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Larry Brown Visits Larry Brown, Circa 1972

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 21, 2011 – 9:59 am

When the Redskins ownership and front office collaborated to create the “Hail to the Redskins Walk” at Redskins Park and FedExField, the outcome was a mural to our marvelous history.

Some of the greatest Redskins players and coaches were immortalized in two dimensions, for everyone to see.

Some of the coolest people that have paid a visit to the wall, are those people depicted on the wall.  That’s what happened when former Redskins running back Larry Brown paid a visit to the wall yesterday:

Brown was a great running back for the Redskins over his eight-year career in Washington, winning the 1972 MVP Award and going to four Pro Bowls.  Over his career, he amassed 8,360 yards from scrimmage, 55 touchdowns, and led the NFL in rushing in 1970.

The “Hail to the Redskins Walk” is a deserved tribute to great players, and it’s only right that they should partake.

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Hail To The Redskins Walk: Part 8

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 11, 2011 – 10:26 am

And finally, on the morning of the first game of 2011, we arrive at the final panel of the Redskins brand new Hail To The Redskins Walk wall.

It’s probably too soon to make fun of many of the cultural trends of the 2000s (because they’re still popular), but I’ll give it a shot anyway.  This is the age of X-games, Pokemon, and text/tweet-speak, wen gramr srsly din mattr nemore #lol #smh.  The Redskins spent a lot of time in the spotlight in this decade, but needed the decade to re-develop an identity.

The 2000s panel on the Redskins history wall features a lot of star power, both past and present–indeed some of the greatest Redskins of all time.  Four Redskins were immortalized in Canton during this decade, although their greatest impact was felt on the field in other decades.  Despite being shut out of championship games in the 2000s,  the franchise trotted out some all-time greats in this decade, including Sean Taylor, London Fletcher, LaVar Arrington, Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, Chris Cooley, Chris Samuels, and more.

Though not to be put in that same category yet, faces like Brian Orakpo also appear on the wall, as a reminder that the team is reloading on talent for the second decade of the new millennium.  The Hail walk ends here, but in another nine years, we should be able to debate the additions for the newest panel of the greatest wall in Redskins Park.

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1930s * 1940s * 1950s * 1960s * 1970s * 1980s * 1990s

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Hail To The Redskins Walk: Part 7

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 10, 2011 – 12:00 pm

Hello ’90’s, my old friend.  Hanson sounds like legitimate music, skateboarding is cool (the first time around), and the Redskins come into the decade riding a wave of talent and determination.

The 1990s panel on the Redskins history wall is book-ended with a flurry of franchise activity at the beginning and end of the decade.  The team soared into the ’90’s behind the arm of Mark Rypien and the sure hands of Art Monk and The Posse.

The Redskins kicked off the 1990s with a Super Bowl run in 1991 that made them Kings of the World once again.  The Redskins dominate the Buffalo Bills 37-24 and Mark Rypien is named Super Bowl MVP, going 18-of-33 for 292 yards and two touchdowns. The defense shuts down the high-powered Bills offense, limited Thurman Thomas to 10 yards and sacked Jim Kelly five times.

When head coach Joe Gibbs retired in 1993, he took some of the magic with him, and the team needed a spark.  In 1997, the doors opened on Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in Landovery, Md., a veritable palace for NFL football.  In 1999, the team was sold to life-long fan and marketing and communications mogul Daniel Snyder.  The team wrapped up the decade standing atop the NFC East with a 10-6 record, their first division title since 1991.

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1930s * 1940s * 1950s * 1960s * 1970s * 1980s

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Hail To the Redskins Walk: Part 6

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 9, 2011 – 10:01 am

Welcome to the 1980s.  Michael Jackson was the King of Pop, fluorescent paint was in, and the Redskins were the best team in football.

The 1980s panel on the Redskins history wall is by far the largest, and rightfully so.  This was the Burgundy and Gold age of enlightenment in the NFL, when The Hogs dominated the line of scrimmage and The Diesel rumbled the gridiron.

The Redskins kicked off the 1980s by making the single greatest coaching hire in franchise history, bringing Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Gibbs over from San Diego.  During the two labor strikes in the decade, Gibbs engineered his team-first rosters all the way to Super Bowl victories.

Whether it was by air or by ground, the Redskins offense was unstoppable and the defensive line was impenetrable on the biggest stages.  Whether it was Joe Theismann, Doug Williams or Mark Rypien, the Redskins were blessed with prolific passers and the steady defense of young defensive back Darrell Green.

This decade was also the heyday for RFK stadium, which literally shook from the pulsating Redskins faithful.  The roar of “We Want Dallas!” still rings in the ears of those that were there, and the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry was never bigger.

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1930s * 1940s * 1950s * 1960s * 1970s

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Hail To The Redskins Walk: Part 5

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 6, 2011 – 11:36 am

As part of our journey through the Redskins history wall, today we’re looking at the 1970s, when the Redskins exited the desert of mediocrity and into an era of success.  Going into the decade, the pieces were in place for the Redskins to play some playoff-quality football, behind the arm of Sonny Jurgensen and the leadership of head coach George Allen.

The 70’s began on a somber note with the passing of head coach Vince Lombardi.  Five months later, the team hired a future Hall of Famer, who guided the team to five playoff appearances in six years.  The Redskins put together some tremendous teams in the early 70’s, behind the likes of Jurgensen, John Riggins and Charley Taylor.

The team even made it to the Super Bowl following the 1972 season, before falling victim to the undefeated Dolphins.  In 1971, the team moved its facilities to Redskins Park in Ashburn, and in 1975, the team bade farewell to Jurgensen, an 18-year veteran.

Behind quarterback Billy Kilmer, the team stood on the cusp of another great run by the end of the decade.

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1930s * 1940s * 1950s * 1960s

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Hail To The Redskins Walk: Part 4

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 4, 2011 – 1:02 am

Despite being a straight-laced professional, I confess that I’ve really enjoyed going down to the locker room every day over the last week to inspect each panel on the new Redskins wall.  Considering I’ve only been around for about a quarter of the Redskins existence, this is a really interactive way to feel the Redskins illustrious past.

Today, we rewind back to the 1960s, when the man named ‘Lombardi,’ strutted the sidelines of DC Stadium in his trench coat and fedora.

The Redskins kicked off the decade by integrating and adding Bobby Mitchell at flanker in exchange for Ernie Davis.  Mitchell went on be a star in Washington over most of the decade, and later earned his rightful spot in the Hall of Fame.  In 1964, the team added another superstar via trade, bringing Sonny Jurgensen to Washington in exchange for Norm Snead.

Jurgensen was one of the greatest to ever don the Burgundy and Gold, and brought excitement back to the gridiron in the Nation’s Capital.  Together with linebacker Sam Huff and receiver Charley Taylor, the team built a strong foundation for a push in the 1970s.  Owner George Preston Marshall ended the decade by pulling a coup, and hiring a living legend in Vince Lombardi to come coach the team.

Here’s a look at the 1960′s section of the H.T.T.R. Walk:

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1930s * 1940s * 1950s

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Hail To The Redskins Walk: Part 3

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 2, 2011 – 4:22 pm

Thanks to the two new Redskins walls, we can take a step back in time in Redskins history.  Slick back your hair and take your best gal to the drive-in; let’s take a step back into the 1950s.

The Redskins entered the decade behind the arm of an aging Sammy Baugh, and the performance of the team was slipping.  The team brought in Packers legend Earl “Curly” Lambeau to coach the team back to greatness, but it was just no use.  After an illustrious career, Baugh retired at the end of 1952, and Lambeau was fired after the first preseason game of the 1954 season.

And who said preseason games don’t matter?

The decade had some highs too, as the Redskins became the first team to sign a television deal, putting them into living rooms coast-to-coast.  The team saw a return to glory by the end of the decade, and in 1959, signed a 30-year lease to keep them in the Nation’s Capital.

Here’s a look at the 1950’s section of the H.T.T.R. Walk:

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1930s * 1940s

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Hail To The Redskins Walk: Part 2

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 31, 2011 – 2:54 pm

As we learned yesterday, there are two new walls in Redskins Nation, each commemorating the rich history of the team.

One thing that’s really cool about this wall is that I had the opportunity to help get it off the ground, when it was still in the concept stage, in March of this year.

I had just come aboard with the team, and this was literally the very first assignment that they asked me to do.  My responsibility was to lend a hand with the research and photos, helping to build the skeleton that would later come to life.

Redskins.com’s Gary Fitzgerald put in a lot of the legwork to flesh out the project, producing most of the copy as well as assembling the photos necessary to create a timeline.  Many hands helped to mold the final product, from team owner Daniel Snyder to general manager Bruce Allen, with help from team executives Larry Michael and Mitch Gershman.

HZDG is the company responsible for creating the final product and it really does look magnificent.  It’s pretty cool to see something that started as a Word document on a 14-inch monitor end up as a 65-foot mural, commemorating a franchise that stretches over eight decades.

But I digress.

Yesterday, we looked at the franchise in its infancy, in the 1930s, and today we’ll look at the 1940s panel.

No man captured the essence of the Redskins in the 1940s more than team quarterback, Slingin’ Sammy Baugh.  Baugh could do it all, and was a hero in all facets of the game.  He finished his career with 13 NFL records as a quarterback, punter, and defensive back.

His indelible mark on the team and this city, is properly  represented in the 1940s panel:

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Hail To The Redskins Walk: Part 1

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 30, 2011 – 5:21 pm

The Redskins have unveiled two wall murals dedicated to the rich history of the football team, entitled the “Hail to the Redskins Walk.”

One mural is adjacent to the locker room on the first floor of the facilities at Redskins Park.  Players cannot enter or exit the locker room without seeing life-sized pictures of Slingin’ Sammy Baugh or “The Diesel,” John Riggins, immortalized on the wall.

“It displays the storied history of this proud franchise,” said Redskins Senior Vice President, Tony Wyllie.  “Anyone that walks downstairs and takes a look at it will instantly understand what this organization is all about.”

The mural magically appeared on Monday morning, and curious players have been seen pausing on their way to and from meetings, taking a closer look.  Wyllie said, “Everyone from veterans to rookies have read it and studied it, and walked away proud to be a Redskin.”

An identical wall has been constructed at FedExField, and will have television screens embedded in the wall for a delightfully multimedia experience.  It’s located on the club level of the stadium.

This is Part One of an eight-part series, looking at each decade of the Redskins history, as depicted on the walls.

The Redskins were born in the 1930’s, in Boston, Mass.  Originally known as the Braves, the team moved to greener pastures in Washington, D.C., and became the Redskins that we all know and love.

Here are shots of the 1930’s panel on the Hail to the Redskins Walk:

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