Chapter 2, Page 44

The Mitchell acquisition was by no means the only watershed of those decades. The Redskins, for example, were the first team in the NFL to have all of their games tele- vised — and Marshall used that 1950 coup to increase his cultivation of Southern fans. In addition to "Hail to the Redskins," the team band played "Dixie" before home games.

Redskins fans also welcomed and bade farewell to many other pivotal men besides Mitchell in those years. Baugh played his final game for the Redskins in 1952. Sonny Jurgensen played his first game for the Redskins in 1964. So did Charley Taylor. Jack Kent Cooke bought 25 percent of the team, for $350,000, in 1961. On February 7, 1969, Vince Lombardi was hired as head coach. Larry Brown arrived as a Redskins rookie that year. On August 9, 1969, Marshall died.

Marshall's near-unique flair as a showman also may have reached its zenith in the period, on October 10, 1954, when the halftime performance included the entire Na- tional Symphony Orchestra. This may have helped Redskins ticket sales, but it didn't do much for the team's prospects on the field: The Redskins lost that day, 51-21, to the New York Giants. That was no surprise to Redskins fans at the time or to anyone who has looked back at the team's frightful records of the 1950s and 1960s.

Of Redskins players and coaches now in the Hall of Fame, most — 10 of them — were active in those two decades. There were coaches Earl (Curly) Lambeau, Otto Graham and Vince Lombardi. There was linebacker Sam Huff, running back Bill Dudley and defensive tackle Stan Jones. There were quarterbacks Baugh and Jurgensen and wide receivers Mitchell and Taylor.

Granted, many of these men either had made their marks with other teams or were near the end of their careers in those Washington years. Still, the Redskins could man- age just three winning seasons — in 1953, 1955 and 1969 — out of 20.

This doesn't mean that there were no exciting or funny moments in those decades. There were, sometimes in the same game. Running back Dick James scored four touchdowns during a 34-24 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on December 17, 1961. He could have scored five, James said, had rookie quarterback Norm Snead been more attentive. According to James, he came into the huddle with the Redskins less than two yards from the goal line and said: "Let's take it in." Snead thought James said: "Sneak it in." So Snead did.

Page 44 | Next Page: 45

Other Pages in Chapter 2:
43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78

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Names, Numbers
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