Joe Theismann and John Riggins Part II

theismann

By H. Jose Bosch

Yesterday I showed you a clip of Joe Theismann and John Riggins talking about the state of the Redskins. The big news from that? Joe Theismann criticizing Jim Zorn.

To be more specific, when Riggins asked the former quarterback if Zorn was a real NFL coach, Theismann responded by saying that Zorn makes a good quarterbacks coach.

Not a ringing endorsement.

Well part II of this three part interview was released yesterday and it doesn’t disappoint. Here’s the clip:

They pick up where they left off and Theismann has a beauty of a quote about Zorn: “I wouldn’t say he could not be a head coach”

Um, how many negatives was that exactly?

Theismann later says, “He’s going to have to wear the hat of head coach now.”

I believe that hat is right next to his thinking cap.

If these comments tell you anything it’s that Theismann has no confidence in Zorn whatsoever. That’s not much of a stretch to make considering the man was stripped of his play calling duties. But this was the line that absolutely buried the current coach. Again, Theismann:

“What made you say that that was going to be the guy that would take a sort of veteran football team and be able to lead it?”

Ouch.

If Theismann is saying this, there is no doubt some players feel the same way. Just the thought of that make me want to put Zorn out of his misery. I’m not sure how much it would cost the Redskins to fire Zorn, but it can’t be that much considering the psychological trauma he has to go through now.

OK, I exaggerate a lot. But if this guy is supposedly not good enough to even call plays, he shouldn’t be there at all. I almost feel like Snyder is keeping him around just to ruin his reputation so much so that he can’t get a job anywhere else. But that’s pure speculation on my part.

But enough about Zorn, what about Vinny Cerrato?

During their Cerrato discussion, Albert Heynesworth came up. Heynesworth is having a good year so far, but is he worth the hefty contract required to bring him in? Theismann seems to think so. He says Heynesworth’s presence makes those around him better. I side with Riggins: it was too much money that could’ve been spent elsewhere.

riggins_training_campLast season Washington’s defense was in the top ten in points and yards allowed. In 2007 they were the 11th best defense in points allowed and 8th best in yards allowed. Let’s ignore an awful 2006 season. In both 2005 and 2004 the team’s defense was again ranked in the top 10 in the league in points and yards allowed.

Stats don’t mean everything, but those numbers are pretty convincing. Since 2004, with the exception of one year, the Redskins have had a pretty good defense. So, with that in mind, why spend millions and millions on a defensive tackle?

Like Riggins said during the clip, “Who else could you have gotten?” Now I won’t pretend to think that Washington could’ve gotten two top-of-the-line players in place of Heynesworth. But when you consider the lack of depth on the offensive line and at running back, they could’ve easily stocked the shelf with players competent enough to fill in potential holes. At the very least, having some extra cash on hand and maneuvering for a few more draft picks to stock up wouldn’t have been a bad idea.

Instead you have a defensive tackle playing out of his mind on an already great defense; all for nothing.

The players do the playing but that’s a situation where management should be taken to task and I think Riggins is right to call out Cerrato.

The end of the clip is a mix of uncomfortable and intrigue. Of course the conversation moves to Daniel Snyder and watching the two players disagree with each other makes for a good viewing experience.

Riggins clearly hates Snyder and Theismann clearly disagrees with Riggins. The third part of this interview may be the best one based on just the ending of this clip.

I’ll be here tomorrow morning to break that video down.

Former College Football Team Captain was Openly Gay

By Paul M. Banks

Yesterday, the California supreme court voted 6-1 to uphold the ban on gay marriage voted in by Proposition 8 last November. The decision sparked massive protest demonstration all across the country. Within this political atmosphere I learned the story of Brian Sims, a former Defensive tackle and captain of the Bloomsburg University football team who came out to his team during his senior season. Sims’ story of his team succeeding both on the field and with the concept of tolerance is profiled on the website OutSports.com


“they never heard a single negative comment about Sims’ sexuality the rest of the year. Part of that was the timing. They were in the middle of a season for which they all had high hopes, and by the time most of the team found out about Sims, they had started talking about the playoffs. After starting the season 1-2, they ran off 11 straight wins and reached the 2000 Division II National Championship game. With the preparation and frenzy surrounding the team as they inched closer to the playoffs and then started winning playoff games, the sexuality of one of the team’s most respected players was the furthest from players’ concerns.”

As teammates found out, in the locker room no one moved away from Sims. No one shied away from him. His being gay became just more fodder for locker room teasing, like someone’s fat mom. Sims said he also became the dumping ground for every question his teammates had about gay people. “Straight guys tend to be the most curious about sex, in general,” Sims said. “My team asked me everything you can possibly ask a gay guy about sex, and in the crudest terms possible.”

I wasn’t even aware of Sims’ story or even that an alternative lifestyle oriented sports site existed until I received this email, perhaps the most enlightening electronic message I’ve received all month.

“Anyway, the story reminded me of your story from the Washington Post earlier this month about openly gay athletes in sports and Sims’ story seemed right on the mark.

Given what’s going on with gay marriage, school-yard bullying, and the lack of any good sporting news these days – this should be exactly the type of story you should follow up with: Good looking, all-American college jock comes out as America is increasingly becoming more tolerant!

All I know is that this guy is the only gay football captain to EVER come out of the closet and that is absolutely the kind of sports story that the Washington Post should be all over…plus he’s heard from athletes in like 30 states and over a dozen countries!

Dave Panchetti
Chicago, Ill.

Yes, I know Dave referred to the Washington Times as the Washington Post. I get that all the time, and get a kick out of it, and also correcting people can become tiresome. Getting back to Sims, his story is phenomenal and I plan to try and get him on for an interview soon, here’s another excerpt from the Out Sports feature:

“It also helped that Sims was good. Very good. He was the captain of the team and he was a first-team all-conference player that year. While his team got beaten badly by Delta State in the national championship game, 63-34, Sims said he recorded three sacks in the game.

“By the time it happened, I was the longest-running starter on the team,” Sims said. “I had a lot of success on the football field. And I think that bought me a certain amount of leeway with this group.”

Perhaps 30 years from now they’ll make sports movies about the struggle for Gay Rights in the vein of films made today like “The Express,” “Glory Road,” and “Remember the Titans.” These depict the intersection of sports and the civil rights movement. Sims would make a great subject for a biopic. As riveting a film as “Milk” (the recent Sean Penn movie about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected public official in America, who was assassinated along with San Francisco mayor George Moscone) was, the Sims’ movie would actually have a happy ending.

I hope the story of Brian Sims, and his teammates who openly accepted him, will inspire more athletes to come out. Beyond that, this example of Sims and the Bloomsburg University football team should send a message about the Gay rights movement to society at large in the same manner that Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers made an impact on the Civil Rights movement over 60 years ago.