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  Hometown Hero: Quotes About Jack Kent Cooke

From Staff and Wire Reports
Tuesday, April 8, 1997; Page A6

Yesterday, local residents said Jack Kent Cooke will be remembered in the Washington area because ...

  • "He taught this town how to win and win big."
    —Bobby Mitchell, the club's assistant general manager, who as a receiver in 1962 became the first black player on the Washington Redskins

  • "He was a great 20th-century character because his whole life was on display, both his faults and his accomplishments. He was a builder of institutions and spaces who left his mark on the landscape, a controversial figure who was widely loved. When the nation was laughing at Washington because we couldn't fix potholes or remove snow, he helped us save face with a winning football team."
    —Ellen Roney Hughes, a sports historian at the Smithsonian Institution

  • "He was the emperor. It was like Lyndon Johnson goes fox-hunting. He'd get results by threatening to make you a gelding, but then he had the whole country squire thing going — the wraparound shades, the houndstooth jacket. You looked up at his box and you knew that was heaven."
    — Andy Barbour, 27, of Alexandria, a grocery industry lobbyist and manic Redskins fan

  • "He was one of the last of the good old boys. His encounter with Alexandria was not pleasant. He was aggressive, and when he didn't get what he wanted, he was a curmudgeon. It was very hard for him to lose."
    — State Sen. Patricia S. Ticer (D-Alexandria), who was Alexandria's mayor when Cooke tried to build a stadium there

  • "He brought us the greatest 10 years of football this city has ever known or probably ever will know. Whatever he wanted is the way things turned out, whether it was a winning team or a new stadium."
    — Sam Huff, Redskins linebacker from 1964 to 1969, now a color commentator on Redskins radio broadcasts

  • "He was stubborn, he was pompous and he was a good owner. He got what he needed and wouldn't settle for anything less."
    — Pernell Wise Jr., Dallas Cowboys fan and manager of the Hogs on the Hill barbecue restaurant in Beltsville

  • "He wanted the best quality in everything he did: The facilities had to be immaculate. Those who worked for him had to be courteous. He was even proud of the film room. He was an unequaled, fierce competitor in business. And for someone so savvy and smart and insightful, he let the coaches run the team."
    — Virginia Gov. George Allen (R), whose father, George Allen, was a Redskins head coach

  • "He controlled every situation but also had a sense of humor, unlike a lot of people we parody. When I finally interviewed him, he said, 'Ah, Domingo,' and then called me 'Domingo' for 20 minutes."
    — Don Geronimo, co-host of "The Don and Mike Show" on WJFK-FM

  • "At a time when franchises were routinely moving around the country, he made a commitment to keep the Washington team in the Washington area, and he backed that commitment with his personal fervor and his personal fortune."
    — Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D)

  • "He kept the Redskins here even though he knew his new stadium wouldn't be popular in the community. He never tried to pretend he could overcome the impact. But he wanted to mitigate some of that impact with scholarships, internships and money for a sports complex."
    — Anne T. MacKinnon (D), a member of the Prince George's County Council

  • "He was the most positive man I ever met, but he didn't make all that money by being a nice guy all the time. He made hard decisions, and some people got hurt by those decisions."
    — Mark Moseley, Redskins kicker from 1974 to 1986, now owner of Mark Moseley's Travel in Fairfax County

  • "For fans, he was the man. People have been irritated by Mr. Cooke, no doubt about it. But I got 25 phone calls yesterday saying, 'What's going to happen to the Redskins?' — like it was all over."
    — James S. Halsey, owner of the Stadium Store, a sports novelty shop in Wheaton

    © Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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