The 1980’s Washington Redskins

51cjO8uF3zL__SX329_BO1,204,203,200_This is well done history of the Washington Redskins during their heyday from 1981 to 1992 in which Joe Gibbs lead the team to three Super Bowl victories with three different quarterbacks.

While I am not a Redskins fan I was an admirer of the team during that period of time with its run oriented offense and tough defenses.

There certainly were a cast of colorful charters starting with running back John Riggins and the offensive linemen known as the Hogs, to the Fun Bunch which is what the wide receivers are known as.  The author provides an excellent portrait of how this cast of characters were melded into championship teams.

A few themes emerge about the history of the Redskins at this time.  First is the perseverance of Joe Gibbs. It took some time to start winning and he thought he was going to be fired before he turned the team around.  But turn the team around he did for a decade of success.  He luring John Riggins back out of retirement is an interesting story as you have the straight laced Joe Gibbs cajoling the drinking, carousing, curiosity known as John Riggins.  But Riggins was an integral part of the Redskins success and Gibbs knew it.

The creating of The Hogs – offensive linemen – and the Fun Bunch – wide receivers was also enjoyable to relive.  The Hogs particularly became a marketing sensation as well for the normally unknown offensive line.

There are more stories here as well, from Doug Williams up again, down again ride until his Super Bowl victory, the flair of Joe Theisman, the curmudgeonly Jack Kent Cooke, and the excellence of Darrell Green.

And finally, Joe Jacoby, the left tackle on this team, belongs in the Hall of Fame.

For a Redskins fan wanting to relive the glory days this is a must read.

Hail to the Redskins: Gibbs, the Diesel, the Hogs, and the Glory Days of D.C.’s Football Dynasty

 

 

Must Have Resource For Washington Redskins Fans

The Redskins Encyclopedia by Michael Richman

Review by C. Douglas Baker

The Redskins Encyclopedia is definitely a must have for Redskins fans. I am not even a Redskins fan and I found it thoroughly engaging and interesting, which is quite a feat for a text heavy encyclopedic history of a professional football team I don’t even root for.

The bulk of the book is dedicated to a chronological history of the Washington Redskins’ franchise from its origin in 1932 as the Boston Braves through 2006.

The book provides a review of each and every season in Redskins history, and what a history it has been.  You have the 1940’s with Slinging Sammy Baugh and a few World Championships.  You get to relive the topsy-turvy 1970’s under coach George Allen when the team lost Super Bowl VII to the undefeated Miami Dolphins.  You can recapture the glory years under Joe Gibbs and the heyday of the team in the 1980’s, winning three Super Bowls.  And then you can lament, if you are a Redskins fan, the post-Gibbs era and the recent return of Gibbs to save a franchise mired in mediocrity that persists today (and will like to continue to do so under the meddlesome owner Dan Snyder).

During the journey you will meet the great players and characters throughout Redskins history and get an excellent feel for the deep history and historical ebbs and flows of this long tenured franchise.

One of the nice touches of this work is that it breaks Redskins history into eras.  Before each era the book provides introductory insights into the franchise and where it was at and where it was headed before delving into season by season reviews.  This provides context and continuity. 

It also uses text boxes to provide greater detail about seminal Redskins owners, executives, and players. The text boxes provide some excellent information while nicely breaking up the text, making it more reader friendly.

One section of the book consists of mini-biographies of all the great Washington Redskins players, coaches, owners, and executives in the history of the franchise. I thought I would skim through this section quickly but it captured my attention so much I read through the entire section.

The last part of the book provides what most encyclopedias are supposed to provide, all-time team results, records, and other various statistics about the team.

Overall I found this to be a very through and engaging treatment of the history of the Washington Redskins.

 The Redskins Encyclopedia