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George Solomon: on the day Abe Pollin is laid to rest, friends remember his life of action

Sat, 28 Nov 2009 00:00:00 EST

One of the great irritants Abe Pollin endured as owner of the Wizards/Bullets would be whenever his team was playing one of the NBA glamour clubs featuring stars such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant and many fans in his arena were rooting for the visitors. It drove Pollin crazy.

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George Solomon: Memories From My Little Red Book

Sun, 28 Dec 2008 00:00:00 EST

William Gildea, who for 40 years wrote beautiful stories for The Washington Post before retiring three years ago, would keep his important phone numbers on little scraps of paper stuffed in his pockets. Somehow he could always get his hands on the phone numbers he needed.

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George Solomon: Nobody Could Sling It Quite Like Sammy

Sun, 21 Dec 2008 00:00:00 EST

Coach Ray Flaherty himself used to like to tell the story of his first briefing of (Sammy) Baugh when he was attempting to indoctrinate the slim Texan into the more rugged tactics of pro football. "And these receivers in the pro league expect their passers to be good," he told Sammy. "None of those wild heaves you see the college boys throw. When they go down field, our eligible pass receivers want that ball where they can catch it. They like to be hit right in the eye, understand?"

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George Solomon: The Zorn Saga Could Still Have a Happy Ending -- or Not

Sun, 14 Dec 2008 00:00:00 EST

Tevye, the main character in the venerable Broadway musical "Fiddler on the Roof" who is described in Wikipedia as the "pious Jewish milkman," said life for Jewish people in czarist Russia was as precarious as the perch of a fiddler on the roof.

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Local Rivals Scrap for Backyard Supremacy

Sun, 07 Dec 2008 00:00:00 EST

A rival, according to Webster's New World Dictionary, is a person who tries "to get or do the same thing as another, or to equal or surpass another."

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George Solomon on Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards

Sun, 23 Nov 2008 00:00:00 EST

The last thing the Washington Wizards needed this week was a tribute to Gilbert Arenas, My Favorite NBA Player. But that's what occurred on Thursday at Madame Tussauds wax museum downtown, where a paraffin figure of Arenas was unveiled -- a ceremony repeated the next evening at Verizon Center during the Wizards' game against Houston.

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Waving Terrible Towels at FedEx, Steelers Fans Felt Right at Home

Sun, 16 Nov 2008 00:00:00 EST

It's Dallas Week, of course, and the big question marks hanging over Landover -- besides Clinton Portis's left knee and Tony Romo's pinkie -- for tonight's game between the Redskins and Cowboys is how many fans in Dallas jerseys will infiltrate FedEx Field?

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Waving 'Terrible Towels' at FedEx, Steelers Fans Felt Right at Home

Sat, 15 Nov 2008 17:20:55 EST

It's Dallas Week, of course, and the big question marks hanging over Landover -- besides Clinton Portis's left knee and Tony Romo's pinkie -- for tonight's game between the Redskins and Cowboys is how many fans in Dallas jerseys will infiltrate FedEx Field?

George Solomon: Obama's Election Has Special Meaning for Former Georgetown Coach Thompson

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 00:00:00 EST

The man on the radio Wednesday was once one of the most powerful figures in college sports. A man of principle, conviction and occasional anger. As the basketball coach at Georgetown University from 1972 to 1999, John Thompson was fighting for racial equality and other causes he believed to be just.

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Josh George of McLean Wins Two Medals at Beijing Paralympics

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Josh George is back home in McLean from the Paralympics in Beijing -- the Olympic Games for the disabled. The gold medal he won in the 100-meter wheelchair sprint about seven weeks ago hangs in his parents' house, as does the silver for second place in the 800 and the satisfaction of also competing in the 400, the 1,500 and the marathon.

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George Solomon: Wizards Have Run of Bad Luck Before Start of NBA Season

Sun, 26 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Four straight years of playoff basketball for the Washington Wizards and owner Abe Pollin's determination to keep the team together at a huge cost should have made club president Ernie Grunfeld and Coach Eddie Jordan's sixth training camp together a breeze.

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Movie a Reminder of a 'Wonderful Man'

Sun, 19 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

The year was 1961 and the Washington Redskins, with the worst record in the National Football League, had the first pick in the college draft. Their choice was simple. The owner, George Preston Marshall, under pressure from government officials to integrate his all-white football team, would draft Heisman Trophy-winning running back Ernie Davis from Syracuse.

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Movie a Reminder of a 'Wonderful Man'

Sat, 18 Oct 2008 17:43:12 EDT

The year was 1961 and the Washington Redskins, with the worst record in the National Football League, had the first pick in the college draft. Their choice was simple. The owner, George Preston Marshall, under pressure from government officials to integrate his all-white football team, would draft Heisman Trophy-winning running back Ernie Davis from Syracuse.

Ailing Wizards Don't Expect Sympathy, but They Deserve Some

Sun, 12 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Washington Wizards captain Antawn Jamison, out of action with a right knee contusion suffered in the first quarter of the team's first preseason game Tuesday night in Dallas, said it best last night: "No one is going to feel sorry for us."

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In the Digital Age, It's Still an American Autumn Ritual

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

The great sportswriter, Dan Jenkins, once strode the field with TCU coach Abe Martin before a huge football game in the 1950s. With the stands filling and the bands playing, Martin excitedly turned to Jenkins and in his folksy way said, "We're gonna have us a spellin' bee today."

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Caps Are Picking Up Where They Left Off

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EDT

So quietly, it seems, the Washington Capitals have slipped over the boards onto the ice in the middle of Dallas week to announce their presence to Washington and proclaim their late-season surge to the NHL's Southeast Division title was no fluke.

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Even With Health Failing, Pollin the Owner Is Still Pollin the Fan

Sun, 21 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EDT

At 84, Abe Pollin still "gets that special feeling" the week training camp begins, as it will Saturday in Richmond for the Washington Wizards. And while confined to a wheelchair and disappointed at the news Wednesday that Gilbert Arenas underwent a third surgery on his left knee, Pollin begins his 44th year of NBA ownership convinced this team could be his best ever.

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The Vince Young Saga: a Misunderstanding or a Real Cry for Help?

Sun, 14 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Tennessee Titans Coach Jeff Fisher called Le Affair de Vince a "complete misunderstanding." Titans third-year quarterback Vince Young said his disappearance for more than 24 hours after spraining his left knee and being booed in his home stadium during his team's 17-10 victory over Jacksonville was no big deal, except "you've got to tell your momma where you're going."

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Opening Loss to Giants Has Fans of Burgundy and Gold Seeing Red

Sun, 07 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EDT

For me, Washington's summer of good cheer, low humidity, politics and an inviting new baseball park came to a resounding end Thursday at 10 p.m.

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As Redskins' Offense Slows Down, Zorn's Aging Process Speeds Up

Sun, 31 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EDT

When Jim Zorn began training camp last month as the 26th head coach of the Washington Redskins, he was a young 55 with a gleam in his eye and a bounce in his step. When the Redskins, once 3-0 in the preseason, lost their second straight game Thursday night, this one to Jacksonville, Coach Zorn, as the local TV sports anchors call him, did not look so young.

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Nationals Fans Are Experiencing Growing Pains, Too

Sun, 17 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and his merry band of owners were at Nationals Park on Wednesday night with 30,814 other baseball fans to see the Nationals get pounded, 12-0, by the New York Mets.

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New York Could Be the Perfect Place for Favre's Second Act

Sun, 10 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EDT

One is in the Hall of Fame, and the other is a lock to join him -- if he ever retires. One is regarded by many as the best pure passer who ever lived, and the other is often called the best quarterback ever.

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Hall of Fame Inductions of Monk and Green Are Father-Son Affairs

Sun, 03 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EDT

One of the benchmarks in life is the relationship you have with your adult child. Yesterday, Art Monk and Darrell Green -- the two former Redskins being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio -- were introduced by their grown children.

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Stars Arenas, Taylor Illuminate the D.C. Landscape

Sun, 27 Jul 2008 00:00:00 EDT

This week was about stars, news conferences, klieg lights and sound bites.

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On a Long Night, No Shortage of Memories

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 00:00:00 EDT

John O'Shea is a New Yorker through and through. When he was 8, his father took him to Yankee Stadium -- the "House that Ruth Built" 85 years ago on 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx.

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Redskins Hall of Famers Know It's Canton or Bust

Sun, 13 Jul 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Bobby Mitchell and Sonny Jurgensen, former Redskins and members of the exclusive club known as the Pro Football Hall of Fame, were sitting around the Lansdowne Resort on Friday discussing the merits of cornerback Darrell Green and wide receiver Art Monk, who in three weeks join them in their Canton, Ohio, sanctuary.

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Forget Contracts, Pollin Is Only Interested in One Thing: an NBA Title

Sun, 06 Jul 2008 00:00:00 EDT

In his 44th year of owning Washington's NBA franchise, Abe Pollin has been involved in his share of contract squabbles and verbal jousting. He's made his share of "take it or leave it" mandates to the best of 'em, long before Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas were born.

This Could Be the Start of a Beautiful Rivalry

Sun, 29 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EDT

For the first time in the four years since Bud Selig allowed a "Beltway Rivalry" between Washington and Baltimore to exist, there was excitement before an Orioles-Nationals game -- not Mets-Yankees excitement, of course, but at least some tension throughout the stands Friday night at Nationals Park.

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An Honor Bestowed Upon a Legendary Writer

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EDT

If there was a perfect day in the storied career of the late Washington Post columnist Shirley Povich, it likely would have been Oct. 8, 1956. Of the day, Povich would later write: "I shifted my stare to the empty white sheet of paper in my typewriter until snow-blindness threatened to set in. Then my fingers began moving across the keyboard of my portable and I was writing scared as the words began to come out."

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For the Capitals, Ovechkin and Leonsis, 'as Good as It Gets'

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Ted Leonsis has been a historian of the Washington Capitals from their birth in 1974, first as a fan and for the past nine years as their majority owner. On Thursday night, Leonsis was in Toronto for the NHL awards dinner that, Leonsis said, turned into one the five "most significant nights" in the 34-year history of the franchise.

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Looking Back, It's Easy to Remember

Sun, 08 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EDT

"The world championship was his for the taking. If he made two free throws, or even one, the Bullets would be winners.

Swinging Through History With Woods

Sun, 01 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Tuesday's news conference at Congressional Country Club to promote Tiger Woods's AT&T National looked presidential, felt presidential and lacked only Helen Thomas. In his first news conference since his knee surgery on April 15, the most famous athlete on the planet proclaimed his rehabilitation "right on schedule" for the U.S. Open in two weeks and added the best way for him to host his own event is to "win his own event."

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In the Boone Family, Baseball Is the Tie That Binds

Sun, 25 May 2008 00:00:00 EDT

The late sports columnist Jack Mann held the Baseball Encyclopedia dear to his heart. "Because," Mann said, "the Baseball Encyclopedia never lies."

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Athletic Cliches Cross the Political Line of Scrimmage

Sun, 18 May 2008 00:00:00 EDT

For decades I've watched, heard and read about Washington Post political reporters calling Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, for a pithy quote. In fact, over the past 10 years, Larry Sabato has been quoted 150 times in The Post, so many quotes that former Metropolitan editor Robert Barnes once instituted a brief ban on quoting Sabato, much like the Sports department avoiding Dexter Manley's outrageous midweek locker room comments in the 1980s.

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Derby Tragedy Casts a Pall Over Horse Racing

Sun, 11 May 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Four days after Kentucky Derby runner-up Eight Belles was euthanized on the track at Churchill Downs -- one of the most heart-wrenching tragedies in thoroughbred racing history -- trainer Donald Barr watched intently from the rail at Laurel Park as dozens of horses were put through their paces.

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At His First Practice, Zorn Already Has 'Good Feel' for the Redskins

Sun, 04 May 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Athletes and coaches have a lot of big days in their lives. But for 54-year-old Jim Zorn, Friday was really big. "I couldn't sleep, so I got out of bed at 5:45 and was in the office at 6:15," Zorn said of the first day of his first minicamp as coach of the Washington Redskins.

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At Verizon Center, Crank Dat With Colin and the Wizards

Sun, 27 Apr 2008 00:00:00 EDT

There was a lot of stuff going on at Verizon Center on Thursday night that went right over my unadorned head. DeShawn Stevenson and Andray Blatche showed up with mohawks and Caron Butler had "Tough Juice" shaved into the back of his head. Stevenson also brought rapper DeAndre Way, who goes by Soulja Boy and has a popular ditty called "Crank Dat" playing in jukeboxes, to sit near the team bench.

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After Long Public Silence, Arenas Turns Up the Volume

Sun, 20 Apr 2008 00:00:00 EDT

For 17 days, Gilbert Arenas had maintained a public silence that I can only compare to Joe Theismann announcing about 20 years ago he would not speak to the media for an entire season. Sports Illustrated reacted to Joe's declaration by putting his picture on its cover -- with a piece of tape across his mouth.

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A Special Night for Hard-Core Fans

Sun, 13 Apr 2008 00:00:00 EDT

In a city obsessed with a sound bite from a four-star general, reading the guest list of a White House state dinner or how much money future and former presidents can generate, Wednesday night in Washington belonged to the sports fan.

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Washington's Big 3 Came Up Huge

Sun, 06 Apr 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Talk about a week of drama involving Gilbert Arenas, Alex Ovechkin and Ryan Zimmerman -- three of the brightest stars in Washington.

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Nationals Park Is Top Notch; the Team Eventually Needs to Follow Suit

Sun, 30 Mar 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Charlie Slowes, the radio voice of the Washington Nationals, has seen all but one of the team's 486 games since the club moved here from Montreal in 2005.

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Nationals' New Stadium Should Produce Enduring Fun

Sun, 23 Mar 2008 00:00:00 EDT

I'll leave the architectural critiques and prospects for future business development on the Southeast waterfront to others smarter than I. The topic here is baseball memories -- those first and most memorable moments in a baseball stadium when as a kid you came up the ramp and saw the green of the outfield grass and wondered if life could ever be better.

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Butler's Return to the Wizards Is Cause for Celebration

Sun, 16 Mar 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Images from a week in town after snowbirding in Florida much of the past three months:

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Three's a Crowd for Kolzig and the Capitals' Goalkeepers

Sun, 02 Mar 2008 00:00:00 EST

It happens to the best of athletes. You're getting on in years and maybe not quite as sharp, the team brings in a younger guy with a reputation, and the questions from reporters and stares from teammates come fast and hard. It's never pretty.

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Frese's Run Is Remarkable in Every Way

Sun, 24 Feb 2008 00:00:00 EST

Brenda Frese and Mark Thomas's twin boys -- Markus William and Tyler Joseph -- are one week old today, in case you haven't received a birth announcement from the Maryland women's basketball coach and her husband.

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Hearing Is One Thing, Seeing It Is Another

Sun, 17 Feb 2008 00:00:00 EST

Unless a Washington-based team beats the odds and wins a championship, the year in sports for us will be best defined by a hearing this past week on Capitol Hill.

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The Long, Perplexing Wait Finally Is Over

Sun, 10 Feb 2008 00:00:00 EST

We've been waiting about a month for the puff of smoke to rise over Redskins Park.

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Monk Is Quite a Catch for the Hall of Fame

Sun, 03 Feb 2008 00:00:00 EST

A grouchy e-mailer recently wrote that if eight-time candidate Art Monk ever was elected to the Hall of Fame, I'd have nothing to write or complain about the day after the vote.

Snyder's Search Is Becoming More and More Baffling

Sun, 27 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

Watching the Redskins pound the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field on the last Sunday in December to reach the playoffs, you could almost feel the affection fans in that stadium felt toward their team that night.

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After All the Testimony and All the Doubt, the Show Must Go On

Sun, 20 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

Talk about a photo to market baseball and the start of spring training: Commissioner Bud Selig and players' union chief Don Fehr, right arms raised, being sworn in to testify on Tuesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's hearing on steroid use in baseball.

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Gibbs Leaves With His Reputation and Humanity Intact

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

In the early years of Joe Gibbs's first tour as head coach of the Redskins, he had a reputation as someone who was all business, without much humor. Until, for me, when he related a story of how he'd cut a very large lineman, and the player began throwing furniture around Joe's office.

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With Collins, Redskins Have Plenty in Reserve

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

Despite the outcome of yesterday's NFC first-round playoff game between Washington and Seattle, the accomplishments of Redskins quarterback Todd Collins the past four weeks have left some experienced NFL observers in awe and this scribe searching the archives.

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In a Tough Year, Gibbs Keeps Redskins Moving Forward With Class

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

As I wrote last year, greetings and holiday salutations sports fans -- and you know who you are. But this year's Christmas column comes from North Flagler Drive, hard by the intracoastal waterway in West Palm Beach, so we'll replace the annual spin around the Beltway with an illusionary satellite flyover, sending out as many good wishes as this space permits.

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Finally, a Bright Spot to Dark Week

Sun, 09 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

A final week in town before fleeing the cold for most of the next three months in West Palm Beach, Fla., where I'll continue to fill this space, following the locals from afar and trying, with the help of a GPS, to scope out a parking space outside Nationals Park.

In District, Taylor's Death Hits Home

Sun, 02 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

Craig Jefferies, the head football coach of the D.C. city champion Dunbar Crimson Tide, knows the statistics: 171 homicides in D.C. as of Nov. 29 -- already two more than all of 2006.

Arenas's Balky Knee Creates Precarious Situation

Sun, 25 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

Eddie Jordan loves Gilbert Arenas. Loves the way he plays, makes big shots, runs the offense and leads. But talking about Arenas this past week made his coach a little fidgety and slightly uncomfortable.

Does Every Underdog Have Its Day?

Sun, 18 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

Skirting the quagmire surrounding Barry Bonds and whether Mr. 762* has bookmarked Robert Shapiro's Web site, a sports spin around and through our town seems welcome.

A Win That Was Out of Sight, Not Yet Out of Mind

Sun, 11 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

The message from Coach Paul Johnson to his players at Navy's football practice Wednesday was simple: Look forward to the next game at North Texas and let rest the euphoria from beating Notre Dame, 46-44, in triple overtime and ending an NCAA-record string of 43 consecutive losses to the Irish.

A Picture Tells the Story -- United Is Done

Sun, 04 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EDT

The five-column picture on the front of the Sports section of Friday's Washington Post couldn't be more clear. D.C. United midfielder Christian Gomez outfighting a Chicago Fire defender for the ball a moment before he kicked it into the goal at RFK Stadium for what surely would have been a 3-2 United victory. Such an outcome would have offset Chicago's 1-0 victory last week, forcing a 30-minute overtime to determine which team advanced to MLS's Eastern Conference final.

Taking Heart From History

Sun, 28 Oct 2007 00:00:00 EDT

Was it 35 years ago when a heavily favored, Super Bowl-bound Redskins team went to Foxborough, Mass., to play a New England team so disrespected that a headline writer for The Post described the Patriots this way: "Pats are Patsies"?

Redskins Over .500, but Face a Must-Win Situation

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 00:00:00 EDT

The sense of urgency hung over Redskins Park on Friday like an ugly gray cloud. "It's a must game for us and a must game for them" is how Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs described today's matchup at FedEx Field between the Redskins (3-2) and the Arizona Cardinals (3-3).

Terrapins, Midshipmen Follow Their Leaders

Sun, 14 Oct 2007 00:00:00 EDT

Two of the more prominent college football coaches in this town -- Maryland's Ralph Friedgen and Navy's Paul Johnson -- have a rare weekend off to reflect on their 4-2 records and even count their blessings.

Pollin and Massenburg: Two for the Ages

Sun, 07 Oct 2007 00:00:00 EDT

Abe Pollin, the owner of the Washington Wizards, and Tony Massenburg, the team's recently signed free agent forward, have a common bond: longevity.

Kolzig Is the Capitals' Stay-at-Home Goalie

Sun, 30 Sep 2007 00:00:00 EDT

The pucks come fast at the goaltender. Real fast. Hard, too. Alex the Great. Michael Nylander, Alexander Semin, Chris Clark and the rest. Zing, ping, crack. Off the pipes, the glass, the goalies' pads. Off the side of the knee. Ooooh, that one stings.

Remembering RFK as a Truly Multipurpose Stadium

Sun, 23 Sep 2007 00:00:00 EDT

It must be the season for retro: Newspapers and magazines seem to be writing endless articles about aging boomers and putting out special sections for seniors suggesting to us ways of living, playing and working longer.

If You're Not Spying, You're Not Trying

Sun, 16 Sep 2007 00:00:00 EDT

The subject Friday morning was spying. Not spy thrillers or country vs. country espionage, but coaches looking for an advantage. "Yes, my father occasionally sought an advantage, but from seeing a team's tendencies," said former Virginia senator George Allen before his round at the Kornheiser-Wilbon golf fling for the D.C. College Access Program at Lansdowne.

From September, You Can See the Playoffs

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 00:00:00 EDT

Opening day -- no matter what sport or level -- is about hope. It's starting out with a clean slate, the standings even and championship dreams alive because there's nothing that says otherwise.

Dunbar's Jefferies Is a Leader of Men

Sun, 02 Sep 2007 00:00:00 EDT

Like many sports fans, I enjoy NBC's "Friday Night Lights" -- the drama adapted from H.G. Bissinger's book of the same title chronicling the religion that is high school football in small-town Texas. If life in fictional Dillon revolves around its football team, the same cannot be said of Washington, which seems too big to embrace small pleasures.

Same Old Story for Maryland Tracks: No Slots, No Action

Sun, 26 Aug 2007 00:00:00 EDT

Ryan Fogelsonger, a Springbrook High grad, sat outside the jockey's room at Laurel on Wednesday and talked about his trade. "I ride these amazing animals and try to get them to go as fast as they can. There's more to it than just going around in a circle. It's a job so exciting I leave here every day with a rush. What an honor to do this for a living."

David Is Goliath

Sun, 12 Aug 2007 00:00:00 EDT

'A great night for soccer," is how Don Garber, the commissioner of Major League Soccer, referred to D.C. United's 1-0 victory over David Beckham's Los Angeles Galaxy before 46,686 fans at sold-out RFK Stadium on Thursday.

Long Before Metro, There Was 'The Big Train'

Sun, 05 Aug 2007 00:00:00 EDT

The owners of the Washington Nationals have this dilemma. How do you move into the future, which includes a $611 million stadium opening in 2008, while forging a link to Washington's baseball past from 1886 to 1971?

Gibbs Reflects on Past, Pressure, Future

Sun, 29 Jul 2007 00:00:00 EDT

The practice fields outside the office building at Redskins Park in Ashburn were empty Thursday afternoon on the eve of the opening of training camp. Joe Gibbs, 66, sat easily in his chair and talked about the pressure of trying to reverse the worst season (5-11) in his 15 years (1981-92, 2004-present) as Redskins' head coach.

Nine Years After It Ended, Ripken's Streak Still Resonates

Sun, 22 Jul 2007 00:00:00 EDT

The four players in the Cal Ripken Sr. Collegiate Baseball League preparing for the start of their game Tuesday night at Shirley Povich Field had trouble believing the statistics being read to them. The next day, the rookie manager of the Washington Nationals, Manny Acta, tried to make sense of the same numbers, as did his all-star first baseman.

Johnson Is Setting High Standards for the Mystics

Sun, 15 Jul 2007 00:00:00 EDT

No one has ever compared a WNBA owner with New York Yankees owner George ("The Boss") Steinbrenner. But nearly two months ago, Sheila Johnson, the president and managing partner of the Washington Mystics, made a run at such a comparison with a postgame scolding of her team after an 18-point home loss to Sacramento.

Tiger Gives Fans What They Want

Sun, 08 Jul 2007 00:00:00 EDT

Thank heaven Tiger Woods made the cut Friday at the inaugural AT&T National Golf Tournament for the benefit of the Tiger Woods Charity Event Corp., Tiger Woods Foundation and the Tiger Woods Learning Center of Anaheim -- an event televised in part by the Golf Channel, soon to be known as TWN (Tiger Woods Network).

Without Leaders, United Gets a Real Kick

Sun, 01 Jul 2007 00:00:00 EDT

On a night when three of their best players were competing in a tournament in Venezuela, D.C. United put forth a makeshift lineup at RFK Stadium on Thursday in hopes of getting its up-and-down season back on track.

For the Bullets and Wizards, She Was a Trail Blazer

Sun, 24 Jun 2007 00:00:00 EDT

It was almost 20 years ago and I'd just watched one of the least memorable NBA games you could imagine. The Washington Bullets had just lost to the Indiana Pacers in front of about 5,000 fans in Landover, and on the way out of the arena I walked past Susan O'Malley, who was talking to several ticket sellers, marketing staffers and young interns.

Minicamp Will Mean a Lot to Gibbs, Redskins

Sun, 17 Jun 2007 00:00:00 EDT

NFL minicamps are about hope. Drafted rookies, free agents, healthy veterans and mending veterans all converge for three days of practice before being dismissed until the start of training camp.

Father Figures Prominently in Son's Success

Sun, 10 Jun 2007 00:00:00 EDT

The year was 1978 and Danny Ferry was 11, dutifully following his father Bob, general manager of the Bullets, around Capital Centre as Washington successfully pursued its only NBA championship in a seven-game series against Seattle.

Washington Area Catches the Eye of the Tiger

Sun, 03 Jun 2007 00:00:00 EDT

Charging back into the local sports scene after a two-week vacation spent mostly on the Big Island of Hawaii, where pal Linda accused me of illegally grounding my sand wedge and Jay overpaid a fishing boat captain on Kona who had as much angling skill as Tony Soprano displays on his yacht Stugots .

Pair of Sagging Sports Jump Back Into the Spotlight

Sun, 13 May 2007 00:00:00 EDT

Horse racing and boxing -- sports that have been declared irrelevant by many media decision-makers seeking the right demographic -- showed a pulse last Saturday. In fact, it was more like a thunderbolt.

The Day the Queen Came to College Park

Sun, 06 May 2007 00:00:00 EDT

How time flies. The six-day tour of Queen Elizabeth II to Richmond, Jamestown, the Kentucky Derby and Washington has rekindled memories of the British monarch's visit to College Park 50 years ago for a football game between underdog Maryland and North Carolina.

Looking for a Stance on Bonds

Sun, 29 Apr 2007 00:00:00 EDT

From the treadmill at the Sport & Health club Thursday morning, I watched a "SportsCenter" highlight of Barry Bonds hitting another home run Wednesday night. This was Bonds's seventh home run of the season and the 741st of his career. Hampered by injuries the past two years, Bonds, 42, is healthier and on a tear. If Bonds could keep this up, Hank Aaron's record of 755 home runs could be surpassed before the Fourth of July.

Wizards' Glass Is Half Full -- if You Ask the Right People

Sun, 22 Apr 2007 00:00:00 EDT

A realist sees the Washington Wizards' playoffs hopes embodied in Gilbert Arenas as he limps down the hall on his surgically repaired left knee at Verizon Center after Thursday's practice. He smiles hopefully, but does not say anything.

One Extraordinary Robinson Remembers Another

Sun, 15 Apr 2007 00:00:00 EDT

Jackie Robinson gave his life for something great. He chose to bear the daily, bloody trial of standing up to beanballs and cleats launched into his shins, chest, and chin, and the race-baiting taunts raining down from the stands, along with trash, tomatoes, rocks, watermelon slices and Sambo dolls. And then he performed with eloquent achievement and superlative poise."

The Wheels Come Off the Wizards' Season

Sun, 08 Apr 2007 00:00:00 EDT

Hell Week for the Washington Wizards began innocently enough on March 30. The Wizards held a three-point lead over the Toronto Raptors at Verizon Center with 3.8 seconds left when forward Michael Ruffin caught Anthony Parker's long pass near the three-point line. Ruffin threw the ball into the air to use up the final seconds on the clock. But the ball slipped out of Ruffin's hands to Raptors guard Morris Peterson, whose desperation heave went in, tying the score.

A Confluence of History, Tradition and Baseball

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 00:00:00 EDT

Opening Day in Washington goes back to 1871, when a team called the Olympic Base Ball Club of Washington played in a league called the National Association. The Olympics became the Nationals in 1872, and for the next 100 years baseball teams representing Washington opened the baseball season in such leagues as the American League, National League, Negro National League and others.

Wrestler Breaks Through for American University

Sun, 25 Mar 2007 00:00:00 EDT

" I think Josh Glenn would have had a better chance of being crowned King of England than winning a 197-pound Division I NCAA wrestling championship."

For Locals, Tournament Is Homegrown and Heaven-Sent

Sun, 18 Mar 2007 00:00:00 EDT

The two gentlemen selling umbrellas and other items outside the Foggy Bottom Metro station Thursday were separated by a radio. It was a large radio blaring the voice of veteran Hoyas play-by-play man Rich Chvotkin.

On the Big Stage, to Play's the Thing

Sun, 11 Mar 2007 00:00:00 EST

The theme for the City Title games Monday night at Verizon Center was set by the coaches of the four competing high school teams: "The kids will remember this night for the rest of their lives."

Coach Was Born in March, His Team Reborn in February

Sun, 04 Mar 2007 00:00:00 EST

Random thoughts on college basketball as March swoops in, with remnants of snow on the ground and fans rubbing their hands together in anticipation of what could be the best month of the year in sports:

Caps' Former Coach Recalls a 'Magical Night'

Sun, 25 Feb 2007 00:00:00 EST

Ron Wilson, the only coach to take the Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup finals, was in town Wednesday night with his current team, the San Jose Sharks, reminiscing about his five years in Washington.

He's Been Iron in the Pipes

Sun, 18 Feb 2007 00:00:00 EST

I'm not equating Olie Kolzig's durability with Cal Ripken's streak of 2,632 consecutive baseball games, but the Washington Capitals goalie has earned his stripes with sports fans in Washington, having played in 577 games since 1997 before tearing the medial collateral ligament in his left knee at practice on Monday.

Nats Have Tough Crowd to Please

Sun, 11 Feb 2007 00:00:00 EST

Thursday was the perfect day to think about baseball in Washington. A slight breeze was wafting across Connecticut and L streets NW, the sun was shining and except for it being 30 degrees, baseball was in the air. At least it was at the team's retail store in the Washington Square Building and in Viera, Fla., where on Thursday Nationals pitchers and catchers are scheduled to begin training for the team's third and final season at RFK Stadium.

15 Years Ago, There Was Duke's -- and a Dynasty

Sun, 04 Feb 2007 00:00:00 EST

Has it been 15 years since the Redskins played in the Super Bowl? It was 1992, Joe Gibbs's fourth Super Bowl appearance in nine years and his third Vince Lombardi Trophy, which in those days were placed in a case in the front of Duke Zeibert's Restaurant at Connecticut and L streets NW.

Pollin Watches From Best Seat in His House

Sun, 28 Jan 2007 00:00:00 EST

Talk about bad luck. Abe Pollin, who has owned the Bullets-Wizards for 43 years, is missing the team's hottest stretch in decades. Pollin, 83, suffered a broken pelvis in a fall while exercising two weeks ago. He's recuperating in his Bethesda home -- a confinement that has the normally gracious team owner a little edgy.

With Arenas on the Offense, Opponents Come Out the Loser

Sun, 21 Jan 2007 00:00:00 EST

I went to Verizon Center with 16,503 others Wednesday night to see if Gilbert Arenas could score 50 or more points for the fourth time in his last 16 games. The New York Knicks also were there, trying to keep Arenas from scoring 50.

A Top Talent Show, Terps Must Still Share the Stage

Sun, 07 Jan 2007 00:00:00 EST

Laura Harper, Maryland's 6-foot-4 junior, knows the score. The most outstanding player of last year's women's NCAA Final Four, as well as one of the primary reasons the Terrapins won a championship and continue to hold the No. 1 ranking, knows women's basketball is a tough sell.

A Couple of Stars Brighten the Whole Scene

Sun, 31 Dec 2006 00:00:00 EST

A final look at 2006. What we liked and what we didn't.

Giving Thanks and Praise

Sun, 24 Dec 2006 00:00:00 EST

Greetings and holiday salutations, readers. Follow me for a cheerful Christmas spin around the Beltway, leaving some presents and good-natured barbs for our favorite teams and players along the way.