Chapter 1, Page 26

The Giants took a 9-0 lead into the fourth quarter with three field goals. But the Redskins' Wee Willie Wilkin, a mammoth tackle, blocked a punt, and Filchock threw a touchdown pass to Bob Masterson, who kicked the point after. It was 9-7.

With less than two minutes to play, the Redskins drove to the Giants' 7-yard line. Then, with seven seconds to go, Bo Russell put his foot to a field goal attempt that would win the East. He had not missed all season. Nor did the Redskins believe he missed that one. They celebrated as the ball soared high into the air, and several Giants, heads down, walked away. But referee Bill Halloran ruled that the ball went wide of the right upright. Flaherty was incensed, charging up to the referee as the Giants scurried from the field with the title. Marshall, some people thought, would tear his own hair out. Halloran never officiated another game, although it was never clear whether the few thousand words of venom Marshall uttered over the next weeks were decisive.

A 9-2 Redskins team had been denied, and hearts were heavy among the thousands of Washington rooters who had journeyed to New York and among all those back home.

Fan interest continued to surge. For 1940, temporary bleachers would be added along one sideline at Griffith Stadium. Six home games sold for $9. The team moved to a new training facility, still in Washington State but at Flaherty's alma mater, Gonzaga. There, the Redskins lived like the champions they had been and the champions they felt confident of becoming again.

Vincent X. Flaherty, the Washington Times-Herald sports columnist, called the facility "the most ultramodern" he'd seen, "with its rigging of nickeled heat lamps, violet ray contraptions, lily-white cots and rubbing tables which would make a Hollywood masseur blink in admiration."

Going into the 1940 season, Flaherty and his players were upbeat; they sensed a repeat of 1937. Nevertheless, some days Marshall would go around grumbling — even complaining about Baugh, of all people. There was a reason, of course: Baugh's three-year contract would be up after the season, and Marshall already was planning to pay him as little as he could while trying to goad him to further greatness, as if Sammy needed inspiration. "I think he will get out of football if he bumps into another spotty season," Marshall told a reporter. "I think he will make a good coach. It's unfortunately true that the last two of Sammy's seasons here have been spotty." He said that Baugh would never be as good as he was in 1937.

Page 26 | Next Page: 27

Other Pages in Chapter 1:
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

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Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Names, Numbers
Trivia Quiz

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