Posted at 8:45 AM ET, 09/19/2008

Finally, Some Peace and Quiet

It is my sad relieved conflicted duty to inform you that Crowd Noise's time on the Internet has come to an end.

There's no specific reason, other than the fact that commenting on comments became too meta for even a Web enthusiast like me.

Folks, it's been real (maybe too real?), but I'll now be posting regularly at the D.C. Sports Bog and our new NFL hotspot, The League. I hope you'll come hang out and join the discussion.

Thanks for reading and commenting,

Lindsay "Bonita Appleblog" Applebaum

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Posted at 3:39 PM ET, 08/22/2008

The List: Proof That China Is Cheating

There's been plenty of speculation in recent weeks that at least five of China's female gymnasts are underage, with media reports and online records suggesting that the ages were changed on official documents.


He Kexin: "Will you babysit me?" (AP Photo)

Is China playing dirty? Is the IOC not doing its part to investigate? Should the Chinese gymnasts be stripped of their gold medals?

Eh, I guess. Whatever.

Those things are all secondary, in my opinion, to one major issue, which is that China must think we're all very dense. I mean, just look at these kids and tell me with a straight face that they're all the minimum age of 16.

A real journalist would never flat-out accuse China of falsifying documents without real evidence. It's a good thing I'm just a blogger then, because I'll say it: They're lying, and my intelligence has never been so insulted.

You want proof? You got it. Here are just a few of my reasons:

1. The Chinese locker rooms are equipped with changing tables.
2. China's practice equipment is from Fisher Price.
3. Michael Phelps's breakfast weighs more than He Kexin.
4. Deng Linlin thinks her gold medal was a present from the Tooth Fairy.

Add your own in the comments below.


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Posted at 2:49 AM ET, 08/20/2008

Time for a Pop Quiz

No. 2 pencils only. You have five minutes. Cheating is okay, whatever.

1. This blog has been uninhabited for a week and a half because:

a) I've been too busy collecting random links for the Steinbog.
b) I've been too busy with our Olympics coverage.
c) I've been too busy watching "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" on Hulu.
d) The dog ate my Movable Type.
e) All of the above.

2. If the Beijing Games had a theme, it would be:

a) National pride.
b) National pride in the form of racism (times two).
c) National shame.
d) National worst-kept secrets.

3. Michael Phelps is:

a) The scientist most often identified as the inventor of PET, a technique that permits the imaging of biological processes in the organ systems of living individuals.
b) An alien.
c) Breakfast.
d) The unlikely candidate for turning Lindsay Lohan back on to men.
e) Swimming in a pool filled with urine.

4. These Games need more:

a) Cowbell.
b) Showboating.
c) Cheese.
d) Condoms.
e) Clips of Bela Karolyi watching gymnastics.

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Posted at 2:31 PM ET, 08/ 9/2008

Epic Caption Contest (Updated)

This may just be the best Crowd Noise Caption Contest photo yet:


Did he tap that? Can I say "tap that" on a family newspaper's Web site? We shall see. . . (Larry Downing -- Reuters)


From Reuters' Olympic blog:

The United States are favourite [heh heh, they spell favorite funny] in both the men's and women's tournament and the president popped by to wish them good luck. He was not expecting to be made to actually play, nor to be proffered a pert buttock to pat.

The possibilities are endless. Seriously. Have at it.

UPDATED: You may have noticed that a bunch of comments have been taken down. I thought it went without saying that the one and only rule of this contest is to keep it clean. And no, thinly-veiled innuendos do not count as keeping it clean.

Look, I don't want to be a downer, but this is a family Web site. Show some [bleeeep] respect! Do it for the kids!

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Posted at 2:03 PM ET, 08/ 7/2008

And That Is Why You Stay Retired

You smell that, Brett Favre? That distinct odor wafting into your aging nostrils means you're in New Jersey, where your celebrated career is going to die.


Go ahead and cry. We understand this time.

Yes, if you haven't heard by now (which would be astonishing, seeing as how even Beijing knows what's up), Brett Favre is now a quarterback for the New York Jets of New Jersey.

I don't even know how to feel about this whole thing, mostly because I was in the office until nearly 4 a.m. dealing with the saga and now seem to be experiencing some sort of post-traumatic annoyance disorder.

Let's see what the guy who gets paid to know how he feels about this whole thing has to say:

Mike Wise writes: "There should be a manual for sporting deities called 'How to Step Away Gracefully,' written by maybe Nolan Ryan or Jim Brown or Larry Bird, and it should be a must-read for every icon like Brett Favre before he retires. Because this unseemly saga that pushed into early this morning, with Broadway Brett headed to the New York Jets, severely damaged the myth of the heart-on-his-sleeve hayseed who restored glory to Green Bay."

Yeah, totally what he said. After the jump, some most excellent reader comments.

Continue reading this post »

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Posted at 8:28 AM ET, 08/ 5/2008

Blog Maintenance: Prepare for an Outage

A quick FYI from washingtonpost.com management: This blog, and all blogs on the site, will undergo an upgrade from noon ET Tuesday till about 3 pm ET Wednesday. You may see a limited number of posts on some blogs in that time frame, but you will not be able to comment. Some blogs -- like this one -- will not have posts at all till tomorrow afternoon.

The upgrade will allow our staff to address some sorely needed technical issues.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience.

Jon DeNunzio
Sports editor, washingtonpost.com

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Posted at 10:06 AM ET, 08/ 2/2008

Guest Column: Alex35332

The last 30 or so posts on this blog have been Redskins-centric, so why change it up now? I promise to consider thinking about maybe posting something about the Nationals next week, but for today, we have a guest blog from Alex35332 (the prize for winning the haiku challenge):

DC fans have a lot to be happy about right now. If you grew up in the Washington/Baltimore area in the 80's and 90's this Saturday probably brings closure to your childhood. For me personally three childhood sports heroes are all in their respective HOF's come Saturday. Cal, went in a year ago. Green, Monk this year.

They are the men who kids in my neighborhood idolized, and it was a big deal going to watch any of them play. Playing little league baseball and soccer almost everyone went for 8, 28, and 81 as there uniform number, being a Z name I always got last pick on my number so I never got them. I remember, when my Cub Scout troop went to see Art Monk at a restaurant, and what stuck with me to this day is how much of a normal guy he seemed with the uniform off. Growing up in Baltimore/DC during the 80's and 90's they were the best three role model athletes one could have. When I watched them as a kid, I did not watch them to really think," I want to be a ball player", rather, they made you want to be the best at whatever you did sport or not.

What did we learn from watching all three? We learned how to be true professionals. It's not about being the shining star or getting on the highlight tapes for ESPN, they all did for sure, but you never got the feeling that it was why they went on the field every day. It's about doing something you love, and trying to do it better than anyone else can, setting a high goal and tring to reach it. It's about showing up every day regardless of injury or the other things in your life.

I never missed a day of high school because I wanted to emulate that behavior of the Iron Man. When I broke 3 toes as a door-to-door canvasser in college, I went to work the next day because that's what 28 would have done. Even now I would rather see my company get all the praise for a video I did than take credit myself, because Art Monk's humble nature showed me the value of that kind of attitude.

Mr. Ripken, Mr. Monk and Mr. Green are all iron men, in fact they are all stronger than iron, because over time iron rusts and through their long careers they never really did. Even today all three are active members of the community in the region, and I would be willing to bet if you put them on a field they can still get it done.

-Alex35332 (Alex Zeese)

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Posted at 2:41 PM ET, 08/ 1/2008

FedEx Fast Lanes? For Shame!

I do hope you'll agree with me that the Redskins' latest premium "perk" (detailed below) is one of their most ridiculous yet, and not in the usual evil genius sort of way. If your eyes light up when you read about it and you find yourself exclaiming, "Holy Dan Snyder, it's brilliant!" then I have nothing to say to you.

From NBC 4:

For a fee, fans can enter FedEx Field ahead of the rest of the crowd. It's done with the same smart-card technology some travelers use to expedite their passage through security at area airports.
For a $100 annual fee, Redskins fans can apply for a Washington Redskins Flo card that will allow them to enter the stadium through fast lanes.
In order to get the wallet-size card, fans will have to be fingerprinted and pass a federal background check.
The fast lanes will still have security pat-downs.

When I first skimmed the story, I thought they were talking about express road lanes to get in and out of the FedEx Field parking lot. Holy Dan Snyder, it's brilliant!, I thought to myself. Call me crazy, but I'd throw down $100 in a heartbeat to avoid that excruciating postgame gridlock.

Upon further inspection, it became clear that the Washington Redskins Flo card is not for road lanes at all, but for those little lines outside of the stadium. You know, the lines you wait in for five minutes, tops, until someone checks your ticket, pats you down and you're off. Those lines.

Am I missing something here, Dan Snyder/Redskins/anyone? Please advise (or rant; I'd enjoy that just as much).

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Posted at 12:25 PM ET, 07/30/2008

Featured Commenter: Nate in the PDX

Meet Redskins Insider celebrity Nate in the PDX:

Real name (optional): naaah... just Nate.


"Keeping with the hat theme, and throwing in a jersey for good measure. Yes, that's RI on the laptop in the background. A shamelessly staged photo, shot by my darling wife, 'Mrs. Nate.'"

Location: Portland, OR.

Occupation: I work on the internet.

If you had to always use your real name, would you still comment?

Probably, but with nowhere near the frequency or inanity of the comments I have posted.

How long have you been coming to Redskins Insider and how often do you read it/comment?

Reader since La Canfora's first post (August 1, 2006), commenter since November '06, beloved/loathed "regular" since some time thereafter. I check the blog all the time, for new threads and to catch up on the conversation in the comments. I take the blog and the conversation in the comments waaaaaaay too seriously.

How do we know if it's Nate in the PDX or an imposter?

I dunno, I tend to go on at length without actually saying anything, and my copious commenting on what's ostensibly a football blog belies a profound ignorance of football. And I like to use unnecessarily big words. And I tend to free-associate and wander off topic, given a very short attention span.

Continue reading this post »

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Posted at 8:14 PM ET, 07/29/2008

Many Thanks

Just wanted to pop in and say a quick thank-you for the comments, Facebook messages and emails I've received over the last few days.

My grandmother lost her battle with leukemia last week and it hasn't been easy, but the good wishes and kind words from my favorite people on the Interweb have helped.

My grandmother was a huge Redskins fan -- she thought Clinton Portis was "a star" -- so in her honor (and to make up for my failure to finish the Countown to Football), I'll resume daily posting tomorrow starting with a profile of one of the Redskins Insider regulars.

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Posted at 5:55 PM ET, 07/22/2008

No Noise For a Little While

Crowd Noise Readers,

Lindsay asked me to post a heads-up -- the blog will be dark for the short-term future as she deals with a family illness. But do not fear, eventually Crowd Noise will return ...

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