Princeton Times

October 23, 2013

Sports Corner

Jeff Harvey
Princeton Times

PRINCETON — I've refrained from commenting on the Washington Redskins name controversy, because I feel that team owner Daniel Snyder, who hasn't done that much right since buying the team, would sooner totally wreck the franchise than change the name.

My former colleague (James) Brandon Dye  came up with some alternate suggestions for franchise names, which he's agreed to share with us.

• The Washington Bureaucrats

• The Washington Welfare Recipients

• The Washington Food Stamps

• The Washington Regulators (will spend 1st quarter of the game complying with regulations on their helmets and shoulder pads and the 2nd quarter deciding which shoestrings to use for their cleats)

• The Washington Boondoggles

• The Washington Scandals

• The Washington Bureau

• The Washington Endless Departments

• The Washington Zeros (to highlight the debt)

• The Washington Obamas (not bad)

• The Washington Presidents (again not bad)

• The Washington Traffic

• The Washington Elitists

• The Washington Centrists (not really related to the city, but Jazz has never been • played in Utah either)

• The Washington Marxists

• The Washington Government Programs (we're going nowhere!)

• The Washington Entitlements

• The Washington Bankruptcy (they'll have fancy new uniforms, the hottest cheerleaders, the highest paid coaches, the highest paid players, the most expensive stadium and facilities, and the highest ticket prices ... but they won't actually win any games. Answer to problem: EVEN BETTER UNIFORMS, EVEN HOTTER CHEERLEADERS, EVEN MORE EXPENSIVE...I got it)

• The Washington Bills that No One Reads and are 2,000 Pages Long (might have a hard time fitting on a T-shirt)

• The Washington Propagandists

• The Washington Statistics

• The Washington Liars

• The Washington Horndogs

• The Washington Incumbents

• The Washington Park Rangers (true to the city, but if they couldn't stop W.W.II vets in their 80s and 90s from entering their memorial, they don't have a chance of stopping Adrian Peterson)

• The Washington Frauds

• The Washington Sharptons (if team names insult rather than honor, then this is one I would go for)

• The Washington Gun Banners

• The Washington Leaders from Behind

• The Washington Red Lines (which would be frequently crossed and nothing done about it)

• The Washington Bush's Fault (because if they lose, it's Bush's fault)

• The Washington Counterinsurgency (just play defense!!! No touchdown passes! We're trying to win hearts and minds here! Not win)

• And finally, my personal favorite The Washington Freedom Killers.

Thank you, Brandon. As for other matters, the Grambling State situation with three head coaches thus far after the school fired former playing legend turned head coach Doug Williams, which caused a player revolt, is a sad commentary on a school which was once a bastion of coaching stability with the late Eddie Robinson's 57 years on the job. There are other factors such as cuts in state funding, which leaves the school with sub-par facilities.

There's a similarity between many NFL games and the baseball playoffs: A lack of offense. In the NFL, it seems like few teams have an idea of what a coherent, consistent offense is. The baseball playoffs have been dominated by great pitching, which is aided by great defense.

The above statement was written before Game 6 of the NLCS where the Cardinals treated the best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw, like he was a rookie debuting from Double-A ball with a big second-inning scoring rally. Still, the point holds.

Now the Cardinals face either the Red Sox, whom they beat in 1946 and 1967, but lost to in 2004, or the Tigers, whom they beat in 1934 and 2006, but lost to in 1968. I know that some of those dates are a long time ago, but fans in those three cities have long memories.

Should the Cardinals face the Red Sox, they'll get Jon Lester in Game 1, whether the ALCS goes six games or seven. The interesting thing would be what would the Red Sox do with their best hitter, David Ortiz, in St. Louis, sit him or play him at first base and Mike Napoli at catcher. The Tigers

 are pretty much restricted with Victor Martinez, since Alex Avila, if healthy, is a much better defensive catcher and Prince Fielder plays first base. Then again, the Tigers could go into the World Series with Avila and Miguel Cabrera both hobbling. I say the Cardinals will win in seven.

As for WVU, the defense, which had been the strength of the team, let them down against Texas Tech, as a 27-16 lead turned into a 30-27 loss. Look for more emotional columns longing for the days of Rich Rodriquez or yearning for West Virginia native Nick Saban to come home.

Garin Justice, by his own admission, is a conservative strategist as a head coach. He did surprise everybody, though, Saturday as he turned short-yardage back Ben Nester back into a quarterback for Concord's game with West Virginia Wesleyan. Nester hadn't played quarterback since tearing the ACL in his knee as a senior at PikeView High School, but he had 159 yards rushing and two touchdowns in 23 attempts. The entire offensive game plan was a nice tribute to Justice and offensive coordinator Doug Ward as the team ran the option offense with few missteps and the defense rebounded from their worst day this year.

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