Political Football: Bad memories of Rigginomics in St. Louis
Former St. Louis Rep. Richard A. Gephardt was majority leader of the House from 1989-94. He is now president and chief executive officer of Gephardt Government Affairs.
This Sunday presents us all with an opportunity to shift our focus outside the Beltway - when the Redskins travel to St. Louis to face my hometown Rams. Redskins fans can breathe a sigh of relief that swaggering Texas teams won't appear on the Washington schedule until the December 19th rematch with the Cowboys.
The devotion and passion of Redskins fans has always impressed me. This has been true through both good and challenging seasons, wins and losses.
In the Midwestern heartland, expectations for our football team are better grounded. I guess years of St. Louis football mediocrity (and an unfortunate lone victory in 2009) will do that to you.
As far as NFC rivalries go, I'll admit, St. Louis v. Washington hasn't been much of a contest. We've always thought of ourselves as more of a baseball town.
The 70's and 80's provided a few bright spots, but I remember vividly watching your Joe Gibbs-coached Hogs dominate our Cardinals year after year.
Reagan and Riggins combined to make the 80's a tough time to be a St. Louis Democrat. "Rigginomics" sure ran wild throughout the country.
Then things went from bad to worse, when the Cardinals moved to the sunnier confines of Arizona and we were left without a team to keep us warm through the cold Midwestern winters.
But then, new hope! The Rams relocated to St. Louis, and what's more, they were good. Kurt Warner's "Greatest Show on Turf" lit up the league and presented our town with its very own Super Bowl championship. We were doormats no longer!
This Sunday there are a couple of points I'd like everyone to remember. First, to Redskins fans: make sure to give your new coach a chance. After all, every Administration must deal with adversity at times, but what matters most is the overall record.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, the winning team will be the team that plays best together. I've always thought that you can disagree with someone and still deeply respect them and like them. On Sunday, I'm hoping my Rams will show us all a lesson about respect, decency and teamwork. A win would be nice too.
Richard A. Gephardt
| September 23, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories: Political Football, Redskins | Tags: Political Football, Redskins
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