Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jon Jansen... wooo....

I had a conversation about football with the pastors at Redeemer Lutheran Church (where I work) yesterday. This is a fairly common occurrence; it is a genuine blessing to serve with other sports fans, even if one of them is a Yankees fan. Jim Byork mentioned that the Redskins have not had a really great quarterback since Sonny Jurgensen. In fact, it could be argued that the Redskins have had only two great quarterbacks in their 75-year history; Jurgensen and Sammy Baugh, the greatest football player of all time. Jim's point was in line with my personal belief: that great offenses, and quarterbacks in particular, are often the product of great offensive line play.

It's a fair point. As great as Joe Theismann was for a few years, the Redskins' success in the 1980s was really centered around the Hogs. Great seasons by Doug Williams, Mark Rypien, and even Gus Frerotte and Brad Johnson were hardly the norm for their careers; in fact, the best of the bunch is probably journeyman Johnson. I have high hopes that Jason Campbell is going to buck the trend, but of course I felt that was about Heath Shuler and Patrick Ramsey, too...

Which brings me to the subject line of this blog: right tackle Jon Jansen, my current favorite Redskin on the roster. Wait: does it count as "on the roster" if he's on injured reserve? Maybe not, but he's still my current favorite Redskin.

Jon Jansen suffered a fractured dislocation early on in Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, and is gone for the season. After a fairly routine play, Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas rolled up Jansen's ankle, breaking his fibula and dislocating his ankle.

This makes the second full season that Jansen, a horse who played much of 2005 with two broken thumbs, has suffered in four years. 2004 was lost to a ruptured achilles in preseason. Jansen a well-known and respected player the league wide, has inexplicably never been to a Pro Bowl, unlike his counterpart, left tackle Chris Samuels, a comparable player. (Samuels is another personal favorite; you might remember him from the NFL commercial where he cries in a classroom at the end of Little Women, immediately denying that the book is his.)

Jansen, cornerback Shawn Springs, and broadcaster Chick Hernandez used to co-host a casual Redskins interview show called Monday Night Live on Comcast SportsNet. It was held in a restaurant in NoVa and featured a wide array of guests and local musical acts. A few years back, they had linebacker LaVar Arrington, another past favorite, on the show as a guest. Here's a transript from my favorite part:

Hernandez: Who's your favorite Redskin?

Arrington: Jon Jansen. (Brief pause. Then:) Wooooooooooo!

(Later in the same interview:)

Hernandez: Your favorite Halloween costume?

Arrington (instantly): JON JANSEN! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!

In my house, any time anyone says "Jon Jansen," Karen and/or I automatically shout a high-pitched "Woooooooooo!" like LaVar Arrington.

Now there is no woo. Or it's a quiet, sad woo. Jansen is out for the season, and while backup Todd Wade is a more than capable substitute, I'm going to miss my boy Jon. It breaks my heart to see a team's fortunes turn on the twist of an ankle, even a team I hate; sports should be determined on the field, not in the O.R. But when it's a player I love, at the beginning of a season where I think the Redskins are going to be one of the biggest surprises in the league, it's just heartbreaking.

So get well, Jon Jansen. We'll see you in 2008.

I mean: Get well, Jon Jansen. Wooooooo....

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  • At 9/13/2007 8:33 PM , Anonymous Karen said...

    Jon Jansen! Wooooooooo!

  • At 9/21/2007 2:39 PM , Blogger Kate said...

    That's cute how you all do the "woooo".... hey, "do the wooo". The fans should do that when he comes back out on the field next year...

    I was tearing up seeing him teared up as he was carted off the field a few weeks ago... :(


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