Let Us Not Forget
These days, it's getting harder to stay interested in this Redskins team, much less upbeat and positive.
In 9 games, we've managed to win only 3, two of which came against teams currently tied for the worst record in the entire NFL, and the other looked to be heading toward a blowout loss until the opposing quarterback got knocked out of the game. Chris Samuels, the best offensive lineman on an otherwise sub-par unit, is done for the year and probably his career. Portis is out. Cooley is out. Zorn's been embarrassingly relieved of the his play calling duties for the rest of the year at which point he'll likely be fired, rendering the team leaderless and without a clear vision of the future. Campbell has not progressed and likely follows Zorn out the exit door at year's end. Moss has gone over 50 yards only three times this season. And as the great Jim Mora once said, don't talk about playoffs ... I just hope we can win another game.
But none of that matters this week.
This Sunday, our team will play it's first game in Cowboys Stadium, the new billion dollar home of our enemy. The game will be played in the largest domed structure in the world. Inside, hanging from a retractable roof, will be the two largest HD TVs on the planet. Full-time go-go dancers will do their thing on platforms located in every corner. Large cheese pizzas will be sold for $90. People will pay over $11,000 to watch the event inside what Cowboys owner and godfather of redneck football Jerry Jones calls "the "stadium of the future".
But none of that matters this week.
The only thing that does matter is that this futuristic stadium will host the 99th meeting of the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys, and no Redskin fan should ever forget what that means.
Let us not forget that former Redskins owner George Preston Marshall was the only owner who voted against adding the Dallas franchise to the NFL, and that the only reason Dallas ever made it into the league was because eventual owner Clint Murchison, Jr. bought the rights of the Redskins fight song and held it hostage until Marshall agreed to let them in.
Let us not forget how the rivalry was taken to the next level in the 70's, thanks to former coach George Allen and his unrelenting hatred toward Tom Landry and his arrogant Cowboys, going so far as breaking boards in front of the team as a demonstration of what he would do to Landry should they ever meet at midfield.
Let not forget that in 1988, in Tom Landry's last game at RFK, the Cowboys spoiled our playoff hopes and dreams of repeating as Super Bowl champions, thanks in part to a 3-touchdown performance from eventual crackhead / Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
Let not forget that in 1989, the Cowboys only win of that entire season came in RFK, and the loss cost us a chance to go the playoffs the second straight year.
Let us not forget that in 1991, after winning 11 straight and looking to become the next team to go undefeated, Washington's dreams of a perfect season were shattered by a Dallas upset, at RFK.
Let us not forget that first game following our 1992 Super Bowl was an embarrassing 23-10 loss to the Cowboys on Monday Night.
Let us not forget that Joe Gibbs once called Dallas fans "the ugliest people in the world".
Let us not forget what this rivalry means to our present and former players.
“Losing to Dallas was the worst feeling in the world. You’d rather have your arm cut off.”
— Diron Talbert (defensive tackle, Redskins: 1971-80)“If you grew up in metro Washington, you grew up a diehard Redskins fan. But if you hate your parents, you grow up a Cowboys fan.”
— Jim Lachey (offensive lineman, Redskins: 1988-95)“When you sign with Washington, you sign a contract to hate the Cowboys.”
— Charles Mann (defensive end, Redskins: 1983-93)“In the back of my mind and in my heart, I never like to see [Dallas] win. It’s just inbred in my blood since I was a Redskin. I bleed burgundy and gold. I will always have that in my soul to hate the silver and blue.”
— Mark May (offensive lineman, Redskins: 1981-90)“We got on the sidelines and everyone is jacked up [before a Sept. 5, 1983 game]. I’m standing next to [Redskins offensive line coach] Joe Bugel. Joe was all worked up, acting as if he was getting ready to play himself. Then he looks across the field [at Dallas defensive line coach Ernie Stautner] and he just starts screaming, ‘Stautner! Stautner! I’m going to kick your ass!”
— Babe Laufenberg (quarterback, Redskins: 1983, 85, 87; Cowboys: 89-90)Let us not forget that although our dreams of post-season glory may be over, theirs are alive, and ripe for disappointment. And nothing would make me happier than to see us spoil a Dallas season like they've spoiled a few of ours.“It’s ironic — I never was a Cowboys fan. I’m from Houston and we feud with the Cowboys all the time,” he said. “My high school coach told me once you’re a Redskin, you’re always a Redskin. We watched everything the Washington Redskins did in terms of pride and tradition. ... I’m glad I dropped to No. 13 because being a Washington Redskin is a perfect fit.”
- Brian Orakpo (defensive end/linebacker, Redskins: 2009 - present)
Most of all, let us not forget how we all felt on this day.