The Redskins' publicity office, apparently disgruntled by criticism from former quarterback, now broadcaster, Sonny Jurgensen, has disseminated a fact sheet to at least two members of the media apparently attempting to show that Jurgensen was a loser as a player.
Public Relations Director Joe Blair confirmed yesterday that he had given out the information after Jurgensen, a radio color analyst of the team's games and a sportscaster for WDVM-TV-9, criticized quarterback Joe Theismann and the team's supposed lack of effort.
In the information given the media, Jurgensen is described as a sub-.500 quarterback for most of his career, or until Billy Kilmer replaced him during the George Allen era. The fact sheet said that in 1965, when the Redskins last opened a season with a five-game losing streak, Jurgensen produced 47 points. This year, it added, the Redskins have scored 77.
Reached at his office yesterday, Blair said "nothing was intended" by the spreading of the information. He said he and his assistant, Charlie Taylor, "looked up some stuff" on Jurgensen's record in response to press inquiries about the last time the Redskins were 0-5.
Here is a partial text of the fact sheet, entitled, "Notes Regarding Sonny Jurgensen":
"When Sonny was the starting quarterback for the Redskins (1964-70), the Redskins compiled a 42-51 record, with only one winning season (the 1969 7-5-2 season under Vince Lombardi).
"During that span, the Redskins had a seven-game losing streak (the final two games of '64 and the first five of 1965), a five-game losing streak (1970), a four-game losing streak (1964). The last time the Redskins opened the season 0-5 was in 1965 when Sonny was the quarterback.
"When the Redskins began their upswing and the playoff trips under George Allen, Sonny started in only 11 of the 56 games, with Billy Kilmer guiding the squad into the playoffs and starting all playoff games."
During his game commentary Sunday, Jurgensen questioned Theismann's judgment on a number of passes and accused the Redskins of a general lack of aggressiveness. He pointedly questioned Coach Joe Gibbs about the team's intensity during the 6 o'clock news on Channel 9 Monday night.
Jurgensen was said to be out of town last night and could not be reached for comment.
General Manager Bobby Beathard expressed chagrin when told that the publicity office had disseminated the fact sheet.
"That has never been cast by me and I'll find out how it got there," Beathard said. "We consider Sonny a friend and I personally consider him one of the best quarterbacks, one of the best athletes, who's ever played."
Blair noted that the information was not given out as a press release.
Asked if he meant the information to be demeaning, Blair replied, "Heavens, no."