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Tony Kornheiser’s Old Bandwagon Feature At The Washington Post

Before Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon were doing Pardon The Interruption, they were both sportswriters / columnists for the Washington Post. Good ones. That doesn’t mean that everybody enjoyed what they wrote, but they were both well respected for their writing abilities.

Kornheiser first started writing for the Post in 1979, and became a full-time sports columnist for them in 1984. He was known for his humor, and for a sarcastic flare. He would often write with an alter ego that would post thoughts in italics to question his own views.

He was witty. He was funny. It was excellent writing, and at a time when people still read, and there were newspapers to read.

Bring On The Bandwagon

In 1991, he created what may have been his most famous works – the Bandwagon columns. Throughout the Redskins entire Super Bowl run that season. Kornheiser wrote a piece every Tuesday that celebrated “the fun and hilarity of sports”. By the fourth week of the season when Washington absolutely pounded the Lions 45-0, it had taken on the Bandwagon name.

With every week, the column gained momentum.

Kornheiser began by poking a little fun with Head Coach Joe Gibbs, and his propensity to foresee doom at every stop on the schedule. Then on to Redskins followers, who seemed to somehow view every single bad play as a sign of disaster. And every good one as a sign of eliteness.

The Post even made up an RV as the Bandwagon, that Kornheiser and friends drove across country to Minneapolis, Minnesota to watch Super Bowl XXVI.

Korny's Bandwagon RV

Tony described these times as “the most fun I ever had as a writer”.

So here are the season full of columns from The Bandwagon. They are still available at the Post – just not easy to come across unless you’re looking specifically for them. You can also still find the articles archived on the Wayback Machine. Just click on an article and it will open in a new page or tab.

These articles harken back to one of the greatest times and eras in Washington football history. They are a fun way to re-live arguably the greatest season that any Washington football fan ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

Skins Bandwagon

The Bandwagon Articles

Riptide: Currently Stirring: The Redskins rout the Barry Sanders-less Detroit Lions, 45-0, on opening day, prompting Kornheiser to prepare for a trip to Minneapolis.

4-0: Strike Up the Band(Wagon): After defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, 34-27, the Redskins are 4-0 on the young season. They have already recorded two shutouts, but mighty Philadelphia looms in Week 5.

Latest From the Bandwagon: It’s in the Bag: Another week, another shutout. This time the Philadelphia Eagles are steamrolled on a Monday night, 23-0.

Perfectly Six-and-Okay: The Bandwagon picks up steam with a 20-7 pummeling of the Bears in Chicago, prompting Kornheiser to advise readers to kiss the 1972 unbeaten Dolphins goodbye.

It’s Time to Make Hay While the Sun Shines on the Bandwagon: The Redskins demolish the Cleveland Browns, 42-17, going into the bye week. Kornheiser’s offering a midseason special and group rates for the Bandwagon.

Sounds So Sweet, Rides So Smooth: After getting stuck for a half in the New Jersey marsh after a week off, the Bandwagon kicks it into high gear in the second half and rolls over the Giants, 17-13.

We’re Doin’ Fine on Cloud 9 (And 0): The Bandwagon coughs and rattles a little in Houston, but a missed kick by the Oilers’ Ian (Have Resume, Must Travel) Howfield helps it get back on track, 16-13.

Grease the Axles and the Palms: After a 56-17 shellacking of the Falcons, it looks as if Atlanta purchased its vaunted “red gun” offense from Toys R Us. The Bandwagon rolls on.

On the Bandwagon, It’s All for Won: Another week, another rout. This time the victims are the Pittsburgh Steelers, who get throttled by the Bandwagon, 41-14.

This Is the Pits: The Redskins get ambushed by the Dallas Cowboys, 24-21, prompting Washington quarterback to explain that the Bandwagon just stopped for “a potty break.”

A Truly Chair-Raising Experience: An uninspired first half against the Rams finds the Redskins leading, 7-6. But after Coach Joe “The Toe” Gibbs kicks a few chairs, the Redskins cranks up the engine in the second half and cruises to a 27-6 victory.

A Bumper Crop Sticks With the Bandwagon: Another unimpressive performance finds the Redskins down, 14-0, to the Cardinals after the first half. Once again, however, they manage to jump start the Bandwagon and win, 20-14.

A Ride Without Cruise Control: After suffering a minor injury to his right hand against the Giants, Mark Rypien offers to drive the Bandwagon with his left hand. But with New York quarterback Phil Simms looking more like Sy Syms in the second half, the Redskins come away with a 34-17 rout.

In Garage, Winterizing: The Bandwagon spends a meaningless weekend in the garage as the Redskins are beaten by the Eagles, 24-22. With the playoffs ahead, legendary receiver Russ “The Flea” Grimm advises Kornheiser to “put snow tires on that bad boy. We’ve got three big games to go.”

Out of the Mud, Into the Snow, And Away We Go: On a muddy, rainy day at RFK Stadium the Redskins send Jerry Glanville, Deion Sanders, special Atlanta sideline guest rapper M.C. Hammer and the rest of the Falcons dancing back to Atlanta with a 24-7 stomping.

Checklist: Parka, Triptik, Bumper Stickers, Dylan Tapes…: The Bandwagon is on its way to Minneapolis and Super Bowl XXVI. Even with Barry Sanders, the Detroit Lions are ground into the RFK Stadium turf by the Redskins, 41-10, in the NFC Championship.

Are We There Yet? Bandwagon Rolls Out on 1,150-Mile Journey: The myth becomes reality, as Kornheiser, Deputy Sports Editor Jeanne McManus, columnist Norman Chad and two professional drivers pile into a 33-foot recreational vehicle for a ride to Minneapolis.

Heat Up the Bandwagon and Full Steam Ahead: The Bandwagon sets out. Highlights of the first day include: a gas station on Massachusetts Avenue, the world-famous Breezewood truck stop (318 gas stations! No waiting!) in Pennsylvania and the Signature Hotel in Elkhart, Ind., where Kornheiser is the VIP of the Day.

Psychic Vibes Keep Bandwagon Rolling: Day Two of the journey, and highlights include a Michael “That Toddlin’ Town” Wilbon sighting in Chicago, a road sign that reads: “Grandma’s Restaurant and Deer Processing (Out Back”, and a consultation with psychics who didn’t know the two teams in the Super Bowl.

1,200 Miles From Home, Bandwagon Meets Dome: With breathless anticipation, the Bandwagon’s passengers await, and finally get a glimpse of their final destination: The Metrodome, in all its marshmallow-like glory.

Yes, But by How Many?: With the big day finally on hand, Kornheiser is mobbed by people asking for a prediction. Kornheiser gives 378 predictions to various newspapers, radio and TV stations — each one of them different.

A Bandwagon on a Roll Gathers Mo Moss: The Redskins defeat the Bills, 37-24, leaving Kornheiser looking for answers about the Bandwagon’s future. Drive it off a cliff? Put it in a garage? Perhaps Russ “The Flea” Grimm offers the best solution: “The Bandwagon has pulled more than its share this season. You can’t send it over a cliff. I don’t want to be one of the guys who has to go down there next year and lug the damn thing up the hill.” Then, Grimm looked up with a broad, satisfied smile. “Even if nobody drives it, once a month you should wash it, grease it and groom it. Store it in a warm garage, and savor every moment, till the rest of time.”

Artist Richard Thompson created an “I’m on the Redskins Bandwagon” handkerchief in 1991 for Kornheiser’s WP column:

Richard thompson's bandwagon art

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