Deacon Jones’s extra point with the Redskins

I met and interviewed Deacon Jones once, briefly, before the Redskins’ 2010 “homecoming” game. He was euphoric over the event.

“Look, first of all, you have to understand the context,” Jones told me, sitting in a chair outside the event’s main tent, a few hundred feet from FedEx Field. “You play this game, and when you leave, the whole existence stops. To be recognized by the people you committed to, to have them remember you….Everyone likes to be appreciated. So them starting this effort, acknowledging the old guys, is one of the great things you could do to keep the tradition going. It’s beautiful…..

“I can’t explain it to you,” he went on. “You have to have gone down that road to understand it, you have to have gone down that path. It’s like family, and Bruce is keeping it together, and I love that. And all these guys love it. You won’t have no trouble convincing people to come in the future, I can tell you that. You never forget what you did here.”

But in re-reading one of the pieces I wrote after that event, I also noticed how Frank Herzog “talked with Deacon Jones about the extra point he once converted after weeks of begging George Allen for a chance.”

Wait, what? That deserved a trip to the archives, specifically, to The Post’s game recap of Dec. 16, 1974, the day after the Redskins completed a 10-4 regular season with a 42-0 thrashing of the Bears.

I’ll pick up Lenny Shapiro’s story near the bottom:

It was also imperative yesterday to purchase a program, what with all those unfamiliar numbers playing a good portion of the second half.

Deacon Jones even managed to kick an extra point, the Redskins’ last of the day, the first time he has ever tried such an outlandish feat in his 14 years in the league.

“Yeah, I lent Deacon my kicking shoe,” said Verlon Biggs, who did not make his debut as the world’s largest kickoff man. “I gave him lessons on Thursday. He’s got a slow approach, but he was all right. They’re saving me for the big games.”

“All I was hoping was that the snap wouldn’t be high, so I wouldn’t have to run it in,” Jones joked. “That would have taken courage. Guys like me are trained to dish it out, not take it.”

Columnist William Barry Furlong also had a guy in the same day’s paper.

Not only was [the win] decisive — 42-0, equaling the largest margin in Redskin history — but it brought out latent dimensions in coach George Allen.

He might have been accused of being frivolous; he sent in the veteran, hulking defensive end, Deacon Jones, to kick an extra point, the first offensive point Jones ever scored in professional football. He got it by hitting an upright with his kick; “A little three-cushion shot. I like to bank it in there,” said the Deacon. “Makes it a little more exciting.”

The play even made the New York Times NFL summary that week. “Washington rubbed salt in the Bears’ wounds by letting Deacon Jones, a defensive lineman, kick the extra point after the sixth Redskin touchdown,” the Times reported.

That wound up being the final regular season game of Jones’s Hall of Fame career.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · June 4, 2013