Stories involving the Washington Redskins

JUN
12
2

After A 31-Year Wait, Cowne Gets His Super Bowl Ring

If you are over at C.S. Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg these days and want to see a Super Bowl ring, go find resource teacher John Cowne.

Lost in the media crush of the Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup parade Tuesday was the fact that the replacement players who participated in three games during the Washington Redskins' 1987 Super Bowl season finally got their rings. They weren’t originally going to, but a 30 for 30 special on ESPN recently bought a spotlight to the fact they didn’t get rings, and the organization responded.

Cowne, who is also an assistant to Head Coach Mike Skinner at Woodgrove here in Loudoun County, played collegiately at Virginia Tech. He was on the teams of Bill Dooley from 1980 to 1983, primarily as a long snapper on teams that had a combined record of 31-14 and played in a bowl game. Cowne made an attempt at the NFL in 1987, playing for the San Diego Chargers before being waived at the end of the exhibition season.

The Brentsville District High School standout then got a call from Charlie Casserly, who was responsible for putting a replacement team together. On the night of Sept. 22, 1987, Cowne joined his new teammates at the Dulles Airport Marriott and ended up playing in all three games, including the Monday night October 19th 13-7 win over Dallas.

But just like in the movie “The Replacements”, the next day it was over and players were told to clean out their lockers. Cowne, the first and only player in the history of Brentsville District High School to play Division I football (and now get a Super Bowl ring), returned to teaching high school and coaching, where his stops have included positions at Loudoun Valley and Broad Run here in Ashburn.

Thanks to Will Montgomery’s Twitter feed (a fellow Hokie and Redskin) I was even able to grab a picture of Montgomery and Cowne (Cowne is on the right) and a picture of that newly minted Super Bowl ring.

This of course raises another question I will have to investigate: how many high school football coaches in Loudoun County have Super Bowl rings?

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JUN
10
0

Ovechkin May End Up Being Snyder's Worst Nightmare

If you have followed the antics of Alex Ovechkin, his teammates and the Stanley Cup since they all landed at Dulles Friday, you’d have to think this group is Dan Snyder’s worst nightmare.

I’m not saying everyone is now going to stop following pro football and embrace hockey. The fanbase for that franchise is deep and isn’t going anywhere immediately.

But that fanbase is old. It’s my generation that has a closet filled with Redskins jerseys and will follow them until they die. The younger generation that has just gotten out of college does not have that loyalty. They don’t seem to be going to live sporting events as evidenced by more and more empty seats around the country. The value for high-priced tickets to any team’s games, much less one that isn’t all that much fun to follow come playoff time, just doesn’t seem to be there.

Then these guys come along. Watching Ovi and company is like watching a bunch of modern-day Beatles remaking “A Hard Day’s Night.” Heck, as hard as these guys are going at it, they could call it “A Hard Day’s WEEK.”

They are becoming folk heroes in front of our very eyes. First, they win the Stanley Cup. Then they take the Cup all over Las Vegas like a group of guys who are maniacs on a mission. They make the movie “The Hangover” look tame, and I figured no one can go at that pace two days in a row. They’ll calm down when they get home, logic dictated.

But they haven’t. They were at Don Tito’s in Clarendon and partied the night away Friday night. At around 11 AM Saturday, they show up for the Nationals’ noon game with the Giants, with the expectation they would be there long enough for Ovi to throw out the first pitch, show off the Cup and be gone. Instead, they stayed the entire game, chugged beers like Prohibition was coming back Monday and broke into “We are the Champions” multiple times at the drop of a hat.

When the game was over, it wasn’t another hour or two later that Twitter was flooded with videos of Ovi, Oshie, Holtby and several others splashing around in a downtown fountain. They were laughing, falling down, drunk, doing pushups and just having the time of their life. They were exhibiting the pure joy of having fun. And everyone loved it.

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APR
10
4

These Are Not Autographs You Will See For Sale On Ebay

Yesterday, I wrote a piece about Mitchell Gold, and in it I mention that I ended up getting a chair autographed by both Mitchell AND his dog. Some found that a little unusual.

“That’s not the only thing unusual about my Dad,” would be my daughter’s response.

But I will grant you that I do look at the whole autograph deal a little different than most. I have some sports memorabilia – an autographed picture of Julius Erving in a Virginia Squires jersey, a throwback Redskins helmet (the gold one with the big “R”) signed by Sonny Jurgensen, and a Virginia Tech helmet signed by Frank Beamer and Michael Vick.

The first one I ever pursued was Erving. I grew up in Norfolk watching the brief tenure of pro basketball in the area, and Erving was amazing. At the same time, Jurgensen was the quarterback for the Redskins, and at the age of 13, I thought he was the best quarterback of all time (still do, for that matter).

But it was Erving who soured me on any further sports hero worship. Later in life in the late 1990s, a great friend and business partner knew one of the then-minority owners of the Orlando Magic, and Erving worked for the team at the time. My friend and I were in Orlando, so he arranged for us to get tickets to the Magic game that night and meet my childhood idol.

Sometime in the second quarter, we were told if we went back to the hospitality room, Erving was there. I was introduced to him, told him how much I enjoyed watching him as a kid, and he gave me one of those “Um, yeah…nice to see you…” and walked away. Erving owed me nothing, so I suppose I should not have been annoyed by the 13 seconds of gruffness he provided. But it did tarnish some of those childhood memories, and served as a warning to me if I wanted to keep enjoying those memories, don’t meet those people in person.

Such was the case with Jurgensen, who by all accounts I’ve heard is a great guy. Several of the autographed items I have came from doing charity work for the Washington Redskins Alumni Association, as the director at the time knew I liked him and obtained them. He also offered to introduce me whenever Sonny was at Redskins Park, so I asked if it would end up being like my deal with Erving.

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APR
06
1

I'm Pulling For RGIII, But Not Because He's A Football Player

I have read with interest the news of Robert Griffin III signing with the Baltimore Ravens, because regardless of his missteps both on and off the field over the years, I like the guy.

His time with the Redskins were both amazing and frustrating, as he may end up being the most polarizing athlete to ever play in D.C. To fans that liked him, he could do no wrong; any other player who took playing time from RGIII – mainly Kirk Cousins – they gave zero credit to.

Perhaps it’s just the way things are in the current electronic village known as social media, but when there was the battle of Sam or Sonny for Redskins QB in the 70s, you liked one or the other; you were not required to like one and absolutely hate the other. But that was RGIII vs. KC in Washington.

I have always been in the camp of liking whoever makes plays and wins games, so I liked RGIII in 2012, and liked Cousins in subsequent years. But my reasons for really liking the Ravens giving Griffin a chance has nothing to do with either of those occurrences.

It has more to do with a warm October Friday night here in Ashburn (there's a fantastic picture of that evening above the headline by Marianne Thiede). Broad Run was playing a high school football game, and there was an event going on for breast cancer awareness called “Pink’d.” Griffin’s popularity was soaring, so students at Broad Run tweeted at him heavily asking that he make the short drive from Redskins Park over to Ashburn Road for the event. They even had a “Pink’d” T-shirt ready and waiting for him.

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