The Washington Redskins will be handing out 50,000 burgundy towels to fans entering Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys. Dan Snyder-owned ESPN 980, the radio network's flagship station, is sponsoring the promotion and is calling the cloths "Redskins Rags".
Of course, we all remember the Terrible Towels that the legion of Steeler fans waved at FedEx Field last Monday night. I don't know if this promotion came about as a response to that—I would think that it would be difficult and expensive to acquire 50,000 towels and have something printed onto them in the space of a week—but in any case it's a bad idea.
The waving of towels is a Steeler tradition. It has been for some 30 years. You can't just take one team's tradition and try to adopt it as your own. That would be like throwing seed corn onto a paved parking lot and coming back hoping to see stalks as high as an elephant's eye.
My high-level inside source inside the organization—a friend of my brother knows someone who has a cousin who is an intern in the PR department—has said that the attempts to bring other teams' traditions to FedEx Field will not stop with the towels. Among other ideas in the pipeline:
- Having a Native American ride a horse into the stadium and planting a flaming spear into the Redskins logo at midfield.
- Getting the fans to do an Indian chant while making the signal for a first down in unison.
Should those Native American-themed ideas prove to be too politically incorrect for DC, there are other ideas being floated around Redskins Park:
- At halftime, the Redskins band will form "Redskins" in script and the senior sousaphone player will dot the "i".
- Before the game, a semi-prominent celebrity will raise a flag emblazoned with the number 12 in one end of the stadium. It will have to be explained that the number represents not the "12th man" but the new price for a 12-oz draft beer.
- A Metallica song will play and fans will be encouraged to jump up and down as the players come onto the field.
- After the Redskins score, the cheerleaders will do a pushup for each point the Redskins have scored up to that point in the game. (Given the way the Skins have been putting up points lately there is no danger that the cheerleaders will overexert themselves from this.)
- A rock will be placed on a pedestal outside of FedEx Field and the players will touch it on their way in.
- Hedges will be planted running the length of the field behind the benches.
I'm sure that other ideas are under consideration; perhaps you could leave yours here in the comments.
The Redskins made a couple of roster moves just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.
They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.
Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.
The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.
Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.
Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.
Bruton started the first four games of the season at safety before going on injured reserve with a concussion. This past offseason he signed a three-year, $9 million free agent contract with $3.4 million full guaranteed. There will be a deal cap hit of approximately $1.7 million in 2017 to account for the prorated bonus.
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.
DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.
LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.
G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.
T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.
CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.
RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.
Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)
Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.