It was after the Redskins beat Cincinnati that I started using the B word to conjure up fair-weather fans "jumping on the bandwagon." I was just waiting to savage them for jumping off when the Redskins began losing.
But the Redskins refused to lose.
They went 4-0, 5-0, 6-0, 7-0, 8-0, 9-0, 10-0, 11-0.
They were killing me! By now the joke was on me. The Redskins really were as good as I'd laughingly said they were. Heck, they were better.
I had two choices:
1. Admit what a dope I had been in trying to dupe people.
2. Keep dancing as fast as I could.
(Here's a clue as to which way I went. Remember Do You Love Me? by the Contours? It goes, "You broke my heart because I couldn't dance. You didn't even want me around. Well, now I'm back to let you know I can really shake `em down. Watch me now!")
I rode The Bandwagon as hard as I could. If everybody suddenly thought that I had this astounding ability to call a Super Bowl winner like Babe Ruth calling a home run, that I oughta be picking stocks for Warren Buffett, who was I to say no?
So I kept making fun of Gibbs' paranoia. I kept exaggerating the Redskins' abilities and they, incredibly, kept fulfilling my exaggerations. What could I do?
I made sure to go to the same players every week for quotes, players I thought had a sense of humor, and an appreciation for the organic quality of The Bandwagon, mostly offensive linemen, who are generally the smartest guys on a football team. I'd go to them after a game and say, "Gimme a quote for The Bandwagon." And they would. Without Russ Grimm, Jeff Bostic, Terry Orr and Mark Adickes, among others, I couldn't have sustained The Bandwagon's prediction machine. (Adickes, by the way, went on to Harvard Medical School to be a doctor, not a patient!)