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Dexter Manley saw Roger Goodell on a StairMaster

Clinton Portis, Joe Theismann, Dexter Manley, Jeff Bostic. (Photo by Hyon Smith.)
Clinton Portis, Joe Theismann, Dexter Manley, Jeff Bostic. (Photo by Hyon Smith.)

If you’re new to these parts, there’s this tradition that whenever the Redskins play the Cowboys, legendary figures from seasons past are given the opportunity on D.C. radio stations to explain just how much they hate Dallas.

It seems weird at first, but eventually it becomes something you love about living in this region, like cherry blossoms and crab chips and spleen-draining traffic.

Anyhow, Dexter Manley was on ESPN 980 Wednesday to perform this routine, but first, there was something he wanted to say.

“Let me just start this off,” Manley began. “I go to the gym downtown, I go to the Ritz-Carlton, I work out six days a week. And you wouldn’t imagine who I saw [this week]. I saw all these NFL owners in there working out! I didn’t say anything, so they kept looking at me. I saw Roger Goodell, the commissioner, on a StairMaster. And then I saw a bunch of flunkies around him. And I’m thinking now who are these other guys?

“Next thing you know, who comes in there, Jerry Jones. I started to go walk over and tell him, ‘Hey, you’re gonna your butt kicked Sunday night,’ but I didn’t do that.”

Why not, he was asked.

“Well, I don’t think it’s an appropriate thing to do,” Manley explained. “I’ve had two brain surgeries, so now I’m not the same guy, the pit bull I was no more. I have to calm down and just be cool. I wanted to say that to him, my instincts told me to go do that, but intellectually I knew that that wouldn’t be the right thing to do.”

Eventually, of course, Doc Walker began asking Manley about the good old days, like the time when he smashed a bunch of mirrors in a Dallas locker room or something.

“Well, I don’t want to claim [that], first they’ll send me a bill,” Manley demurred. “But I will say this: a lot of that had to do with just the fact that I was young, and I really disliked the Cowboys. And I’ll be quite frank with you: I don’t know who I got this from, but I used to take like 8 or 9 Sudafed before the game. And I was kind of wired up on Sudafed, and really crazy. And I did a bunch of stupid stuff.

“I was young, and that’s what I did. I don’t know if there’s any validity to that [story], but if they say I did, I did.”

Walker then asked if Manley really used to drink six or seven cups of coffee before games.

“I had coffee and Sudafed,” Manley agreed. “I’ll tell you where I got those Sudafed from: I read — you know I could read, I learned how to read — and I read the whole Thomas Henderson book. He talked about how he had a lot of Sudafed before the game, it’d get you wired up, and I took like 9 or 10 Sudafed before the game. That’s how I came up with that idea.”

(Of course, in previous years, Manley had told similar stories, like taking five Sudafed tablets and smashing a coffee maker before a Dallas game. By 2019, it’ll be 20 Sudafed tablets and a broken De’Longhi espresso machine.)

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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