Monday, August 15, 2005

Today's subject . . . history

Today, we take a look back at yesteryear and into another sport . . . football. Folks in River City will remember not-too-fondly the days leading up to the 2000 season when the Redskins went on quite the binge. They brought in Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, Mark Carrier, and Jeff George, Adrian Murrell, Andre Reed, and Irving Fryar to jump start the return to Redskin glory. With each new signing, confidence grew. Oh, what a year it would be. You'd have thought the engravers were already eyeing the Lombardi Trophy to etch the Redskins' name in it.

And the club went . . . splat.

After starting 6-2, they went 2-6 to finish 8-8. A disappointing season by any measure, but the predictable result when trying to build a team from a kit. It is something the Redskins have paid for ever since.

Which brings me to . . . the Pittsburgh Penguins. My, what a couple of weeks this has been for the Caps' long time nemesis. Today, they signed John LeClair to a deal, adding him to recent acquisitions: Jocelyn Thibault, Zigmund Palffy, Sergei Gonchar, and Andre Roy. Average age on opening night? . . . 33. To this add Mark Recchi (37) and Mario Lemieux (40 on opening night). Not what one would call a youth movement, unless the "movement" is limited to the big three of Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury (who seems destined for another year in Wilkes-Barre), and Evgeni Malkin (who seems ticketed for another year in Russia).

On paper, this is a formidable offensive team. On paper, they could score 300 goals. On paper, they might give up a similar number.

But then, folks here saw to what "on paper" often translates . . . a nice fantasy team, emphasis on the word, "fantasy."

-- The Peerless