In honor of this gruesome anniversary, I will provide daily updates of what people were writing 20 years ago each day. Until it gets too depressing. Which might have already happened.
John Madden predicts Redskins victory
“It starts with RFK Stadium,” Madden was quoted saying in the Boston Herald. “It’s just a football stadium — no track, no baseball field, it’s not brand new, it doesn’t have a lot of luxury boxes or other fancy things. The fans make a lot of noise and they have a band that sits in the end zone. They have a fight song, they play outdoors on real grass, taking whatever the elements bring.
“They have a big old offensive line they call the Hogs. Even their skill guys are tough guys. Look at Gary Clark: shirttail hanging out, mouthpiece dangling. Every time he gets hit, he has to put his shoulder pads back in. It’s just a feeling you get at RFK that this is football as it should be played.”
Gibbs on the Posse
“Art is a rock, nothing shakes him up,” Joe Gibbs said, also in the Herald. “Ricky is always walking around patting people. You never have to worry about Ricky being upset. Gary is moody and up and down. Sometimes you catch him on a good day. Sometimes you catch him on a bad one.”
Ernie Accorsi calls the Skins ‘flawless’
“When we’ve interviewed defensive coordinators for our head coaching job — and with two changes in the last few years, we’ve interviewed a lot of them — we ask which team they’ve faced has been most difficult to defend,” the then-Browns executive told the AP. “It’s almost unanimously Washington.
“They execute their system so perfectly. People take their offense other places. That’s a tribute. They’re so flawless, so balanced. Shut down the run, they’ll throw 350 yards on you. That’s a perfect team. They’re built to play anywhere, anytime.”
Theismann on Gibbs
“If he’s a stock, how much higher can he go?” said Theismann, then an ESPN analyst, in a call with reporters. “Where do you go when you’re at the top, when you’re the best in the game. Maybe lordship or sainthood?”
The Bandwagon departs
Then-Post sports editor George Solomon wrote a brief piece on the departure of Tony and friends. Quoting George:
A 33-foot recreational vehicle, the outside painted to create a real look for Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser’s mythical bandwagon, left Washington yesterday on its way to Minneapolis and Super Bowl XXVI....Washington Post executives, led by Candace Medd, director of circulation-marketing, suggested Kornheiser be driven to the Super Bowl in a “bandwagon type” vehicle.
“I think we’ve seized the moment,” Medd said. “The bandwagon is a fun column that snowballed.”
Joining Kornheiser for the 1,150-mile drive will be Jeanne McManus, The Post’s deputy sports editor who will supervise the newspaper’s Super Bowl coverage, and Norman Chad, a Kornheiser nemesis whose columns appear in The Post and Sports Illustrated.
Oh, to have live blogged from that RV.
Jack Kent Cooke’s legacy
“It’s the finest organization in professional sports,” Cooke told The Post in a massive A1 feature about the team’s front office. “There’s continuity and trust. Joe Gibbs and Charles Casserly simply put are at the top of their professions. I wouldn’t say I have absolute trust in them, but it’s pretty close....
“You get good people and you give them the things they need to succeed. That’s our formula, and the success here will continue long after I’m gone. My son John and his son John will continue the tradition of the Redskins. And if they don’t, heaven help them because I’ll be watching from below or above, wherever I happen to be.”