

Football watching is a fairly serious endeavor for the millions who partake in it each week. What to wear, available snacks, beverage selection, good company and a litany of other factors weigh in on the average football fan when they decide where to watch their team, or the big game.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be examining various places in Washington, as well as local settings, in a scientific manner to break down the pros and cons of each spot.

Weighing in each factor listed above combined with my general mood from my fantasy leagues, each place will receive a score of Pigskins. I look forward to seeing who has the best barn in town.

So without further ado, my first football viewing…

Grand Central, 2447 18th Street NW

General Description: My kickball bar (great amount of space for Thursday flip-cup) is actually a Buffalo sports bar meaning the Buffalo Bills are always the priority on Sunday. Don’t worry actual locals, Redskins games are always on.

Why Did I Go There? D.C. is a city full of people who aren’t from here. I was looking for a hometown-like experience to enjoy the football game (Like 51st State Tavern is for NYC sports teams). That and my best friend from Buffalo was in town…

Atmosphere: I have been to a lot of cities around this country, but have yet to make it Buffalo. Last Sunday in this bar, I felt like I had walked into the city as it was packed wall to wall with guys and gals all sporting their Bills gear talking about Mighty Taco. I borrowed a Bills sweatshirt so I blended in but it seemed like everyone knew each other by at least 3 degrees.

The bar itself has three different bars, three floors, around a dozen T.V.’s and plenty of space for the many games played on a Sunday; it even has an outside porch for breaks and fresh air. Besides ski-ball, this bar has everything you would want, including a photo-booth like at the mall. There is even a shrine to “The Most Interesting Man in the World” surrounded by Bills’ legends, just great.

Food and Beverage: It’s a Buffalo bar, so there is lots of Labatt Blue. Past that I’d say the taps are fairly standard but extra points go to pitcher availability. Wide food menu too, but people aren’t there for the food. ‘Cept maybe the wings… saw a lot of them around. But they are called “Buffalo” wings for a reason.

Actual Game Viewing: Big screens all around and the sound is of the game at the bar you are closest too so it is pretty easy to follow the game.  In a bar like this, unless you get there before kickoff, it is likely that you are standing for the game, but that ain’t so bad (just not your couch).

Overall: I went searching for the hometown bar experience, and I got one. Wouldn’t have minded a bit more seating space, but I won’t let standing get in the way of a great comeback.

Bottom Line: Owner Rashaand’s bar is a topnotch hometown bar and should be considered a great destination for any fan of any team.

Total Pigskins: Four out of Five. Great starting bar for this project.

 

Thought of the Week

When did Fall show up? Sad day to put away my checkered shorts and sandals for jeans and dunks…

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • I always wondered how Darth Vader would do in fantasy football. Thanks ESPN
  • Sperm Banks don’t like redheads anymore. This made me laugh.
  • Kim Jong Il: Fashion Icon.
  • The new Fifa 12 actually includes “diving.” This is why soccer will never reign in America.

by Borderstan.com September 13, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,558 2 Comments

"Adams Morgan" "Borderstan"

September 11: Adams Morgan Day 2o11 on 18th Street NW. (Scott Leibowitz)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find him @Lebodome on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

The 2nd Annual 17th Street Festival is coming up Saturday, September 24. It will run from P Street north to Riggs Place NW. Look for the Borderstan.com tent!

There are lots of different types of fairs, carnivals, and street celebrations in the life of a busy city, especially one such as Washington DC. Last weekend our small corner of Northwest DC was host to what I think is one of the most fun and easy going around; the 32nd Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival.

For a place that can be generalized by most DC residents as just a “strip of bars and pizza” (not sure if that’s a bad thing or not), Adams Morgan I like to think is one of the truer neighborhoods in the district. I use Mr. Rogers’ word here in the sense that a general continuity of both the businesses and the regular day people who live in a space where most idiot undergrads try to use their fake I.D.’s.

As I have mentioned before, I live right in the heart of 18th Street and from my window have seen things that I can’t publish on this site, but suffice to say they are more graphic than my four years in a fraternity. This festival is a great way for DC to enjoy the area in the sunlight and freely move around the streets and enjoy plenty of amenities, without the usual nonsense. Some highlights…

Carnival Food. People from Minnesota will always tell you, food tastes better on a stick. 18th Street NW was overwhelmed with BBQs, tasty drink stands, and my personal favorite; fried stands with funnel cake and other treats. It always shocks me how these types of food tents aren’t more common, I mean we could all use more fried plantains in our lives.

Feel Good Art. I am not the most cultured person but I enjoy my fair share of art. Adams Morgan brought together a great variety of local artists on a side street and their stuff was great. Some were friendlier than others but all were happy just to be sharing their art with their fellow residents. Special shout-out to Michael J. Auger, love the cow.

Free Stuff!! The world needs more of it. Companies like Mellow Mushroom and Bolt Bus had raffles. PNC Bank gave away pens. I just love free stuff.

The Whole Family Sure I am in my mid 20s, but I still love two stages of music and ski ball as much as the next 10 year old (maybe more).  There was a bouncy castle too but the line was a bit too long for me.

Overall, kudos to the people who put this one together. A great day of activities followed by one of the best and quickest cleanups I have ever seen on a city street. I overheard some grumbling from some local business people that actually most of it was done with people who don’t live around the area, but who cares. A great festival is a great festival.

Thought of the Week

Football season is here and I am always going back and forth with people on where is the best place to watch their team; their bed, couch, next door bar, huge sports bar, rooftop, etc. Over the next few weeks I hope to examine this issue quite scientifically so would love to hear some thoughts.

Where you do like to watch games and most importantly, why?

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

Breaking the glass ceiling, one sports video game at a time.

New Ben & Jerry’s flavor named after classic SNL skit “Schweddy Balls”.

Serena Williams lost in this year’s US Open final, and had this outburst.

by Borderstan.com September 12, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,076 0

"Borderstan" "Joan Hisaoka Gallery" "U Street NW"

“VESSEL” opened September 9 at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at 1632 U Street NW. the gallery reopened after a major renovation and expansion of the space. “VESSEL” is part of The 9/11 Arts Project. See the story in the Arts & Entertainment section for more information. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Ashley Lusk. Check out Ashley’s blog Metropoetrylis and find her on Twitter at @arlusk.

Unless you decided to head out of town this weekend, it was hard to miss the somber cloud that settled over the city as residents reflected on the September 11, 2011, attacks on New York and DC. Remarkably, the heavens cast mercy on bedraggled Washingtonians with an audacious blue sky and temperatures hovering around 82 degrees.

A Quiet Memorial

As President Obama recited Psalm 46 at Ground Zero in New York City, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gathered at the Pentagon to pay homage to those killed when American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The digital divide seemed to evaporate as masses rushed to Facebook and Twitter to share their memories in a reflection of national grief.

A Good Day for a Run

Due to the torrential downpour we saw last week, the Nation’s Triathlon was officially down one event as the swimming leg of the race was dropped. Not to be deterred, thousands of triathletes participated in Sunday’s event where they completed a 40K bike ride and 10k run.

7th and Rhode Island NW Parcel Up For Sale

The Housing Complex blog at Washington City Paper reported last week that the parcel of land at the northeast corner of 7th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW is back on the market. The city had originally planned to build affordable housing at the site, but those plans were scrapped and the land will go out for bids from private developers.

Drop It Like It’s Not

On Saturday Washington City Paper reported that the charges made by Redskin’s owner Dan Snyder against the paper and its reporter Dave McKenna had been dropped. Earlier this year Snyder sued the paper for allegations of antisemitism and potentially libelous statements. WCP issued a statement saying, “Now we’re eager to get back to our business of covering the city’s politics and culture — including its sports culture — without this distraction.”

Speaking of Football…

Sunday marked the return of the NFL football season with game and drink specials all over town. The Washington Redskins played against the New York Giants Sunday night, leading the game event with a special memorial to the firefighters of September 11 — and even came away with a 28-14 win.. In addition to a wax display from Madame Tussuad wax museum, game day fans received American flags upon entrance, according to The Washington Post. Did anyone see any of the players in league-sanctioned memorial gear?

by Borderstan.com September 7, 2011 at 10:00 am 1,044 3 Comments

Lebodome, NFL, 2011 football season

Ready for football?

From Scott Leibowitz. Find him @Lebodome on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

YES. It is finally here. There was definitely a moment back in May watching Ochocinco bull-riding where it definately looked like there may not be an NFL season. Even our commander-in-chief (a Chicago Bears fan, ha!) almost stepped in to fix the fight between millionaires and billionaires.

However, when push came to shove and the chips were on the table (by chips, I mean prospect of no season at all) both sides cooled and came to a compromise (remember that word Federal government?).

Football is here, and it starts this Thursday with the last two Super Bowl winners facing off: Saints vs. Packers. I hope that you all did well in your one or many fantasy football drafts, and are ready to dominate your leagues with good research and biting insults to your opponents.

This looks to be another good season with lots of fun, bizarre and illegal story lines. One of the things I have always respected while living in DC is how fierce and loyal Redskins fans are, despite its recent poorly run front office. This was and always will be (sorry Caps/Nats) a football town, and you can feel it around the city.

With that said, here are some things to look for as America’s greatest sport (baseball, you know you still own October) kicks off and we begin the 46th season of the National Football League.

The Redskins: how bad can/will they be?  The star quarterback they brought in last year (McNabb) and the 100 million dollar headache (Haynesworth) are gone. They passed on QBs in the draft and are putting their eggs in either untested rookie John Beck or sorta decent veteran Rex Grossman. Coach Shanahan says Grossman is the starter, for now.

If this team wins eight games, I will be shocked. (That said, I hope that running back Tim Hightower scores lots of touchdowns for my fantasy team). The ‘Skins play a tough schedule, including the stacked AFC East, with home games against the New York Jets and New England Patriots. At least the defense will be fun to watch.

Boring Kickoffs. A new rule was made for this year that kickoffs are at the 35-yard line instead of the 30 to prevent some of the more vicious hits that occur in this phase of the game. Yes, player safety should be a high priority, but in the pre-season so far, there are too many touchbacks and less exciting returns. I will miss these plays.

10 Years Later. The first Sunday of the season is September 11 and the league was smart to have the New York Football Giants play the Washington Redskins at 4:15. This weekend will have lots of touching memorials, speeches and stories, especially at games. While we all will be enjoying a full slate of Week 1 games, please take some time to reflect on that day.

So… Are you ready for some football?

Thought of the Week. How are you preparing for Week 1? Any big party plans? I am fan of starting the season at home with friends and lots of guacamole…

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Are the new University of Maryland football jerseys cool or just plain weird? I haven’t decided….
  • Even pro athletes get pulled over for driving 147 mph. This is a good thing.
  • GWU just announced its 2011-12 Men’s Basketball schedule. DC is a better town when it’s not just Gtown playing good ball.
  • Forget Andy Roddick. Say Hello to the new face of American tennis: Donald Young.
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