Last night’s NFC East Division-clinching victory against the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField put the whipped cream on top of what has already been a very memorable 80th Anniversary year for the Washington Redskins.
The cherry, of course, only comes with another Lombardi trophy. That will be determined in 2013.
The Redskins and head coach Mike Shanahan in 2012 continued their rebuilding process by adding weapons on the offensive side of the ball; saw an unassuming rookie running back who was perfectly fine driving his 1991 Mazda to practice; released one of the most popular players in team history (only to bring him back); and a 37-year-old linebacker continued playing like he was a rookie — just to name a few memories.
Oh, and they drafted this kid out Baylor with the second overall pick in April’s NFL Draft.
Thanks to the magic of WordPress, we were able to scrap together the Top 5 Redskins Blog posts of 2012 on this, the final day of the year. These are ranked in order by number of views.
The Redskins Blog had a banner year in 2012, as our posts got more than 3.1 million total views from 201 countries around the world. That more than doubles the views from 2011, when we had a respectable 1.3 million of them.
So, without further ado, here’s the Top 5 Redskins Blog posts of 2012 (in reverse order):
Robert Griffin III had just been a member of the Washington Redskins for about a month, but nevertheless, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner was still a hot commodity in the entertainment business.
On May 17, Griffin III appeared on ‘The Tonight Show,’ and displayed the magnetic personality that Redskins fans are all-too-familiar with now.
Griffin III talked with host Jay Leno about everything from his upbringing, academics, Heisman trophy, famous socks, his proposal — and even his beatboxing skills, giving Leno a sample beat in the process.
Griffin III became the first active Redskins player to appear on “The Tonight Show” in its current format. Four other former Redskins have also made appearances. Quarterback Joe Theismann tops that list with three appearances, while Deion Sanders, Shanahan and Jason Taylor have made one appearance apiece, according to “The Tonight Show” staffers.
TOTAL VIEWS: 17,659
The stakes couldn’t have been much higher for the Washington Redskins Dec. 3 when the New York Giants came to FedExField for a Monday Night Football clash.
The Redskins needed a win to keep their momentum going that they had built up since the Bye Week to remain relevant in the NFL playoff race. The defending Super Bowl champion Giants needed a win to fend off the hungry Redskins and stay safe atop the NFC East standings.
Fortunately, NFL Films mic’d up Redskins linebacker and captain London Fletcher for this critical matchup.
The footage and sounds caught in this game from Fletcher — the ageless linebacker wonder — were priceless. My favorite: Before and after a first-down conversion to Pierre Garçon on the Redskins’ final drive to seal the victory, Fletcher says: “Come on! First down! One first down! One first down! … Got it! Got it! Got it! Got it! Got it! Got it! Got it! Got it! Got it! Got it! Got it! Yes sir!”
Even if before watching the footage you considered yourself a huge London Fletcher fan, your affection for the way he carries himself on the field assuredly grew ten-fold afterwards.
TOTAL VIEWS: 18,169
Redskins fans finally got to see Griffin III in the burgundy and gold — and showing off his golden arm — May 3 at Redskins Park.
Then-Redskins Blog master Brian Tinsman — who has moved on to bigger and better things as the lead writer for Redskins.com — joined Griffin III on the artificial turf practice field as he threw to Ross Taylor from public relations and Blair Williams from the video department. Neither Taylor nor Williams received a tryout for their performances.
The burgundy and gold No. 10 jersey of Griffin III’s would eventually go on to become the best-selling jersey since the league began tracking those sales in 2006. But, at this point in the year, simply seeing Griffin III in the uniform was something Redskins fans were craving.
And, nearly eight months later, it still is.
TOTAL VIEWS: 27,487
By September 19, Alfred Morris was a largely unknown rookie running back for the Washington Redskins. Though he had started the team’s first two games of the season against the New Orleans Saints and the St. Louis Rams, the sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic was yet to make any major splashes.
Boy, were Redskins fans all in for a treat.
But before he rumbled his way into the best single-season rushing performance in Redskins history, Morris told The Redskins Blog about the vehicle he takes to work every day: a 1991 Mazda 626 sedan.
Sure, Morris could’ve used his generous paychecks to pay for a brand new car — especially one that didn’t stick out like a sore thumb among the luxury vehicles and SUVs in the player’s lot at Redskins park. But Morris’ Mazda — which he affectionately knows as “Bentley” — has sentimental value. And, hey, it still runs, so why not?
This particular post was flooded by readers who commented about how impressed they were by Morris’ humility and humble attitude. Morris is certainly a player the common man can relate to — and remains that way to this day.
TOTAL VIEWS: 36,333
He is the Redskins’ all-time leader in receptions by a tight end — but he means so much more to the Redskins and their fans.
In his nine years with the Redskins, Chris Cooley established himself as one of the most popular players in franchise history with his on-the-field performance — and his off-the-field endeavors.
But by the time final cuts came around for the 2012 season in late August, the Redskins’ coaching staff faced a tough decision: should they let go of Cooley in favor of a younger core of players at the position?
That’s exactly what happened. The NFL, after all, is a business.
In a classy move, it was Cooley that announced his release Aug. 28 in a short press conference. In a world of beat reporters on Twitter breaking all kinds of stories with their “sources,” this was one move no Redskins reporter saw coming — at least not at this point of the season.
A choked up Cooley gave nothing but his best for the Redskins organization and its fans. He said he knew he was still good enough to play for another team.
That team was eventually the Redskins. He re-signed Oct. 22 after starting tight end Fred Davis suffered a season-ending Achilles injury, and has been a mainstay in the Redskins’ lineup since.
But it’s his stunning release — and the reaction from The Redskins Blog readers — that remains the No. 1 post of 2012.
TOTAL VIEWS: 52,820 (most in Redskins Blog history)
Words can’t express how much we at the Redskins Blog appreciate your dedication and readership this year. It’s been a memorable and historic year here with the Washington Redskins — but we can only dream of what’s to come in 2013 and beyond with this surging squad.
CHIME IN: What’s YOUR favorite Redskins memory from 2012? Feel free to comment below.
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