“I guess you could call me a fan of Clinton,” said Morris, who broke Portis’s single-season Redskins rushing record. “He told me [he] hoped I’d break his record. I’m just thankful. This is a humbling experience.”
If Morris won the lottery, was named MVP and discovered that an unknown relative had died and left him Australia in his will, Morris would consider it a humbling experience. He has to endure the praise of others.
“Alfred makes runs that are blocked for three yards into seven-yard gains,” said Griffin. “He gets those hard yards. We told him if he broke a couple of long ones, he’d get 200 yards. This time, he did.”
On one 17-yard score, Morris blasted toward the middle of the line, sucked the whole defense to him, then bounced outside in a blink to the left and scored almost untouched, or even unattended. In the fourth quarter, with the Redskins ahead 14-10, he ran a typical Shanahan stretch play to the left, then cut back violently into the Cowboys pursuit and found a crease through the entire wave. Suddenly, he had the middle of the field, and the last 20 yards, all to himself.
Afterward, Morris hardly looked winded, though that’s impossible. He’s already renowned within the Redskins for treating every practice run like a Sunday game situation. Apparently, it has just built stamina.
“If we had to play tomorrow, I’d be ready,” he said. “People ask, ‘Are you ready?’ That’s like an insult. I’m already ready.”
Stop the presses: semi-boast!
Now, the impact of this win will begin to sink in. This changes the Redskins’ place in the NFC East, and NFL. But, along with other unexpectedly delightful developments in the Washington sports scene, it may have a more general and salubrious effect.
For generations, the fortunes of the Redskins have had a large impact on Washington’s mood. If a Redskins franchise that went 15-33 the previous three seasons can become the hottest team in the NFC after seven straight wins, what task is beyond D.C.? Come on, how tough can a “fiscal cliff” be?
Wins like this have a deep resonance in the Washington area. Long ago, after one momentous Redskins victory over the Cowboys, the porches along Lexington Place NE were filled with our neighbors, all of them trying to set a world record for racket. One woman pounded a metal pot with a metal spoon while her husband let out those piercing two-fingers-in-the-mouth whistles. (Sometimes you just can’t control your parents.)
Little that happens in neighborhoods throughout the vast Washington area matches the sense of Redskins community on such days or nights. In the past, and perhaps in this Redskins team’s future, there are even bigger games and larger victories. For generations, sharing those moments has been a core experience of Washington life. It’s just been kind of quiet around here for 20 years. Not any more.
Get out the pots. And start whistling again.
For previous columns by Thomas Boswell, visit washingtonpost.com/