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Abe Pollin celebrates his title

There was a tribute to Abe Pollin at Verizon Center last night, with speeches from ex-players and politicians and family members and friends. The entire Wizards team showed up in suits, with DeShawn Stevenson in a bow tie. Vincent Gray proposed renaming the City Title Game after Pollin. There were countless stories about Pollin's generosity. You can read J. Freedom DuLac's recap, or Mike Wise's excellent column about the night.

The best part, though, was before it all started, when they showed clips from "All About Abe" on the giant HD screen. That's the 2007 documentary by Ivy Meeropol about Pollin's life, and the parts about the 1978 championship are just incredible. I can't use the video here, for obvious reasons, but here's the blog version.

Radio voice: "For the first time in 36 years, Washington D.C. has a major sports world champion!!!!!"

Modern Pollin: "When the game was over they said Mr. Pollin, the commissioners are all waiting for you downstairs. I said, 'I'm gonna see my players first.' And they said it's on television. I said, 'I don't care. They'll have to wait. I'm going to see Wes first.' "

Modern Unseld: "He grabbed me and I grabbed him, and we didn't say anything too much. We both were just like, 'Damn! It finally happened.' "

Brent Musberger: "So here comes the owner, Abe Pollin, and Abe, how happy you've got to be."

Pollin: [Laughing too much to talk.]

Musberger: "Abe, what a marvelous feeling this has got to...."

Pollin: Fifteen years I've waited.

[Trophy presentation.]

Pollin: "Yeahhhhhhh. Fannnnn-tastic. Fannnnn-tastic."

Modern Pollin: "We came back to Washington, we were drinking champagne on the plane and we were riding high. About a half hour before we were ready to land, the captain said, Mr. Pollin, I want your permission not to land at Dulles.' I said, 'Why, something wrong?' He said 'No, nothing wrong, but you've got thousands of your fans sitting there, all over the place.'

"I said 'Are you kidding me? I waited 15 years for this. You land the goddamned airplane right there.'

"The city went nuts, absolutely nuts. Black, white, yellow, rich, poor, everybody, just was crazy about the fact that we won the championship."

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 9, 2009; 1:33 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: Billy Kilmer was rooting for the Saints


RIP Abe.

Posted by: sitruc | December 9, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Pollin did a lot of good for a lot of people BUT, in all honesty, he was a bad team owner. One championship in seventy plus seasons of Bullets/Wiz and Caps ownership is terrible. As was the decision to jettison the Bullets name.............

Posted by: poguesmahone | December 9, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

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