Friday (late) Morning H-Back
So I'm shooting the bull with Wilbon outside FedEx Field around 12:30 Friday morning - after the exhibition with the Ravens - when who should stroll through but The Danny, and a couple of his well-suited businessman buddies. Dan and I say hello, and he and Wilbon kick it for several minutes as I stand off to the side, several feet away from the cool kids, idly looking at cab drivers and the odd stumbling drunk still in the parking lot .
(Perils of traveling with Wilbon - For the second time in four preseason games some random inebriated dude approached us mid-conversation near a stadium to tell Wilbon something like, "I love you. I love you. Everything you say is true. Everything you say is true!").
Anyway, after The Owner and Mike finish up, Dan calls out my name and says that, "Vinny (Cerrato) asked me to tell you something if I ran into you." Immediately, my reporter senses go up, and I have some doubts about this statement alone, but I let the man continue. So Dan, acting as if he has no idea what he's taking about, says that, per Vinny, I should go ahead and turn in my credential, because Jason Campbell is the backup quarterback. He's the guy behind Brunell. The Danny again goes to lengths to say that he doesn't know what any of this means, and he's just relaying a message.
I'm not buying this exact turn of events, but still explain to Dan that I wrote a blog Thursday saying that I believe Todd Collins has always been Al Saunders's guy, has the coach's ultimate faith and will be the man who goes in the game if Mark Brunell goes down in Week 1. I joked in the blog entry about being willing to stake my credential on this being the case. In the next paragraph, however, I revoked the offer, saying I'm not willing to risk my job on Collins being the No. 2 come opening day, but would be floored if anything other than that occurs
Since Vinny has been unable to find me, allegedly - despite there being a card on my desk in the press box with "Jason La Canfora - Washington Post" typed out ever so neatly - I told Dan that should Vinny ever need to locate me again, I'm sitting in the media room at Redskins Park about 40 odd hours every week, same as always - the media room adjacent to the front door of the building where Vinny and Dan both have offices.
Okay, so why am I skeptical about this entire exchange (which was cordial, and, I thought, quite humorous, judging by the smiles and everything)? Let me count the ways:
First of all, Vinny knows I rarely if ever talk to Dan, that Dan is essentially not speaking to the sports media these days and that we almost never "run into" each other. And, obviously, Dan knows all of that, too. Secondly, how many good people out there believe that The Danny spends game-day making housecalls for Vinny? Like, "Hey Dan, can you pick up some brie and Grey Poupon from Whole Foods, tell TomKat to send over some autographed photos for the nieces and nephews, and, oh, if you should happen to run into that pesky reporter from The Post in the course of the day, fine chap - you know, since you run in the same social circles - tell him to turn in his credential. Okay, chop-chop, the game's only five hours away."
Thirdly, I still don't see Campbell as the No. 2, especially after Joe Gibbs raved about Collins Thursday night in a manner in which he has spoken about no quarterback's performance previously this preseason. Finally, if Campbell is indeed the backup, I won't be the only stunned media bozo in town, 'cause listening to Triple X Radio driving home last night - I actually get the 730 AM signal pretty decently driving back to Arlington even after dark - everyone else was saying the same thing. Their reporter said it. Their post-game host said it. Joe Jacoby said it.
Regardless, my suspicion is that if The Danny isn't checking in regularly on this little 'ol blog, he at least has one of his many Turtle-types monitoring it, which I've figured all along. (Dan, we're glad to have you among us. Please, feel free to post a comment anytime. I can take getting ripped, promise.) I'm all for the guys in the owner's suite having some fun at my expense, and I'll admit, my chance meeting with Snyder did give me much to ponder on the drive home about the backup QB situation. You messed with my head a 'lil bit, boys. I'll give you that.
But in the end, after mulling it over, I still see Collins as the No. 2 come Sept. 11. Coach Joe addresses the media at 5:30 today. Maybe we'll find out then. And if I'm wrong, I still won't turn in my credential, but I do promise to leave a bottle of Grey Poupon for Mr. Snyder at Redskins Park.
Okay, I've got a segment on Washington Post Radio at 1:10, the web chat at 1:30, so it's already a busy day. But if I get time, I'd like to put another blog entry put up later with updates on other thoughts from Thursday's game, Heavy Metal Parking Lot and my ill-fated telephone relationship with Steve Young. Cheers.
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