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Fletcher A Worthy Winner In Community

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 11, 2012 – 5:08 pm

Even though the Super Bowl isn’t for another three weeks, winners are already being awarded, and Redskins linebacker London Fletcher is one of them.

Athletes in Action has announced that Fletcher will be named the 2012 ‘Bart Starr Award’ winner, given to a player who best exemplifies Starr’s commitment to family, teammates and the community.  The award will be given to Fletcher at the Super Bowl Breakfast in Indianapolis on Feb. 4.

Fletcher’s unquestionable commitment and contribution to the Redskins on the field is matched only by his efforts and initiatives off the field.  In addition to his work with team-organized events like Redskins’ Harvest Feast, the “Stuff a Backpack” School Supply Drive, The Children’s Inn and visits to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Fletcher founded London’s Bridge as a nonprofit in 2003.

Ironically, ever since his nomination late last week, Fletcher has blogged about bridging the gap to the next generation, and also headlined a final push for the Choice Hotels Washington D.C. project, “The Room to Rebuild”: Read more »

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Casserly: You Root For Guys Like Fletcher

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 11, 2012 – 3:52 pm

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As a front office executive during the golden age of Redskins football, Charlie Casserly has seen tremendous players suit up in the Burgundy and Gold.

Now as an analyst for the NFL on CBS, Casserly still keeps a close eye on the Redskins, and has been very impressed with the play and demeanor of No. 59.  With Fletcher’s recent invitation to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, Casserly told CSNWashington’s Jennifer Williams that a wrong had finally been righted:

Oh, I think the guy’s had a terrific career–he really has.  I mean, when you think about it, this guy’s 5-foot-9.  How many times do you walk through one of the malls here in D.C. and see people that are 5-foot-9 and they’re not a Pro Bowl linebacker?  How about that?

As a fan and promoter of obscure analogies, I like your angle, Charlie.  The point is that Fletcher is an under-sized, under-valued, under-appreciated guy from a Division III school in Ohio.  All that he’s done since then is become one of the best professional players in the league, and exhibit world-class consistency and character.

You won’t find that in your average shopping mall. Read more »

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Dick Stanfel Dominant From U.S.F. To D.C.

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 11, 2012 – 2:04 pm

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Earlier this week, the Redskins announced that former Redskins offensive guard Dick Stanfel was a Hall of Fame nominee via Senior Committee vote.

Given that Stanfel played in an NFL era around the time that my parents were born, I don’t truthfully remember his playing days.  But having done a bit of research on the interwebs, I’ve found a few nuggets worth passing along about the San Francisco product.

In college:

If you think the BCS college bowl system is awry now, imagine what it was like in 1951.  Stanfel’s University of San Francisco Dons were a perfect 9-0-0, having run the table on each of the opponents on the schedule.  That season, AP ranked them 14th in the nation, and the Dons were selected to play Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl at season’s end.  The only thing that the Dons had to do was leave their two African-American players, Burl Toler and Ollie Matson (a future Pro Football Hall of Famer) at home.

Taking a stand for equality, the team–led by head coach Joe Kuharich–refused, forfeiting the much needed money that would have saved the program.  As a result, the team was demoted to Division II the following year, and eventually folded.  It was a death penalty to a team and an ideal that was ahead of its time.

But this didn’t take anything away from the success of this group of players.  Three players from the 1951 would go on to star in the NFL, eventually being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  If Stanfel joins them, that will be the most from any college football squad, ever.

In the NFL: Read more »

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Hankerson Rehabs, Hiding In Plain Sight

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 11, 2012 – 11:26 am

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One of the enduring features of the Washington Redskins, is that many of the players stay in the area during the offseason and continue to live amongst the fans.  This is especially important for injured players, who benefit from being close to the trainers and team doctors at the team facilities.

They can also enjoy some of the finer things that the great Washington metropolitan area have to offer with their time off.

Take for example rookie receiver Leonard Hankerson, the team’s third round pick in last April’s draft, taken No. 79 overall.  The team has high hopes for the Godzilla-handed young man, and rightly so after his breakout eight-reception, 106-yard performance in Miami.

His season was tragically ended following that eighth reception, when he tore his hip labrum, landing him on injured reserve.  But following a procedure to fix the hip, Hankerson has been a familiar face at the facilities, and looks to make a full recovery:

In his down time, Hankerson has been amusing himself with Washington Wizards NBA basketball, embracing the team of his new city:

As anyone who follows the Wizards knows, this season has been difficult for fans, but Hankerson continues to be supportive. Last night, excited for a matchup against the Toronto Raptors, Hankerson took his dining experience to Velocity Five Sports Restaurant in Landsdowne, Va.:

It was there that Hankerson encountered a local Redskins fan that did not recognize his team’s top receiver prospect out of uniform: Read more »

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