View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Hail to Joe Gibbs

To anyone growing up in Washington, there are two Redskins coaches: George Allen, and Joe Gibbs. To Dan Snyder, a couple of years younger than me, and a whole hell of a lot richer, Joe Gibbs is The Man. I remember when Allen was fired, and the lean years of Jack Pardee. Joe Gibbs took over the team and went 0-5. Unlike Steve Spurrier, he retooled, changed entirely his notion of offense, went 8-3 the rest of the year, and won the Super Bowl (27-17 over Miami) the next year. He would win two out of three more appearances before switching to NASCAR. He would never come back.

Yesterday, he did. Joe Gibbs, the last guy who could make it work in DC, is back. It was like 1992 (37-24 over Buffalo)all over again. The next morning, I read every scrap of paper I could find about the game. Last night, I read every Washington Post article I could find. Suddenly, I was somewhere between 16 and 26, watching the Skins actually beat Dallas.

The first two Skins Super Bowl wins came during strike years, which no doubt made the third more satisfying. The second strike, some will recall, featured the replacement players. The Skins, under Joe Gibbs and Bobby Beathard, did their homework, got the best guys out there, and went 3-0 in the replacement games. Their replacements beat the Cowboys on Monday Night in the last replacement game played, a Cowboys team featuring some of their star players who had crossed lines to come back. And the regular Skins were the only squad to stay together and practice while on strike, and while their coach really couldn't even talk much to them. That's leadership - to hold your guys together when you're technically on the other side of a labor dispute.

Oh, and George Allen? Three years ago, his son became a Senator from Virginia.

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