Thinking Out Loud

In an effort to spare my lovely bride from the banjo-playing donkey that starts up in her head every time I start droning on about phone battery issues and how I want to sort out my cellular situation, I am going to attempt to get it all down in print here.  Love you, sugar ;]

* Battery is still at the forefront of my mind because iOS 7 on the Verizon iPhone 5 isn’t getting any better.  Ars Technica repeated their tests yet again and saw only a slight improvement when going to an AT&T phone, and no improvement when disabling cellular connectivity or Background App Refresh altogether.  They point out that the new iPhones are not that much better – there’s just something about the iPhone 5 and later that doesn’t work well with their looped-Safari-browsing test.  Which test, as they say, makes up for what it lacks in reality with what it provides in reproducibility and consistency across devices.

* In my week out of town, I always had the charger pack attached to the phone, but I only had to enable it once.  For the most part, I wasn’t hitting the phone as hard as usual, especially because I was doing all of the driving when I wasn’t tailgating hard or stuck on a plane with no network. I ended up only flipping the switch on the battery pack once, but I also routinely ran the phone below 20% before plugging in for the night.  Fortunately, we slept in a house with a Verizon tower in the back yard pumping out a strong 5 bars, so it could have been much worse.

* Before I left town, I hard-wiped the phone and reinstalled iOS 7, setting up from scratch with no restore from backup. While out and about, I upgraded to 7.0.2.  I also turned off all of the following: screen animation, Siri raise-to-speak, background app refresh, auto-brightness (set to about 33%), Bluetooth, all system location services save for compass calibration and cell network search, Frequent Locations, and iTunes Store auto-update.  The only apps with Location Services enabled are the ones that need it – transit apps, weather apps, and a couple of location-aware journaling apps like Instagram.  In short, I’ve more or less disabled almost all the new feature in iOS 7; no slick 2.5D parallax view or self-updating apps or traffic alerts in the Today screen for me.

* With this setup, my phone dropped from 98% battery to 88% battery in a stretch where it only played podcasts for an hour and a half (the actual elapsed time was longer, but I didn’t play continuously).  In this iPod mode (but with networking still alive), the battery dropped 1% per nine minutes.  After I ran out of podcasts, I disconnected the headphones and only used it to check the usuals – Reeder, Instagram, mail, the like – and in 14 minutes of active use dropped the battery another 6%.  Worth noting: an hour of audio playback in airplane mode while traveling only consumed 1-2% of battery.

* The original iPhone review by iLounge found serious issues with battery life in low-LTE areas. In places with only two bars of signal, they found battery life to be effectively halved. Given that I can’t seem to find more than three bars of Verizon LTE most places, that probably doesn’t bode well.  I have the T-Mobile nano-SIM, and will probably set it up in a day or two to see what happens when I try GSM with no LTE on the same hardware.

* It’s not lost on me that taking the iPhone from 1136×640 to 1280×720 would mean an approximately 25% growth in screen acreage…which conceivably also means a 25% jump in size of battery.  That alone might be a reason to wait for a notional iPhone 6.

* Things left to try: getting through the day in WiFi-only mode (no cellular networking at all), turning off LTE altogether, seeing what happens with the T-Mobile SIM.

Why I Hate To Fly

There was a time when I actually enjoyed air travel.  Even after September 2001, when I started needing two or three drinks before and after I got on the bird, it still wasn’t the worst thing. There was the excitement of jetBlue, after all, and besides I had to fly if I wanted to go to California to see my girl every now and then.  It was manageable.

Not anymore.  Having just returned home from yet another two-legged flight through a hub, I have come to some realizations, and they are as follows:


* There are no good hubs.  Chicago gets blizzards, Houston gets hurricanes, Denver gets ice and weird atmospherics because there’s not enough air up there, and Atlanta is, well, Atlanta.  When I was back and forth from Dulles to the Bay, it was eminently manageable because it was a direct flight.  But if I have to change planes and go up and down twice, that’s too much.

* Flying has become like everything else: as long as you have tons of money, it’s no problem.  You can buy your way out of bag limits, you can buy your way out of the ritual goosing by the TSA, you can buy your way to the front of the line to board, you can buy your way into human-sized seating accommodations.  And you have to, because almost everything is monetized now.  You actually have to pay to sit in the exit row, for crying out loud – I suspect it’s only a matter of time before they say that they’re out of overhead space, so you’ll need to check your remaining carry-on bags, and whip out a credit card reader so you can pay for not having the foresight to realize that there’s never enough carry-on space overhead.

* There is no non-dickish way to put your seat back.  And as soon as you are a dick and put your seat back, I literally can’t reach into the seatback pocket any longer.  To the douche with the puberty-stache and his ditz girlfriend with her Louis Vuitton bag who couldn’t wait until we stopped climbing to put your head in my lap: I hope you give each other herpes.

* You don’t go aboard the Embraer Regional Jet, you put it on like a jacket.  Nevertheless, that tiny little thing is a superior flying experience to an overstuffed 737.  It’s impossible not to feel like you’re being cattle-hauled.  Southwest is worse.  This is one time where fascism really works: work out the boarding formula, issue a number based on seating, and line up and board as you’re told.

* There’s not a lot of premium for being a competent flyer.  You’re going to be stuck with all the amateur hour people who only ever fly on alternate holidays annually, which is why I won’t fly at the holidays anymore. If you had to pass some sort of test on “am I capable of being a civilized passenger” and could then fly exclusively on Virgin America and it would go where you needed it to, life would be amazing.

* The smartphone was the worst thing ever to happen to flying, because now people think that it’s a Stalinist-level government oppression to be made to turn the phone off.   The whole “turn your phone on once we’re taxiing on the ground so you can call for your pickup in this post-9/11 no-meeting-at-the-gate world” has been transformed by the iPhone.  Now the aforementioned douchebag can be checking his Instagram before the wheels even hit the ground.  It even appears the FAA is on the verge of shrugging and letting all non-transmitting electronics run wide open all flight. Not that it’ll be enough for people who just have to be allowed to talk and text in the middle of takeoff.  The closest I ever came to a legit air-rage event was in 2002 or 2003 when the woman behind me was still talking on her phone as the engines roared up to 100% and we started speeding up to take off; had I not been strapped in I’m sure I would have attempted to seize and smash the phone.


In short, flying has become a concentrated dose of everything that’s wrong with living in America in the 21st century.  No wonder it’s gotten to be too much to bear.  At this point, unless physically impossible – think Hawaii or London or Tokyo – I will take the train over the plane 100% of the time, given the time and opportunity. But that would mean taking rail seriously, which hasn’t happened outside the Northeast since the 20th Century Limited went out of service…

5 Years On

Today in 2008, the first Android phone launched – the G1, built by HTC and sold via T-Mobile.  It was, in many ways, the first legitimate challenger to the iPhone.  It was interesting, at a time when the dominant smartphone platform was still Blackberry and when Google’s “don’t be evil” could still be taken sort of seriously.

Today in 2013, Blackberry is selling itself to a Canadian private-equity firm for pennies on the loonie in an attempt to buy time to gather itself and focus entirely on enterprise. It’s possible they could become a specialty maker of highly-secure email devices for the enterprise market.  It’s more likely that they’ll be shut down and sold off for parts, especially some potentially valuable patents surrounding push email.

Android has basically been a carrier’s dream. It ended Apple’s sudden chokehold on the “consumer smartphone” and allowed OEMs to offer their own “good enough” smartphone experience, while simultaneously letting carriers enforce their own requirements in ways Apple wouldn’t allow.  Proprietary skins, un-deletable apps, a Verizon logo on every flat surface – all possible with Android.  More importantly, however, the need to clear both the manufacturer and the carrier created the biggest obstacle to using Android for me and countless others: one has to buy an Android phone knowing full well that it may be the newest version of Android that phone will ever be able to run.

By contrast, all the non-hardware-specific features of iOS 7 are available on the iPhone 4 I’m using as a tackling dummy.  Obviously I want most of the exotic location services turned off to spare a three-year-old battery any further trauma, and I certainly wouldn’t want to use it as a daily driver, but it still works.  By contrast, try loading up a Nexus One – it caps out at the Gingerbread version of Android, which is currently two major releases behind with a third in the works.  It would be the equivalent of this iPhone 4 being left behind with iOS 5 – which actually wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but anyway.

But through fits and starts, it’s gotten past “good enough” – and with a dedicated in-house manufacturer in Motorola, we’re finally starting to see some serious potential from integration of hardware, software and services.  Scary, sure, but also the existence proof that such an integrated package is possible.  Next up: figuring how to do it without giving everything you are to the Beast of Mountain View.

But hey, you don’t get innovation without somebody to push you.  So from Donut on through Kit Kat – happy birthday to the whole dessert cart.


Well, it’s not just me: Ars Technica has reproduced a bug (ExtremeTech link for conciseness) that demonstrates that the Verizon iPhone 5 is absolutely pummeled by iOS 7.  Battery life is decreased by over one-third in normal use, which has been borne out by my experience in the last couple of days of using it – normally my mixed use projects out to about 9 hours of email, RSS, podcast playback, Instagram, maybe a little Twitter, maybe some texting.  Yesterday, it was below 15% after five hours.

Needless to say, this is an untenable proposition.  On days when I’m at my desk all day, I can just leave it plugged in, which is fine – but on days when I’m out and about, the phone stands to be deceased completely by 6 PM.  And quite frankly, it’s 2013 – I fully expect to be able to go from waking up to turning in without having to plug my phone in.  I was more or less able to do that on the iPhone 4 and 4S, and on the 5 until now, so it’s entirely possible without having to go over to one of those Android phones with the 3000 mAh battery.


* I was able to buy a nano-SIM from T-Mobile for 99 cents, which should arrive next week.  At that point, it will set me back only $3/day to test out how my unlocked iPhone 5 works with T-Mob’s network here – no LTE, certainly, nor 1700 Mhz coverage, but at the very least I should be able to ascertain whether Verizon carrier settings or CDMA technological limitations or LTE power consumption are to blame.

* My phone and service are provided by work.  Given that it’s been only 10 months, it’s not likely that they’d look kindly on replacing the thing already, especially if this is something that can be fixed in software. Also, with the pace of purchasing, I suspect there could be a software fix out before a new phone/service could be ordered and delivered by work.  Traditionally, the first update for a new iOS version arrives between 3 and 6 weeks after the initial launch, so there should be a widely-available 7.0.1 (actually more like 7.0.2, since 7.0.1 is the iPhone 5S/5C version) by the end of October.  No chance work could deliver a new phone by Halloween, even if I were willing to go with a 5C…or something else.

*This is where I get intrigued again by the Moto X, and the prospect of somehow obtaining an unlocked one which I could then throw on AIO Wireless for $55 a month (less $25 a month work subsidy for use of a personal phone…effectively giving me my old AT&T service back for a dollar a day with no contract) is tempting.  But even setting aside the very poor camera on the Moto X, I’m tied to enough of the Apple ecosystem that shifting would be painful. I don’t know how much of the Google ecosystem I would be obligated to, and I don’t know how difficult it would be to keep using my existing music supply despite the greatly reduced proportions of DRM.

* AIO Wireless throttles their LTE to 8 Mbps.  That’s not necessarily a deal breaker – in my experience, I can’t beat that on Verizon’s LTE without having at least 4 bars of LTE signal (only once this week have I cracked 8 Mbps with less than 4 bars) and given T-Mob’s buildout of HSPA+ I might be able to trump that speed without even having to rely on LTE. My test-dummy for T-Mob prepaid service has heretofore been an unlocked iPhone 4, so I’ve been stuck with traditional 3G speeds (not to deny them credit for having 1900 Mhz 3G service most places around here).  I’m very curious to see what a Faux-G connection is like.

* Looking at the Moto X, I’m wondering whether Apple might not try to bump the iPhone 6 a little bit.  A move from 1138×640 to 1280×720 would preserve the same screen ratio (16:9) while increasing the screen size to 4.5 inches at the same DPI, and if you somehow cut the side bezel out altogether the increased width of the phone would be negligible. The old Android trick of increasing the screen size to make the phone bigger to get a bigger battery might seem like a concession of defeat for iOS purists, but it might get a real-true all-day phone while simultaneously shutting up the “Apple needs to make a GREAT BIG PHONE OR THEY ARE DOOOOOOOMED” crowd in the tech press.

* I’m out of town next week, which is no time to be doing anything drastic or rash with one’s phone.  I’m seriously considering a hard wipe/restore to iOS 6 for the duration.

7 Out

In retrospect, it’s almost as if Apple was specifically offering a middle finger to everyone who was deriding iOS as old and stale.  Here is a new version of the OS, with a completely new look…and almost totally identical functionality.  My June assessment stands:

This isn’t an overhaul of the design, this is a re-skinning for the sake of appeasing people who were bored of the old UI. The underlying functionality is the same – everything is where it was, this is literally just new chrome – and I don’t know if it’s just the newness, but it feels challenging in a way that recalls the move from Mac OS 9 to OS X.  And given what a radical change that was, it’s a bigger conceptual leap than should be necessary from iOS 6 to 7.”

If you’re looking for some sort of radical departure, forget about it.  There are plenty of tiny tweaks that are nice – the hours-ahead-or-behind in the clock, the scale-bar and compass on Maps – but only the Android-inspired Control Center (long overdue) and the WebOS-inspired app switcher with easy-swipe quit (badly needed and useful) are really significant.  Everything else is a wash at best, and some things – like the removal of the actual weather widget and quick-Tweet button in the Notification center – are actually a step backward.

The real innovation relies on hardware, at this point.  The A7/M7 combination will actually make the location-based apps (and the Google Now-Lite functions in the Today pane) useful without destroying battery life, while the fingerprint authentication opens up new possibilities…but those are things that require a 5S.  When they trickle down to the notional revised-5C next year, and presumably remain in the notional iPhone 6, there’ll be enough of a critical mass of devices with those features for software to really start exploiting them.  At that point, you can imagine a greater paradigm shift in UI and functionality.

For the most part, though, the fact is that iOS is good enough already, and has been pretty much since iOS 5.  It’s hard as hell to sell “it’s already plenty good”, though, especially in Silicon Valley, so here we are, with a fistful of tweaks and a shiny new look.  At this point, the number one thing I would kill for is more battery life, which is why I’m most intrigued by the prospect of an AIO Wireless SIM and a GSM-based iPhone 5C…or a developer-edition Moto X.  And it’s been a long, long time since any Android device could claim equal curb appeal with the new iPhone.  It’s not at all lost on me that the unlocked dev Moto X is the same cost as a contract-free 32 GB iPhone 5C.

12 and counting

Another dozen dead – possibly more – because letting nuts have guns and slaughter people every six months is the price we pay for freedom.

This stopped being funny a long time ago.

Also, it’s on days like this that I really miss DC.  I guess being part of the DMV will never leave me, which makes sense given that I was rebuilt from nothing there.  It’s an affinity that wholly trumps “the South” in any meaningful sense.

The Asshole Problem

In Mountain View, the platform for the VTA light rail is on the northbound side of the Caltrain tracks, between Castro Street and the Caltrain platform.  And in the last couple of years, the afternoon commute hours have seen it turn into a straight-up bike boulevard.  Anytime between 5 and 6 PM on a weekday, one can watch bicycle after bicycle whizzing down the platform, directly beneath the multiple signs saying “No biking, skateboarding or rollerblading on the platform.”

Here’s the thing: the light rail platform doesn’t turn into a bike boulevard in the morning, as far as I’ve observed.  Only in the afternoon – when the bike traffic is headed for the northbound train, back to San Francisco. And of necessity, that bike traffic must be coming from the other side of Central Expressway, or the VTA platform would be out of the way. Where reposes a certain Internet search giant.  In short, it’s almost a lock that the majority of these malfeasant cyclists are tech employees headed back to San Francisco after work.

So why do I point this out? Partly to shame VTA for their utter indifference – an agency that runs their light rail system with performance and efficiency more suited to Thomas the Tank Engine – but more to illustrate the same kind of thinking that led to one Pax Dickinson being catapulted into a swamp by Business Insider the morning after the technology Internet press absolutely went in on his outrageously unprofessional and dicktastic Twitter account.

There is a problem in Silicon Valley.  In a way it’s always been here – for decades, this has been an industry largely populated by the socially inept, the Asperger’s-diagnosed, the kind of people who retreat into technology because they’re not well-suited for the real world.  Not coincidentally, it was overwhelmingly male, and developed the sort of “no girls allowed” thinking one might associate with, say, Dungeons and Dragons night in 5th grade.

That’s changed this time out.  In the current bubble, the “brogrammer” phenomenon is reaching critical mass.  The kinds of big swinging dicks that would inevitably have gone into big finance in the 1980s are all switching their Stanford major from business to computer science, and along the way, the usual sort of paste-eater who populates the industry is starting to decide that if he gels up his hair, throws on some aviators, dresses like a Jersey Shore understudy and talks like a Tucker Max message board, he too (it’s always he) can be cool and awesome and live the big life.

Time was, being somebody who was incapable of taking other people into consideration was a flaw.  It was something to be frowned upon, something you had to work to correct, a source of embarrassment if not outright shame.  And yet, sometime since the last bubble, it was apparently decided that being a complete and utter douchebag was not a bad thing, but was in fact something to aspire to.  Something that showed how “edgy” and “disruptive” you were, how you were free from the chains of “political correctness” (which, in my experience, usually means “manners”) and how you were so great and powerful that you didn’t have to play by the normal rules of society.  Somewhere along the way, being an utter asshole ceased to be a socially and career-limiting move.

Thing is, Larry Ellison built Oracle into a world-class database company despite being regarded as the biggest swine in the Valley.  Steve Jobs made an incredible comeback at Apple only after being humbled by ten years in the wilderness and despite the temperament of a French film director. Tony Stark is a fictional character. Successful people who are jerks tend to accomplish this success despite being jerks.  If all it took to be wildly successful was to just be an asshole, Wall Street wouldn’t have had to beg Uncle Sam to pick up the tab in 2008 and Pax Dickinson’s boss wouldn’t be permanently banned from the securities industry for insider trading and deceptive practices.

So, dear millennial bros of Silicon Valley, take it to heart before you’re too old to check yourself: nothing you bring to the table justifies what you take off it. It’s not okay to be racist. It’s not okay to be sexist. It’s not okay to be an utter asshole. You live in a society, and taking a big shit on the basic rules of decent human interaction doesn’t make you clever, or revolutionary, or special – it makes you a dick.

And try walking your fucking bike on the goddamn train platform.

24 hours later

I can’t stop thinking about the similarities between the Moto X and the iPhone 5C.  Brightly-colored polycarbonate cases around last year’s top-of-the-line internals.  And the iPhone still undercuts the Moto X by half price on contract.

As predicted, Wall Street is savaging Apple’s stock – but then, nobody goes to a stockbroker for anything more complicated than rape jokes and tacky accessories (of which more later).  Certainly not for actual insight on technology.  The fact of the matter is this: the modern smartphone is good enough already.  Thus Motorola’s willingness to ship the Moto X as equipped.  An 8-megapixel camera is plenty good.  300dpi on the display is plenty good.  16 GB of onboard storage is enough for most anyone in a world where people are migrating to Spotify and Rdio and Netflix.

In the past, Apple would always use last year’s model as the $99 phone, and the two-year-old model as the free-on-contract phone.  This time, there’s a new device in the $99 spot – and it’s basically an iPhone 5 that costs Apple less to make.  The $99 option has a much higher profit margin for Apple than previous iterations of the one-down phone.  So it sort of boggles the mind that the stock would slump…but then, it’s all about Wall Street’s expectations, not those of customers or tech specialists, isn’t it?

Everyone keeps crowing about how Apple needs to produce a dirt-cheap phone for developing markets – conveniently forgetting the fundamental truth of almost forty years of Apple Computer – they don’t do dirt-cheap. Period, paragraph.  So are they just abandoning that space?  No.  Why do you think they’ve launched a trade-in program? Why do you think the iPhone 4 (not the 4S) is still on sale in China? Why do you think iOS 7 still supports the iPhone 4 with every feature that doesn’t require specialized hardware (i.e. Siri and AirDrop and parallax view)?  Because the refurb iPhone 4 is the dirt-cheap phone for developing markets.  Save the bits, replace the battery and the cracked front glass, and boom, ready to go and for far less than building a new phone.

Don’t let the Auburn degree fool you, folks: Tim Cook is smart.  And like God, or the Cylons (but unlike Ronald D Moore as it turns out), he’s got a plan.  Look back at what a “disappointment” the iPhone 5 was last year and decide who you’d rather bet with.

When September Never Ends

We’re still in the shadow of where those towers ought to be.

If you want proof, consider what President Obama was pushing for until last night.  A Middle Eastern country with chemical weapons, using them against a civilian population, with documented proof, and an extremely limited response involving virtually no risk of American life.  Hell, even the French were on-side.  And yet, overwhelmingly, the country says no.  Part of that is down to Obama Derangement on the right, which even now is pivoting back toward “ATTACK NOW” ever since the vote was put on hold in favor of the Russian initiative.  But part of it is just war fatigue – we’ve been down this precise road ten years ago.  With more boots on the ground and less proof of the weapons.  And it came an absolute cropper.

I don’t think we could have gone into Iraq without September 11.  Afghanistan was necessary – we were attacked, the leadership of our attackers was in Afghanistan, the Afghan government wouldn’t give them up, and quite frankly we should have been arming the Northern Alliance long before the Taliban took control of the entire country in the mid-90s.  I remember hearing about their final push on NPR and thinking “this cannot possibly end well,” and I was right.

But once we broke the seal, there was no stopping Team Bush from trying again.  I don’t know how much of it was some sort of Freudian fixation to out-do Daddy, but we dropped everything in Afghanistan to hit Iraq, which is why we’re still in Afghanistan and why it took until 2011 to kill Osama bin Laden.  And by the time it was over, the public didn’t want to go to war ever again.  It’s not the best reason to be anti-war – because you’re tired of doing it – but it’ll do, by and large.

Because that’s the other legacy of September 11: because of Iraq, we’re sick and tired of intervening in the world.  Guilt over inaction in Rwanda spurred action in the Balkans, but very few people were behind our air support of the revolution in Libya, and nobody has said a mumbling word about involving ourselves in Egypt, and it’s been two years of looking anxiously at Syria but Ed Earl Brown sure as hell doesn’t want to send troops.  Pundits talk about “neo-isolationist” Americans, when in fact they probably just want to shut the window, pull the blinds, and stay out of other people’s business for a while, for better or worse.

The one reason this would change is if we got hit again, on our own soil.  And Obama knows this, and this is probably why the NSA chugged right along uninterrupted, doing the same thing they’d done ever since Rob Watson was interviewing me on a Georgetown street corner for BBC’s coverage of the Total Information Awareness initiative.  And Obama let it go on, because he knew that some people will piss and moan about privacy (in some cases, even rightly so) but that another September 11 would be catastrophic, so best not to take the chance.

Twelve years on, that might just be the legacy of September 11 and its aftermath: “best not to take the chance.”

The Monday Night Implosion

Very little in the NFL is new.  The much-vaunted Wildcat was basically a re-engineering of the single wing, the oldest “offense” in pro football, and you can see some of its concepts in the zone-read as well. The concept of a fast offense in the NFL is not new either. Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Sam Wyche in Cincinnati and Marv Levy in Buffalo and Jerry Glanville in Houston and Atlants were all experimenting with no-huddle offenses predicated on the quick pass.  And when the Buffalo Bills were going to four straight Super Bowls and winning game after game, it was routine that they would lose the battle for time of possession.  The offense would only have the ball 29, 28 minutes – but they would still win, because their possessions were quick and ended with touchdowns rather than punting the ball away.

Last night, in the first quarter, the Philadephia Eagles held the ball for eleven and a half minutes.

Think about that. Even a bad Redskins team playing a sloppy first quarter would still be expected to have the ball for 5 or 6 minutes.  Instead, the offense got the ball for three and a half minutes out of fifteen, largely because they turned it over three times in the first seven offensive plays. Ironically, the first Washington score of the game didn’t do them any favors – a peculiar pick-six that gave the Skins a TD…and sent the defense right back out on the field.  The offense didn’t even get a crack at the ball until halfway through the quarter, whereupon they shat the bed as described.

That’s why I’m having a bit of a tough time buying all the way into the Eagles’ exciting new offense.  They were handed a gift: a team with an offense that couldn’t shoot straight and a defense that started the second quarter pre-gassed for convenience.  A more able defense, especially one not starting two rookies in the secondary, might not struggle the same way.  It’s going to be interesting to see how it looks going into the teeth of a motivated and aggressive Chicago defense, for instance, or taking on the Niners or Seahawks (who may be playing their own game of keep away).

But even correcting for the ineptitude of the opponent, it’s pretty obvious that Chip Kelly’s Oregon blur is going to be just fine in the NFL, at least at the beginning.  As tape accumulates and teams get accustomed to the offense, professional defenses will almost certainly start to catch up – walk the safeties up a little, play a hard nickel, everybody stays in their lanes and exploits the fact that every NFL defense has lateral speed that many if not most college teams don’t.  Offenses like this will ultimately live or die on the quality of personnel – Lesean McCoy and Desean Jackson are the real deal and no fooling, but whether Michael Vick is prepared to take a regular beating over the course of seventy offensive snaps a game – at this point in his career especially – will ultimately dictate how far it goes.  I’m sure Chip Kelly is looking back toward the Pacific Northwest and wondering whether Marcus Mariota might be prepared to go pro after this season.

But for connoisseurs of Washington pro football, last night was yet another ridiculous disintegration under the lights of Monday Night Football. The closest thing to a positive you can take away is that Chris Cooley sounds fresh, polished and professional on the radio broadcast team.  He’ll be fine – and I know that Sam Huff basically can’t go anymore, and it’s for the best, but it was like knowing you’d lost your grandpa. The absence in the booth was palpable, and it’s lost on no one that Sonny Jurgensen is the last man standing from the WJFK glory days of “Sonnysamanfrank”. And another piece of the past recedes in the distance…