THN Home Page

Redskins Memories and Lore

By Les Barnhart | February 6th, 2004

At this time of year, with the football season all but finished and the next big date on the NFL calendar being the start of free agency, we at thought that a look back at some of the things that make the Redskins the greatest franchise ever was in order. We hope that you enjoy these moments and they provide some entertainment as well as ease the pain of not having football for a little while…

How about our favorite Redskin running back, John Riggins? Namely, this comment at a dinner banquet, “Loosen up, Sandy, baby”, to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Or how about the Diesel’s comments after being named the MVP of Super Bowl XVII..”Ron [Reagan] may be president, but tonight I’m king.” That’s classic Riggins there my friends.

Then there is George Allen, who stepped in to fill the shoes of Vince Lombardi to coach our beloved Redskins. He is also given credit for building the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry to one of the greatest in all sports. There is a legendary story that originated in the 1975 season when the Redskins drafted DE Dallas Hickman from California in the ninth round. The story is that George Allen asked Hickman to change his first name because Allen “didn’t like Dallas.” Not sure if Hickman did as the coach asked.

Another George Allen story is several years after he retired from coaching he was asked to coach a team of retired Redskins against a team of retired Cowboys in a flag football type game. Allen was coaching the game as though they were in pads and was getting very excited on the sidelines. The folks producing the game had Allen miked and at one point, after the Cowboys did something to stymie Allen’s boys, the colorful coach turned and exclaimed.”Damnit, I hate Dallas.” That went over the television broadcast.

Apparently the wheeling and dealing that is done in today’s front office by owner Daniel Snyder comes with the territory. On January 7th, 1971, the Redskins front office brass outmaneuvered and out jockeyed several other NFL teams to sign head coach George Allen just seven days after the then Los Angeles Rams released him.

Doug Williams may never make the list of all time tough guys but maybe he should be considered…did you know that he underwent an emergency root canal on the night before he played in Super Bowl XXII, the same game that he would be named the MVP? No, don’t feel bad, the media was not notified either.

Joe Theismann’s silver screen resume includes two major motion pictures. The most notable was in the forgettable “Cannonball Run II” which was released in 1984. His other film credits come from the 1980 movie, “Sam Marlowe, Private Eye”.

“Hail to the Redskins…” That fight song has been sung many times by many fans of the burgundy and gold, but where did it come from? Well, the music was provided by Barnee Breeskin and the lyrics came from Corinne Griffith (wife of team founder George Preston Marshall). The song made its original debut on August 17, 1938. Marshall actually dressed up a band in imitation Indian wear and the performed the song in the first recorded halftime shows.

The 1981 draft. In that year’s draft, the Redskins drafted the following players: Mark May, Russ Grimm, Dexter Manley, Charlie Brown, Darryl Grant and Clint Didier. Now we challenge you to find a team that has ever taken that many quality NFL players in one draft.

Think it is impossible to build a dynasty without the benefit of some blue chip 1st rounders? Check this out… between the 1970 and 1979 season, the Redskins had NONE. They followed that up with only three first round picks in the 1980’s. For those of you keeping score, put it this way, the Redskins had a total of three first round picks from 1970 to 1990. Of course, that could have been a good thing considering the likes of future 1st round picks: Bobby Wilson, Desmond Howard, Heath Shuler and Michael Westbrook.

Did you know that Darryl Grant was drafted as an offensive lineman and not a defensive tackle? There is actually a poster out there with Grant as a Hog!!!

Did you know that Wilbur Marshall got the nickname Steve Austin when he arrived in Washington? The team was poking fun at his $6 million contract (which was huge at the time).

Did you know that on top of the ‘Hogs Night Out’ poster that there is a poster out there — somewhere — with the Hogs standing around a graveyard as a Dallas Cowboys casket is lowered into the ground? It’s called graveyard Hogs and it also includes the Giants’ and Eagles’ logos on headstones in the background. If you have or know where to get this poster, please let us know.

And finally…Did you know that Russ Grimm once ate a 64 oz prime rib in one sitting?

This is just a few of the many memories that the Redskins players and coaches have given it’s fans over the years. We hope that you enjoyed them and please feel free to email us or check our message boards and share your memories or stories of being a fan of the greatest team ever.

-The Core
(Mark “Boss Hog” Solway, Scott “Scooter” Moore and Les “Wingman” Barnhart)

*Special thanks to ESPN for their information and statistics.

Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Les Barnhart

Categories Posted In | Washington Commanders |