- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The creation of the Internet ranks right up there with “Seinfeld” DVDs, ranch dipping sauce, the shrimp pasta at Chili’s, iPods and digital recorders in terms of greatest-ever things. But the Internet also produces nights where you want to throw your computer out the window.

Rumors get started, somebody types it into a message board and, bingo, chaos results.

The Joe Gibbs-in-a-car-wreck fiasco started Tuesday night around 10 p.m. when colleague David Elfin called me on my cell phone to say Newsday writer Bob Glauber had seen on a New York Giants message board that Gibbs had been involved in a car accident.

Evidently, a person saying he was a District police officer called into a Sirius Radio Show.

I called and emailed Redskins PR chief Chris Helein, who was also receiving calls from several other media outlets. The situation was resolved around 11:10 p.m. when Gibbs emerged from his office and was informed by Helein of the rumors. Coach Joe laughed.

Gibbs joked about it after practice today. Tuesday nights are for game-planning and the coaches are at Redskin Park until the wee hours.

Hopefully we can get through the season without another crisis like that one.

Here are today’s Five Things, a few days before the New Orleans Saints aerial circus abuses the Redskins’ secondary:

1. Gibbs held court in three different locations — outside, inside near the trainer’s room and on a stairway — about the structure of the Redskins’ front office and personnel department. He again said he’s open to anything and isn’t afraid to change.

But he countered that by saying he likes the current democratic structure.

My guess on what happens this offseason: Nothing. Gibbs doesn’t like to fire people and if the Redskins are truly serious about bringing in a general manager-type, the one person who would have to be fired — Vinny Cerrato — is one of The Danny’s boys and he’s not going anywhere. It will simply be up to the Redskins to do a better job in signing free agents and drafting.

2. Anybody who says Reggie Bush hasn’t made a big impact for the Saints is fooling themselves. He has seven touchdowns - four rushing, two receiving and one on a punt return. He leads the Saints with 79 catches. He has 125 carries.

Because of Bush’s rare ability to line up anywhere on the field and produce big plays, there was a natural transition process for coach Sean Payton. Payton had to learn how to call the right plays and Bush had to get used to NFL competition.

3. Don’t be surprised if the Redskins use an exotic defense at the start of the game. Earlier this season against New Orleans, Carolina started six defensive backs.

Last year at Arizona, the Redskins pulled a similar trick.

Although the Redskins don’t have six starter-quality defensive backs on their roster, it’s worth a shot. Just flood the field and challenge the Saints’ receivers to find open pockets in the zones.

4. One question from a reader that didn’t make today’s Redskins Mailbag was a challenge of sorts. The reader said The Washington Times should offer a prize to anybody who “breaks” the story of happened to the Redskins this season.

If the prize was like a $10,000 bonus or a free oil change at Jiffy Lube or an AMC gift certificate, I’d give it a worthy attempt.

Instead, I give you this: Bad personnel decisions. Bad early-season quarterback play. Bad injury luck. Bad defensive play-calling.

5. ABC is a joke. They have one of the best hour-long dramas going right now — “Lost” — and it’s in the middle of a three-month hiatus. ABC claims it doesn’t want to show repeated episodes which might confuse the viewer. Whatever. Just pony up more millions and more episodes. With all the flashback scenes that show has, there are countless directions the series can go.

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