- - Sunday, October 30, 2016


The Washington, D.C., metro area took a break from preparing for the Wizards home opener Wednesday night at the Verizon Center to rise and shine Sunday morning for Breakfast at Wembley with the Redskins.

While the streets were filled with runners competing in the Marine Corps Marathon — Samuel Kosgei from Junction City, Kansas won the men’s division, while Perry Shoemaker from Vienna Virginia won the women’s category — the rest of the DMV woke up and either lumbered to their couch or filled the bars early to watch the Redskins face the Cincinnati Bengals as part of the NFL’s London invasion.

The pews in local churches were likely sparsely populated on Sunday morning. After all, like Albert Brooks said in the film “Concussion” — “The NFL owns a day of the week. The same day the church used to own. Now it’s theirs.”

Four hours after the opening kickoff — on a glorious summer day on Oct. 30 — I suspect most of those Redskins viewers went back to bed. After all, they have to rest up for Halloween in Georgetown.

Just think — what followed could have been Game Five of the World Series Sunday night at Nationals Park … ah, forget it.

Some Redskins fans were still probably nursing hangovers from the night before and most wondering why the heck they woke up early in the first place when all they had to show for it was an overtime 27-27 tie.

The clocks get turned back next week. Many would have preferred to turn them back Sunday after the final play went off at around 1:30 p.m. and their team walked off the soccer field with neither a win nor a loss — just like a soccer game.

I’m sure British fans — used to such outcomes — were just happy with the extra 15 minutes of NFL football, though they must have wondered if it was the referee’s idea to add that time.

They got their money’s worth in quantity. In quality, what they got was two remarkably stupid football teams, with one trying to outdo their other with self-inflicted wounds.

Redskins stupid? A little harsh?

“I don’t know what to say after this game,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said in the post-game press conference. “Don’t know if I should be upset or happy.

“I don’t know how to react,” Gruden said. I didn’t know it was possible to tie. There was a tie last week, I was like, ‘How the heck did they tie?’”

I’m going to give Gruden the benefit of the doubt here that this was his version of a comedy skit — and that he knew very well it was possible to tie. He’s no Rodney Dangerfield, though.

Leave it to the Redskins’ Will Compton, who did all he could to win the game with a key interception and stripping the ball from Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in overtime, to explain to the coach how he should feel after a week’s worth of practice, traveling across the Atlantic and playing five quarters of football.

“If you don’t win it feels like a loss,” Compton said in an interview with Redskins Radio after the game.

Bingo. That’s how you should feel, coach.

Cincinnati, though, that’s a special kind of dumb. How much longer will the NFL let the Bengals play in the league? They play as if they have never gotten the memo that helmets are not to be used as weapons, and believe facemasks were invented to tackle opponents. Their weekly game tapes could be introduced as evidence into any concussion-related lawsuit.

Yet it was the Redskins who were the most penalized team — 15 flags for 106 yards. Five of those were on cornerback Josh Norman, yet it was hard not to sympathize with him, going up against A.J. Green.

Of course, if you believe some Redskins fans on social media, the league has it in for Norman, and apparently have issued some sort of memo to its officials to go after the high-profile defender.

If they didn’t before, they will now.

“He sucked,” Norman told reporters after the game, talking about field judge Brad Freeman. “We play a physical game, they know that. We come here international game, it all goes out the window … he needs to be reprimanded.”

International game? Does Norman think they were using British referees? A different set of rules in England?

The Redskins — now 4-3-1 — get a week off to ponder the mysteries of a tie before they have to take the field again on Nov. 13 against the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field in a normal, red-blooded American 1 p.m. game — this time by American rules.

Thom Loverro hosts his weekly podcast “Cigars & Curveballs” Wednesdays available on iTunes and Google Play.

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