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When Joe Gibbs Faced Mike Shanahan

Posted by Matt Terl on March 17, 2010 – 5:09 pm

Writing over at the Redskins.com mothership, Larry Weisman notes that Joe Gibbs and Mike Shanahan are “two of a kind,” and recounts this exchange from today’s joint media availability:

“I wouldn’t give him any advice,” Gibbs said. “Mike’s a proven product in the NFL. You know what’s exciting is he’s got a formula, a scheme, he’s been super-successful. I’ve always really had great respect for him. I used to say, ‘I don’t think I beat you in anything.’ “

To which Shanahan replied: “I just remember 28 points scored in that second quarter. I’m not sure about the rest of it.”

Shanahan was the Broncos’ offensive coordinator for Super Bowl XXII, and that second quarter was as catastrophic for him as it was euphoric for Redskins fans. It makes sense that that’s what he’d remember. But the two weren’t matched up as competing head coaches in that Super Bowl.

That happened only once, in their most recent — and final — onfield meeting.
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Thanks To The Twelfth Man (And Other Video Classics)

Posted by Matt Terl on February 8, 2010 – 2:20 pm

This video turned up on YouTube recently, and it really is transcendent. It’s also remarkable, because somewhere underneath the circa-1986 outfits, the awkward dance moves, the dated synthesizer sound and canned beats, and Jay Schroeder looking like he’d really rather be anywhere else on Earth (at the 5:01 mark), this is a really nice message from a team to its fans. Also, Willard Scott shows up, and Darrell Green sports a horrible sweater.

After the jump, some then-current songs redone with Redskins lyrics and highlights, for the late George Michael’s NBC-4 sports segment.

(UPDATE: Looks like Steinberg had dug up this video a couple of years ago. I Googled to check, but missed it somehow. Since he forgot also, I don’t feel quite as bad.)
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Happy Halloween From 1993 And Joe "Frankenstein" Jacoby

Posted by Matt Terl on October 30, 2009 – 2:35 pm

This was just a bit of serendipitous timing.

Yesterday, with Halloween coming up, I was going through a drawer here in Redskins Park on a completely unrelated — and, frankly, boring — errand when I came across a press packet for something called Coca-Cola Monsters of the Gridiron.

Monsters of the Gridiron was an ad campaign from 1993 that involved 29 players being elaborately made over into mildly entertaining pseudo-horror characters. There were prizes, TV ads and radio spots, giant cardboard displays (like the one pictured to the right), and a call-in game.

I remember none of it.

(There’s a reason for the odd number of players: it’s one from each of the 28 teams at the time, plus then-Cowboys defensive lineman Tony Casillas — as “Conde [Count] Casillas” — doing the Spanish-language version of the ad; he’s listed on the Coca-Cola News Release Fact Sheet as “Hispanic player/monster,” as compared to “National player/monster” Randall “Rocket Man” Cunningham. 1993 suddenly seems like a VERY long time ago.)

The Redskins representative for this promotion — which, according to the press release, “combines America’s number one sport with the country’s most popular soft drink in an effort that is sure leave football fans ‘trance-fixed’ to their favorite games,” a phrase that is almost completely meaningless — was none other than offensive tackle and original Hog Joe Jacoby.

Jacoby was in his last year in the league at the time, the final act to what would in any just world have been a Hall of Fame career, so “undergoing several hours of extensive make-up and costuming” — again, per the press release — to look like a football-playing Frankenstein, complete with enormous square football helmet, probably seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea.

The press release breathlessly assures us that the monstrous alter-ego “accentuates each player’s most notorious personality traits.”

For example, Cunningham was “Rocket Man” because was an incredibly gifted scrambler. Ronnie Lott was “Rattler,” presumably because his legendary hits left opponents “rattled”. I guess Tom Rathman’s dominant personality trait was sheer lunacy, because his alter-ego was “Psycho”. Craig “Iron Head” Heyward was “Iron Head” because his nickname was “Iron Head”. And so on.

So I guess Jacoby was notorious for being a stiff, shambling monster of a man with an outsized square head. Nice.

Somehow, that’s not quite as awesome as “Rocket Man,” but it’s still vastly better than Steelers QB Neil O’Donnell, whose “Night Raider” moniker sounds just a little questionable in hindsight.

More pictures, and a full list of players and their nicknames, below. Read more »

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