Darrell Green asked The Washington Post if he could address Washington Redskins fans before his final game today. This is his letter to them:
My career officially kicked off in September 1983 when I was introduced to a new phenomenon called Dallas Week. From that Monday night opener, (remember the great Dorsett rundown?) to a 14-2 record and a trip to the Super Bowl, it wasn't a bad beginning for the little guy from Texas A&I.
Over the next 19 years, we went on to win five NFC East championships, three NFC titles, and two more Super Bowls.
In my younger days, I could keep up with the best of them, as the four-time winner of the NFL's Fastest Man contest. And who could forget seven trips to beautiful Hawaii for the Pro Bowl games?
Well, I hope I don't sound like a super hero, because I'm not. The Redskins have always been loaded with talent, even before my time. Bobby Mitchell, my greatest hero, Sam Huff, my tackling coach, and Sonny Jurgensen, the fan favorite, stand out in my mind. Then there were the great players of my early years, like "Talking Joe" Theismann, the outspoken Dexter Manley, hyper Gary Clark, and, of course, "Pretty Boy" Mark Moseley, just to name a few.
So many great characters. So many great memories. Charlie Brown and the Smurfs doing their classic high-five in Texas Stadium, in spite of the Cowboys' protests. Big John "The Diesel" Riggins ran through the NFC East, all the way to the Hall of Fame. "Doc" Walker and the Hogs always gave you a great night out. Then there was Art Monk and the Fun Bunch who always kept you on the edge of your seat. And I'm sure you remember (and would like to forget) my group, the Pearl Harbor Crew. But I will never forget "The General" Joe Gibbs, the quotable Jack Kent Cooke and the great ride to two Super Bowl championships. Throughout the years, we have always worked hard to win. Doug Williams, Mark Rypien, Tim Johnson, Earnest Byner and Brian Mitchell were a great lineup, not to mention great friends.
For 20 seasons, I have played cornerback for the best fans; you always kept RFK rocking. And it warms my heart every time I remember you chanting my name at FedEx Field, "Darrell, Darrell, Darrell." This is the best community in the world. You even gave me the love of my life, my wife Jewell, and for her, I am forever indebted to you. It is here where we have made our home and raised our children. How can I begin to find the words to thank you for 20 years of support? I can only hope that you know how hard I have worked on and off the field. Most of all, I hope I have made you proud.
Now, I bid you a humble farewell, as my football career comes to an end. As I go, I leave you in good hands with Dan Snyder and Steve Spurrier. I'll be cheering for them as they lead the new kids on the block like Fred Smoot, Champ Bailey, Patrick Ramsey, LaVar Arrington, Chris Samuels and Jon Jansen. The future looks bright. Hail to the Redskins.
As I move on, I ask you all to pray with me as I continue my greatest work of serving our youth through the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation. To my fans everywhere, I leave you this one request, to join me in making sure that all children are nurtured in healthy environments, educated with excellence, and developed and strengthened in their moral character. If we together can accomplish this, then 20 years as a Washington Redskin will be so much more than just a memory -- it is a life's journey together.