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Billy Kilmer was rooting for the Saints

(From the archives.)

In this season of quoting ex-Redskins about the current Redskins, you know who hasn't been heard from? Billy Kilmer. So let's have at it, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Sitting in his Florida home just outside Miami, the first quarterback of the Saints watched every second of Sunday's miraculous 33-30 overtime victory. Ordinarily you'd expect an original Saint, who was traded to Washington and then took the Redskins to a Super Bowl, to have mixed feelings.

But no.

"Listen," said Billy Kilmer, "you're talking to a born-again Who Dat. I got nothing against the Redskins. Got a lot of friends up there. But right now there's nothing I want to see more than the Saints run the table and win their last game in February a few miles from where I live."

What the? I mean, I guess it's more interesting than yet another veteran ripping the current owner, but sheesh, if you're Billy Kilmer, you can't root against the Redskins, can you?

Here's what he said after he was released in the spring of 1979 to make way for a three-way trio of Joe Theismann, Kim McQuilken and Gary Valbuena. These quotes were given to The Post's Len Shapiro:

Kilmer said he fully understands the Redskins' motives in ending his career in Washington, "a town I'll always be a part of."

"I'm just so happy to have had the kind of association with the city and the team that I had," he said. "I'll remember those years, the great years with George Allen. You'll never see a team like that again, you'll never see an era like that again. But everything has to end sometime....

"The highlights? You could single out a lot of games - beating Dallas so many times, beating them (in the National Conference championship game) in 1972 and getting to the Super Bowl.

"But the real highlight was playing for George and playing with the guys on the team. We all felt like we were part of the community, that people really cared about us differently than maybe they did in some other cities.

"Sure I was booed, but that happens to everybody. The love-hate part of it I attributed to the press. I think most people realized we were all in this together and we tried to do everything we could to win.

"I don't think I caused Theismann any problems on the field, in practice or in the meetings. We didn't socialize because we were different ages and we had different interests.

"I'd try to help him if he asked, but he never asked, but he never asked. We never had any fights, we never had any shouting matches. But I guess somebody thought there was a problem.

"All I know is those teams under George had so much enthusiasm and so much character. I hope these new guys can carry it on, but I don't know if they can. They've got a hell of a challenge to match those teams."

And in case you're wondering about the Saints years, well, here's how Shapiro put it at the time.

He survived the accident and four nightmarish years as an expansion team quarterback in New Orleans before Allen rescued him Jan. 28, 1971, a date that marked the first great step in Allen's revival of the Redskins.

Kilmer was the first man Allen acquired when he took the job coaching the Redskins, sending linebacker Tom Rousell and fourth and eighth round picks in the 1972 draft to the Saints. Later, Allen always said that deal was the best steal I ever made."

Though he had to battle every year for his position, either with his friend, Sonny Jurgensen, or later Theismann, Kilmer was the man most responsible for the Redskins' five playoff appearances in Allen's seven-year reign.

And now, he's a born-again Who Dat. Which, of course, leads to comments like this on Extreme Skins:

**** off Billy boy. Sonny was better anyway.

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 9, 2009; 2:12 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Cooley on Tiger and Campbell


Why print this?
Who cares?
Stories like this prove you should be on the bust list.

Posted by: jmy999 | December 9, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

A lot of the old vets have become disenchanted with the Redskins under Snyder.

Posted by: poguesmahone | December 9, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Think things would have been different if the Washington Post called him first?

Posted by: sitruc | December 9, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

maybe if the pompous tree-cutter owner makes enough bad decisions as the quasi-GM, he'll hire a real one.
After 10 years of this bunkerboy, many people are fed up...

Posted by: Max231 | December 9, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I was more outraged that Dino Ciccarelli is rooting for the North Stars this season.

Posted by: fushezzi | December 9, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, then I guess we can offically settle the "Billy vs. Sonny" debate.

Posted by: grimesman | December 9, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"I was more outraged that Dino Ciccarelli is rooting for the North Stars this season"

Dino, NO! -now, that's outrageous!

Posted by: Max231 | December 9, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Billy Kilmer roots against the 'Skins??? GASP... whatEVER shall we DO???


To me, growing up a 'Skins fan in the '70s, Billy was the guy who played QB whenever Sonny wasn't available, nothing more; there's a reason Sonny's in the HOF and Billy ain't, after all. We used to go out in our backyards and practice throwing crappy passes that wobbled, "Just like Kilmer".

Wake me up when Sonny or B Mitch or Doc Walker roots against the 'Skins -- THEN it'll be news...

Posted by: gr8day4bsbll | December 9, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: richardgovea | December 9, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

B Mitch roots against the Skins every Sunday...Just watch Postgame on CSN.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | December 9, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you didn't once rag on Campbell here, congratulations.

Funny though, cuz I was reading this while rooting for every other WP sports writer.

Posted by: RIP-21 | December 9, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey RIP, you're certainly entitled to take your shots at me. I didn't think I was bashing Boz in the JC item, just saying that I think a lot of NFL observers wouldn't rank people like Hasselbeck and Carson Palmer in the same category as JC, and wouldn't hesitate to put Schaub and Romo ahead of him.

I think he's a great guy. I wouldn't be shocked if he goes somewhere else and is solid. I don't think he cost the team the game against the Saints. That would be absurd. All I was saying is when he gets the ball late in games, needing to move down the field, I have very little confidence that he'll do so.

If you disagree with me, that's more than fine, and if this means you no longer have a shred of respect for me, I guess that's fine too.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | December 9, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

B. Haywood is dropping bombs on his blog and you want us to read about the skins??

Posted by: Mtortora | December 9, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

even though kilmer was no where near as accurate as jurgensen,when he came into game or started the player's knew that and they played hard around him, stepped up their game he could not run at that time and took alot of hits had a weak arm,drank too much but if the game was close and he was playing they usually pulled the game out. to me allen was the best head coach at washington(I know gibbs has superbowls)but allen fueled the division rivalries especially against dallas, was a defensive mind and special teams person. If allen was coaching now randle el would not be returning kicks. His only problem was giving up too many draft picks.

Posted by: wathu19 | December 9, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Why print this?
Who cares?
Stories like this prove you should be on the bust list.

Posted by: jmy999

There is such a thing as history. Kilmer is a Redskin legacy.


Posted by: hessone | December 9, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: dannyboyrules | December 9, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Dan Steinberg..
Obviously you are not a fan..because its not a stretch to imagine a former Skins player NOT rooting for this Snyder owned team. He.ll alot of die hard Skins fans root for the team to lose every weekend now just to see Vinny fired.
The logo and uniforms are the same but by evidence of the empty seats (or seats sold to the visiting team fans), Redskins fans and most of the ex players have long left the Snyder building.

The exception being the ex players that are making a living off the media (a few owned also by Snyder). They put on a good game face (Jurgensen and Theisman) but, if not employed in the local media, I would bet they would be more like Kilmer and root for underdog and great human interest stories/ teams like the Saints.

Posted by: cliftonbiz | December 9, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

This is a blog, not a print story, so why cry about his coverage?

Posted by: alecw81 | December 10, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Miraculous finish, I'm tired of hearing the media refer to a play as being "miraculous." Miracles are of the supernatural, not natural. They are from God through Jesus, and by the power of the Holy Spirit. They are not passes from QB's to recievers, game winning home runs, or last second three pointers (although I was glad Kobe hit that shot the other night to win) it still is not a miracle. Miracles are things like the "virgin birth of Christ our Lord and Savior, healings, and other blessings, they are not man made, yet they are made for mankind.

Posted by: rmilton | December 10, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Who could blame him? Good story. How many Redskins fans are looking? Vinny Cerrato has said it many times-the Redskins fans are just looking to be entertained. If that is the way I feel, I would go to a strip club. I have quit doing everything redskins. I would not buy a jersey or anything else with REdskins on it. I do not care whether they win or lose. I am embarrassed for the team every time Albert flops on the ground. That is not professional. Dan Snyder better wake up because the fan base is leaving this team by the thousands. Look around your neighborhood during the game. Go to the mall. Those people could care less about this team.

Posted by: HelloNewman1 | December 10, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Who dat Kilmer? Who dey Redskins?

All I care now is that the Caps have the best record in the NHL.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | December 10, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I don't blame Kilmer. He's rooting for one of his old teams to succeed where others have failed. He wants to see the Saints go undefeated all through to the Super Bowl. What's wrong with that? Nothing!

Posted by: SkinsfaninNebraska | December 10, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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