"The Super Bowl fulfills a lifetime dream," Joe Theismann was saying. "When I was a kid, I didn't want to be a policemen or a fireman or a doctor. I just wanted to be a football player. How many other people can say they're doing what they always dreamed they wanted to do?"
Not all the Redskins, certainly.
"The coach at my high school practically pulled me out of the pool and told me to play football," said George Starke. "I was a swimmer and basketball player at the time. I always could play football. I was a high school all-America, as an offensive end, defensive end and fullback. But I didn't especially like football. Basketball still was my favorite."
Most of the others have a Theismann-like love for football. How did that start? What are the Redskins' football roots? Let's continue around the huddle, with Mark Moseley:
"My freshman year in high school, I kicked two field goals. One of them was a 36-yarder in the last (regular-season) game, against Woodville, our arch-rival, to win by 9-6. Then I kicked a 39-yarder against Katy High School in the playoffs that we won on penetrations. That was the time I knew (he could get kicks kicking)."
Dexter Manley: "In grade school, playing with bigger guys. I think God gives us all a profession. One of mine was to be a professional football player."
Rick Walker: "When I was 9, I was playing in a league with a 14-year-old age limit. At safety. Right then I knew either things were going my way or I had a little ability."
Dave Butz: "One day my sophomore year in high school, the football coach just came up to me in the hall, by the trophy case near the basketball gym, and grabbed me by the shoulders. He told me I had the potential to play pro football, that I had the size (6-foot-6 and 265 pounds) and speed. But the grades were only so-so. I had a tendency to drift in high school. He impressed on me to discipline myself."
Mark Murphy: "Being from Colgate, I never thought about pro ball till the scouts came by my junior year. They all said I'd get drafted. Then when I didn't I was disillusioned. But at the Redskins' training camp (after signing as a free agent in '77) I did well against veterans and draft choices. From that point on, I was confident I could play."
Joe Washington: "Always thought I was going to be a big bruising fullback, about 6-3 and 240 pounds. Always ran over people when I was a kid. Lowered that shoulder and went. Never dreamed, even once, of avoiding anyone. Then everybody else grew, and I thought: 'Gee, there's not too many people I can overpower anymore.' "