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The Photographic Tribute To Chris Hanburger

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 3, 2011 – 8:18 am

AP Image

Deep in the heart of Redskins Park lies a treasure trove of memories stored in large manila envelopes and tucked away in filing cabinets.  There are game programs, news clippings, and of course, black and white photos.

Every now and then we take a trip down memory lane, and this week, I have a particularly timely sequence of photos of soon-to-be Hall Of Famer, Chris Hanburger.

Hanburger was a dominant linebacker and a lifetime Redskin.  Among his many accolades, he was named NFC Defensive Player of the Year, and was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection.

General Manager Bruce Allen said of Hanburger’s induction:

“He was a great competitor. Like you hear coaches today talk about the details, Chris was into the details. He made his teammates accountable.”

“Obviously his achievements even today when you look back are significant. Remember in his era, he called all of the defenses, not just the audibles,” Allen continued.  “There was no radio in the helmet from the coaches. He had to work to prepare and call all of the plays.”

“I think it’s magnificent for Chris and all of his teammates that he got honored with a selection to the Hall of Fame,” Allen continued.  “It’s going to be a special weekend. Chris’ speech will probably be about one minute long, but the party we are having for him and his teammates is going to be a great tribute for him and the Redskins.”

Hanburger also holds the distinction of playing over a 12-year period, during which the team changed helmet designs twice.

His own personal taste in hair style changed a couple of times too.  It’s not exactly clear when the yearbook photos were taken, but we can indicate from the helmet design approximately when it was.

The old Redskins helmet with the spear design was the team’s helmet from 1965–when Hanburger entered the league–to 1969:


In 1969, the team hired former Packers legend Vince Lombardi to coach the Redskins.  Let’s just say that he brought more than his playbook to Washington, adapting the team’s helmet to something a little more familiar.

The change in helmet design also ushered in a change in yearbook poses and hairstyle:



After only one season at the helm of the Redskins, Lombardi passed away.  The team used the “R” style from 1970-71 seasons, but in 1972, they were looking for a change.

The third photo features a shaggy Hanburger and a much more familiar helmet design:

Hanburger is long-overdue in his enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, and should have a tremendous celebration this weekend at Canton.  If you’re free, try to make the drive out there, and fill Ohio with Burgundy and Gold.  If you’re anywhere else this weekend, then tune in to coverage on the NFL Network, starting Saturday at 1 p.m.

Congratulations, Chris!

(Many thanks to Larry Michael for the assist on the photos)


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Posted in Uncategorized | 27 Comments »


27 Responses to “The Photographic Tribute To Chris Hanburger”

  1. By nicefellow31 on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Couple of things. Vince Lomabardi was hired in and coaced the 1969 season. He passed away in Sept of 1970, the 1st season that the Skins used the Green Bay like helmet.

    The action photograph is the Monday night game against the Baltimore Colts in 1978. That was the last year of the yellow pants and the 1st season of the Colts wearing white facemasks. The back attempting to block Hanburger is future Redskin Joe Washington. Dave Butz is the big Redskin with his hands in the air.

  2. By reesespieces on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    That is some in depth info nicefellow31. I’ve been a fan since 89 (2nd grade) and I hope I know all of what you’ve said in relation to what I know years later. Exceptional.

  3. By nelrock on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    and the DE next to Butz? 79? Ron McDole?

  4. By nicefellow31 on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Thaks reesespieces. I actually have a DVD of that game.

    nelrock. I’m not sure that’s Ron McDole. One reason I say that is he wore a “two bar” face mask his entire career. Also according to the google news archive, he was replace in that game by Karl Lorch who wore #71. I can’t really tell what the 2nd number on the jersey represents, but I think its him.

  5. By EASHER on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Outta my way, hogs!!!

  6. By jdahalt on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    I thought it might be McDole at first also, but he never wore arm pads either. Could it be Diron Talbert #72?

  7. By Ron Goings on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Here is something of interest, Chris is leaping over future Washington Redskin Joe Washington in that picture, at this time he was a Baltimore Colt, that is Bert Jones at QB. Looks like the flying squirrel move to me, I am sure some punishment followed.

  8. By DJ on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Watch this Lavar Arrington!

  9. By Pete Hartman on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    “A Storm’s a Comin”

  10. By Gail on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Great football player. Maybe one of the very best Redskins.
    Worst haircut going. Defintiely the worst of the worst, and we’ve had some doozies over the years.

  11. By Steve Duquette on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Bert Jones is about to be ground up by Chris Hanberger

  12. By everythingthrees on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Congratulations!! After all of these years, I’m still a Redskins fan, although the Panthers are in my state now. I grew up with my father watching the Redskins. My favorite memory is while I was playing Barbies at his feet, I’ll never forget him standing up, and start low and getting louder and louder until he was yelling what I thought he was saying “Go Hamburger, Go Hamburger, Go Hamburger….Hot Dog!!!” Although I have no idea what year that was, or the play, it started my love for football, and didn’t think Barbies were so much fun anymore!!
    Diane

  13. By Howard Epstein on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    If you don’t carry me ovrr there to sack the quarterback I’ll sack you next time and every time.

  14. By Ted Tuck on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    “Baltimore Colts Running Back, Joe Washington, serves up a heaping Hanburger dinner to QB Burt Jones.”

  15. By Mia (Amie) Lincoln on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Though i cannot make it to Canton, I will be watching it on TV. I am glad the icons are being recognized! Hazzah!

  16. By timothy siron on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    chris was one of my best player on the team back then been a redskin fan all my life i am so glad he got in way to go chris

  17. By John Griffith on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Look…Up in the sky!!! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s the Hanburglar!!!

  18. By william jalet on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    “Full speed ahead and damn the torpedo’s”!! Go Skins’!!

  19. By Ehab Ateia on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    The good ole days!!!

  20. By DocMike on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    A long overdue tribute to the player who gave me more to cheer about than anyone I can recall! A class player and a class act!

  21. By Tim Miller on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    The Epitome of the “Over the Hill Gang!”

    “The Heyday!”

  22. By John Orndorff on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    ” Left arm locked and loaded “

  23. By redskinhp67 on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    I grew up in southern Maryland in the 60s and 70s, deep into redskin territory. Every school picture I ever took, I was wearing my redskin t-shirts, including my 3 years in Florida. My favorite player of all time was yours truely, Chris the “Hang-man” Hanburger. Years later (2011) and old friend of mine “Mikette” of the actual Hogettes, invited me to tag along with some of the Hogettes to the NFL Hall of Fame enshrinement of Hanburger. Lets just say the private after party in Hanburger’s tent, along with coaches and x skins, was not only a dream come true, but a memory that will be etched in my mind, and my facebook page forever. Somehow when Chris was introduced, the camera’s caught me standing and screaming, with my throwback arrow helmet raised high above my head. I got that helmet signed by Chris later that same day. Hail to the Redskins, and Hail to Chris Hanburger.

  24. By mrglenn66 on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    Chris “Hamburger” Hanburger was probably my all-time FAVORITE player, EVER. I’m a lifelong Skins fan. I can remember living in D.C. as a small boy and watching the skins with my brothers. My dad, just to mess with us, would usually root for the opposing team (cowboys, uuggghh!!!). I remember being so impressed with Chris’s game play. He was playing for the love of the game (and to create some havoc for the other team). Seems like the guys all had better attitudes back then, unlike many of the Divas of today’s NFL, save for RGIII. I just discovered from this article that Hanburger played HS ball in the Tidewater area where I moved to in ’73. Hell, I even joined the Army (just like Chris), haha. Anyway, I’ve been around the world now and will always cheer on my skins with lots of pride. Congrats to Chris on his amazing accomplishment!

  25. By billy mcfarland on Nov 29, 2013 | Reply

    my dad gave chris his wings hyde airport clinton md
    he was a very good pilot and great mentor to me hope he still flys
    billy mcfarland 2w6 st marys airport

  26. By billy mcfarland on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    you can see chris old airplane on utube

    hyde field 1976 clinton md

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