The size and role of government is a smoking hot topic in politics these days. So when Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell announced that a state grant of 4 million was part of a deal that brought the Redskins training camp to Richmond and committed the team to staying in Loudoun County and expanding its facility it raised some questions.It just so happened that the governor had his monthly appearance on WRVA radio in Richmond on Thursday and he fielded a question from a caller about the grant. The caller said its not the role of government to subsidize sports.McDonnell said that while he understood the callers general point there were larger considerations.There are certain incentives that do work to bring jobs to Virginia and to be able to provide new opportunities for the citizens of Virginia, and I think that's a legitimate role for government, said McDonnell."If we had not acted, and 9.8 million of tax revenue had walked out the door to another jurisdiction, I'm sure that many citizens would have been concerned about the fact that we'd then have a 9.8 million budget gap in our economy," he added.Like it or not, state government incentives are a part of the cost of doing business these days. If one state doesnt offer up a package of tax breaks and subsidies for a business to relocate or remain there, another state will. In trying to save a few million dollars the first state loses tens of millions in tax revenue.The City of Richmond will pony up 400,000 out of its capital improvement fund to help prepare a training camp location for the team. Camp is expected to generate some 5 million in economic activity annually so the city should get a return on its investment. McDonnell does not know where in Richmond the site for camp will be and he said its not his call."My role was to make sure we got the deal in Virginia," he said. "The details of how and where they practice and play is going to be solely up to the city of Richmond. I'm sure they've got several venues they're looking at."
Jordan Reed was reportedly absent from the Redskins' voluntary OTA practice on Tuesday, but a picture on Twitter shows the stud tight end didn't skip the session just so he could lounge around on the couch.
Chad Johnson, expert on all things such as repeatedly hauling in footballs and transforming the end zone into the 18th green at Augusta National, posted this photo of him, Reed and one other fellow, presumably following a workout:
For those who want to freak out that Washington's top offensive threat didn't show up in Ashburn for his team's OTAs, it's important to remember that 1) it was not required and 2) judging by that snapshot, Reed has had no trouble staying in football shape on his own or finding people to hone his craft with.
By the way, peep that hashtag from Johnson. When a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro uses the word legendary to refer to someone else, that someone else should feel pretty good about himself.
Last fall, Vernon Davis scored a touchdown in a Redskins win over the Eagles. Immediately following, he used the football in place of a basketball and made a jump shot over the cross bar. It was a cool, spontaneous celebration for his second TD of the season.
Seconds later, a penalty flag hit the ground. Davis was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for using the ball as a prop. In a league with a tremendous amount of awful penalties, it ranked as one of the worst of the season.
The good news? In 2017, Davis' celebration will no longer draw a flag.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell penned a letter explaining the changes:
We are relaxing our rules on celebrations to allow players more room to have fun after they make big plays. We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown. And players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements.
In a league committed to Thursday Night Football - which both players and fans dislike - as well as archaic policies on social media and substance abuse, this is a rare, positive development.
It's okay to let players have a little fun, show some personality. Goodell made clear that lewd celebrations would still be flagged, and that's reasonable. Using the ball as a prop, however, shouldn't be. Now, it won't.
Did Davis break the NFL? Probably not, though his penalty is often the first thing people point to when discussing the absurdity of the ball as a prop rule.
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