The Needle: Eastern Motors Edition

911 Is a Joke: In retrospect, this should have been easily predictable—when the D.C. government furloughed employees on Feb. 22, some 200 emergency calls went unanswered. Police and firefighters were exempt from the budget-imposed furlough, but call center employees, i.e., the people who answer when you call 911, weren't. So instead of the usual 16 [...]

The Needle: Pregnant Panda Edition

Winter Storm Washed: The first time snow was forecast for D.C. after Vince Gray was sworn in as mayor, it missed the city. The District's luck changed last week, but now it looks like the Gray administration's snow plan—don't let it snow—is working again, as an ice storm that was originally projected for the region [...]

Clinton Portis Rocks the Reds?

Clinton Portis is a good blitz picker upper. But he's a better interview than he is a blitz picker upper.
This morning during his regular spot on the "Mike Wise Show" on WJFK-FM, Portis said that he spent the bye week in Russia.
Host Wise and co-host Holden Kushner expressed disbelief, and pressed the gimpy tailback for [...]

Head Games: When Will Concussion Repercussions Hit the NFL?

I crave the NFL's televised product. But this hi-def age makes it hard not to notice that the game is about as cruel to the players as Michael Vick was to his dogs. Yesterday was particularly brutal for grey matter matters.
During the Redskins/Colts matchup, we got to see Indy ball carrier Joseph Addai have the life sucked out of him in slo-motion [...]

New Redskins Slogan: The Pasture Is Now™!

The Rams were lousy, but the Redskins were lousier. And, of course, older. A whole lot older.
Mr. Obvious's Point No. 2: This season's debacledom, and the lack of hope that things will get better, can all be traced back to Dan Snyder. He's the one who delegated Bruce Allen to lead the team's ticket marketing operation.
Allen was the first guy [...]

The Needle: Election Day Edition

Vote for Me: The only election that really matters in D.C. municipal affairs, the Democratic Party primary, is under way. Mayor Adrian Fenty and D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray both scour the District for votes. For a clue as to which candidate feels more confident, check the locations of their evening parties—Fenty will be at [...]

Morning Roundup: One Less Panda Edition

Sometime around 8, Tai Shan entered a FedEx container and headed out to Dulles. I hope he took 123 to the Toll Road, rather than stay on 66, which is a killer! He will be flying back to China as part of a deal under which they sell us cheap power tools for the foreseeable [...]

Mourning Roundup: George Michael, Not the Singer, Edition

Today Gilbert Arenas could prance through Chinatown wearing nothing but a bandolier and smile, and there would be no one to cover it. For today, every member of the District Sports Media Elite will be at the National Cathedral for the memorial service of George Michael, not the singer.
If you are from D.C. [...]

Cheap Seats Daily: Pat Bowlen to Dan Snyder: Take My Ex-Wife, Please!

Right before Christmas, I read an ESPN report that said Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen gave a "ringing endorsement" of his former coach, Mike Shanahan, during private conversations with Dan Snyder. I thought that was an odd leak, given that Bowlen just fired Shanahan a year ago, after Shanny lost a four-game division lead in [...]

Cheap Seats Daily: Will NFL Go for the Clooney Rule?

Steve Czaban says Dan Snyder really can step out of the way and let people who know how to better run the things he owns run them.
Czaban's proof? WTEM-AM.
"If people ask why can't Snyder just hire really good people and let them do what they do, well, that's exactly what he's doing on the radio [...]

Cheap Seats Daily: Are Snyder’s Redskins Worth Only 17 Cents a Share Now, Too?

Above is an ad e-mailed out by the Redskins ticket office this week. As you read this, remember, for chuckles, that just a couple months ago Redskins executive Mitch Gershman was claiming in press releases that the team had a waiting list of "over 200,000."
Sure, the Skins waiting list has long been bogus. But this [...]

Cheap Seats Daily: A Win That Sounds Like a Loss?

Best story of the Rams game: Dim WitsGate!
Robert Henson is in a bad place right now. The Skins sub-benchwarmer used Twitter to go after home fans for booing at the game, and cast the disgruntled masses in the stands as "dim wits" and folks who "work 9 to 5 at mcdonalds."
Henson, who wasn't even on [...]

Cheap Seats Daily: Dan Snyder’s Sneaky Parking Charge Nets Him Millions?

For the Titanic platform (or maybe not!) of the latest City Paper, I wrote about Dan Snyder's newest parking scheme.
Snyder now adds a parking surcharge to the cost of every ticket sold at non-football events at FedExField. All other venues around town put parking charges, if there are any, in the advertised price of the [...]

Sunday’s FedExField Forecast: No Skies of Blue, But Sea of Green

Craigslist has posted more than 1,000 ads for Redskins tickets in its local tickets section since Sunday.
Nearly all the ads, as far as I can tell, are for sales of pairs or groups of tickets to this Sunday's Skins/Eagles game.
Steve Czaban, the voice of the fan on Dan Snyder's sports station, WTEM, called on fans [...]

Obama Brings Good Cheer to Sidwell Friends

Portis/Zorn isn't the only rivalry to heat up around here lately: For Sidwell Friends/Maret, it's on.
On Saturday, Maret's basketball boys were leading Sidwell Friends on the road when the home crowd taunted the visitors with a chant ripped from the headlines:
"The Sidwell kids started yelling 'O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!' at us," a Maret parent who attended [...]