Bruce Rader

Day Two of Redskins Training Camp 2014

July 25th, 2014 at 2:20 pm by under Sports

Another early day here at Redskins training camp, Coach Jay Gruden is a big believer to start early and that means everybody on site at 7am and practice begins at 8:30

This year, because of the NFL players contract teams can only have one practice where the players wear pads and actually hit each other. The rest of the day is classroom work and then a walk through at 4:30 in the afternoon when hopefully things cool down.

Of course yesterday a morning and afternoon rainstorm disrupted the schedule a bit.

Was it the rain, or just my imagination, but RG-3 looked to be a little off and the defense looked to be a little sharper as the Washington Redskins officially opened training camp yesterday in a good old fashioned Richmond rain storm.

I guess you could say the football season officially got underway as new Coach Gruden and his staff got a chance to see their team in pads as the team began preperation for their season opener 45 days from now against the Houston Texans.

Quarterback Robert Griffin the third looked a little rusty during his first practice session, and Coach Gruden had this to say about practice and his quarterback.

“It was a little erratic. I think the wet balls – the balls were really wet early on. Didn’t come out of his hands right a couple of times. But I think he’ll be the first to tell you he needs to improve and I’ll be the second to tell you he needs to improve. That’s going to be the case every day, I’m sure of that.”

As for RG3, he had no excuses.

“I think today it’s one of those things you say when things are going wrong as an offense we weren’t as efficient as we wanted to be today all-around, including myself. So, it’s a good thing to have to work through the rain and have to throw those wet footballs and have to catch those wet footballs and have to work on the quarterback/center exchange, all those things. So, you start camp, there’s a lot of excitement. Football is back. And then you have a practice like today where the weather plays a huge factor, and you have to kind of block that out. So, I think today’s practice we got better as a football team just having to go through the rough practice.”

While RG-3 runs the offense, there is no question Alfred Morris is the engine. Since his rookie year in 2012, Morris is one of only two running backs in the NFL — along with Adrian Peterson — who’s rushed for over 2,8 hundred yards.

On he other end of the spectrum, 13 year veteran Santana Moss is in a fight just to make the team. He signed a one year non guaranteed contract after being moved to slot reciever last year.

With big names such as DeShawn Jackson, Pierre Garson and new slot receiver Andre Roberts in the mix, and nine other receivers in camp, the competition is fierce.


Taking the emotion out of the Redskins name issue, and looking at it strictly from a realistic standpoint.

June 18th, 2014 at 8:56 pm by under Sports

In regards to today’s decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration, a federal judge overturned same ruling just five years ago after a 10-year appeals process. Even after today’s ruling, nothing changes regarding the team’s trademark while an appeal process runs it course. It could be another decade long process, depending on where the team’s attorneys file the appeal and they will. So today’s decision has no immediate effect (or even long term effect) on the team in any way.

There is still no indication that NFL owners, NFL officials, NFL players, season ticket holders, sponsors of the team, television networks or large number of Redskins fans are encouraging owner Daniel Snyder in any way to change the team’s name. In fact most Redskins players are against the change. And more importantly, there is no legal precedent to force Snyder to do it if he doesn’t want to.

In Snyder’s view there is no economic reason to change the name since no season tickets holders are refusing to buy tickets or beers or hot dogs. No sponsors are threatening to cancel their contracts with the Redskins. TV networks including NBC, FOX, CBS or ESPN ($25 billion dollars to the teams) are not seeing any indication that viewers will stop watching Redskins or NFL games, so neither the networks nor their sponsors are putting any pressure at all on the team or league to encourage Snyder to change the name. To the contrary, the vast majority of Snyder’s customers are against any name change.

In regards to any financial advantage for Snyder changing the name. Snyder is totally convinced he would lose money if he had to change the name.

The Redskins take in $375 million per year. The vast majority of the money comes from TV, radio, tickets, parking, concessions and then merchandise. The Redskins are not even in the top 10 teams in merchandise sales. But more importantly, if they changed the name, and came out with all new clothing, and other merchandise, they would have to split the money equally with the other teams in the league. So even if every Redskins fan buys all new stuff if they change the name, the Redskins only receive 1/32nd of that money. According to the team’s accountants, this would not come close to offset what it would cost the team to make a name change (throwing out everything that says Redskins on it and buying everything new—stadium signs, books, letterhead, so many other expenses)–so that idea is an uninformed myth.

Conclusion, I just don’t see the name being changed unless the owner decides to have a change of heart. And there is no indication that will happen.

In fact, the owner is adamant that not only Redskins fans, sponsors and TV viewers, but the vast majority of American’s don’t find the name offensive, and he vows never to change the name as long as he owns the team. He says he has the research to back it up. And he is the only person that has the power to make the change.


Redskins schedule a challenge

April 23rd, 2014 at 11:46 pm by under Sports, Uncategorized

His knee is better, the brace is gone, and tonight RG-3 and the Redskins found out who they will be playing this season and when.

The NFL released their 2-thousand 14 schedule tonight, with the Redskins playing three prime time games, one on Thursday Night against the Giants, and two Monday night games, at home against the Super Bowl champion Seahawks and a game in October against the Cowboys.

Obviously the league is betting that Robert Griffin the 3rd will bounce back from his knee injury, and the addition of former Eagle DeSean Jackson will provide an exciting offense.
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Toss in a first year coach–Jay Gruden, and the NFL believes the Redskins are ready for prime time again.

The Redskins will open the season on the road against the worst team in the NFL last year, the Houston Texans, possibly against Johnny Manziel–if the Oilers make him their number one draft pick.

Then at home against the Jaguars who haven’t had a winning season in 7 years. DeSean Jackson will return to Philly in week 3–and then its prime time when the Redskins welcome Eli Manning and the Giants for a Thursday night game. Week 5–Monday Night Football at Fed Ex against Russell Wilson and the Super Bowl champs. Then on the road to Arizona, back home hosting the Titans, week 8 Monday Night Football in Dallas against the Cowboys.

The first Sunday of November finds the Skins in Minneapolis against the Vikings, followed by the Bye Week then at home against the Tampa Bay Bucs–and a big game–week 12, Kaepernick against Griffin out west against the 49ers.

Another tough one, week 13, Griffin against Andrew Luck in Indy, the Rams come to Fed Ex to open up December. Then 3 games that could decide the NFC championship, Dec 14th in New York against the Giants, the Eagles at Fed Ex, and then the final regular game of the regular season the Cowboys on Sunday December 28th.

To get the complete Redskins schedule, go to wavy-dot com and click on sports.


Is Desean Jackson a good fit for Redskins?

April 2nd, 2014 at 9:57 pm by under Sports, Uncategorized

He was a thorn in the side of the Redskins defense every time he took the field as a Philadelphia Eagle.

But now DeSean Jackson will be wearing the burgundy and gold.

A lot of people have been scratching their heads since the Eagles just out right cut all pro wide receiver Desean Jackson last Friday.

Jackson admits he was angry and embarrassed when the Eagles made the move–but right away his phone started ringing.

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin the 3rd, defensive back DeAngleo Hall put the full court press on Jackson, imploring him to join their team.

Last night Jackson gave in, signing a 3-year $24 million contract and the Redskins got their man.desean jackson

So what do we make of all of this.

Prior to today, the Redskins offense had the potential of being pretty good. Quarterback Robert Griffin the 3rd had a really good season two years ago, but his bum knee caused him to have a sub-par performance this past year.The signing of DeSean Jackson now gives RG-3 a trio of 2 all pro’s Pierre Garcon and, DeShawn Jackson–teaming up with newly acquired Andre Roberts. Throw in young tight end Jordon Reed and Griffin now has plenty of quality targets.

There has been a lot of speculation as to why Eagles coach Chip Kelly would just cut one of the best receivers in the NFL. He didn’t trade him, didn’t try to work something out, they just got rid of him.
Why?

According to a variety of stories, Jackson was a diva, didn’t get along with his new coach, was late to and even missed meetings, a no-no in the structured NFL. He was considered a malcontent. And lets not forget the un-substantiated reports that he was associated with gang members in his home town L-A.

Now where do you think these reports came from? Obviously from people in the Eagles organizations. Kelly wanted knew he was getting rid of Jackson, and wanted to get out in front of it. Jackson was a twenty-something millionaire athlete, who was probably full of himself, and may have not liked the idea of a new coach coming in telling one of the team’s “superstars” what to do.

I don’t know what to believe.

Most teams have professional investigators who look into the backgrounds of their players. Even though the Redskins were under the gun to make this deal happen they had several days to do some checking.

I have no idea what went on behind closed doors. There is no dispute that Jackson has been problematic since he came into the league, he didn’t follow certain rules, he was always asking for new contracts—he was a diva. But he admits he never saw his release coming.

Mike Jones of the Washington Post reported today, Jackson admitted feeling a wide range of emotions: anger, frustration, embarrassment ranking among them. Jones posted the following quote from DeSean in his article.

“I feel they embraced me as far as RGIII, DeAngelo Hall reached out to me and made me feel like it was home here,” Jackson said Wednesday via conference call. “After everything that was going on the past couple days and the last week, that’s a big step of their first move for me. I think DeAngelo Hall really stepped up to the plate and called me and said, ‘Look, bro. I know I’ve been playing against you for a long time, but I feel like this is a situation where if you came in here, you could help us out a lot.’ For myself, I was still at a point in my career where that made me very humble for everything to go down and happen the way it happened. But coming in here, Bruce Allen, Mr. Snyder,Jay Gruden, I think it was an open-arm situation and I just was looking for an opportunity to come in and be productive and help out any way possible. I think this place right here is a great place and has some great things going on and I’m just happy to being an addition to helping this team win.”

Was this a wake up call for the 27 year old Jackson? Will the change of venue be the one thing that turns his attitude around? Maybe Chip Kelly thinks that in his system he can take any receiver and turn him into a star and he doesn’t need Jackson around, regardless of the fact he was their best receiver. The one thing unique about the NFL is teams can cut players every year regardless of their contract. Jackson is guaranteed $16 million dollars.

If he has three great years, it ends up a good deal. If he doesn’t work out, the Redskins lose $16 million.

Only time will tell. Want to bet a Dr. Pepper on this one?


March 24th, 2014 at 7:24 pm by under Sports, Uncategorized

UVA headed to the Sweet 16

UVA headed to the Sweet 16

They might not be tournament favorites like Michigan State, Louisville, Arizona and Florida, but Coach Tony Bennett and his Virginia Cavaliers just keep doing what they are doing–pulling off impressive wins–and Hoos now head to New York City to take on Michigan State in the Sweet 16.

ACC schools Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina, Pittsburg and NC State–are finished for the season.

Their conference now resting firmly on the shoulders of
UVA–the regular season and ACC tournament champs.
After an easy win over 16 seed Coastal Carolina, He Hoo’s ganged up on 8th seed Memphis last night. Senior Joe Harris, and sophomores Malcom Brogdon and Anthony Gill all scored in double figures and hit more than 50 per cent of their shots.

Unselfish on offense and tenacious on defense, UVA is not your usual number one seed–but after missing out on a trip to the both the pre-season and post-season NIT last year, Bennett and company finally gets that trip to the Big Apple.

Next for the Hoo’s, a highly anticipated showdown against 4 seed Michigan State Friday night. It will be Virginia’s first Sweet 16 appearance in 19 years–and boy is that going to be a fun game to watch.


East Carolina, Florida agree to 2015 football meeting

February 27th, 2014 at 11:38 am by under Sports, Uncategorized

East Carolina, Florida agree to 2015 football meeting

By Bruce Rader Thursday, February 27, 2014, 11:36 am

Pirates Will Visit Ben Hill Griffin Stadium For First Clash Against Gators Since 1983

GREENVILLE, N.C. (wavy) – East Carolina and Florida have agreed on a single-game contract for the Pirates and Gators to play at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Sept. 12, 2015, according to a joint announcement by both institutions Thursday.

The meeting will mark ECU’s second visit to Gainesville and first since 1983 when No. 6 UF used a late fourth-quarter touchdown run by Neal Anderson to post a 24-17 victory on Oct. 22.

“I’m sure many of our fans will remember the last time we played in The Swamp,” East Carolina Director of Athletics Jeff Compher said. “While it’s a great opportunity to compete in that environment against a program with the tradition Florida has, I’m confident Coach (Ruffin) McNeill will have the Pirates ready to play.”

The contest against Florida will also maintain the continuity of Southeastern Conference opponents on the Pirates’ future schedules, which includes visits to South Carolina in both 2014 and 2016. In addition to a 17-game series with the Gamecocks that dates back to 1977 and one previous encounter with the Gators, ECU has also faced current SEC members Alabama (1998), Arkansas (2010), Auburn (1985, 1986, 1994), Georgia (1990), Kentucky (1993, 2009), LSU (1981), Missouri (1982, 1983) and Tennessee (1995) in its history.

ECU’s 2015 non-conference schedule now includes road games at Florida and BYU with home matchups again Virginia Tech and an opponent to be announced.

The Pirates, who compiled a 10-3 record and made their seventh bowl appearance in the last eight years in 2013, will open play in the American Athletic Conference this season after a 17-year membership in Conference USA.

East Carolina Football

Florida was 4-8 under third-year head coach Will Muschamp last fall.


Va. Beach to get arena proposal from ESG

February 15th, 2014 at 12:18 am by under News, Sports, Uncategorized

Two outstanding companies, both with wonderful ideas have finally given the Virginia Beach City Council something to smile about.

W.M. Jordan Co. and The ESG Companies have put together proposals that should eventually lead to Hampton Roads finally getting that 18,000 seat arena the region has wanted for years.

On Tuesday, ESG a Virginia Beach company founded by Eddie Garcia over 60 years ago, will present to council plans to construct an 18,000-seat sports arena and entertainment complex across from the city owned Convention Center. The deal came together after the company hosted business leaders from China last summer.

Unlike the Jordan proposal which was given to council three months ago, the ESG group will promise to design, build and facilitate the project using all private funds. Although S.B. Ballard Construction Company in Virginia Beach will be involved in the building of the arena, a major player will be Mortenson Construction, which just broke ground on a new NFL stadium for the Vikings in Minnesota. Mortenson is considered one of the largest sports contractors in the nation, and has offices in several US cities as well as Shanghai, China.

China is a major player in the venture. While the Jordan proposal is expected to need equity contribution from both the city and the state, Andrea Kilmer, the CFO of ESG says her project will be built with private money. That statement will have Beach tax payers and council members jumping for joy.

But who would loan ESG some $200 million dollars to build an arena without a major league sports franchise an anchor? A bank in China has agreed to finance the deal. ESG would pay it back over time. Chinese companies invested $14 billion in the US last year, driven by aggressive economic reforms in China, a more liberal policy environment for Chinese outbound investors, and a positive outlook for the U.S. economy. Local company Smithfield Foods was bought by a Chinese company this past September for $7 billion dollars. So a $200 million dollar loan for an arena in one of America’s top resort cities seems like chump change.

But deals that seem too good to be true often are. While the ESG group may not be asking the city to help with construction costs, Virginia Beach taxpayers will be expected to kick in for various improvements. A giant TV screen outside the building, a skating rink, improved roads, parking lots, maybe even a new off ramp at Birdneck Rd. The cost could be as much as $50 million, but would be less of a burden on the city’s bond ratings than what may be required by Mr. Lawson’s proposal. Considering projects like light rail and the Dome Site are still on the council’s priority list, interest rates and bond ratings are important. As any citizen knows, you can only borrow so much.

But where does an arena rank on the council’s priority list? A year ago, it probably wasn’t even there. But with these two fabulous proposals on the table it has moved up close to if not to the top. It was certainly discussed at the council’s last private retreat.

If ESG builds the arena, SMG will manage the building. They also manage the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. Should the W.M. Jordan group get the bid, Comcast-Spectacor would run the building on a 25 year lease and would kick in millions of cash for construction costs. Both plans are aesthetically breathtaking, the ESG building with giant doors in the back that would open for sound stages and equipment for state of the art concerts and sporting events.

The devil is in the details and that may end up being John Lawson’s biggest problem. He told me his proposal was the most extensive and time consuming his company has ever undertaken. It is very specific, every nail, window, and door handle accounted for. Ms Kilmer’s offer is expected to be a little more vague. Had Lawson presented his proposal earlier, before the Chinese came for their visit, it may have already been approved.

But that boat has sailed. City staff will now go through both proposals with a fine tooth comb. Term sheets will have to be written, and citizens will get their say. It will be one of the most crucial votes by the City Council in decades, and could frame the oceanfront for generations.

They have to get this right. The winner will end up being the heroes. But if they don’t follow through with their promises and the project is not completed, they will always be remembered as the goat.

More on this story Monday, February 17th on WAVY-TV and FOX 43 news.


Ref lose control of Old Dominion vs UTEP game

February 9th, 2014 at 12:48 am by under News, Sports, Uncategorized

Players have bad games, coaches have bad games and they are always held accountable by both the fans and the media. Win or lose after the game they meet the press sometimes with a smile, sometimes with their heads hung low.

Referees and officials also at times have bad games, not very often in my opinion, but every once in a while it happens and since they are such a big part of the contest they too have to be held accountable.

So let me say basketball officials Tim Gattis, Greg Rennegarbe and Brent Dugas had a bad night in Norfolk, Virginia tonight.

Gattis, Rennegarbe and Dugas refereed the Old Dominion game against UTEP. It ended as expected with the USA Conference leading Minors blowing out the home team 63-49. Coach Tim Floyd’s team is big, athletic and deep. Even without the three players kicked off the team last month after gambling allegations forced the school to report the alleged infractions to the FBI, UTEP is good. Old Dominion is in a rebuilding year and began the game with a surprising 5-3 conference record.

Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones has done a wonderful job in just a few months remaking what had been a decimated team. Jones a former player and head coach at the University of Virginia was a fiery competitor in his younger years, but transformed into a more mature and calculating teacher after a dozen years at American University in Washington, D.C. If I were to guess, I would say he was worth maybe one technical a year.

Jones got his annual “T” just two minutes into tonight’s game.

Gattis, Rennegarbe and Dugas had to be out of breath after this one. They called 52 personal fouls, three technical fouls and a flagrant foul. The calls pretty much evened out on both sides. Although UTEP was clearly the better team, causing ODU to play sloppy basketball, it was also evident the officials called a sloppy game. Gattis has been calling NCAA contests since 1996, he has several NCAA tournament appearances under his belt, so he is no rookie. Rennegarbe and Dugas are veterans too, and normally come and go where nobody knows their name.

Not tonight.

I have been covering Old Dominion basketball for 39 years. I have never seen a fan being escorted out of game by police for yelling at an official, until tonight. One was tossed by a referee, and I am not sure what was said. The second was thrown out by an Old Dominion police officer sitting behind the UTEP bench. Not sure what was said there either, or why the officer took it upon his or her self to make that call. Perhaps a re-evaluation of ODU’s “throwing fans out of the building procedure” might be in order.

The bottom line is, the game was out of control from the opening minutes. And it is the responsibility of the referees to not let that happen. We may never know why. Coach Jones knew that with one technical already under his belt a second would most likely lead to a suspension meaning he would not be able to accompany his young team on its road trip to North Texas next week. All he could do was spend the entire game standing in front of his bench with his arms folded and his mouth shut while he glared at the officials.

When players mess up, they are called out and sometimes benched. When coaches mess up they face the music as well. Tonight, Tim Gattis, Greg Rennegarbe and Brent Dugas called one of the worst game I’ve ever seen. They would not face the media like players and coaches do win or lose after every game to explain what happened. Company policy I am sure.

But, like at least two angry fans, they too had to be escorted out of the building by the police. Something that is not supposed to happen on a Saturday night at a Conference USA basketball game.


Olympics Eve

February 6th, 2014 at 11:42 pm by under Sports, Uncategorized

All in for day one.

230 Americans spread across all 15 disciplines have gathered in Sochi Russia for tomorrow’s Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

What is supposed to be a joyous occasion tomorrow night could end up being compared to the opening scene of a Tolstoy tragedy?

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 51-billion dollar Winter Olympics, are set to go down as one of the most uninviting and stressful in the history of the games.

Unfinished buildings, un-happy citizens, un-comfortable security and the stress of terrorist attacks is not usually what one expects to find at what is supposed to be the one of the world’s most celebrated athletic events.

As far as the action on this opening day, the United States is in a three way tie for 5th place midway through the first phase of the team figure-skating event.

The top four right now, Russia, Canada, China and Japan, the team event will not be held tomorrow due to the Opening Ceremony.
Aaron Bacote scored 22 points to lead Old Dominion past Texas-San Antonio 69-61 Thursday night.

Old Dominion scored 14 straight points, including six from Bacote and five from Keenan Palmore, early in the second half to open up a 39-27 lead with just more than 16 minutes to play.

A 3-pointer by Jordan Sims with 12:08 to play pulled UTSA (7-14, 3-5 Conference USA) within eight, but the Monarchs responded with an 8-0 run, sparked by back-to-back 3s from Jordan Baker, which extended the ODU lead to 55-39 about 3 1/2 minutes later.

A 13-4 spurt by the Roadrunners pulled them within seven with, 61-54, with 3:02 remaining, but ODU (11-12, 5-3) made 9 of 12 free throws the rest of the way to seal the victory.

Palmore scored 16 points and Baker added 13 in the win.

The Admirals return to Scope tomorrow night for a two game weekend set against the top affiliate of the New York Rangers, the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Norfolk will be without the services of 21 year old Emerson Etem.

He returns to the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL after posting 11 goals and 17 assists in 25 games for the Admirals.

While Etem gets the call to Anaheim, the Ducks sent 31 year old veteran Dave Steckel back to Norfolk.

Steckel has 425 career NHL games under his belt and has a reputation as one of the top face off specialists in hockey.

Pirate’s hall of fame slugger Ralph Kiner who went onto an equally distinguished 40 year broadcasting career with the Mets died today.

Kiner was one of New York’s most beloved sports figures, broadcasting Mets games from 1962 until 2006. He was known to rub elbows with stars like Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope and romanced leading ladies such as Elizabeth Taylor and Janet Leigh.

Ralph Kiner was 91 years old.


Frank Beamer Reflects

December 20th, 2013 at 10:07 pm by under Personalities, Sports

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer is preparing his Hokies for a Sun Bowl game against UCLA.

Coach Beamer is 67 years old; it was 27 years ago when he, like Coach Maynor, was brought in to turn a struggling football team around.

And boy did he, he is the winningest active coach in college football, and makes millions of dollars a year.

But in just these past few weeks he has seen two of his closest coaching friends, Mack Brown at Texas and Jim Grobe at Wake Forest give up their jobs after what some may call disappointing seasons.

Which gives even a guy like Coach Beamer, a chance to reflect.

“It just kind of reminds you that nothing’s certain about this business,” he said. “But I’m very sensitive to staying around too long. I’m very appreciative of Virginia Tech, and they stuck with me when things weren’t good, stuck with me longer than most people would, and that probably won’t happen again. It’s a performance business. I fully understand that,

Over the past few months, two of Coach Beamer’s biggest supporters, longtime school president Charles Steger and athletic director Jim Weaver announced their retirements.

The new AD is expected to be hired sometime in February.