This picture here fits in the Stuff That Was Buried In Files At Redskins Park category, while the information in the quotes falls into the Old But New To Me category. This is a multi-purpose blog post. Also, the image is from Nate Fine Photo; click to enlarge.
That’s a picture of the post-draft press conference from 1980 — from left to right it’s Art Monk, general manager Bobby Beathard, head coach Jack Pardee, and Mat Mendenhall — and I was originally going to post this item simply because I think the photo is awesome. The team should’ve made a sign like that for Ryan Kerrigan this year, using just as many different fonts. Also: SIX pennants!
But then I dug into the Washington Post archives to see if the guys pictured here had said anything interesting during the presser, and I was pleasantly surprised. The post-presser article is written by Donald Huff, and it contains a few things worthy of note 31 years later.
First of all, most of the early attention is focused on second-round pick Mendenhall, who had overcome a ruptured appendix and whom (of course) Beathard claims the team considered picking in the first round. (Mendenhall would go on to a disappointing career and can currently be found as one of the options on the “Worst Redskins DE Of All Time” poll over at Hogs Haven. That’s what you get for spelling Matt with only one T.)
Appropriately for a guy whose quiet demeanor would become his defining characteristic, Monk is barely mentioned on the first page of the article and doesn’t get quoted until the SIXTEENTH graf of Huff’s story. (That’s three from the end.) AND his first quote is about changing positions from wide receiver to running back. (“I like receiver. But if it meant helping the team, I could still play running back,” Monk said.)
But it was the two paragraphs about Monk’s school choice that were the most interesting to me:
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Since Ben Ceccarelli set the tone in this morning’s Hail! strip, let’s return to another Steve Spurrier-related item. About a month ago, I posted a picture of the former-Redskins coach alongside Redskins Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen, both in their much younger days, at the Touchdown Club awards banquet in January of 1967.
With a little research, I was able to explain a few things about the photo and the events of that long-ago night, but one question remained: who was the mystery third man pictured between Spurrier and Jurgensen, who had seemingly gone unmentioned in news accounts of the evening.
You can see him again here — much less central this time — spotlighted in this full group shot of the head table. (Click for a much larger, unspotlighted version — it’s like a circa-1967 Where’s Waldo of athletic awesomeness.)
The answer came, as so many answers do on the internet, from a commenter. Just thirty-ish hours after I posted the picture, John Druhan wrote:
The person in the photo is Richard Eisenacher, as quarterback for Albert Einstein High School in Montgomery County, MD Rick threw 25 touchdown passes to achieve a Maryland state record. He is a member of the Albert Einstein High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Druhan even included a link to the AEHS Hall Of Fame site. And the picture from there clearly looks like the same guy (Click to enlarge):
A brief conversation with Druhan confirmed the ID, the AEHS HOF bio gave Eisenacher’s place of employment, and that’s how I wound up talking to Eisenacher about his memories of that night.
“Forty-four years ago,” Eisenacher said, sounding slightly amazed. “That’s a long time.”
Not so long, though, that Eisenacher didn’t remember it clearly:
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Earlier this week, I mentioned the infamous Osaka game - the one night, I called it, when Steve Spurrier’s offense really lived up to the hype. Well, there must be something Spurrier in the air, because Hail! writer/artist Ben Ceccarelli also elects to go back to those heady 45-pass-attempts-in-a-preseason-game days with today’s Hail.
As always, click this first panel or the Read More link to see the rest of the strip.
Tags: ben ceccarelli, hail
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