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Annual Mickey Steele Outing A Success

Posted by Andrew Walker on May 18, 2012 – 1:30 pm

Redskins’ alumni, current players and executive vice president/general manager Bruce Allen were present Friday for the eighth annual Mickey Steele Celebrity Golf Tournament.

The tournament is named in honor of Mickey Steele, a Maryland native, sports enthusiast and business owner, who in 2004 lost his battle to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

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A Fresh Homecoming Photo At The Park

Posted by Brian Tinsman on February 7, 2012 – 5:51 pm

One of the first things that I noticed upon my return to Redskins Park this morning, is that the 2010 Redskins Homecoming photograph had been updated with a fresh 2011 Homecoming shot.

The photo (which is much higher quality than my picture of a picture through reflective glass) features 78 Redskins alumni, taken on the field in the southwest end zone before the 49ers game.  This was the second year for the Redskins Homecoming game, part of a concerted effort to re-engage the Redskins Alumni with the organization.

But if you look closely at the center of the picture, you’ll see one individual that isn’t reliving the glory days.  That would be George Starke, Jr., riding in an infant pouch strapped to his namesake’s chest: Read more »

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About These Redskins 365 Hats

Posted by Matt Terl on May 20, 2011 – 1:31 pm

This picture of Bruce Allen is actually from the LAST golf tournament I covered, Brian Orakpo‘s leukemia benefit in Virginia, but it’s relevant because it’s the first time I had seen one of those Redskins-colored 365 hats. I didn’t ask about it at the time, because … well, it was just one hat. But when former Head Hog George Starke AND his wife Petra both showed up wearing variants on the hat at TODAY’S Mickey Steele Golf Outing, I figured that there they were more than just a fashion statement.

“When someone does something special, we hand it out,” Allen told me. “It started at the end of the season, and we give it to coaches and different people, to say that Redskins football is everyday.”

And it doesn’t necessarily have to be something football-related — Allen said that he issued the hats to George because, “he married Petra.”

Starke associated the hats with a different event of note: Read more »

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Jason Garrett, George Starke, And Dallas Being Like Washington

Posted by Matt Terl on April 11, 2011 – 11:32 am

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is hoping that his players stay together during the NFL’s ongoing labor issues. That was the simple takeaway from a post on ProFootballTalk this morning, and — honestly — it’s not all that noteworthy. What WAS noteworthy, though, was Garrett’s framing of his message, and the nicely inflammatory headline that PFT used to promote it: Garrett wants his Cowboys to be like the Redskins.

If you’re a Redskins fan at all — and, as always, I assume that you’re a Redskins fan if you’re reading this — you know what Garrett was driving at. During the strike-shortened seasons of 1982 and 1987, the Redskins players stuck together, practiced without coaches, and came back from the labor drama to win the Super Bowl both times. According to Garrett (according to PFT, according to Gerry Fraley of DallasNews.com), the togetherness “reflected in their play on the field” and led directly to those Super Bowl titles.

It’s not an uncommon belief — the New York Times had a similar piece not too long ago.

Coincidentally enough, though, I recently had a chance to talke to former Head Hog George Starke. He was at an unrelated event — speaking to high school football players in D.C. as part of the Coaches In The Classroom initiative — but I took a few minutes to talk to him about the strike years he experienced (1974 and 1982). The entire interview should be airing on Tuesday’s Redskins Nation on Comcast SportsNet, but since Starke actually mentioned the Cowboys a couple of times, it seemed worth transcribing here. Read more »

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George Starke Sets Me Straight On The Hogs

Posted by Matt Terl on May 12, 2010 – 2:22 pm

One thing that general manager Bruce Allen has been consistently emphatic about since taking the position here is restoring the connection between the Redskins and the community in the D.C. area. I remember him being particularly vehement on the topic during this year’s Pigskin Club awards banquet, when Pigskin Club president Lucille Hester reminisced about convincing then-Redskins coach George Allen to allow her group of area youth into practice:

“[Bruce Allen]’s father was the first one to allow me to bring children to the Redskins game. Redskins games were always sold out, for years,” she said, referring to former Redskins coach George Allen. “But he allowed me to bring the children to the Redskins games, and Bruce was a little fella that always thought he was the coach.”

I no longer have Allen’s response recorded or transcribed, but I recall it as being a pretty firm statement that tradition of allowing Pigskin Club kids to watch a few practices would be making a return appearance.

During the mini-camps so far, Allen is certainly practicing what he’s preached. At the first mini-camp, there was a seminar for high school coaches. And each day of the second mini-camp was opened to a different invited guest: Allen wasn’t able to make good on his promise to the Pigskin Club until Day 2. Day 3 was the Redskins Kids Club, and Day 1 was the Excel Institute.

And inviting the Excel Institute was Bruce Allen making good on another of his vows: bringing former Redskins into the current Redskins community. The Excel Institute, a free school that offers job training to at -risk youth, is the brainchild of George Starke, a man probably best known as Head Hog.

Starke was the right tackle of the original Hogs, and he seemed to spend most of the day excited: excited to talk, excited to be back at Redskins Park, excited about his school, and excited to set me straight on something.

I was asking Starke what he saw as he watched the offensive line, and I made some reference to the famous Shanahan zone blocking scheme and its required quicker, smaller offensive linemen. “Must be different for you,” I stammered, while Starke looked at me like I had suddenly starting yelping like a dog. “I mean, the quicker, more athletic linemen, as opposed to you guys — not that you weren’t athletic, I mean, but –” (as you’ve probably gathered, this wasn’t my smoothest interview of all time). “Anyhow, this is a different approach, huh?”

Starke continued to stare at me for a few seconds, then shook his head. “You’re wrong,” he said. And then he explained exactly why. Read more »

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On Russ Grimm's Hall of Fame Credentials

Posted by Matt Terl on January 13, 2010 – 4:16 pm

Russ Grimm — former Hog and former Redskins assistant coach — is a little busy right now, getting his Arizona Cardinals ready for a playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. (Also, possibly, either scheduling or avoiding a head coaching interview with the Buffalo Bills, depending on who you believe.)

But it’s good that he’s productively occupied, since it’s probably keeping him from finding out that he’s about twelve seconds away from turning into Art Monk v.2.0, at least from a Redskins-not-in-the-Hall-of-Fame standpoint. With Joe Bugel’s retirement today, the lack of Hogs in the Hall of Fame was a pretty hot topic.

Considering that the audience consisted of Hogs, ex-Hogs, people who coached Hogs, people who write about Hogs, and the spiritual successors to the Hogs, no one was going to come out and say Hey, these guys don’t belong in Canton! But that doesn’t mean that everyone was marching in lockstep. Read more »

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Joe Bugel: Passion, Loyalty, Friendship, and Cursing

Posted by Matt Terl on January 13, 2010 – 2:45 pm


Usually when I post these press conferences, it’s not because I think it was such a fascinating experience that it deserves rewatching. I think of it as … as a Redskins community service, for lack of a better phrase. A chance for people who don’t trust transcribed quotes or excerpts to see how it actually went down.

That’s not the case with this one. Joe Bugel’s retirement presser was something to behold, a football lifer speaking from the heart without notes or a microphone, and it was a legitimately riveting spectacle.

“I think I’m ready to block for Joe Bugel,” the Washington Post’s Rick Maese tweeted after about ten minutes of Bugel’s speech, to general agreement.

Rich Campbell of the Free Lance-Star was even more blunt: “Listening to Bugel right now is as close as we’ll get to hearing an NFL locker room speech first hand.”

Even Bugel’s players agreed. Sort of.
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