Billy Kilmer was rooting for the Saints
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.
"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.
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