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Washington Redskins
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Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins are a National Football League team based in Ashburn, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C .

Founded: 1932
Formerly known as: Boston Braves 1932, Boston Redskins 1933-1936
Home stadium: FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland (1997-)
Head coach: Joe Gibbs (2004-) (Previously coached from 1981-1992)
Uniform colors: Burgundy and Gold
Helmet design: The main helmet is burgundy, with white and yellow trim. It has a Native American profile on the sides

There is considerable controversy over the team's name. Some Native American groups have called for a new name, and some newspapers in the United States have refused to call the team by their name, instead using such circumlocutions as "The Washington football team". On a smaller scale, some concern has been expressed over the use of the placename Washington, as the team does not play, train, or base itself in Washington but rather in Landover. This has prompted one commentator to refer to the team in jest as the 'Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons'. This is not the first racial controversy in which the team has been involved. The owner George Preston Marshall resisted integrating the team, which had no black players from its inception through 1961.

Table of contents
1 Franchise history:
2 Players of note:
3 External link

Franchise history:

The city of Boston was awarded an NFL franchise in 1932, under the ownership of Marshall. On the heels of Marshall's entry to the National Football League, and evidently influenced by his racial policies, the other NFL teams dropped all black players in 1933 and none signed blacks again until 1946.

The team played in Braves Field, home of baseball's Boston Braves. Thus the team took the same name. Eventually, to differentiate the two teams, Marshall changed the name to the Redskins. Due to sagging attendance he moved the team to Fenway Park. That move did not help either. In fact, in the 1936 NFL championship game, against the Green Bay Packers, the team was forced to play in New York's Polo Grounds. Fed up with the poor attendance, Marshall moved the team to Washington, D.C in 1937.

Upon making the move, the team instantly won a title. They also signed a rookie quarterback from Texas Christian University named Sammy Baugh. Baugh's style was innovative. In an era where the forward pass was rare, the Redskins used it as their primary method of gaining yards. Baugh also played numerous other positions, including cornerback and punter.

The team's early success endeared them to the fans of Washington, D.C. However, after Baugh's retirement the Redskins began a slow decline. Marshall continued to refuse to integrate the team, despite pressure from the Washington Post and the Federal government. (A typical comment by Post writer Shirley Povich was "[ [Cleveland Browns]] runner] Jim Brown integrated the Redskins' end zone.")Under threat of civil rights legal action by the Kennedy administration, the team became the final pro football franchise to integrate, in 1962 when the Redskins signed Hall of Fame wide receiver Bobby Mitchell.

Even with Mitchell's addition, the Redskins were still not winning. In 1969 the Redskins hired Vince Lombardi to be their new head coach. He led the team to a 7-5-2 record, their best since 1955. Lombardi died of cancer after the season ended. Also in 1969, long time owner, and President Emeritus, George Preston Marshall died.

Two years later the team signed George Allen as their head coach. He led the team to the NFC title, but lost to the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VII. Allen helped to foster the team's rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys. This has turned into one of the NFL's most famous rivalries. The Redskins reached the Super Bowl in 1973, defeating Dallas 33-3, only to lose to the undefeated Miami Dolphins, 17-7.

In 1981 the team signed as head coach Joe Gibbs. He coached the team to four Super Bowls, winning their first title in 40 years. Gibbs' last Super Bowl (and the team's) was a victory over the Buffalo Bills. Gibbs left to pursue interests in NASCAR; he has been one of the circuit's leading team owners in recent years.

In 1997 team owner Jack Kent Cooke died. His son, John Kent Cooke, was unable to pay the death duties for the business, and the team was later sold to Daniel Snyder. The sale of the team was the most expensive in sporting history. Snyder, who grew up as a Redskins fan and who made his money in cable television, has made many controversial moves since owning the team, including signing former Cowboys defensive player Deion Sanders. Snyder also fired incumbent coach Norv Turner, tried coach Marty Schottenheimer, and in 2002, he hired University of Florida head coach Steve Spurrier to be the head coach of the team. After two mediocre years, Spurrier resigned after the 2003 season with three years left on his contract.

For the 2004 season, Snyder successfully lured Gibbs away from NASCAR to return as head coach.

The Redskins are one of only two teams in the NFL with an official marching band. The other is the Baltimore Ravens, who revived the band of the city's former NFL team, the Baltimore Colts. The Redskins' band predates the Colts franchise by about 15 years. Also, the Redskins were the first team to have a fight song, "Hail to the Redskins."

Championships won:
League Championships: 1937, 1942; Super Bowl: 1982, 1987, 1991
Super Bowl appearances:
VII (lost) vs. Miami Dolphins 14-7, XVII (won) vs. Miami Dolphins 27-17, XVIII (lost) vs. L.A. Raiders 38-9, XXII (won) vs. Denver Broncos 42-10, XXVI (won) vs. Buffalo Bills 37-24

Players of note:

Pro Football Hall of Famers: Current stars: Retired numbers:
  1. 33 Sammy Baugh
Note: Team policy since Baugh's retirement has been not to retire numbers. However, some are unofficially retired, like 9, Sonny Jurgensen's number. There is pressure on the Redskins to change this policy, or retire 28, Darrell Green's number.

Not to be forgotten:

External link

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