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New Redskins stadium among proposals for RFK site

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New Redskins stadium among proposals for RFK site

The Redskins might have a site for their planned new stadium offered to them, but they will need to answer the phone first.

A new 65,000-seat football stadium is among the possibilities that Events DC, the sports and entertainment arm of the D.C. government, is considering for the land on which RFK Stadium, the Redskins’ former home, and the DC Armory currently sit.

Events DC will present ideas for six possible uses for the land at a meeting tonight. Two of the six would involve a new stadium for the Redskins. Another possibility is an arena that would replace the Verizon Center as the home of the Wizards and Capitals. According to the Washington Post, other projects being considered include “playing fields, a field house, a water park and a sports-and-entertainment complex that officials likened to Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.”

A stadium or basketball/hockey arena probably wouldn't open for at least another decade. The Redskins, Wizards, and Caps all have leases in their current facilities that expire in 2027. 

The site has long been considered by many to be an ideal spot for a new football stadium, with a Metro stop already is service and a location that makes for easy access by automobile from points all around the metropolitan area.

In addition, stadium concept plans recently unveiled by Dutch architecture firm Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) show an area around the stadium that can be used year round, including a moat around the stadium. Such a design could allay objections, voiced by residents of the area surrounding the stadium, to using the land to construct a building that would be used just 10 times a year.

But neighborhood opposition will remain and that is just one of several daunting obstacles that stand in the way of the Redskins once again playing in a stadium on the banks of the Anacostia River.

The first thing that has to happen is that the Redskins have to answer the phone when it rings with a 202 area code. According to the article in the Post the Redskins have not returned phone calls from Events DC. That is an important first step in the process.

Other issues that could keep a stadium at the site from becoming a reality are money—the Redskins and the NFL would contribute to the cost, which likely will be over $1 billion, but a good chunk of government money will be needed—and the name of the team. Mayor Muriel Bowser has expressed opposition to the name and any financial contributions that DC makes could be made contingent on the team changing the name. In addition, the U. S. Congress would have to approve an extension of the District’s lease on the land and it’s possible that any such approval will have a name-change string attached to it. 

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Redskins players concerned over COVID but focused on playing football

Redskins players concerned over COVID but focused on playing football

Redskins rookie wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden tested positive for the Coronavirus back in March. He fully recovered and the virus is not expected to impact his 2020 season whatsoever.

That might be the only thing Coronavirus won’t impact though.

NFL fans, and Redskins fans particularly, need to prepare for a weird, if not tumultuous, 2020 season. The NFL is admirably pushing forward with their 2020 season but that doesn’t mean there won’t be more players, coaches and staffers that test positive for COVID-19.

"We fully well expect that we will have positive cases that arise," NFL chief doctor Allen Sills said earlier this month.

"We think that this disease will remain endemic in society," Sills continued, "it shouldn't be a surprise that new positive cases arise."

Inevitability.

That’s the world the NFL will enter, eventually, when players, coaches and full staffs start to reconvene, none of which is unique to the NFL.

Coronavirus is everywhere. That’s the world. The NFL exists in that world.

Fans got to enjoy free agency and the NFL Draft, but those events largely took place in a virtual world. Little human interaction required.

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Actual football, however, requires significant human interaction.

The truth of inevitability is that eventually there will be more positive tests. For some players, that’s not particularly troubling.

“I really don’t have any concerns. I just want to get back to playing,” Redskins safety Landon Collins said last week.

Still, the focus remains on health and safety, for football players and for the country at large.

"First things first, you definitely want to be safe. But as far as moving forward, I mean I have full faith in our medical staff, so I mean, it’s really what they determine and what the NFL determines is safe for us to move forward," Redskins defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said.

"That’s really all I can think about, it’s just so much for one person to even try to comprehend that it’s not even worth it, you know?"

Allen is right. 

This virus and the international chaos it has created really are incomprehensible. It seems like there are few facts out there but plenty of rumors and noise.

In the football world, however, one thing seems clear. Players want to play.

"I’m definitely hoping to play the season which I think we will," Allen said, "I couldn’t imagine us not playing a season."

In the NFL it seems almost a certainty there will be a season. But with the inevitability of more positive COVID-19 tests, how that season will play out remains a mystery. 

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The NFL 'failed' with pass interference replay rule, NFL exec Troy Vincent says

The NFL 'failed' with pass interference replay rule, NFL exec Troy Vincent says

The NFL admits that it failed last year with a botched implementation of its pass interference replay reviews. That will have an impact on any new rules going forward. 

Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, told NBC’s Peter King on Friday that the league has learned its lesson: Rules will not be rushed. The NFL will do its best to figure out the real-world consequences before pushing changes that do more harm than good. 

That was clearly the case with the pass interference rule, which was applied so inconsistently last season that the Competition Committee didn’t even forward it for a vote to extend it at an owners’ meeting last month. Upcoming proposed rule changes on onsides kicks and the use of a sky judge – a member of the officiating crew who would be in the press box at a video monitor – are on the table during an NFL owners’ video conference meeting on May 28. 

“We cannot fail this year,” Vincent told King. “We saw, a year ago, when [the pass-interference rule] played out, starting with myself, what we put in place last year . . . Those outcomes were not good for professional football. Because we didn’t do the proper due diligence, it played out publicly. The last thing people should be talking about is the way the game is officiated. They [officials] should be faceless objects, managing and facilitating game flow.

“We failed. I’m first in line. I shared that [with league officials]. I failed, as the leader of that department. I failed. We cannot allow that to happen again. What did we learn from that? We’ve got to do our due diligence. You can’t rush and just shove something in there without knowing all the consequences. And we found that out last year, live and in action, publicly.”

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