City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily: Special Non-Pullout Football Preview Section!

The NFL season starts tonight. The only must-read of all the pre-kickoff previews: Erik Wemple's take on Sunday's Redskins/Giants game. His post attracted a group of meatheads to the comments section the way a roach motel does roaches. It's a meathead motel, is what I'm sayin'. Don't miss it.

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A near-miss must-read: "A Decade of Snyder the Decider," an interactive piece that came out this week on the Washington Post's site. An amazing amount of work and brainpower went into the feature. Everything you want to know about Dan Snyder's reign is right there in a few squared inches. You just have to click and click and click and click to get it.

But in the end this delivery system is totally unsatisfying to any football fan who likes to read about the game in a real sports page. It's the difference between listening to the White Album on vinyl through a tube amp while holding the double-LP's sleeve and fingering through all the sleeve-candy, or listening to the White Album through headphones and an iPod (if it were available on iTunes, that is).

(AFTER THE JUMP: Vick Chew Toy giveaway is real? Marv Throneberry trumps Cal? The Felds run Monster Trucks, too? Harvey Grant's kid follows in Adrian Dantley's footsteps? Mark Brunell's the Bill Graham of Christian rock? Nats countdown update?)

Another thing I'll never get past: You can't take a dump with it.

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After reading an advertisement in yesterday's real Washington Post in which a dog rescue group offered to donate bags of food for every tackle of Michael Vick, I tried making a joke about an animal rights group's putting a bounty on the recovering dogfighter in the headline of my post: "And If You Break Michael Vick’s Leg, We’ll Throw in a Chew Toy!"

Well, as pointed out by a reader, turns out life imitates bad humor. The chew toy offer has already been made, minus the broken bones.

A group called Bark for Awareness will give away an Official Vick Dog Chew Toy™ to any dog-saving group for every touchdown the Eagles score this year. Go here to register for the freebies.

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A DC sporting tradition is about to be restored: Jerian Grant, a son of ex-Bullet Harvey Grant, is going to play basketball at Notre Dame.

The DeMatha senior just gave a verbal commitment to the Notre Dame staff. And that puts Grant at the front of a long line of locals to make the same pledge.

From DeMatha alone, there's Bob Whitmore (Class of 1965), Sid Catlett ('67), and future NCAA player of the year and NBA Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley ('73). Other DC stars at Notre Dame over the years have included Austin Carr of Mackin, Tracy Jackson of Paint Branch, Gonzaga's Tom Sluby and Potomac of Oxon Hill's Monty Williams.

The Notre Dame bench, of course, also features head coach Mike Brey (DeMatha Class of '77) and his assistant, Rod Balanis (Class of '88).

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Thom Loverro shows his Greatness with "Marv Throneberry's Number Stolen," a blog post inspired by the theft of the #8 monument earlier this week from Camden Yards.

Other writers have focused on another Oriole who had that number. To Loverro, it belongs to Marvelous Marv, the first famous, or infamous, O's player to sport it.

"Throneberry came to the Orioles in a trade with the Kansas City Athletics for Gene Stephens in the middle of the 1961 season," Loverro writes. "He would go on to play first base and hit five home runs and 11 RBI over 65 games in two half seasons. He was traded to the New York Mets in May 1962 for cash and a player to be named later, which turned out to be catcher Hobie Landrith."

And, oh, right: "Other Orioles who have worn number 8 include Andy Etchebarren and Cal Ripken," Loverro writes.

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The Felds, who have been sort of the First Family of Fun for fifty years or so, have quietly become a force in big-league motorsports.

The now-Northern Virginia-based corporation was founded by Izzy and Irvin Feld, a pair of snake oil selling (really!) siblings from Hagerstown who got their DC empire started at Super Cut Rate Drugs, a pharmacy on 7th St. NW in Shaw. The Felds' production company went on to own Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and High School Musical.

But in recent years the Felds have taken over control of big chunks of the motocross and monster trucks and drag racing realms. The corporation pulls strings for the International Hot Rod Association, among the world's premier sanctioning bodies for dragging. have just announced they have brought Virginia Motorsports Park, a drag strip in Petersburg, Va., back as a big league IHRA venue.

Of course, some folks are still a little peeved at the Felds for putting Buddy Holly on a tour of the Midwest in the winter of 1959 in a bus with no working heater, causing the young genius to lease an airplane and crash and die in an Iowa field, and then the Felds made the surviving rockers continue the tour rather than take a break to go to Buddy's funeral.

What would the world look like if only Buddy's bus had heat?

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Mark Brunell and Dan Snyder are still doing some business: Over Labor Day, the Newsboys, a Christian rock group, played Six Flags America in Largo.

The Newsboys record for inPop Records, a Nashville label for godly groups co-owned by Brunell and other major figures in the controversial Every Nation Church.

Countdown to 100 Losses: Nats lose, 6-5, in Philadelphia. That puts the team's 2009 record at 47-92, just eight defeats away from the Century mark.

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Story tips? Wanna Play the Feud? Tube amps for sale? Send to: cheapseats@washingtoncitypaper.com

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