At last, the definitive account of the Redskins’ championship decade
Based on more than ninety original interviews, here is the rollicking chronicle of the famed Washington Redskins teams of the Joe Gibbs years—one of the most remarkable and unique runs in NFL history. From 1981 to 1992, Gibbs coached the franchise to three Super Bowl victories, making the team the toast of the nation’s capital, from the political elite to the inner city, and helping to define one of the sport’s legendary eras.
Veteran sportswriter Adam Lazarus masterfully charts the Redskins’ rise from mediocrity (the franchise had never won a Super Bowl and Gibbs’s first year as head coach started with a five-game losing streak that almost cost him his job) to its stretch of four championship games in ten years. What makes their sustained success all the more remarkable, in retrospect, is that unlike the storied championship wins of Joe Montana’s 49ers and Tom Brady’s Patriots, the Redskins’ Super Bowl victories each featured a different starting quarterback: Joe Theismann in 1983, the franchise’s surprising first championship run; Doug Williams in 1988, a win full of meaning for a majority African American city during a tumultuous era; and Mark Rypien in 1992, capping one of the greatest seasons of all time, one that stands as Gibbs’s masterpiece.
Hail to the Redskins features an epic roster of saints and sinners: hard-drinking fullback John Riggins; the dominant, blue-collar offensive linemen known as “the Hogs,” who became a cultural phenomenon; quarterbacks Williams, the first African American QB to win a Super Bowl, and Theisman, a model-handsome pitchman whose leg was brutally broken by Lawrence Taylor on Monday Night Football; gregarious defensive end Dexter Manley, who would be banned from the league for cocaine abuse; and others including the legendary speedster Darrell Green, record-breaking receiver Art Monk, rags-to-riches QB Rypien, expert general managers and talent evaluators Bobby Beathard and Charley Casserly, aristocratic owner Jack Kent Cooke, and, of course, Gibbs himself, a devout Christian who was also a ruthless competitor and one of the sport’s most adaptable and creative coaching minds.
A must-read for any fan, Hail to the Redskins builds on Lazarus’s interviews with key inside sources to vividly re-create the plays, the players, the fans, and the opponents that shaped this unforgettable football dynasty.