What could have been

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What could have been

Postby thedcnative » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:58 am

One of the best Christmas gifts I ever received was a copy of the Complete History of the Washington Redskins DVD. Through that DVD, I've learned so much about the organization and the history of the team I love the most. I've also developed a lot of questions and observations about what could have been.

It seems like early on in the team history, Marshall allowed himself to let go of the team and allow his football people to do what they had to do to win. The Redskins of the 30's and 40's were some of the best of their time. It seems, though, that by the end of WWII, his head got the best of him and he started to hire "yes men" than brought the team down to new lows that we still haven't seen again today. What does this say about owners that are overly involved in the day to day proceedings of a pro sports club?

The thing that brought up the most questions, though, was in that little patch of time between the mid 60's and the late 70's when the team began to pick itself back up. If the Redskins had a good defense that was able to stop teams fairly well, could they have been one of the better teams of the decade? Furthermore, did coach Allen's conservative approach to the game hurt the team as much as it helped them. If he allowed Sonny to "do his thing" (as Bobby Mitchell said in the program), how successful would the Redskins be in the post season? Why couldn't the Redskins get the job done in the Super Bowl?

The last one, though, is something that's always puzzled me. What happened in 1984 that caused the Redskins, THE most dominate team of the '83-'84 season, to lose to the Raiders the way they did? Was it a case of pregame pride or was it just the Raiders' time to shine?

Anyway, those were a few observations I made.

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Postby welch » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:50 pm

So many decades, but here's what I saw (having started as a Redskin fan when Choo-Choo Justice was a star):

- Marshall had lost his way by 1945. He did not keep up with football, and, unfortunately, he always wanted to be both coach and GM. Just like George Halas, who was great as both. The league was chasing after Paul Brown's innovations, and Marshal didn't even know it.

- The Allen teams were, indeed, among the best the the NFL. Year after year. If Sonny had not broken an arm in '71 and snapped an achilles tendon in '72, the Redskins could have won the Super Bowl either year. Certainly would have won SB 7...and Don Shula shook Sonny's hand after the game, and said, "It would have been a different game if you had played". Even at that, Allen's teams were pretty good. Consistent winners.

See http://www.jt-sw.com/football/pro/teams ... s/redskins for all the scores, final standings, and player stats you want.

- SB 18? Was there a Super Bowl 18? I remember getting a six-pack and some chips, and going with Oxon Hill Dave down to a friend's house to watch the game. The friend had this amazing thing called "cable" attached to another amazing thing called a "color TV". My son, Redskin Dan v1978 had to stay home, because I didn't want him trampled by us drunken rowdies. However, that game was never played. We had no chance to become rowdy. There was no Super Bowl 18.

(Likewise, don't believe any of those rumors about some NFL championship game that the Skins supposedly lost 73 - 0. Never happened.)

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Postby welch » Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:29 pm

I should have added that G.P. Marshall decided to make the Redskins represent racial segregation. All through the 50s, even as that team up the Baltimore Washington Parkway built a double-championship team with stars like Lennie Moore, Jim Parker and Gene Lipscomb, Marshall proudly ignored his chance to draft, oh, Jim Brown...maybe the greatest football player of all time.

Meanwhile, Shirley Povich -- Washington Post sports editor, great journalist, and liberal -- pounded Marshall in column after column. "Bobby Mitchell and the Browns integrated the Redskins end-zone four times Sunday..."

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Postby thedcnative » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:19 pm

I really don't think Marshall cared about his team's performance on the field. And as strange as it sounds, I don't even think he was a racist. I think he was a man controlled by money. He knew that if he integrated the Redskins, he would lose money from the Southern markets. In his mind, the Redskins were the team of the south. It all came back to money.
Yes, Virgina, you can be a "real fan" and protest against the front office.

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Postby Kilmer72 » Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:48 pm

Interesting questions. As far as Allen goes he didn't like Sonny. Sonny did his own thing as far as plays. This is how it was explained to me by my older brother. He said Kilmer was his QB and Sonny was a problem. Obviously Sonny was the better qb but if your coach tell you to do this or that you better do it. I could be wrong but this is how it was explained years ago to me.


As far as the Raiders game goes from what I remember our team partied way too much. This was when Gibbs tightened the leash some. The Raiders and I still hate them today were a good team. We could have taken them because we already beat them earlier that year and everyone else pretty much. It was really about one sad play Rocket Screen. Man you really brought up bad memories. That team was better than the previous years team that one the bowl.

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