Reed Doughty: the RFK stadium site would be ‘perfect’ for the Redskins


(1996 photo by Dudley M. Brooks / TWP)

As fans and media members have discussed the Redskins plans for a new stadium in recent days, some have argued that a future home in Virginia is the most logical conclusion. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has helped their cause.

“About 65 percent of the season ticket holders are Virginians, so this makes sense for us to look at,” the governor told Richmond’s NBC 12. “Early stages, but we are in discussions.”

“I am appreciative of what the Washington Redskins have meant to the commonwealth of Virginia,” the governor had said a few weeks earlier. “All the players live in Virginia. Most of the season ticket holders, I’m told, are Virginians.”

Which is why I found Reed Doughty’s comments on the new stadium compelling. The former safety — like all of his teammates — lived in Virginia. And yet he recently wrote that he’d prefer a stadium not in Loudoun County, but closer to downtown.

About that drive: for some reason, some people continue to blame the FedEx Field location on Daniel Snyder, who of course had nothing to do with it. That happened again during the Outside the Lines special about the Redskins on Tuesday night, during an appearance by Chris Mortensen.

“Dan Snyder may have opened a door here when he talked about building a new stadium,” Mortensen told Bob Ley. “Eventually, that new stadium will need funding. He can’t write the check for the entire amount. So you’re talking about funding from government, whether it’s in Maryland or in Washington, D.C., where he moved out of because he was tired of dealing with [the] lawmakers.”

No, he actually didn’t. That honor belongs to Jack Kent Cooke, as Thom Loverro recalled in The Washington Times this week:

Sometimes Redskins fans forget the fact — or else the ones that have grown up or arrived in town since the last game at RFK Stadium in 1996 are unaware — that it was Cooke who ripped the heart out of the franchise by building a Home Depot do-it-yourself stadium out in Raljon, Maryland….

Cooke started talking about leaving the District 10 years before his suburban Maryland stadium would open, starting with talks to build a new stadium out in Loudoun County. He spent the next nine years angering and alienating nearly every politicians in the DMV, talking about sites near Dulles Airport, Alexandria, Laurel, and the District, before finally reaching the deal to build the stadium in Prince George’s County.

The narrative is to blame District Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly for the team leaving Washington, but that’s ridiculous. Cooke had talks with his predecessor, Marion Barry, for years about a new stadium, all the while also looking to flee to the suburbs.

The blame should go squarely on Cooke’s shoulders — driven by vanity, stubbornness and the ticking time clock of age. He wound up paying the entire freight for a nowhere stadium, having blustered his way out of better deals, because he was running out of time and wanted to live to see his monument.

See the rest here. Loverro, like Doughty, would like to see the Redskins come back to the District.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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