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Doc's Blast from the Past

Doc's Blast From the Past -- Will Return

Since FB season ended, been busy getting ready for my yearly SciFi convention (going to mention this in the TV show threads shortly)...

But Blast From the Past will return hopefully in March!

Been dealing with major water leak and blown water heater ::sigh::. So frustrating.

Anyway... I haven't forgotten you all.. just been busy with my co-chairman responsibilities for the convention.
Sorry to hear that, Doc. I suspect that the weather out there hasn't been the most co-operative either.

Working with the co-chairman - sounds pretty impressive. I'm a big SciFy fan, I otta look into something close by here.

Anyway looking to hear about something old from you.
Nine Years Ago -- The Weekend the B&G took over Canton

I really want to get the DeLorean revved up again, but the nerve damage in my hand is really prohibiting me from typing a lot.. so I'm looking into other ways to get articles and old stuff posted without having to type (scanning, converting PDFs to text, etc.). In the meantime I wanted to share something personal.. some of you may have already even read this; but it tells you alot about me, personally, and I hope for those that were unable to be there feels the emotion and excitement the way I describe it. I also apologize for the length... and no offense taken if you don't read it all or even the article period. :)

Yes, we're talking about the weekend that Darrell Green and Art Monk (long overdue) were inducted into the Hall of Fame. I apologize if this is redundant for some of you.


Chapter One – The players

First, you have to meet the principle players. As in all stories, there are people you need to remember throughout the story or else be scratching your head saying, shoot, I knew I should have remembered that person. And there are people who can remain nameless as while they may play an important role in the festivities, the details about who they are, are not important to the story. So let's get that boring stuff taken care of quickly. If you can get through that part, you can get through the rest.

What: Canton Professional Football Hall of Fame Induction, August 1-4, 2008. (Will be referred to as “HOF”)

Where: Canton Ohio. Now.. where is Canton. Know the song by John Denver “Saturday Night in Toledo Ohio”? Well, there's a phrase in that song… “… they roll up the sidewalks precisely at 10:00”. Well in Canton, the roll them up at 9 p.m. It's a small town in Ohio, south of Cleveland and is known for nothing other than the Professional Football Hall of Fame, because Canton is the home of the first professional football team. That's it. That's all you have to know about Canton. It's an insignificant town that plays a very significant role in what was definitely a weekend I'll never forget.

Who: The people you need to keep track of in this story (anyone else mentioned, don't worry about… don't worry about names, et cetera. Just worry about the people talked about below and you'll be fine.

1. Me – Sandy. That part is easy.
2. Penny – my niece. My traveling companion for the weekend.
3. Christie (Huly) – My friend who organizes stuff from the chat board of which I was a member at the time. I somehow get roped into helping her at times. We've done stuff such as going away parties for the team for away games at Redskins Park, to welcome homes at 2 in the morning (win or lose), to baking Joe Gibbs (our coach) a birthday cake on the evening of his birthday, only to be invited into his office “to chat” (never did it before, and obviously since he retired, never will again – I was one of the lucky 9 people who were there for that one). We also organized the vigil when Sean Taylor, the player of ours who was shot and killed last year, was shot, and then when he was killed, we organized the memorial at Redskins Park. Oh, one other thing… Christie's uncle played the drum for the Baltimore Colts' marching band and donated his drum to the Hall of Fame after the Colts won the Superbowl, I believe in 1968 (don't quote me on the year.. but that's not important). He died a few years ago.
4. Chris (Pez) – Christie's husband. Just repeat the entire paragraph 3 for him as well.
5. Chat Board Member: Before BGobsession was a glimmer in our eyes, I did belong to another board, where I originally met the likes of Boone, Om, as well as Huly and Pez.
6. RS Fan. A Redskins fan that was not a member of our board. Other than that NO distinction. The Redskins fanbase is a family. Not everyone is on the message boards. But chat board members plan tailgates for all games, road games, and get togethers, such as those that took place this weekend. Other RS Fans join us when they find us, and we welcome them with open arms. We welcome fans of other teams as well. As long as they treat us the way we treat them – with respect.
7. I mentioned Sean Taylor above when talking about Christie (Huly) and (Pez). Sean Taylor was a young player who, as a rookie, got into some trouble, but as time went on, he became a father, turned his life around, and had plans to marry his daughter's mom (who had been his girlfriend since high school), only to be shot by some kids trying to be smart. Sean Taylor died defending his fiance and his child who were in the bed behind him as he opened the door to the bedroom to have a gun go off; and to die a short 36 hours later. He had already been a pro-bowler for 2 years and the Redskins, in tribute to him, wore #21 on their jerseys all year. In addition, the 4 Redskin players who made the pro bowl in February (the best players of all teams, AFC versus NFC), were all allowed to wear #21 on their jerseys, which subsequently were auctioned off to benefit Sean's daughter and go into her trust fund.
Now.. let's see.. did I leave anyone important out?

Oh.. yes.. the players. Why were we even in Canton this weekend?

Art Monk. Number 81. Wide Receiver. Played for the Redskins 1980-1993. Retired in 1995. He played a couple years after leaving the Redskins but he was enshrined as a Washington Redskin. He held all but one receiving record at the time he retired. Everyone considered him to be a “first ballot” hall of famer when he retired. That was in 1995. He was eligible in 2000. It took until 2008 for him to be voted in. Why? He's quiet. He doesn't self-promote. He doesn't talk to the media. Other than that, he does nothing but stay in the Washington, DC area, run a youth camp in the summer for underprivileged kids, and helps out Darrell Green with his Youth Life Foundation. Never did drugs. Never was arrested. Never any controversy. It was a crime that it took that long for him to be inducted. But to go in when he did.. just made the weekend all that more special. Art Monk was always one of my favorites. I never had a specific favorite. But he was one of them. He was a Redskin in their glory years… and went to the SuperBowl all 4 times with them (we won 3). My friend in California was with me the Monday Night game against Denver when he broke the single season reception record. A night neither of us will forget. Number 81. While it was a crime he was kept out until now; it was only fitting he be put in with next up…

Darrell Green. Number 28. Cornerback. Defense. Mr. Redskin. Played 1983-2002, 20 seasons with the Redskins. Never went anywhere else (and yes, he was a free agent). He chose to stay a Redskin for his entire career. He was offered more money to leave. But chose to stay. His career overlapped Art Monk's.

But #28 … Darrell Green. Is a little more special to me than that. See first it's Darrell Green. It was an argument over Darrell Green on a Redskins message board that ultimately resulted in my meeting who was to be my future husband, Bruce. And while Bruce and I were only together for 5 short years before he died in 1999, they were by far the best 5 years of my life. And … #28 … the number Darrell Green wore? Well, my birthday is the 28th of the month. Bruce's birthday was the 28th of the month. He proposed to me on the 28th of the month. We started our honeymoon on the 28th of the month. Unfortunately, I also buried him on the 28th of the month. So while Darrell Green was another one of my favorite Redskins, he is also special to me in other ways.

The Redskins alone are special. I could do a page on why. But just know this. Burgundy and Gold are the colors of the Redskins. Burgundy and Gold are my favorite colors. They belong together. They are rich, celebratory colors. They are great colors for the holidays. But also know that the Redskins were my life when I was growing up. It was my time with my dad when I was a kid… that time that I had my dad all to myself when he would take me to games. The Redskins were also how I met my husband. And to this day, other than my animals, the Redskins are truly the one thing every year I really look forward to.. win or lose… because of the memories I have over the years. They're the first team to have a band, the first team to have a half-time show, the first team to have a fight song. And the first team to have an ‘unofficial” official mascot.. Chief Z, who will be mentioned in this story. He's a man who has been a fan of the Redskins his entire life. My brother and niece bought cars from him when he was a car salesman (he is now retired). He was friends with the Cowboy's “mascot”, Crazy Ray (they were best of friends, despite the fact that the Cowboys and Redskins are enemies) and the Chief was at Crazy Ray's funeral when he died at the expense of the Cowboys because it was the right thing to do. Chief Z, while not an “official mascot” (doesn't where a big headed costume, and doesn't get paid), he truly is a mascot in the real sense of the word… he represents the fans, doesn't hesitate to stop for kids to say hi or take a picture, no matter how long the day has been or how tired he is. He's not a well man, but what he did this weekend was incredible, including numerous charity events for kids in the Canton area. (2017 addendum: Chief Z.. may you RIP in burgundy and gold heaven)

Okay… Hopefully you haven't stopped reading. Because that, hopefully, is all the boring stuff that you just need to know to understand the weekend to start with.

Chapter Two – The Plans

The plans for this weekend started, oh, about December 2002 (the 2002-2003 season) when Darrell Green played his last game. See we knew, even though Art Monk did not get in his first year, we KNEW that Darrell would get in his first year of eligibility. And I knew I was going to be there. Darrell played too much of an important part of my life.. part of which he will probably never know with regards to my husband… and there would be no way I would miss his enshrinement. But that day he retired, I never dreamt that that promise I made then would turn into the weekend that it was. Because it was after my husband died, that I became a member of the Chat Board, met Chris, Christie and other members and became involved in something that is more than just going to football games. Oh I had been an active member of the Prodigy Board “Corner Critters” where we had get togethers where members from as far away as Oklahoma attended; we posted news (the “internet” really didn't exist then) the morning the Washington Post (and yes, the paper copy; we had to type the articles, could not link them, etc.); but that was then and it's a ‘whole nother chapter in my life.

They announced the Class of 2008 on February 2, 2008. That was a Saturday. By Saturday evening, the plans were already cooking on the message boards. Who was going. Where would we stay. How to get tickets. What would we do. Of course go to the enshrinement. Let's get together for dinner Friday night. And the game… do we want to go to the game. Well, they don't announce the teams for the game until the schedule comes out in April. We don't want to wait long to decide. So most of us go ahead and say, yeah, we'll go to the game. After all, even if the Redskins don't play IN the game, we have 2 Redskins going in (technically 3.. one of the other players who went in as a cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs (Emmmitt Thomas) just happened to have coached the Redskins when Darrell Green and Art Monk played) with Coach Gibbs (and just an addendum to bring you up to date to 2017 currently is on the coaching staff of the Kansas City Chiefs.) Anyway..back to the plans… So yeah.. let's tailgate before the game, and do the game and drive home Monday. Make it a football weekend.

By Wednesday after the announcement of the class, we had 4 hotels within 20 minutes of Canton booked solid at a group rate and needed more. That was just chat board members that we knew of… that didn't account for the thousands of other RS Fans who were making the same plans we were, but didn't have the benefit of what we were organizing. The day the enshrinement tickets went on sale, they were sold out by noon. That was a record in itself. They extended the seating and did sell more seats. The fact that they sold out that quickly, and the fact that just the chat board members had booked up 4 hotels, should have told them something about what was going to happen that weekend. Can you say “Taking Over Canton”? We knew we were. But Canton had no idea what was about to happen.

Then, it was announced the Redskins would be playing in the Hall of Fame Game (it's never been decided that early before, but the Redskins requested it… and they got it (made some rival teams' fans mad, but I won't go into that). That definitely ensured it to be a Burgundy and Gold weekend in Canton, Ohio. WE knew what was going to happen. The town of Canton did not. We could feel it and it was only February. But Canton. They had no clue. The burgundy and gold were coming to Canton and they just did not know what was going to hit them come August 1st.

Chapter Three – The Wait

The plans were made and the wait was on. Yeah, we had stuff. Like hiring a new coach because Coach Gibbs retired. Chris, Christie and I, along with other chat board members had organized a “goodbye” at Redskins Park for Gibbs. Despite the media circus, we were allowed up to the building where the media was (we always behaved ourselves and never “rushed” the players or coaches.. otherwise they'd never let us up there)… for send-offs and welcome homes, we got to go up to where they load the buses. As long as we didn't rush the players and kept our distance, we could cheer them on, and we got paid back for our behavior by players coming over to us and shaking our hands, thanking us for coming, and the Coach… Coach Gibbs.. ALWAYS came over and shook everyone's hand, took pictures with everyone, gave autographs (I will send you a scan of picture of the coach and me that he signed the day of his retirement). We had a good reputation and we were rewarded for it. When we talk to fans of other teams about stuff like this, they are amazed that we were allowed “that close” to the players and the coaches (we could see the practice fields, and as mentioned above, the Coach Gibbs invited us into his office one night after they had lost a game, it was raining, but it was his birthday and we brought him a cake). That was to be the start of a very long week as it was that very night that Sean Taylor was shot, and would be dead within 48 hours of when we were singing Happy Birthday to the Coach. ::sigh::.

We got together for some fund-raising stuff for kids with Chief Z, and other fans because of the comraderie we had. But the wait really seemed to go on forever.

Chapter 4 – The Weekend is Here

And things will go quickly because now you know why I'm here, what the significance is not only to me but fans throughout the country.

It's Friday. Penny and I had already worked it out that I did not have to drive all the way home to Maryland only to turn around and drive back west to Canton. My sister, grand-niece and great grand-nephew drove up too, dropped Penny and my place, stayed here for a night and went to visit a friend of my sister's. Then they drove back up to Steve's Monday, picked up Penny.. they went home and I stayed.

Penny gets here. We have a late morning appointment to see a house down the street that I might buy (yes, a move is imminent). Everyone agrees the house is perfect. Taz goes crazy because he gets to see everyone, but he knows Mommy is going somewhere. So he is confused.

Penny and I leave for Canton. We have a dinner planned for the chat board members and any other RS fans who heard about it at a rib place in Canton at 6 p.m. We wanted to get there sortof early to get a shower and change (Penny at that point would have already been driving 5 hours. From here it was another 2 hours).


Now… what do we see on the way to Canton. Other cars with Maryland/Virginia/DC tags and Washington Redskins bumper stickers and magnets. But… what could be more perfect than to see a tractor-trailer (I may be dating myself now), that has the sheriff's car and the General Lee from the “Dukes of Hazard” television show. Of course, we took pictures, but that was just icing on the cake (at least for us because my sister and I are big Dukes of Hazard fans and Penny knew that). The drive goes quickly – only 2 hours.. and we start counting the cars that we see from Maryland/DC and Virginia and soon realized that to be honest, that really was pretty much ALL we were seeing.

We get to the hotel and there are cars in the parking lot with Redskin flags, bumper stickers, washable pain on the windows “Follow us to Canton,” “Route 281… (merging #28 , Darrell and #81 Art)… the only way to Canton…” it really was something. There was a group of Shriners that stayed at our hotel. They were clowns. Their bus was really neat (but did not get a picture.

Got washed up, went to dinner. We had reservations at a rib place/sports bar that seated 500. We had reserved a cordoned off group for 75 from our plans on the message boards.

Well. We got there. The signs on the door said “Welcome to Canton Redskins”. The place was decorated in burgundy and gold. And the 75 we had reserved? Forget that. We had the entire restaurant. The few people who came that were not Redskin fans we truly felt bad for. But the owners loved us. We were polite, not rowdy and they said to come back any time in the future when we come back for more Redskins to be enshrined (though nothing will top these two getting in together).


I'm in this picture… right under the sign where it says Redskins? I'm under the “ins” of Redskins

Suffice it to say, we had indeed taken over Canton. It was fun. No one got drunk. We were in Canton and the weekend was here. And we could feel something special was in the air.

Chapter 5 – Saturday – Enshrinement Day​

Penny's and my original plans were to sleep in a little, then go to the fairgrounds (where we would be parking to be shuttled back and forth to the Hall of Fame for the ceremonies and the game itself). Canton has a parade on Saturday morning before the enshrinement, local high school bands, cheerleaders, the enshrinees go by riding on open convertibles waving to the crowds. But if you've ever been to any kind of parade, you know the drill. Ya gotta find parking. Then walk to where the parade is. Then hopefully find a place to stand (much less sit). Right?

Well, sortof. Christie's parents had an extra set of tickets they purchased in the seated section and gave them to us. Penny and I said, well, we kindof wanted to sleep in, but.. well, we'll go down and see what happens.

We were about 15 minutes late by the time we found parking and walked and found our FRONT ROW SEATS CURBSIDE. Wow. And these were chairs, padded chairs. Not bleachers.

So after being grateful we made the decision to go the parade, we enjoyed the parade. Floats, bands. The usual parade. Past enshrinees.. of course Redskins got the most cheers as the parade route was framed with a sea of burgundy and gold… Redskin cheerleaders went by, then Darrell Green and Art Monk, the 2 reasons we were here. We were following along in the paper as far as who/what was coming up next and we say the “Redskin Cheerleaders” listed again. I said to Penny, that has to be a typo. The Colts' cheerleaders are probably here since they are the other team playing in the game on Sunday. At least that makes sense, right? Wrong. Yup, a second group of Redskin cheerleaders. No Colts. Chief Z was in the parade too. He saw me and came over and gave Penny and I high-5's. Everyone stood and applauded when a fire truck that served at the World Trade Center on 09/11 went by and it brought tears to my eyes. Things like that always do still. They had on the side Washington-New-York-Pennsylvania---We will never forget 09-11.

Okay.. that wasn't bad was it? The parade was 2 hours and I covered it in a paragraph or two. That's pretty much how the rest of this is going to be. The most exciting part of any trip is the anticipation, planning, etc.

Penny and I did stop at the Hall of Fame museum on the way back from the parade. Nothing but burgundy and gold everywhere. It was crazy. The bronze busts of Darrell and Art and the other 2008 enshrinees of course weren't there, but we had plans to come back Sunday anyway.

What I was NOT prepared for; however, brought tears to my eyes. In the “teams” room, they have a display for each team, a little bit about their history, their current helmet against a lucite stand within which they have a player (for most teams… just a “player”.. someone you may not really know… the point being it was a member of the team.

hof4.jpg<picture HOF4>​

However, the “player” they had chosen for the Redskins (and we found out later changed after the 2007-08 season) was Sean Taylor, the player that was shot. I lost it. Big time. I just was not prepared to see that. But I composed myself, got someone to take a picture with Penny and I in front of it.. and then continued through.

We went back to the hotel, freshened up a bit, and made our way to the Fairgrounds for the tailgate before the enshrinement ceremony. We meet up with Christie, Chris, Chief Z, other chat board members, other RS Fans that probably have become chat board members by now. People are grilling burgers, chicken, hot dogs, we have veggie dip, sodas, beer, the usual stuff at a tailgate. (Mind you, the Fairground rules state no liquor, but this is one weekend they do allow it; plus most of the chat board members are, let me say “more mature” (read that: older) and we really don't drink that much. So it's not like a “drunken tailgate” that some places may get like. Our tailgates aren't like that at all. We're just all sitting around, chilling, and the anticipation of the evening was growing. After all… Darrell Green and Art Monk.. both of them… probably 2 of the most popular and well-loved players of the modern era.. are going to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame together.

Christie's phone rings about 4:30 p.m. It's the people from Comcast Sportsnet They ask her “How many chat board members can get over here to the HOF within 20-25 minutes.” Christie says, uh… well… I don't know. It was the producer of Sports Night on Comcast Sports and they wanted us, the chat board members, to do the intro.

We rushed to the shuttles and got ourselves over there and yes, we were on television. We introduced Comcast Sportsnet and were on television. And I wasn't home to tape it. (And to this day haven't found anyone who did.. plenty of people saw Penny and I, but no one taped it. Oh well.. a moment in time… but I was there.

Fast forward. The enshrinement ceremony starts. Oh one more person.. Chris Berman from ESPN. He is to ESPN Sports what Walter Cronkite was to the News. He comes out and introduces the mayor of Canton. The Mayor of Canton comes out to this sea of burgundy and gold (literally) and proclaims Saturday, August 2, to be Redskins Day in Canton (only one other time have they proclaimed the City to be another football team's city's day and that was when the Steelers from their glory days went in. Of course he gets a standing ovation.

Then Chris Berman gets up and starts welcoming us. He asks “are there any fans of the Giants, Colts, blah blah blah.. goes through all the teams.. and there are splattering of fans that cheer for some… and of course, last he says, are there by any chance any Washington Redskin fans here? Yes, we go crazy. It was electric. Burgundy and Gold fireworks go off. You'd really think there weren't any others going in. I actually in some way felt bad for the other enshrinees (and I have to admit, they dealt with it very well… all mentioning that they all agreed that it was long overdue for Art Monk and that they actually felt privileged to be going in in a class of guys that included two of the most beloved players on one team from the same era). And I believe they meant it. As enshrinement ceremonies go… I've been to a couple others, and I can't even tell you who else went in other than the person I was there to see. I'll never forget the 6 names from this weekend.

Then Chris Berman introduces past enshrinees. And every time a former Redskin is announced, of course the fans go crazy, especially for Coach Gibbs. He is by far the most beloved coach any team could ever ask for. When fans of other teams hear about how he greets us at send-offs and welcome homes, and the fact that he even allows us anywhere near the buses the players are getting on, it creates a mutual respect that will honestly not be matched anywhere else.

I actually felt sortof bad for one Cowboy who was enshrined last year. Not only because he was a Dallas Cowboy (our arch rivals), but as a player, there were even Cowboy fans who did not like him. He was arrested for drugs, and illegal possession of firearms, but he made it in before Art Monk (he was also a wide receiver). His only redeeming quality was that when he was voted in last year in 2007, he said in his acceptance speech “there is one person that belongs here before me, and it will not be complete until Art Monk is standing on this stage in a gold coat.” So while he was booed, he took it well. I did not boo him. That's not how I was brought up. I did not boo the other team, cheer for injuries or anything like that. There just are some things that I was brought up not to do.

Then came the enshrinement speeches. The presenters. Each enshrinee got to pick who their presenter was. There were a total of 6 enshrinees. The first 3 were 3 of the non-Redskins (you really did not think they were going to let the Redskins go first did you?). That just made the anticipation and excitement all the more electric in the stadium. Fourth to be inducted was Darrell Green. His son presented him. At one point in Darrell's son's speech, he said “we are blessed that so many members of our family were able to join us, and”, he paused, “and by the looks of this stadium, it looks to be about 95% of all of you are our family today. More applause. More cheers. Darrell gets up, does his speech, gets a standing ovation. Thanks his family, the fans, God and his beliefs, and talked about why he stayed a Redskin despite having a chance to go elsewhere in free agency. It was great. Perfect.

Then the 5th enshrinee, and then.. it happened (I still get chills). Chris Berman introduced Art Monk's son, who was to present Art Monk. As he got to the point in his speech, you could just feel the electricity in the stadium. As he said, “I would like to present my father, Art Monk, for enshrinement in the hall of fame,”…. That was it. It was deafening. The ovation Art Monk received was the longest in Hall of Fame history (addendum 2017 -- and remains so to this day). 4-1/2 minutes. It was electric. It was special. It was about time. It was over due. The broadcasters in the TV booths behind us took off their headphones and stood up. The past enshrinees on the stage stood up and gave him an ovation (another first for the hall of fame, for everyone on the stage to give a standing ovation to an enshrinee). I just can't explain the electricity of that moment. Poor Art. He turned around to Darrell and shrugged his shoulders as if to say “what do I do”.. he tried to start his speech, and it kept going. Darrell shrugged his shoulders as if to say “I don't know.” Even a special later aired on Art Monk names the records he holds and this is one they mention.

Art then turned back to the crowd to try to speak and Darrell raises his arms to encourage us to keep going. And we did. Art Monk is a very quiet, very humble man, and he was truly overwhelmed. While we were there for Darrell. We were truly there for Art Monk. And we showed him and the sports world that he deserved to be there. It was truly an electrical moment.

There were tears, laughing, crying, you name it. And it just went on and on. Yes, we finally stopped and he finally gave his acceptance speech. And he got another ovation. But that ovation.. well.. that ovation was absolutely the best part of the entire weekend. It was so electric, so … so long overdue.

Then we go back to the hotel. Sunday is the game. We're exhausted, but exhilarated at the same time. Wow. That is something we will never, ever forget. Nothing will ever top this evening. Ever. Not even a Super Bowl win. And I've been at a SuperBowl that we won and nothing will ever match that electricity. That stadium only held about 20,000 people at the ceremony… I'd say easily 19,000 were Redskin fans. It was truly a moment in time.

CHAPTER 6 – Sunday – The game
Sunday morning, we opted to go to the Hall of Fame when it opened so we could get pictures of the new enshrinees' busts, and get a few pictures that we didn't get the day before because it was simply so crowded.


Well, remember I told you Christie's uncle played the drum for the Baltimore Colts? Well, it was only 5 minutes into the museum that we saw the drum… and she broke into tears. We took pictures of that with her and her parents. Penny and I kindof rushed through the rest since we had been there the day before. Christie had the same reaction I did with the Sean Taylor display.

There were other displays that were tangibly football related that were tearjerkers… You know the player from the Cardinals that died overseas.. Rusty Tillman. They had a display for him and the flag that flew over the Tillman Center USO overseas was presented to the HOF this weekend. They also had a display in tribute to families who lost people on 9/11.. highlighting the New York Giants, the New York Jets and the Washington Redskins; since they were the teams in the cities affected. So this was much more than just football. It was memories.

Then the tailgate before the game. More of the same. Grilling. Burgers, hot dogs, barbecue chicken, water (I drink lots of water at these things). Various stuff. Then Christie gets a phone call… “we're sending the family of so and so over”. Who is so and so? Oh, one of your rookie players. We ended up with 3 families of 3 different rookie players at our tailgate, along with Chief Z. In fact, one of members of one of the families PLAYED on the New York Jets with Joe Namath in the first SuperBowl. This is a picture of me with him. I can't for the life of me remember his name.. Solomon something. One of these days I'll look up the roster of the New York Jets in the first Superbowl. We were teaching the families of these rookies the words to HAIL TO THE REDSKINS, our fight song. They knew it by the time they left. We made sure of that. Of course, having met the families, we were rooting all the more for those particular players to make the team and make great plays.

HOF6.jpgHOF7.jpg<picture HOF6>​

We then go to the game. It started out slow, the Colts cheerleaders were there, but they just came in for the game. Come to find out, the Redskin Cheerleaders had been there all weekend, with Chief Z, and a couple other fan groups doing charity work at local children's hospitals.

Then it was over. We won the game. It was preseason.. doesn't mean a thing, but we're glad we won the game on the weekend that these two particular players were enshrined in the hall of fame.

It's a weekend I'll never forget. I just hope I haven't bored you to death. Monday morning, we overslept, got on the road late, but it didn't matter. The weekend had come and gone. All the anticipation, all the excitement and it was over in a flash. But I have the memories.

Oh.. the headline in the Canton Paper Sunday morning: HAIL TO THE SKINS; SEA OF REDSKIN FANS WELCOME MONK, GREEN AND REST OF CLASS OF 2008 TO HALL OF FAME. And there's a picture of when Art turns to Green to ask how to get us to shut up, and he turns back to the crowds and Green is raising his arms to keep us going. Priceless.

It was a preseason game. Means nothing. But I'll never forget the score of 30-16. I'll never forget the electricity when Art Monk was enshrined. It was so long overdue. And just so perfect. And we (and everyone else there, including the people on the stage) let the world know just how much overdue this moment was in a record-breaking 4-1/2 minute standing ovation.

If you're read this far. Thank you. I have a lot of “favorite players.” Art Monk is one of them. Darrell for the other reasons will always be that “special player,” in my life for without him, perhaps the discussion between my then future husband would not have taken place and I may not have experienced what I was able to experience for 5 short years of my 55 years of life.


The end,
Leading Up To THe New Millennium

As you know if you've read some of my posts, I cannot do a lot of typing. I did find a way to do some "Blast" articles... if the moderators would let me know this isn't okay, I'd appreciate it.

This particular post covers the 1930s and the 1940s. 1950s through 1990s will follow.

The following is from:
1999 Washington Redskins Official Yearbook -- "Celebrating The New Millennium"
Published By CWC Sports, Inc.




Not sure why second picture is so small.. I hope you can read it. 1950s to come...


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Note from Docsandy: This “Blast From the Past” article is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the reason for which will become apparent as you read, and I really could not resist sharing it with everyone. In some ways, I am dating myself here, but nonetheless, it will show how just how far websites devoted to our passion, The Washington Redskins, have come.

From: The Washington Post
July 31,1997
Style Section, Page B5

The Navigator
“The Online Sidelines”​

By: Linton Weeks, Washington Post Staff Writer

Hail to the Redskins! Hail, yeah!

One month from today the Washington Redskins kick off their official season against the Carolina Panthers, and the first exhibition game is Saturday. But some savvy stalwarts have been worshipping a Redskin altars on the Internet all year long.

The official NFL Redskins site is pretty ho-hum. Here you'll find team stats, a roster, a list of coaches and all the promotional propaganda into which the word “anticipation” can fit. The Web has enough sports sites to fill the new stadium. Sports Illustrated, CNN, CBS, NBC and The Washington Post all have NFL sections and reams of Redskin reading.

But the beauty of the medium is that on the Web, hacks and homers can become handicappers, historians, reporters, scouts, even coaches.

Christopher Hijong Suh, for instance,is a 23-year-old law student at the University of Southern California who's crazy about the Skins. Between classes, he minds something called Webskins. “I used to avidly follow many other teams,” Suh explains on his personal page, “but since coming to law school I haven't had much free time. It's going to take more than a lack of free time to make me give up my Redskins, however. Sleep is overrated anyway.”

The KnoxSkins site, created by Rick Baldwin, is a gathering place for Redskins fans who live in east Tennessee. A glance at the guest book, however, reveals that Baldwin attracts Redskins rooters from all over the world.

Avid fan Anthony Clayman has posted training camp photos on World Wide Redskins. His shrine is divided into a dozen different pieces, including reports on all of the team's rookies and an in-depth analysis of the Redskins defense.

Sandy (Note added: aka Docsandy :)) and Bruce Teitler of Elkridge, Md., play around with a Web site called Radar's Home Page, named for their 17-year-old black dog. On one page the couple delve into the 1942 Redskins, when George Preston Marshall owned the team, Ray Flaherty was the coach and Sammy Baugh was the quarterback.

Asked whether Radar likes to watch the games, Sandy said, “He can't figure out why someone would catch a ball, only to be tackled and beaten. But he does tolerate it.” And the pooch has his share of Redskins mementos including a collar, a leash and a sweater.

One of the most promising sites is BLondee's Redskins Page. Matjeka's online paean to the Skins includes schedules, a history of the franchise, a tribute to Jack Kent Cooke and, perhaps the feature that will put Blondee on the map, an Anti-Dallas section.

Her “Top Ten Reasons the Cowboys Will Suck Very Soon” could use a little help from other acerbic Redskins fans. But her posting of the Michael Irving song, sung to the tune of “Deck the Halls,”is something you might have missed unless you're a regular reader of Mad Magazine. “See His Lawyer cop a plea now/Fa la la la la la la la la/Michael Irving's go-ing free now/Fa la la la la la la la la/Pusher-ers face in-car-cer-ation/Fa la la la la la la la la/All Pro Cowboys get pro-ba-tion/Fa la la la la Ha Ha Ha Ha.”
Some pretty obscure little sites there, none of which survives as far as I can tell. I have to think there were a lot more prominent Skins sites on the web at that time? 'Hacks and homers' Linton? Guess even then, 'real journalists' were already a little hostile to the threat that the web was already becoming to their exclusive control of published content.

Cool little peek at some of what was going on online back then though Sandy - thanks for sharing!
A Walk Down Memory Lane... Minnesota Style

From: HAIL TO RFK! 35 Seasons of Redskins memories. By: John Keim, Rick Snider and David Elfin 1996.

Jan. 17, 1988

Super Close

Redskins 17, Vikings 10

It was the strangest of seasons, 1987.

As in 1982 a players strike disrupted the season. But unlike the debacle which canceled seven of the 16 games five years before, this time, the owners were prepared. They quickly formed replacement teams and had them in action after canceling just one week of games.

It would have been a strange year in Washington even without the strike. Offensive line mainstays Russ Grimm and Mark May got hurt. So did star receiver Art Monk, who cost the Redskins a game by dropping a sure touchdown pass. Linebacker Monte Coleman, a backup for the previous five seasons and the next seven, started in 1987.

Coach Joe Gibbs wavered between quarterbacks Jay Schroeder and Doug Williams all year. Cornerback Barry Wilburn came out of nowhere to lead the NFL in interceptions. Washington lost to lowly Atlanta but beat nemesis Dallas twice for just the second time in club history.

"It was an ugly year," Monk said. "It's hard to explain."

The crazy season started in Philadelphia. Schroeder, Grimm, kicker Jess Atkinson and running back George Rogers all got hurt, but Williams — who hadn't thrown a pass the year before — came off the bench to lead a 34-24 victory with 272 yards and two touchdowns.

The roller coaster ride began the following week in Atlanta, where the Falcons, coming off a 48-10 embarrassment to Tampa Bay, won a seesaw struggle 21-20 helped by Bostic's snapping the ball over holder Eric Yarber's head on an extra point attempt by new kicker Ali Haji-Sheikh.

Then came the strike. General manager Bobby Beathard and his assistant, Charley Casserly, needed just 10 days to put together a decent replacement team. Bet¬ter than decent. Much better.

"Anytime there was upheaval in the league, the strikes, the USFL, to me that was the time of greatest opportunity," said Gibbs, whose team had won the Super Bowl during the strike-shortened 1982 season and which had received a talent transfusion in 1986 with the addition of receivers Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders and running back Kelvin Bryant from the USFL. "Chances are, with all of that going on a lot of people don't handle that very well. If you can handle it better than anybody else, you've got a better chance to accomplish what you want."

Unlike many teams which split over labor issues, Washington's regulars all went out on strike. That togetherness could be dangerous - defensive tackle Darryl Grant smashed a window in the bus carrying the replacement players - but it paid off during and after the strike.

The new Redskins first faced a St. Louis team with more than 10 regular players. Led by three touchdown passes from Ed Rubbert to Anthony Allen (who joined cornerback Dennis Woodberry in remaining Redskins after the strike), Washington won 28-21 at RFK.

The replacements then did something the regulars couldn't do in three tries in 1986, beat the New York Giants, although not the real ones.

That 38-12 triumph sent Washington to Dallas. It was Monday, Oct. 19, 1987 — the day of the worst stock market slide in 58 years — and the Cowboys, with such stars as Tony Dorsett, Randy White and Danny White in the lineup, were in for just as rude an awakening.

"No one gave us a chance the way they had demolished New Orleans and San Francisco. But our defense shocked them and kept them in the fold. And we did what a lot of teams couldn't do against them: we ran the football."
— Raleigh McKenzie

"A lot of people make a lot out of that game, but I think that it was a disadvantage to have your veterans in there because they weren't going to accept those strike guys," Gibbs said. "Our deal was much better. They were all strike players. They loved each other."

Many of the Redskins players gathered at ex-teammate Doc Walker's restaurant to watch the game. They were as incredulous as anyone when their replacements, led by backup quarterback Tony Robinson, H-back Craig McEwen and running back Lionel Vital, stunned the Cowboys, 13-7.

"I appreciated the fact that they won for us, but the fact that they were in there taking our place wasn't right," Monk said.

"We can't argue that Bobby Beathard, Charley Casserly and coach Gibbs had an eye for talent," Coleman said, still referring to the replacements as "scabs" almost a decade later.

Maybe returning with an NFC-leading 5-1 record assuaged some of the regulars' anger. Whatever the case, Schroeder's sprained left shoulder had healed and he started against the New York Jets. But veteran defensive tackle Dave Butz provided the inspiration. He crawled out of a hospital bed minus 24 pounds courtesy of an intestinal virus — to record the clutch fourth-quarter sack and set up Haji-Sheikh's 28-yard field goal which pulled out a 17-16 victory.

Washington then thumped Buffalo, and after losing to Philadelphia on Randall Cunningham's last-minute bomb to Greg Garrity, edged Detroit as Green intercepted three passes and Williams relieved Schroeder again. Next came Monk's rare end-zone gaffe which cost the Redskins a victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

Washington was 8-3 heading into a Thanksgiving weekend showdown with New York. The Giants were just 3-7, but they led 16-0 at halftime in front of a stunned RFK crowd.

"We were in deep, deep trouble," Gibbs said.

Schroeder, back at quarterback for the third time in the wake of Williams' sprained back, led the comeback with the seventh 300-yard day of his two-year career. Schroeder's third touchdown pass in 12 minutes, a 28-yarder to Sanders with 4:56 left, gave Washington a 23¬19 lead, but victory wasn't assured until the defense stopped halfback Tony Galbreath at the 2 as time ran out.

The following week's 34-17 rout of the Cardinals clinched the NFC East title. The Redskins then held on to beat Dallas and failed to hold off a rally by host Miami. In the season finale at Minnesota, with the offense scoreless at halftime of a 7-7 game, Gibbs yanked Schroeder for Williams. The Vikings led 24-14 before the Redskins roared back, winning 27-24 on Haji-Sheikh's 26-yard field goal in overtime.

For the second straight year, the Redskins ventured to Chicago for a playoff game and for the second straight year, they won. Despite frigid conditions — "That was the coldest I've ever been. The Vaseline froze to my body," said defensive end Charles Mann — and a 14-0 deficit, Washington overcame the odds and the power¬ful Bears.

Green, who returned a punt 52 yards for the win¬ning touchdown despite tearing rib cartilage while hur¬dling a Bear, was the hero of the 21-17 victory.

"It was just instinctive," Green said. "That was all I could do."

Green would be proven wrong in the following week's NFC Championship Game against Minnesota.

"The thing we had going for us was a psychological edge," Mann said. "We had never lost to Minnesota [in four games under Gibbs]."

But the Vikings were on fire.

"No one gave us a chance the way they had demolished New Orleans and San Francisco," McKenzie remembered. "But our defense shocked them and kept them in the fold. And we did what a lot of teams couldn't do against them: we ran the football."

And not with leading rusher Rogers or the elusive Bryant carrying it. Rookie Timmy Smith was the main man, gaining 72 yards - just four less than the entire Minnesota team - on only 13 carries.

But the Redskins still scored just once in the first half as Bryant beat linebacker Jesse Solomon for a 42-yard touchdown catch. On the opening drive, Haji-Sheikh missed field goal tries from 38 and 47 yards. Clark dropped a ball in the end zone, prompting Minnesota's game-tying touchdown drive which ended when Leo Lewis beat Wilburn and grabbed a 23-yard pass from Wade Wilson. Williams — who didn't leave the game despite bruising his right shoulder — overthrew Clark on another sure Washington score.

"I didn't get discouraged if the offense wasn't scoring," said Redskins linebacker Mel Kaufman. "We just had to do our job, stop the other team from scoring and keep giving the offense opportunities."

Kaufman did that with an interception off a deflection by Butz which set up Haji-Sheikh's go-ahead 28-yard field goal in the third quarter.

Defensive coordinator Richie Petitbon seemingly threw the entire playbook at the Vikings, who had scored 80 points against the Saints and 49ers. Petitbon used fronts of three, four and five men and even put backup linebacker Ravin Caldwell inside of the ends.

"They were moving people around and we had some confusions with our blocking patterns," said Minnesota coach Jerry Burns, whose line allowed six sacks before halftime.

"The best way to play pass defense is to have the quar¬terback on his can," Petitbon said with typical bluntness. "Our defense is a little better than average, [but] the guys play hard and we probably get the most out of what we have."

They had to on this day because Williams (9-for-26, 119 yards) was badly off-target.

After two big plays by receiver Anthony Carter put the Vikings in Washington territory, middle linebacker Neal Olkewicz became the first game-saver. Olkewicz dove across the pile on third-and-goal to thwart halfback D.J. Dozier inches short of the end zone with less than 11 minutes left.

"When you go for a play like that, you can't stop in the middle and I think D.J. did," Wilson said.

Burns declined to take another shot at the touchdown, and Chuck Nelson kicked the game-tying 18-yard field goal. But Clark beat Reggie Rutland for 43 yards to set up his own 7-yard touchdown catch on a broken pattern which Williams smartly read the same way. Washington led 17¬10 with 5:15 to go.

Wilson responded by hitting 5-of-6 passes, the last one of which put the Vikings on the Washington 6 with 1:05 left.

"The whole way downfield, we were like, 'C'mon guys, c' mon defense, you're better than that,' " Monk said of the sideline mood.

"There was a lot of talk in the huddle," Mann said. "Not confusion, but a lot of people saying what we needed to do. Everybody was making adjustments mentally and expressing them verbally so we were all on the same page."

Wilson threw an incompletion on second down and Mann pressured him into a hurried throw on the next play. It was fourth-and-the-season with 56 seconds remaining. Gibbs knelt in prayer.

Minnesota called 83-Option-Smoke. Carter was supposed to clear the left side for a pass to halfback Darrin Nelson, but he didn't run his pattern deep enough so even though Nelson had faked Coleman out, Green — who almost didn't play before finally squaring his conscience with a pain-killing pre-game shot to his ribs — was in position.

"They tried to reverse the thinking, saying, 'I know he's going to think it's coming to Anthony Carter, but we're going to clear that side out,' " Green recalled. "The problem is: how much can you clear out on the 6-yard line? The play developed slowly. I let Anthony go to the back of the end zone. I went full speed ahead."

Just as Nelson touched the ball at the goal line, Green arrived.

"I had my hands on it," Nelson said. "Anytime you have your hands on the ball, you ought to catch it."

But he didn't and the Redskins went wild with joy.

"I looked like I was a hero; everybody thought I knocked it out, but Nelson wouldn't have caught the ball anyway," Green said.

The Redskins had reached their third Super Bowl in six years, but Green wasn't going to have to be heroic again. Smith's record 204 yards on 22 carries, Sanders' nine catches for 193 yards and Williams' 340 yards and four touchdown passes which keyed a record 35-point second quarter were plenty. Washington crushed Denver 42-10.

Doc's note: I was in attendance at that Minnesota game. I remember Gibbs on his knees. I remember probably the most quietest stadium in Redskins' history on that last play… that is, until Darrell Green made his heroic play (despite what he says) and the stadium went crazy. Just another heart-stopping game. This past week's game against Seattle doesn't hold a candle (well, maybe a small one
<grin> to hat game.


I'm calling it now! If we beat the Vikings this week 17-10... I'm considering that an omen for us to win the Superbowl! :D
I'm calling it now! If we beat the Vikings this week 17-10... I'm considering that an omen for us to win the Superbowl! :D

Wish I could give you a hug... your enthusiasm and optimism so reminds me of my husband. Tell your wife to give you a big hug for me (she probably needs one from you after last night's game :( ).
Wish I could give you a hug... your enthusiasm and optimism so reminds me of my husband. Tell your wife to give you a big hug for me (she probably needs one from you after last night's game :( ).

LOL I'll give her a hug. :D

I'm the eternal optimist, takes ALOT to get me down.

This week has been particularly sucky to be honest and the Redskins victory was a bright spot.

My car broke down on Monday (last week) and I had to pay to have that fixed and I was already tight on cash this month, I got taken to hospital and diagnosed with Kidney Stones... again (Tuesday), Wednesday I got into a fight with the Council about a parking ticket for a car I don't own anymore, Thursday we got the news that my Dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimers, so Friday was spent with my Mum dealing with that. And on top of that I've had a flu type bug all week, which now my wife has.

To be honest I was pretty down on Sunday so the chat and the victory were such a welcome tonic after the week I'd had.

Thanks for the hugs Doc! :D Right back atcha!
LOL I'll give her a hug. :D

I'm the eternal optimist, takes ALOT to get me down.

This week has been particularly sucky to be honest and the Redskins victory was a bright spot.

To be honest I was pretty down on Sunday so the chat and the victory were such a welcome tonic after the week I'd had.

Thanks for the hugs Doc! :D Right back atcha!

So sorry to hear that... kindof sounds like my life in general, which is why I so look forward to the game chats. Redskins football, win or lose, is a bright spot in an otherwise sucky life. But I'm not looking for pity... just nice to have friends like you and everyone here that I can chat with.

Hugs... hope things are better for you this week.
Re: Doc's Blast from the Past -- Remember this? Brings a smile to my face.

Well, because of the nerve damage in my hand, I won't be able to post my “Blast From the Past” too often. I ran across this article right before the first of two heart attacks last summer, and since it kindof makes me chuckle, I wanted to post it. It's not living in the past, but I think you'll understand where I'm coming from in posting this in these days of player complaints, controversy, etc.


Source: Florida Today, Monday, January 27, 1992.

“Look for the team that complains first. That team will lose. It never fails.” --- John Madden predicting Super Bowl VIII

“We have no complains about anything.” --- Joe Gibbs the day before Super Bowl XXVI.

MINNEAPOLIS – The Buffalo Bills said they felt right at home in this town.

Now we know why.

They are a reincarnation of the ‘70s Minnesota Vikings if there ever was one.

Washington 37, Buffalo 24. And it wasn't that close.

Now the 1991 Redskins, a team that got better with age, can be stored on a shelf alongside some of NFL's vintage teams.

Here, smell the bouquet. The Redskins went 17-2. They outscored opponents by 261 points in the regular season and postseason (61 points in three games).

Now sniff the 1991 Bills. Good year, bitter aftertaste. This is a team headed for the Superbowl Whine Cellar.

Sure, the Redskins were the better team. But it was more than that Sunday. The better team doesn't always win. See the Reds over the Athletics, Duke over UNLV, the New York Giants over the Bills last year (if you recall, that whine had a little kick – but it was wide right).​

Bills appeared too uptight

The Bills should have learned from the Giants' example. Relax. Have some fun during Super Bowl week. Just go with the always-ridiculous flow. But noooo.

When the Bills were uptight last year in Tampa, everyone figured it was because it was their first trip to a Super Bowl.

So what was the excuse this time?

It will be hard to blame this one on Scott Norwood.

The Bills arrived in Minneapolis on Monday and promptly began complaining about everything but the weather.

Thurman Thomas, MVP running back and lead whiner, complained the media keeps saying he is the league's best “all-around” running back – this, of course, is a terrible label to be stuck with – and that his offensive coordinator had the nerve to say quarterback Jim Kelly was the team's Michael Jordan.

We take it all back.

Mr. Thomas is indeed the Michael Jordan of this team. He proved this Sunday when he took a pass from Kelly and dribbled across midfield.​


Thomas missed the first two plays of the game. Turns out he was wandering around behind the bench trying to find his helmet.

He eventually found it and spent the night having it slam-dunked into the turf – 10 carries, 13 yards.

And how about the Redskins offense?

During the week Bills defensive end Bruce Smith complained that “every time we turn around the Redskins are saying that we don't have a defense.”

First of all, none of the thousands of journalists on hand heard a Redskin player make such a statement.

Secondly, the Bills don't have a defense.

We saw that again Sunday. Mark Rypien, the quarterback who a year ago people said could never take the Redskins to the Super Bowl, shredded the Bills' secondary.

The Redskins stayed calm. The Bills panicked. It's nothing new. In fact, former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker E.J. Holub said that before Super Bowl I “guys in the tunnel were throwing up and wetting their pants.”

The Chiefs lost by 25 points.

The Redskins could have complained about plenty of things.

Rypien could have complained he wasn't getting enough credit for his role on the team. Linebacker Wilber Marshall, a Titusville native who harassed Kelly all night, could have complained he wasn't getting enough credit for perhaps his finest season. All the Redskins could have complained that the Bills were hogging the headlines.

But the Redskins have no complaints.

Just another Super Bowl trophy.​

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As we enjoy today's conversations, let's remember our dear friends 'Docsandy', Sandy Zier-Teitler, and 'Posse Lover', Michael Huffman, who would dearly love to be here with us today! We love and miss you guys ❤

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