- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 21, 2002

Back in the saddle again,
Out where a friend is a friend
Where the longhorn cattle feed
On the lowly jimson weed
I'm back in the saddle again.

Thought Redskins owner Dan Snyder could use a little musical accompaniment as he retakes the general manager's reins.
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Ridin' the range once more
Totin' my old forty-four
Where you sleep out every night
Where the only law is right
I'm back in the saddle again.

Catchy tune, don't ya think?

The Redskins just traded down again. Their first pick is now in the fourth round of the 2016 draft.

Never let it be said that Dan the Man lacks patience.

My thoughts on the Redskins drafting Patrick Ramsey in the first round: Maybe he was just numbed by the six-hour wait, but Steve Spurrier didn't seem all that excited about the kid. He said he didn't recruit Ramsey at Florida "he was a Louisiana boy" and wasn't even aware of him until he watched a tape of Tulane (Patrick's team) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette. We could be headed for another Brad Johnson-Jeff George situation, where you have one quarterback who's the Coach's Guy (Danny Wuerffel) and another who's the Owner's Guy (Ramsey). Not the healthiest environment.

Me, I would have been more inclined to draft a player who might be able to step in and start such as a guard or a defensive tackle. (The Redskins need immediate help at both positions.) It's the rare rookie QB who can contribute right away.

Trading down in the first round is a dicey business, as Redskins personnel boss Joe Mendes will tell you. When Mendes was the GM in New England in 1990, he dealt the third pick to Seattle for the eighth and 10th picks, which seemed like a pretty good idea at the time. But the Seahawks came away with perennial Pro Bowl player Cortez Kennedy, and the Patriots wound up with Chris Singleton and Ray Agnew.

How Times Have Changed Dept.: In 1966, the 32nd pick was the last pick in the second round. (And the Falcons used it to select an offensive tackle from Bowling Green named, believe it or not, Jerry Jones.)

Pig Prather (free safety, Mississippi State). Sounds like he would have made a great Hog.

When exactly did North Carolina become Defensive Lineman U.? In the last five years, the Tar Heels have had five DLs taken in the first 20 picks Greg Ellis (eighth, '98), Vonnie Holliday (19th, '98), Ebenezer Ekuban (20th, '99), Julius Peppers (second, '02) and Ryan Sims (sixth, '02).

And here they are, still waiting to win an ACC title in the Florida State Era.

Just wondering: Was the Redskins' signing of Jeremiah Trotter just about Trotter, or was it also about Brian Mitchell, James Thrash, Ndukwe Kalu and Shawn Barber donning Eagles uniforms?

Let's hope Trotter gives the Redskins more bang for the buck than Marvcus Patton did at that spot.

Don't look now, but the Cowboys have added an impact player in all three defensive areas: line (La'Roi Glover), linebacker (Kevin Hardy) and secondary (first-rounder Roy Williams). And Dallas already had one of the better defenses in the league.

News item: ESPN's Stuart Scott suffers an eye injury assaying to catch a football propelled by a JUGS machine while researching a story on trying out for the New York Jets.
Comment: Guess that explains why he wasn't selected on the first day of the draft.

Probably the most interesting thing about Gene Wojciechowski's ESPN magazine piece on Spurrier was this quote from the coach: "I like the idea of a microphone in the quarterback's helmet. Fifteen seconds to call a play, dang, you can actually coach him every down."

Back by popular demand, the Snyder Poll (one man's ranking of the various Snyders in the world of sports):
1. Fred Snyder, football coach, Sheepshead Bay (N.Y.) High School Led his team to an 11-0 record and a 26-16 victory over Lehman for the 2001 PSAL city title. Honored by Newsday as the All-City Football Coach of the Year.
2. Bryan Snyder, wrestler, Nebraska Finished second in the NCAA Division I championships in the 157-pound class. Also recently appeared in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd."
3. Ky Snyder, president, Super Bowl XXXVII Host Committee San Diego State grad was hired to head up the city's 2003 Super Bowl effort. "He is a leader with the experience necessary to guide this event that will place San Diego in a worldwide spotlight," says Ron Fowler, chairman of the San Diego Super Bowl Task Force.
4. Jason Snyder, pitcher, University of Arizona Freshman is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA for the rebuilding Wildcats. Taken in the 40th round of last year's amateur draft by the Kansas City Royals.
5. Dan Snyder, owner, Washington Redskins Coerced Spurrier and Marvin Lewis into coaching the Redskins, signed Trotter as a free agent, etc.

A belated "welcome back" to "Tank McNamara," Mr. Snyder's favorite comic strip, which is running in the Washington Post again after a brief, ahem, hiatus .

Speaking of drafts, no school has ever had a better one in any sport than Connecticut did in the WNBA draft Friday. Four of the top six picks were Huskies (No.1 Sue Bird, No.2 Swin Cash, No.4 Asjha Jones and No.6 Tamika Williams), an amazing feat. Compare that to some of the other great drafts schools have had:
Notre Dame, NFL, 1955 QB Ralph Guglielmi (third), T Frank Varrichione (sixth), HB Joe Heap (eighth).
Michigan State, NFL, 1967 DE Bubba Smith (first), RB Clint Jones (second), LB George Webster (fifth), WR Gene Washington (eighth).
UCLA, NBA, 1969 C Lew Alcindor (first), G Lucius Allen (third).
Southern Cal, NFL, 1977 RB Ricky Bell (first), OT Marvin Powell (fourth), DE Gary Jeter (fifth).
Arizona State, baseball, 1978 3B Bob Horner (first), OF Hubie Brooks (third).
Michigan State, NBA, 1979 G Magic Johnson (first), F Greg Kelser (fourth).
Nebraska, NFL, 1984 WR Irving Fryar (first), OT Dean Steinkuhler (second).
Miami, NFL, 1987 QB Vinny Testaverde (first), RB Alonzo Highsmith (third), DT Jerome Brown (ninth).
Penn State, NFL, 1995 RB Ki-Jana Carter (first), QB Kerry Collins (fifth), TE Kyle Brady (ninth).
Penn State, NFL, 2000 DE Courtney Brown (first), LB La Var Arrington (second).
As you can see, only Michigan State even comes close.
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Seeing the success the No.8 seeds are having in the NHL playoffs must be driving the Caps crazy.

Good.

My favorite nickname in sports is "Buckshot" Jones, the NASCAR driver.

Unless it's Andrew "Six Heads" Lewis, the welterweight boxer.

Remember when Ken Griffey Jr. was going to break Hank Aaron's home run record?

After Heinie Zimmerman, the 1912 National League batting champ, was mentioned in the Sunday Column a few weeks ago, Washington Times colleague Scott Silverstein informed me he'd written a college paper on Heinie for an English class at Maryland. How, you ask, did this come about?
"We were studying Hemingway in the course," Scott explains, "and we had to pick out a reference in one of his works and write a paper about it. In one of his short stories I can't remember which he refers to 'Heinie Zim.'"

The story, as it turns out, is "The Three-Day Blow," which was published in the 1920s. Two guys are talking baseball, and, well, why don't I just turn it over to Papa?
"[New York Giants manager John McGraw] buys all the good [players] he wants," Bill said. "Or he makes them discontented so they have to trade them to him."
"Like Heinie Zim," Nick agreed.
"That bonehead will do him a lot of good."
Bill stood up.
"He can hit," Nick offered. The heat from the fire was baking his legs.
"He's a sweet fielder, too," Bill said. "But he loses ball games."

What Bill meant by that last comment was that Zimmerman was a shady sort. In 1919, he and Hal Chase allegedly tried to bribe some players in an attempt to fix games and were later banned from baseball for life.

You've got to see "Changing Lanes" if only to hear Samuel L. Jackson's description of "the perfect Tiger Woods commercial." Classic stuff.

The same day I caught "Changing Lanes," I saw a preview for the upcoming Jennifer Lopez vehicle in which she KOs Billy Campbell (of "Once and Again" fame) in one scene. The name of the movie is "Enough," but for a second there, I thought I was watching "The Chuck Finley Story."

And finally
Whoopee-ti-yi-yo, rockin' to and fro
Back in the saddle again
Whoopee-ti-yi-yay, I go my way,
Back in the saddle again

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