Redskins Archive

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Order your copy of “Hail to the Redskins” book for a discount

hailredskinsbookA new book titled “Hail to the Redskins: Gibbs, the Diesel, the Hogs and the Glory Days of D.C.’s Football Dynasty” comes out in September but you can pre-order your copy for more than 50 percent off the regular price.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, North Carolina residents watched the Redskins each Sunday as NC-native Joe Gibbs led them to four championship games.

It’s called “a rollicking chronicle that takes fans behind the scenes of the legendary Super Bowl-champion Washington Redskins teams of the Joe Gibbs’ era and offers a revealing portrait of the NFL during the 1980s and early 1990s.”

Based on more than 75 original interviews, here is the inside story of the glory days of the famed Washington Redskins teams of the Joe Gibbs’ era—one of the most remarkable and unique runs in NFL history. From 1981 to 1992, Gibbs coached the franchise to three Super Bowl victories, making the team the toast of the nation’s capital, both among the political elite and the city’s majority African-American population.

Veteran sportswriter Adam Lazarus charts the team’s rise from mediocrity (the franchise had never won a Super Bowl and Gibbs’s first year as head coach started with a five-game losing streak that almost cost him his job) to its stretch of four championship games in ten years. What makes the run of sustained success all the more remarkable is that, unlike Joe Montana’s 49ers or Tom Brady’s Patriots, each of Gibbs’s Super Bowl victories featured a different quarterback—a testament to the genius of the team’s head coach, who proved himself one of the most adaptable and creative minds in NFL history.

Hail to the Redskins features an epic cast of characters: hard-drinking halfback John Riggins; the dominant, blue-collar offensive linemen known as “the Hogs” who became a cultural phenomenon; quarterbacks Doug Williams, the first African-American QB to win a Super Bowl, and Joe Theismann, a model-handsome pitchman whose leg was brutally broken by Lawrence Taylor on Monday Night Football; gregarious defensive end Dexter Manley, who would be banned from the league for cocaine abuse; and others including Darrell Green, Art Monk, Mark Rypien, owner Jack Kent Cooke, and more.

Building on Lazarus’s interviews with key inside sources, including Redskin players, personalities, and journalists, Hail to the Redskins paints a colorful picture of one of the most compelling teams in football history. Order your copy by linking below or on the ad on the right side of the page.

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Redskins, Kerrigan Reach Contract Extension

Ryan Kerrigan.

Ryan Kerrigan.

Ryan Kerrigan has been the definition of consistency for the Washington Redskins’ defense since he was taken 16th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.

On Wednesday, Kerrigan was rewarded for his efforts, as the team announced it had reached a multi-year contract extension with the Purdue product, who is coming off a career year in 2014.

Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

“To get to a moment like this where you get a chance to play out the rest of your NFL career with the team that drafted you, the team that you love, the city that you love, it hasn’t really hit me yet, but it’s an awesome feeling,” Kerrigan said. “Now it’s my job to go reward the Redskins for the faith they put in me by playing well this year, and for the rest of my career.”

Kerrigan in 2014 turned in one of the best performances by a pass rusher in team history, posting a career-best 13.5 sacks, tying Ken Harvey (1994) and Dexter Manley (1984) for the fourth-most sacks by a member of the Redskins since sacks became official in 1982.

Kerrigan also had five forced fumbles in 2014, tying for the league lead and becoming the first member of the Redskins to finish atop league rankings in that category since LaVar Arrington’s NFL-best six forced fumbles in 2003.

Kerrigan – a Pro Bowl selection in 2012 – enters the 2015 season with 38 sacks, already ranking sixth in team history in that category. With six more sacks, Kerrigan would move into sole possession of third place, passing Orakpo (40), Harvey (41.5) and Monte Coleman (43.5). Manley (91) and Charles Mann (82) top the list.

The Muncie, Ind., native – who was an All-American defensive end at Purdue before being transitioned to an outside linebacker in Washington – said he’s appreciative of the Redskins for allowing him to continue his career where it started.

“I think more than anything it’s awesome, the vote of confidence that the Redskins have put in me,” Kerrigan said. “Being drafted a couple of years back, defensive end who is becoming an outside linebacker, you’re never sure how things are going to turn out for you.”

He said he can’t wait to show the passionate Redskins fanbase exactly what this opportunity means to him starting Week 1, when the team takes on the Miami Dolphins in their 2015 season opener at FedExField.

“We want to win, and I know that’s a simple thing to say, but it is,” Kerrigan said. “I know the fans know how it was back in 2012 when we won the division, and that’s got to be first and foremost our goal for this year and for the years to come is to get back to the top of the division and then make sure that the game we’re playing in December, that they’re counting something towards the standings and that we’re a viable contender in the NFC.”

Kerrigan and the Redskins kick off 2015 training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., on Thursday.

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Ridiculous: Judge orders cancellation of Redskins trademark registration

Redskins Name Football

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the cancellation of the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration, ruling that the team name may be disparaging to Native Americans. …read more

Source:: WRAL

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Undrafted: Duke’s Cofield signed by Redskins; ECU’s Carden by Bears

Takoby Cofield.

Takoby Cofield.

Now that the NFL draft is over, those who went undrafted are being made offers from teams as undrafted free agents. Several in North Carolina have already been signed including East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden (Bears) and Duke’s offensive tackle Takoby Cofield (Redskins).

Meanwhile, NC State was shut out of NFL Draft for the first time since 1996 but Wolfpacker Tyson Chandler, a 6-6 340-pound offensive tackle, signed with the Lions.

ECU’s Carden might be in a decent situation joining a team that went just 5-11 and whose fans booed the starting quarterback, veteraan Jay Cutler.

Carden has the best numbers of any East Carolina quarterback in history with nearly 12,000 passing yards, 86 touchdowns and more than 1000 completions.

Pirate teammate Lamar Ivey, a physical safety, was signed by the Seattle Seahawks.

As for the 6-4, 310-pound Cofield, a Tarboro native, Dane Brugler of CBS Sports said this before the draft, “Although guard Laken Tomlinson receives most of the attention on Duke’s offensive line, Cofield started 42 straight games at left tackle and has produced NFL worthy film of his own. He was a steady edge blocker for the Blue Devils, using adequate size, athleticism and constant hustle to get the job done. Cofield needs to introduce discipline to his play style to limit his lunges and improve his anchor to better sink in his stance to survive at the next level. Although he has wrinkles to iron out and his lack of range of physical tools aren’t ideal, Cofield shows promise and has enough talent to grow into a reserve swing tackle in the NFL – worth late round consideration.”

Cofield was a third-team All-ACC selection. His teammate quarterback Anthony Boone was signed by Detroit while Duke receiver Issac Blakeney was signed by the 49ers. Duke defensive end Jordan DeWalt-Ondigo, who was considered a possible draftee, signed with the Eagles.

The two UNC Tar Heel signed so far are cornerback Tim Scott, who was signed by the Cowboys, and tight end Jack Tabb, who was signed by the Saints. Scott impressed scouts with a 4.55 40-yard dash at UNC’s Pro Day prior to the draft but it wasn’t enough to get drafted.

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Skins get a character guy in Crowder who will make impact this year

Jamison Crowder.

Jamison Crowder.

Duke’s Jamison Crowder is planning on being a wide receiver in the NFL but he’ll make an immediate impact returning punts, and possibly kickoffs, for the Washington Redskins in 2015.

The Redskins chose the ACC’s all-time receiving leader with the sixth pick of the fourth round, 105th overall.

“I just want an opportunity to get in the league, and I wouldn’t want to play for no better team than the Redskins,” Crowder said during a teleconference with reporters. “I’m excited.”

Crowder, at just 5-foot-8 185-pounds, caught 283 passes for 3,641 yards and 23 touchdowns in his career.

“I feel like I’m one of the top receivers in this draft,” the Monroe native said. “I can go in and make an impact in the offense.”

But Redskins’ coach Jay Gruden sees Crowder as more of a force on special teams.

“We liked his big play ability,” Gruden said. “He can return punts, obviously. He’s going to be instant playmaker for us. That’s going to be a good one.”

The Redskins haven’t returned a punt for a touchdown since the 2008 season. Crowder, an All-America special teams player, returned four punts and one kickoff for touchdowns in college.

Gruden said the Redskins will look at Crowder as a kick returner as well.

“Special teams was something that I had great success with in college,” Crowder said. “I feel like that’s a way I can get on the field and be able to display my talents and abilities in the open field.”

Duke coach David Cutcliffe says the most important thing about Jamison is the type of person he is. “Jamison is another incredible example of a young man who has combined natural abilities with hard work to make his dreams come true,” he said. “Everyone sees his explosiveness and short space quickness, but it is his character that puts him in a very special category.”

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NFL Draft: Redskins take offensive lineman Scherff, a solid pick

Brandon Scherff.

Brandon Scherff.

The Washington Redskins turned away from flashy and picked a solid, NFL-ready offensive lineman in Iowa’s Brandon Scherff with the No. 5 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

While he can play tackle, he is likely to step into the Redskins lineup on day one at guard to join Trent Williams on the left side. It could turn the Redskins offensive line from a liability to a strength, just like that.

As a senior left tackle, the 6-foot-5, 320-pound Scherff won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman. He’s powerful, smart and consistent with good technique. And he’s concerned a high character, well-respected player, despite his reputation for being nasty on the field.

An added plus for picking Scherff is that most believed that NFL East rival New York Giants were hoping to get him with the ninth pick.

The Redskins passed on the flashier defensive end Leonard Williams, who most experts considered the best talent in the draft. With teams going for needs, and perhaps concerned about Williams’ shoulder, Williams dropped to the New York Jets with the 6th pick.

While Scherff was a surprise pick, perhaps Redskins new general manager Scot McCloughan tipped his hand a bit Monday when he said, “I think you want your tackles to be your bigger guys – taller and longer. With our guards and with Coach [Bill] Callahan and what our plans are is power. You know, in-line power. We’re talking 320-plus [pounds] hopefully, coming off, head-butting and going. We want to be able to run the football, it’s very important. It sets up everything else for us. The center, of course, is usually the leader. He needs to be highly intelligent, be able to read the defenses and make the checks he needs to make. But again, at any one of those positions, we want big guys, we want smart guys and we want tough guys. I’ll give a little bit on athletic ability – especially inside at guard and center – for just a consistent football player that gets out there every day and you know exactly what you’ve got.”

Draft Notes: Tarboro’s Todd Gurley, who played at Georgia, was chosen 10th by the St. Louis Rams… CBSSports’ Pete Prisco gives the Redskins only a B- for its pick of Scherff explaining, “They have a big need on the line, so I get it. This is a nice, solid pick — but not a wow pick, which they needed.” With all due respect, the Redskins have been burned more times than I can count by getting a player for the ‘wow’ factor.

redskinsscherff

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Monday morning quarterback: Heels, Pack, Redskins, Panthers

mondaymorningqbSo what did the Tar Heels, Wolfpack, Redskins and Panthers do right and wrong this past weekend?

For the second week in a row, North Carolina escaped against an inferior opponent at home. It took three rare plays to beat San Diego State 31-27. A Brian Walker interception at the goal line and subsequent 100-yard return for a touchdown and a Marquise Williams to Mack Hollins 91-yard pass play for a TD the two scores that saved them, along with an interception in the end zone with 14 seconds left.

The interception return was just the third 100-yard interception return in school history while the 91-yard pass play was the longest by the Tar Heels in Kenan Stadium history and the third longest for the Heels anywhere. That’s what it took to defeat San Diego. Exciting, yes but impressive, no.

The big plays saved Coach Larry Fedora a grilling about throwing a pass inside the five yard line on third down and few inches for a first down. The pass completion lost a yard or two and the Heels had to settle for a field goal.

NC State, for the second week in a row, were not impressive against an inferior opponent at home despite scoring 46 points. The Pack gave up 34 points and 504 yards to Old Dominion.

The defense did not really pressure Old Dominion in the backfield or even at the line, and the tackling was atrocious. On a positive note, the running game looks good as Pack runners rushed for 242 yards and scored five TDs (four of them on the ground). Shadrach Thornton got three of those scores while Matt Dayes had a rushing TD and a receiving TD.

The improvement wasn’t lost on Coach Dave Doeren. “Our run game is averaging six yards per carry, no turnovers and one penalty throughout the game,” he said. “On offense, we averaged 6.6 yards on first down on offense. We were 3-for-3 in short yardage.”

Oh, Washington Redskins, here we go again. Untimely turnovers, poor special teams and a supposedly mobile quarterback who keeps getting sacked before getting rid of the ball.

As for the turnovers, all are untimely, but two unforced fumbles inside the 10-yard line are hard to overcome. That’s a minimum of six points and a maximum of 14 points off the board in a 17-6 loss.

The six points makes one who didn’t watch the game assume the Skins could only muster two field goals. But, no, it was due to a blocked extra point. At a time when the league is considering getting rid of extra points because they are supposedly automatic, the JJ Watt middle-of-the-line block changed the momentum of the game.

Up 6-0, the Redskins fell apart with a blocked punt that resulted in a touchdown while Robert Griffin III couldn’t or wouldn’t throw the ball down field. He even held onto the ball so long that he was sacked three times. The guy who is supposed to be so mobile looked anything but. In fact, he intentionally grounded the ball once and rarely looked to throw more than a few yards down the field. When he did throw long, it looked like Hail Mary plays rather than passes that had a good chance of completion.

By the way, did you notice how the in-studio Fox Sports team did everything they could to use the word Washington instead of Redskins. Host Curt Menefee even tossed it to previews of two games by saying “the Bills at the Bears” and “Washington at the Texans.” Not Washington at Houston. He gave three team names and one city name within a minute’s time.

The Carolina Panthers actually looked pretty good in a season opener for a change (they haven’t won one in five years) and they did it with a second-string quarterback. Derek Anderson, though, is a veteran and he threw a pair of touchdown passes to lead the Panthers over Tampa Bay 17-14.

The Panthers did wilt a bit down the stretch and let the Bucs back in the game but it had been a dominating performance for most of the game.

Cam Newton, out with a rib injury, is said to be ready to play next weekend. To get an opening win without Newton in a game in which they were the underdogs, the Panthers did quite well.

Before the game, many thought the offensive line would be a weakness. But coaches trotted out several linemen throughout the game, keeping players fresh, and it worked. You’d think it would disrupt continuity but the line was juggled so much in the preseason, for a number of reasons, maybe they’re used to it.

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CapitalSportsNC article on Redskins name honored with national award

An opinion piece regarding the controversy over the name “Redskins” won a Grand Award from the DC area-based Communications Concepts through its 2014 Awards for Publication Excellence competition. Clifton Barnes of CapitalSportsNC.com wrote the article which won the Grand Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the group. Barnes, a native of Rocky Mount who has lived in Cary since 1996, is a UNC-Chapel Hill journalism and political science grad. The column, which was an open letter to the Washington, D.C. Council, addressed the issue of the NFL football team name “Redskins” prior to a council discussion about possible […]

An opinion piece regarding the controversy over the name “Redskins” won a Grand Award from the DC area-based Communications Concepts through its 2014 Awards for Publication Excellence competition.

Clifton Barnes of CapitalSportsNC.com wrote the article which won the Grand Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the group.

Barnes, a native of Rocky Mount who has lived in Cary since 1996, is a UNC-Chapel Hill journalism and political science grad.

The column, which was an open letter to the Washington, D.C. Council, addressed the issue of the NFL football team name “Redskins” prior to a council discussion about possible actions against the team.

Clifton Barnes.

Clifton Barnes.

Barnes urged the council to take no action. “If this sort of thing is successful, one day a small group of people will change something that you cherish based on false assumptions and political correctness to satisfy those who believe we have a right to never be offended.”

The council members, who each received a copy of the letter, took no action.

Judges wrote, “It takes a certain amount of ‘grit’ to go against the prevailing, politically correct view, but this writer does so with a well researched, well reasoned and compellingly written editorial. Bravo!”

The editorial appears online on Barnes’ sports website CapitalSportsNC.com, which won an Award of Excellence last year. Barnes started the site in order to provide a one-stop site for those interested in sports in the Triangle NC area. Articles from all the top media outlets and sports teams in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area are featured along with videos, tweets and original sports commentary.

The winning entry can be accessed at http://capitalsportsnc.com/?p=6282.

John De Lellis of Communications Concepts says competition was intense as there were nearly 2,100 entries with only 100 of them winning Grand Awards in various categories. Barnes was one of only two winners in the category.

Barnes, who has won more than 70 journalism awards, served as director of communications for the N.C. Bar Association from 1987 to 2002 and, before that, was a newspaper writer and editor.

Today he is a freelance writer, editor and Web developer who owns several websites including cb3media.com and TarHeelFavorites.com, which will launch later in 2014. Barnes is also credited with the idea for the Town of Cary’s Hometown Spirit Award, given each year since 2009 to honor those who promote small town values.

Along with his wife Andrea, he raises their eight-year-old son Will Griffin. Barnes is the son of W.C. and Lorraine Barnes, formerly of Rocky Mount, who now live in Atlantic Beach, NC.

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Whomever decides what NFL games we see in the Triangle ain’t from ’round these parts

redskinsfalconsLast week, someone with WRAL/WRAZ decided that people in the Triangle rather see the Indianapolis Colts vs. the Cincinnati Bengals than the Washington Redskins vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. This week, someone decided that we’d rather see the Seattle Seahawks vs. the New York Giants rather than the Redskins vs. Atlanta Falcons.

In addition, someone decided that we’d rather see the New Orleans Saints vs. St. Louis Rams than the Green Bay Packers vs. the Dallas Cowboys. Packers-Cowboys!? Did you hear how the Packers won that game late 37-36? Too bad you couldn’t see it on local TV.

Whomever is making the decisions ain’t from around these parts – or either they are simply going with their personal preferences because anyone from the Triangle area knows that people here would rather watch the Redskins, win or lose, than any of those teams.

For years the Redskins were shown each week on North Carolina stations. In fact the Redskins – before the days of the Falcons and the Florida teams – were known as the Team of the South. Each year there used to be a “North Carolina Day” in Washington where a high school band from NC played at halftime of a game and the governor of North Carolina was in attendance. Those on each team from North Carolina were singled out and photographed together.

The argument could be that since Charlotte has a team now that people don’t care about the Redskins here. Well, facts don’t prove that out. The Redskins still have a presence on local radio. Plus, a DirecTV study just a couple of years ago listed the Raleigh/Durham area as having more Redskins fans than any other market in the country (except the DC market of course).

When asked online about the decisions, the response from WRAL/WRAZ was “we air games with potential playoff implications over games of regional interest.”

Well, the Seahawks-Giants game wasn’t exactly a game with playoff implications. The Giants are out of it and the Seahawks are in. Ok, so the Seahawks quarterback is former NC State quarterback Russell Wilson. But that trumps 50+ years of Redskins tradition here? Plus, Wilson’s last team was Wisconsin, not NC State.

While the previous week’s Bengals-Colts game had playoff implications, the Chiefs would argue that their game with the Redskins had playoff implications for them. That game – especially with many big plays in the snow – was at least as interesting as the Bengals two-touchdown win over the Colts, which wasn’t really even that close as the Colts scored late.

And to choose the Saints-Rams over the Packers-Cowboys? The Rams, despite playing well against the Saints, don’t have a chance at the playoffs while the Saints were in win or lose. Meanwhile both the Packers and the Cowboys are fighting for a playoff spot. Plus, it’s Packers-Cowboys. That’s almost like not showing the Redskins-Cowboys game because Arizona is facing Detroit in a game with playoff implications.

I suppose the thinking was that Panthers fans would be interested in the Saints game because a Saints’ loss could help the Panthers get the division lead (but only if the Panthers also defeat the Saints next week). Plus, the Panthers were playing at the same time on their sister station. I don’t think you air a game just so Panthers fans can switch over during commercials to see the score. Besides, the scores run continuously on the screen during all games.

If I had to guess the rankings of the interest from local fans, especially in years when Charlotte’s Panthers aren’t good, there are several teams that would rival the Panthers in number of fans. Not only are there a great number of local fans of the Redskins, Cowboys, Packers, Patriots and Steelers, for instance, their fervency is greater than most Panthers fans in this area. Not sure if it’s because the Panthers are still relatively new and people don’t switch allegiances easily but it just is.

A new generation of young fans in the Triangle likely are following the Panthers but they are statistically less likely to watch the games. Studies show the young kids are playing NFL video games more than they watch the actual games.

I’m not sure how many Falcons fans there are here but it is a regional team and surely has more followers than the St. Louis Rams. In fact, the DirecTV survey showed that the Greenville-Spartanburg, SC / Asheville, NC market is the Falcons top out of market area.

But as it turns out even the beer-bellied football fan who watches whatever game is on would have preferred to see a 27-26 Redskins-Falcons game determined by a failed two-point conversion in the final seconds than a 23-0 Seahawks shellacking of the Giants.

Last week, I asked WRAL/WRAZ if they would share their ratings. I wanted to see how well their decisions were received but I got no response.

By the way, WNCT in Greenville, just to our east, also aired the Seattle-New York game rather than the Skins-Falcons but WNCT did show the Redskins-Chiefs game rather than the Colts-Bengals game the previous week. Perhaps the benching of RG3 entered into their decision this week, not sure.

But I do know fans of the Triangle’s most popular teams better plan on going to sports bars or getting DirecTV Sunday Ticket because the “big-city,” nationally minded folks at WRAL/WRAZ just don’t get it.

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Fox Sports makes a stupid move in switching away from Redskins game

foxnflDoes Fox Sports know anything about history? If so, you’d think they wouldn’t have switched local TV viewers away from the Redskins-Eagles game midway through the third quarter. Regardless, it doesn’t make sense.

The Eagles were beating the Redskins 24-0 so they thought they’d switch us to a “more competitive” game. First of all, Steelers and Lions fans weren’t sitting around hoping Fox Sports might switch to their game if the scheduled game got out of hand. Those fans either have DirecTV Sunday Ticket or they were at a sports bar watching the Lions at Steelers game.

Second, if people start watching a game, they want to finish watching the game. Otherwise, they would have the Red Zone station where they are switched from game to game depending on who is threatening to score.

Third, DirecTV did a study a couple of years ago where they found the most popular out-of-market team for each TV market. The team that was picked for the Triangle area? The Redskins. Therefore, it amounts to switching away from an area’s favorite team in order to show a “better” game.

Redskins and Eagles fans, regardless of how the game is going, want to watch their team play and they made plans based on the the TV schedule showing the Redskins at Eagles game on local TV.

Fourth, has Fox Sports ever heard of comebacks? Earlier in the year the Redskins almost came all the way back against these same Eagles. And had Redskins QB Robert Griffin not thrown a bonehead interception in the end zone with less than a minute to play in Sunday’s game, there would be even more egg on the faces of those experts who know better than us what we want to watch. The Redskins scored twice and converted a pair of two-point conversions to pull the Skins within one score at 24-16. They were driving for the possible tying score when Griffin threw the interception. Meanwhile, the Steelers ended up beating the Lions by 10 points. The Eagles ended up beating the Redskins by eight points.

To make matters worse, those who pay a lot of money to watch every down of every NFL game on DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket were blacked out for about 15 minutes between the time the game was switched on local TV until the time they got around to lifting the blackout on the Sunday Ticket channel so local fans could watch the fourth quarter of the game. I’m sure a lot of people with NFL Sunday Ticket gave up thinking they weren’t going to make the switch.

Was it really worth ticking off a sizable number of people to please a few couch potato football fans who just want to watch the most competitive game possible? Those people had probably changed the channel already anyway – unless they’ve heard of comebacks.