Truth-tellers, liars and equivocators

Redskins fact check: Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff for Week 2 versus the Texans

September 19, 2010 - 03:53 PM
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Sam Huff, Sonny Jurgenson and Larry Michael
How accurate are these guys?

The Facts Machine took a run at fact checking the announcers during the Redskins' loss Sunday against the Houston Texas. I listened to the radio broadcasters — Hall-of-Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff, with Larry Michael doing play-by-play. Here are the results:

UPDATE, Sept. 20, 2:41 p.m.: Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog and Dave McKenna of Washington City Paper both have their own takes on Sam's confusion up today.

7:44 p.m. — And that's a ballgame, folks.

7:40 p.m. — Radio cuts to on-field interview too quickly to get instant analysis from Sonny and Sam. Disappointing.

7:39 p.m. — I know the ending, but I am eagerly anticipating Sonny and Sam's reactions.

7:27 p.m. — Huff raises the possibility of double-overtime.

7:26 p.m. — Sam Huff asks if the game will end if Gano misses the field goal. Michael, Jurgensen clear things up for him. Huff: "I don't know all these rules."

7:20 p.m. — Michael again has to clarify that Matt Turk used to play for the Redskins.

7:17 p.m. — After three hours, Sam and Sonny's voices are blending together. One of them just asked the following: "This is sudden death, isn't it?" (UPDATE: It's pretty clear, given his later confusion, that this was Sam.)

7:14 p.m. — After Texans wideout Kevin Walter makes a grab: Sam: "Walter? Is that the first time we've called his name tonight?" Larry: "He's made nine catches." Sam: "Where have I been?"

7:12 p.m. — One of Sonny or Sam (I couldn't tell which) floats the idea of calling an on-side kick to start overtime. Larry Michael is as respectful as he can while responding: "No."

7:08 p.m. — We have overtime.

7:06 p.m. — Larry Michael says "Dr. Andrews" is down on the field looking at Trent Williams' knee. Do the Redskins have James Andrews on retainer, just sitting on the sideline?

6:52 p.m. — Sonny, without ever using Matt Schaub's name: "Let me tell ya, this quarterback is a good quarterback." Yes, that's why he made the Pro Bowl last year.

6:45 p.m. — Michael mentions McNabb's frustrated smile after Galloway can't grab the long pass. Sonny: "Don't smile about it! Get off the field."

6:44 p.m. — The Redskins run an end-around with Moss. Michael calls it a reverse again.

6:41 p.m. — Huff is quite pleased with Fletcher's sack.

6:37 p.m. — Huff, who has been complaining about field goals all day, takes the block relatively well. "There's never any guarantees on that play," he says. That's undoubtedly true. Booth is very quiet. Huff, trying to be optimistic: "They just wanted to put a little excitement in it. Jurgensen: "They sure as hell did that."

6:25 p.m. — After Texans receiver slips while running a route, Sam says: "That's one of the best defenses we've had all day: the slip-and-fall."

6:21 p.m. — Booth was pretty jubilant a few minutes ago, now a nervousness seems to be setting in.

5:57 p.m. — Reginald Bazile asks on Twitter: When was the last time the Redskins scores 20 points in the first half? The answer: December 24, 2007, when they scored 22 in the first half on their way to beating the Vikings in Week 16.

5:44 p.m. — Huff suggests the Redskins abandon the 3-4. Larry: "It's going to be a 3-4, Sam. They're not going to change now." Huff thinks the Skins need to get London Fletcher involved more.

5:43 p.m. — Houston's Steve Slaton takes it out of the end zone on the kick return, is stopped at the 15. This proves Sam's point that Devin Thomas could have made it to the 20 "easy."

5:31 p.m. — The radio broadcast makes it to halftime.

5:18 p.m. — Michael makes the same reverse vs. end-around mistake. Huff declares the solution to Sellers' case of the drops is for the fullback to take his gloves off. Sonny: "That has nothing to do with it."

4:54 p.m. — Larry Michael makes the oldest announcer mistake in the book. He says there was a "fake reverse" on McNabb's long pass to Galloway. It was a fake end-around.

4:51 p.m. — Just want to point out again that the radio broadcast is several minutes behind the television broadcast. Right now, the Redskins are in the red zone on TV and the radio broadcast is still in commercial.

4:48 p.m. — Michael mentions former Redskins punter Matt Turk is the holder for the Texans. Huff says he knew there was a reason he never liked Turk. Michael: "He's just a punter, Sam." Huff: "That's why I don't like punters." I'm as confused as you are.

4:33 p.m. — Let's give Sonny some credit. He said during the pre-game he thought the Skins would try to use Cooley deep over the middle. McNabb just found him for a 35 yard gain.

4:27 p.m. — Sam said a few moments ago Clinton Portis prefers running to the right, and is better when he does so. I'm trying to find some statistics on this. Anyone know where I could?

4:21 p.m. — Sonny said the Redskins' opening play succeeded because the Texans wouldn't expect a pass on first down. That's a bit of an outdated perception. During the 2008 season, teams were passing on first down 47 percent of the time. I'll look for an updated statistic from last year.

4:17 p.m. — Sonny says Devin Thomas would have taken the kick-off out to the 20 "without any effort." I'm pretty sure it's not that easy.

4:16 p.m. — And the radio (at least streaming online) is behind the television broadcast by several minutes.

4:15 p.m. — And we're off.

4:06 p.m. — The booth starts off well during the pre-game show. When discussing the last time the Redskins and Texans faced off, they said then-Quarterback Mark Brunell set an NFL record by completing 22 consecutive passes. That's true. Brunell still holds the mark, which was tied by then-Texans Quarterback David Carr later in 2006.

3:52 p.m. — The Facts Machine is safely ensconced at TBD headquarters and prepared to being this bold experiment in fact-checking.


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