Chapter 3, Page 90

By mid-season, however, the Redskins began to wilt, especially after Taylor, their star receiver, had gone down with a broken leg against the Chiefs. Other injuries followed, and Brown and Harraway were feeling the effects of the poundings they were taking. Jurgensen made his first start against the Eagles in Game 11 — but he lasted only until the second quarter, re-injuring his shoulder when he was tackled scrambling away from defenders. He would be lost for the year. Kilmer came on in relief and led the team to a 20-13 victory, their first triumph in a month.

Kilmer was in the headlines again the day after leading the team to a 24-7 victory over the New York Giants in Game 12. Following a night of celebration, Kilmer and a female companion went into a short-order restaurant — The Toddle House in Arlington, Virginia — at 2 a.m. He tried to pay for his bacon and eggs with a $100 bill. When he got into an animated discussion with the waitress, who said she couldn't break the $100, an off-duty policeman at the other end of the counter thought Kilmer was being too boisterous. He advised him to walk outside to his car to calm down. When Kilmer declined, telling the cop, "If you think I'm wrong, put me in jail," he was arrested and subsequently charged with drunk and disorderly conduct. He spent only a few hours in the pokey and was released after posting $15 collateral (paid for with another $100 bill).

The story was front-page news in Washington. It wasn't exactly the way Allen had wanted to start the week before his team would be traveling back to Los Angeles to play the Rams. But Allen, who had fined Kilmer and Jurgensen $500 each for breaking curfew before a preseason game in Denver, this time took a different approach. "I'm not going to make a big thing out of it," he said. "My only concern is getting ready for the Rams."

Six days later, The Toddle House Affair was mostly forgotten. In one of the sweetest victories of his head coaching career, Allen took his team to Los Angeles for a Monday night game witnessed by 66 million TV viewers and left town with a 38-24 triumph — clinching the Redskins' first playoff berth since the 1945 season. Kilmer was worth a stack of C-notes that day, completing 14 of 19 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns.

There was sheer joy in the Redskins locker room that night. "This is a great, great victory," Allen told his players. "It's the best win of our lives. Men, let's just go on from here."

Page 90 | Next Page: 91

Other Pages in Chapter 3:
79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112

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