Tag Archives: Washington Redskins

Jerry Smith: A Football Life looks like another must see

I was a bit surprised to learn over the weekend that the NFL Network documentary show “A Footabll Life” was going to feature former Washington Redskins great, Jerry Smith. Pat of my surprise was that I had not heard of it sooner, but I was also surprised it was being done at all. DC Sports Bog mentioned it yesterday too.

Smith, whose career came before my time, was one of the best tight ends in the NFL during the late 1960s and early 1970s. I hadn’t heard of him until much later when it was revealed in The Post that he was dying of AIDS. Though his sexuality was specifically not mentioned, even at a young age, I caught the subtext.

There are a number of clips up on the NFL Films blog. Might as well start with the trailer. The upshot of the doc — many of his teammates suspected or knew that Smith was gay, but accepted him as a teammate and friend. Here’s the NFL Network description of the episode:

”A Football Life” – Jerry Smith – Almost 50 years ago, a young tight end named Jerry Smith joined the Washington Redskins. After 13 seasons on the team, Smith retired, but not before making two Pro Bowls, one All-Pro team, and playing in the Super Bowl. He set an NFL record with 60 receiving touchdowns, the most ever by a tight end (that record stood for 26 years). Smith was also gay, something that caused him to live a life in constant fear and tension.

I expect there to be more from The Post in the coming days. Long-time editor, George Solomon, was then a writer who broke Smith having AIDS.

Four clips are now on youtube:

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Redskins vs. Falcons history, the Seat Cushion Game

After the aberration of 2012, this year Washingtonians were reminded that cheering for the Redskins is more nostalgia for the distant past than current events. So, with a game against the Atlanta Falcons coming up this weekend, I present (once again) The Seat Cushion Game!

Gerald Riggs had just scored to finish off the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the playoffs. The seat Mobil sponsored cushions flew from all sides of the stadium onto the field. The next week the Skins walloped the Detroit Lions before giving the game ball to the great Glenn Brenner, who was dying of a brain tumor. Three weeks later, they dominated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI. I have more details about it from last year’s Skins vs. Falcons preview, a game we watched until the Nationals playoff game against the St. Louis Cardinals came on.

Meanwhile, some #hotsprotstakes on the current burgundy & gold situation:

Oh all the problems facing the Skins, the quarterback is what, 5th biggest problem? The lines stink, the coaching is poor, the special teams play as if the opposition is highly radioactive and of course the owner at the top. But you know, blame the second year QB coming off an injury, that’s the biggest problem facing the team.

The take-down of the Skins by Spencer Hall on SB Nation was rather spectacular.

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This Sunday – 4 NFL games and a winter storm for a 235 mile stretch of I-95

This Sunday, at 1 p.m. in an approximately 235 miles span of Interstate 95, there are four NFL games taking place, each located within 2 miles of the East Coast’s main highway:

Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Redskins, Fex Field, Landover, Md.
Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.
Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pa.
Oakland Raiders at New York Jets, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.


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There is also a winter storm warning, in particular the D.C. region. From Capital Weather Gang – Winter storm watch issued for much of D.C. area Sunday into Monday:

The onset of precipitation across the area is most likely between mid-morning and noon with the precipitation probably starting as snow but changing to sleet and or freezing rain by late afternoon (in most spots)…

…Snow is likely for the commute to FedEx field (and for the Ravens game in Baltimore) with the snow changing to sleet and freezing rain during the game. Sleet or freezing rain is likely for the drive home.

The storm will also hit Philadelphia and the New York area, though seemingly not as hard around game time. Accuweather says:

While a large amount of snow is not expected, the city could receive its first inch or two of snow of the season, joining some of the northern and western suburbs from Friday night’s storm.

Warmer air is forecast to move in during the storm Sunday evening through Monday, causing a changeover to a wintry mix, then rain from the coast to inland areas.

In short, travel on the I-95 corridor could be pretty tough on Sunday, though most major Northeast Corridor traffic bypasses Philadelphia via the New Jersey Turnpike. On the other hand, MetLife Stadium is directly adjacent to the Turnpike. FedEx Field can be bypassed by using the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (unless you are a truck) and the opposite side of the Capital Beltway. M&T Bank Stadium is right near the terminus of the B/W Parkway, but the Harbor Tunnel Thruway provides a bypass too.

There is also a New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns game in Foxborough, but the forecast there is sunny and 34°.

I don’t know how much these games impact I-95 in general (an interesting question), but whatever that is could be magnified this Sunday.

Yes, I’m aware I-95 isn’t technically continuous between Pennsylvania and New Jersey

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Vintage video: 1946 Redskins vs. Giants in color

A great find on youtube, a film (in color!) of the Oct. 13 1946 game between the Washington Redskins and New York Football Giants from Griffith Stadium in D.C. Sammy Baugh led Washington a 24-14 win over New York (Pro Football Reference boxscore).

The half-time show and other festivities get more attention than the first game. A second game, featuring a trip to Philadelphia’s Shibe Park for an Eagles game, is also featured. Even weirder is a 1947 game against the Green Bay Packers in Baltimore.

The narration is by Harry Wiese, long-time Skins radio play-by-play man and future owner of the AFL’s New York Titans.

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Flashback: 1999 Redskins clinch NFC East, defeat 49ers


Here’s the end of the 1999 Washington Redskins at San Francisco 49ers game that clinched the NFC East for the visitors. Brad Johnson! Albert Connell! Michael Westbrook! Larry Centers! Irving Fryar? Joe Theismann praising head coach Norv Turner and owner Dan Snyder…

The video starts with 7:01 left in the game and Washington down, 20-13. Johnson led them back to a 26-20 overtime win and thus FedEx Field’s first playoff game.

The second playoff game was this past January….

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Redskins vs. 49ers Q&A and prediction with Tom Bridge

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Redskins vs. 49ers Q&A and prediction with Tom Bridge

Shotgun Formation -- 4th Quarter Niners v. Redskins FedEx Field Landover (MD) Sunday November 6, 2011
Photo by flickr user Ron Cogswell, used under CC 2.0

Tonight the Washington Redskins host the San Francisco 49ers in really cold Raljon. I’ve invited Tom Bridge of welovedc.com to answer a Q&A about his Niners. Begin!

WFY: The San Francisco 49ers came so close to coming back in Super Bowl XLVII, but couldn’t get that sixth ring – how tough was it? Was it any tougher since they were playing a team kind of near where you currently live?

TB: You know what hurt more than losing the Super Bowl? Losing the NFC Championship the year before. Maybe that was proximity, as we were home in California for that one, but I minded losing that game to the Giants more than I minded losing to the Ravens. Maybe it was the overhyped Harbowl side of it, but I found myself less bummed at their loss in the big game than I did in the year before.

It wasn’t tougher since it was the Ravens. While I’m not a Ravens fan, one of my favorite folks in DC is a huge Ravens fan, and several of my clients are Ravens fans, and they were over the moon to get the title. I was happy for them, knowing that triumph from earlier in life. Thinking about it, though, we’re coming up on 20 years since a team that I back has won their respective championship. 2014 will mark 20 years for the 49ers, and 25 years for the Oakland A’s, my only two teams to ever have done it.

WFY: Are the 49ers experiencing a letdown following Super Bowl XLVII? Is Colin Kapernick having a sophomore slump or has the league adjusted to read option quarterbacks in general?

TB: This hasn’t been the greatest season for the Niners, but I think it has more to do with excellent intelligence on the part of opposing teams, and a weaker receiving corps in the red and gold. I wanted the Niners to make a move for a top name wideout, and instead we got a middle tier one in Manningham. Crabtree’s been hurt, which has limited Kap’s options, which makes defending against the formerly potent offense into a more containable challenge.

WFY: The 49ers prime coincided with the Raiders Los Angeles years, so I imagine the part of Northern California you were from was solidly scarlet and gold. Did the silver and black make inroads after the Raiders went home to Oakland?

TB: Absolutely, and in so doing, destroyed the Oakland Coliseum. Oakland always loved the Raiders – less after the move, doubtless – and their return to the East Bay was a homecoming despite it all. I knew a few die hard Raiders fans growing up, but the priests at St. James said prayers for Joe Montana, not Al Davis.

WFY: Tangentially related, do you want to see the Rams back in LA for the sake of the rivalry?

TB: Could care less.

WFY: Succinctly, you co-own and operate a web site called “We Love DC” and have adopted the local home teams save one – the Washington Redskins. Why not?

TB: Three reasons:

1) Dan Snyder strikes me as a comic book villain. The over-management, then the mis-management, and now the bewildering under-management of the front office has me wondering what it’s like in that squirrelly little head of his.

2) The racist name. My opposition to the Washington Football Team’s name is long-standing, and it’s absolutely because I consider their name an offensive slur. I’ve heard the history, I’ve heard the claims of “80 years of history” but it all seems to pale to the offensiveness of the name. I’m not a Washington football fan, nor will my son be one. He can root for my wife’s Steelers, my 49ers, or even the Jacksonville Jaguars, just not the local outfit. But, kids have a way of making their own path, and while I’ll do my best to steer him toward the Caps, United and Nationals, I won’t be making that effort when it comes to the NFL.

3) The rampant bizarro fandom the football team have. I’m fairly sure that RG3 could be caught with a live boy, a dead girl, a goat, pictures of him assaulting the President while mooning an old lady, and the local media would shrug it all off, and the talk radio circuit would praise RG3 for being open with his sexuality, happy he was standing up to power, and that the goat was really just asking for it. Football fandom in this town is cultish, weird, and not just a little bit upsetting when you think about the injury toll.

WFY: I will not suggest that there is a rivalry between tonight’s opponents, but there were some memorable playoff games during the first Joe Gibbs era. Which one sticks out the most? I remember the NFC Championship in 1984 pretty well — that was a bogus call against Ronnie Lott, but in a since deleted “America’s Greatest Games” video I watched, Bill Walsh said it propelled the 49ers to Super Bowl XIX.

TB: I honestly was 6 in 84, so I don’t remember much before, say, the 1988 season.

WFY: Speaking of head coaches, a friend of mine in San Francisco were discussing Jim Harbaugh and reached a consensus that his act could get pretty tired if the Niners are going 10-6 or 9-7 annually and not advancing. Am I onto something?

TB: Maybe? I think that after the late 90s and early 00s, where the Niners were a massive embarrassment to the state of California. There was the better part of 15 years when I had nothing to look forward to in the Fall after baseball was done, so I suspect that Harbaugh, as long as they keep going far in the playoffs, at least past the first round, will have a lengthy tenure. He will not nearly reach Walsh’s status, though, until he wins at least 2 Super Bowls, and probably not until he’s picked up 4. Walsh is revered as a genius, a hero, and a saint, something that Harbaugh will never get credit for, mostly because of his antics. We’ll see if he can win more than he freaks out.

WFY: Did you get to Candlestick Park for 49ers games much?

TB: Nope. I’ve never seen the 49ers play live. Candlestick was a real chore to get to if you lived in the Central Valley, because it’s all the way down the Peninsula toward SFO, which would’ve been 3-4 hours drive from Davis in the traffic. I remember a Giants game or two in 86, but after that we were pretty much A’s fans.

WFY: Are you happy with the 49ers fauxback uniforms? Should they have just gone completely throwback?

TB: I’d prefer total throwback, but I bought one of the fauxback Rice jerseys last year.

WFY: Was watching the game with “the radio turned up and the sound turned down” part of the 49ers fan experience?

TB: Not as much for football as for baseball. We did listen on the radio occasionally, but I usually watched with my Dad with the TV turned up.

WFY: What is your prediction for tonight’s game?

TB: Niners are going to smoke the local football club. If there’s any justice, it’ll be a 49-0 shutout, but I think the final will be more like 28-21 SF.

WFY: I think the Skins win, just to mess with everybody

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2013 Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles Q&A and prediction with @pancakecatapult

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Joining us again is @PancakeCatapult, the latest non de plume of someone whose internet celebrity far outshines my own. Shockingly, I don’t think Mr. Catapult is blogging anywhere right now, not even about Wilco — has he quit for good? Time will tell.

WFY: 5-5! Your Iggles are in the mix for the entire “SEC of the NFL” division. They looked great against the Skins in September, but have also had some games where they can’t score 10 points. What in the name of Mike Mamula is going on with them?

Mr. Catapult: Basically, Nick Foles got hurt and Matt Barkley happened for two games. Foles has generally been effective (and a little lucky) when healthy, and obviously gives Philly the best chance to win every week.

WFY: Nick Foles threw 7 touchdowns in one game. Is that more improbable than Matt McGloin being a starting quarterback in the NFL? Could Foles be the answer or is it just another case of somebody having the game of his life and seeing false conclusions drawn from it?

Mr. Catapult: Nothing is more improbable “Matt McGloin, Starting NFL Quarterback”. Nothing. Foles’ game against Oakland was insane, partially because of the final statistics, partially because Oakland covered absolutely nobody all day long. Chip Kelly felt no compulsion to stop the bludgeoning.

WFY: Tangentially related, seeing Terrell Pryor get blown out wasn’t disappointing, was it?

Mr. Catapult: Funny, before the Oakland game, former Pitt Panther Shady McCoy said “we couldn’t afford him” when asked about Pryor’s recruitment. No shade for Pryor from me anymore, though. He and Brandon Marshall were two guys that came forward in Jonathan Martin’s defense when that ridiculous scandal broke. Both of them had amazingly thoughtful responses to that situation.

WFY: Other than Foles, how is the Philly offensive attack?

Mr. Catapult: Stunningly effective on the ground with McCoy and occasional sprinkles of Bryce Brown. Riley Cooper has exploited some Second Team Practice Squad magic with Foles. DeSean Jackson is still dangerous as anything, and Zach Ertz is providing a second tight end option. It’s all happening!

WFY: Chip Kelly – innovator, mediocre or still not like enough like Buddy Ryan?

Mr. Catapult: I’m a fan. They lost Jeremy Maclin and Arrelious Benn to ACL injuries in training camp. Their quarterback situation has been less than ideal for most of the season. There’s a lot of lemonade being produced from only a handful of lemons, and that’s a testament to Kelly and his staff. He’s done some really strange in-game stuff, but the quality of football has generally improved.

WFY: How is the Eagles defense? They gave up a lot of scores in garbage time in week 1.

Mr. Catapult: Improving, for sure. Bad, but improving.

WFY: What about undefeated in KC, Andy Reid? We wondered if the players quit on him last year, but did this diva actually quit on the players?

Mr. Catapult: Everybody was just done at the end of Reid’s tenure. We all know he’s a good coach, despite his tendency to ignore the running game and complete inability to use instant replay challenges properly. He provided a run of playoff appearances never seen before in Philly, but the team, coaches, fans, management, soft pretzel vendors — they were over it, and it showed. Reid’s success in Kansas City isn’t all that surprising to me.

WFY: Do the Eagles dishonor the memory of Princess Diana by not returning to her beloved green and silver look? Or is Jeff Lurie just anti-monarchist overall?

Mr. Catapult: I’m all for breaking out the Kelly Green on occasion, but I’m losing enthusiasm for it. Let’s be honest, it’s a pretty awful shade of green. Hard to work with. We could use a little help on the uniform front these days.

WFY: Is a roof and fake grass is the solution to the problems playing at home? Did that post invalidate anything the700level.com has ever done or ever will do?

Mr. Catapult: Not at all — the Linc is a sterile, gray dump of a new stadium. It’s terrible in just about every way.

WFY: So, the Eagles are totally going to break with tradition and win a home game, right? Not just in this series where the home team usually loses, but in general. Wasn’t Donovan McNabb the quarterback the last time the Eagles won at home? Your prediction!

Mr. Catapult: I’m fairly sure that the Redskins stink. The Eagles very well might be average. 34-31, Philly.

WFY: 27-24 DC

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Vintage Video: Super Bowl XXII Redskins vs. Broncos

I fully expect the Denver Broncos to drop about 55 points on the Washington Redskins on Sunday at Mile High. No matter in the scheme of things though, because when it counted most, the D.C. burgundy and gold scored the ultimate victory over the Rocky Mountain orange and orange – Super Bowl XXII.

Do I need to go into much detail? Probably not, we all know that was the year Doug Williams was a starter in the playoffs and had the greatest quarter any quarterback (4 TD passes amid 5 DC TDs overall) amidst a lot of symbolism. John Elway was his opposite number and after a great start, had a miserable day in his second of three Super Bowl losses. The Broncos at least looked like the Broncos back then with the glorious Orange Crush jerseys.

Here is the whole game from the ABC telecast (including 1987 commercials):

Though if you just want to watch “The Quarter” go ahead.

Williams only started about a season’s worth of games here, but he’ll always be a legend.

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Vintage video: Redskins vs. Bears from 1940s

It has been a while since I posted about the Washington Redskins. My weekly post with vintage video had to be suspended because the NFL got a bunch of old videos knocked off youtube. Maybe it’s just me, but if people want to watch them on youtube, NFL, maybe you ought to find a way to let them and monetize it.

I also have had any friends who were fans of the Skins opposition in previous games, so no guest prognosticator Q&As either.

This week’s game is at home against the Chicago Bears. There is a little history between the two franchises and it is mixed. While the Chicago’s 73-0 1940 NFL Championship victory is probably the most memorable, Washington held its own, beating the Bears for the title in 1937 and 1942. The Bears won it again in 1943. In the 1980s, the two teams met three times in the playoffs with the visitors winning each game. In 1984, the Bears won at RFK, while the 1986 and 1987 Skins won at Solider Field.

The video below features highlights from the 1942 Championship as well as other games. Sammy Baugh is of course, prominently featured. The narrator is Harry Wismer who was the voice of the Redskins and part owner until the 1950s. Wismer would also own the AFL’s New York Titans.

By the way, the teams are both wearing colored jerseys in the films — I’d love to see that for the playoffs when the contrast between the two are significant enough.

It has been a lost season for the Burgundy & Gold and I expect that to continue on Sunday.

Chicago 24
WASHINGTON 16

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I didn’t watch the Redskins lose to the Lions, but here’s a video of a game from 40 years ago

Oof. While I was watching the Washington Nationals fall to the Florida Miami Marlins (I typed out the former “location” out of habit) in the District, the Washington Redskins were getting beaten, for the first time in “Washington,” by the Detroit Lions 27-20. That was about a 75 year long streak with around 20 games. Congratulations, J.J.

While searching around for future flashback videos for the Skins, I found this gem from 1973. The Skins crushed the Lions at Tiger Stadium, 20-0. This is more fun than watching yesterday’s highlights.

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