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Eighteen years ago today

Eighteen years ago today, the Redskins won the Super Bowl. It was their third Super Bowl win in 10 years. In the 18 seasons since, they've won three playoff games.

"Someone born during the Redskins' last Super Bowl would just today become old enough to buy a lottery ticket, and thus would have a better chance of rooting for a winner," one particularly cynical chap e-mailed me.

I don't want to go there, but the 18-year anniversary does seem significant. It means that today's high school seniors have gone through their entire youth without knowing the Redskins as champions. And thus, as a public service, I present scenes from 18 years ago this night.

Wash Post: It happened exactly as everyone knew it would -- the Washington Redskins demolished the Buffalo Bills, 37-24. It was never even a scare. Afterward, Franklin Hernandez and other fans did what was expected of them at that moment: They went out into the freezing streets of Georgetown.

Fans from restaurants and bars poured into the streets, police officers stood at attention, and men climbed lampposts on Wisconsin Avenue and M Street NW to chant to the crowds below, "We're Number 1!" Other chants resounded through the streets: "I'm going to Disney World" and "Hang the Buffalo meat!"

The Guardian: In a moment, the Buds and bar-snacks were forgotten, girlfriends suddenly abandoned. Overturning bar-stools and yelling war-whoops of triumph, they poured out into the cold in their thousands. The silence of a winter's night was shattered in the time it took Mark Rypien to proclaim: "We're going to Disneyworld!"

Leaping over cars, clambering up traffic lights, dancing in the fast lane, they pointed the single digit skywards and bellowed for all they were worth. "Time to party," laughed a youth, kissing a girl on the run in what might be termed an incomplete pass. For the police, it was nightmare on M Street.

Wash Times: Only the Redskins could get 30,000 people marching around Georgetown on a subfreezing night, hailing them at the top of their lungs. Only the Redskins could have a rally that would prompt the mayor to give city workers three hours off. Only the Redskins could set off celebrations from the Virginia state capital to the wards of a mental hospital.

That's what winning the Super Bowl championship has done to the Washington area. For the second time in five years, a bunch of guys who play with an inflated pigskin have given people reason to dance and cheer together.

Wash Post: A police official estimated that at the peak of the celebration, from 11 p.m. to midnight, the crowd grew to 30,000, far fewer than the quarter-million revelers who turned out after the Redskins' 1987 Super Bowl victory.

AP: The Washington area received its first snowfall of the winter 24 hours before the Redskin victory. Authorities said that, coupled with temperatures in the teens, may have contributed to many people deciding not to venture out of their homes to celebrate.

The Guardian: If the Buffalo Bills are to be believed, the Skins' followers are not "real fans". Beyond the immediate environs of the District of Columbia, there is a deep, irrational prejudice against the nation's capital and by association, its football team. It is the sort of geographical disdain that leads Newcastle fans to describe Chelsea as "nancies".

Being home to Congress and Chief Coach Bush does not help the DC profile. The all-talk, no-action image is hard to shake, even when Gary Clark and Art Monk are on the receiving end. Bush, although he watched the game in the White House, is a Houston Oilers man, one reason why they are all Democrats round here....

For all Buffalo's back-biting, the Redskins are this city's abiding passion. It is a love affair which the Bills, be they from New York state or Little Rock, Arkansas, would do well to match.

The Skins bridge race and class divisions. When they play, the shooting mostly stops. Yesterday, after a 14-2 season, the team and the city were winners. Jesse Jackson, take a time out.

AP: There were standing-room-only crowds at most bars and restaurants along Pennsylvania Avenue near the Capitol and many establishments turned people away because of warnings against overcrowding by police.

"The Redskins are what brings this area together," said Bruce Monroe, 36, a congressional staffer. "There is so much talk about Washington being the murder capital of the United States, about how ineffective the federal government is and the other things that go toward the bad image the city has. But the Redskins are a matter of civic pride that we can all rally around."

Wash Times: At times, the street corners looked like slam-dancing clubs. Celebrants shoved and pushed. They chanted, "Redskins! Redskins!" They surged in front of television cameras....

"In a city that's basically soulless, it's nice to have something to attach yourself to," said Miles Parker, 24, a computer salesman.

Wash Post: Already, some fans were anticipating a sad time. Post-football season letdown, Redskins withdrawal, the after-the-Super Bowl syndrome.

"I'm going to be very depressed," said season ticket holder Michael Eisenberg, of Potomac.

He didn't know the half of it.

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 26, 2010; 2:06 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Mike Wise calls Peter Vecsey an "old, bitter man"


Well, 18 years ago the evil empire (Soviet Union) was falling apart - only to be resurrected in the form of Dan Snyder a few years later.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | January 26, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Good grief, that was eighteen years ago... half my life.

May it not take eighteen more years for the Skins to hoist the Lombardi again...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | January 26, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Great Times, great times. They will come again. Lets Go CAPS!!

Posted by: adhardwick | January 26, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

My god I'm old.

Posted by: elpando | January 26, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow... 18 years already??

That must still sting for you, Steinberg, being a Buffalo native, huh? Wasn't that #2 in the 0-4 stretch for the Bills??

Posted by: DrCapsFan11 | January 26, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

That was the first time I ever watched a football game in a bar. I was 12. (The bar was in suburban MD and owned by family friends.) Buffalo wings were crossed off the menu.

Posted by: Louise9 | January 26, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow. That was my senior year in college.


Posted by: 4-12 | January 26, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I loved Kurt Gouveia and Brad "psycho" Edwards...good times.

Posted by: Moose33 | January 26, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, seventh grade. Good year, QO won states and Skins won the sb.

Posted by: doesntmatter | January 26, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I was 7 years old and thought the skins would be amazing for years to come. Uh yeah.

Anyways, it says people crowded G'town that night but my question is what street did they have the parade on? I remember watching on TV but I am imagining it being on Pennsylvania. Anyone know for sure?

Posted by: gandorfdapirate | January 26, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't know whether to thank you for that happy bit of reminiscing, or to curse you for reminding me how long we SUCK!

Posted by: RichinVA | January 26, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

In case you cats haven't figured it out, it's about making money, not winning championships.

Posted by: DannyMSnyder | January 26, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Snyder has lost a generation (or two).

Posted by: 123cartoon | January 26, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I was in Minnesota for the game 18 yrs ago. One of the greatest days of my life!! The joke between my friend and I when he was talking me into going was that this may be a "once in a lifetime" oppurtunity. Little did we know based on the last nearly twenty years of mediocrity that might have turned out to be a true statement. C'mon Shanny take us back to the "Good Times"

Posted by: Monkman63 | January 26, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

What was amazing ablutions the redskins superbowl teams was that they did not have a quarterback for 10 years they won those superbowl with 3 different quarterbacks. That really says alot about the supporting cast.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | January 26, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"The Guardian: If the Buffalo Bills are to be believed, the Skins' followers are not "real fans""

Bills fans can S#CK IT.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | January 26, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The greatest Redskin team ever and ESPN's fifth best team of all time. A fabulous memory. HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!

Don't be surprised if the next ten years yields a similar period in the Capitals history. They are young and extremely loaded. Easily the most talented team in Capitals history to include the Stanley Cup team of ten years ago. No other Capitals team is even close to this one in talent. ROCK THE RED!

Posted by: Gambrills4 | January 26, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

In case you cats haven't figured it out, it's about making money, not winning championships.

Posted by: DannyMSnyder | January 26, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Sad how many people actually believe this is Snyder's number 1 objective. And yet every single person that comes into contact with him believes his number 1 objective is to win a Super Bowl trophy, former employees included (with the lone exception of LaVar Arrington, who to this day still can't comprehend the fact that his agent screwed him, not Snyder)

Posted by: Barno1 | January 26, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I was in the middle of a desert with the Army surrounded by a bunch of Bills fans-Great Times.

Posted by: jandlml | January 26, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Redskins fans, you went 41 years (1942-1982) before you won your third NFL Championship, so 18 years isn't even half way there. Boo-hoo if your children 18 or younger haven't seen the Skin's win a championship. Try and ask a Lions or Browns fan how they feel. You don't have a birthright to the title, ask any Steelers fan, who thinks they do! (THEY DEFINITELY DON'T). Wanna talk suffering, how about the NY Rangers 54 year Stanley Cup drought? The Cleveland Indians? The Washington Generals? Red Klotz can tell you all about that one.Just keep singing Danny Boy, for the piper's calling, and he isn't going to pipe for you any time soon while Richie Rich owns the club.

Posted by: chuckharley | January 26, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Really, Washington Times, slam-dancing clubs? This happened in 1992, not 1978, right?

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 26, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Ohh yes but funny how none of these tidbits of memory lane do not mention how Bruce Smith was practically held the entire game and how many pass interference penalties were not called on washington, ohh yeah im not a Bills Fan either, and besides both teams are garbage now anyways stop living in the past!

Posted by: Maddenguru24 | January 26, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Seventeen super bowls since then: 10 clubs have split the wins; less than a third of the league. It's harder to win one of those things than it looks.

Posted by: PS7900 | January 26, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I was in 7th grade. I remember watching with plain M&M's in hand.

I was so pissed when they overturned that TD and we botched the FG.

Then it got good again.

Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed a d-bags.

God bless the happier Redskins times......

Posted by: CF11555 | January 26, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

JIM - Slam dancing was at its peak in '92...any Washingtonian would know that. Fugazi, Gray Matter,Nation of Ulysses, all that good stuff. (NOU may have been later). harDCore baby. Not to mention JYB, NEG and RE all ruffin it off. God this town used to be great.

Posted by: MoMonroe | January 26, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: 1dixon | January 26, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Check out the Skins roster for that game and check out the o line we had back then. Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end..!

Posted by: ExPatYankee | January 27, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Growing up in Carlisle, Pa., I spent my summers watching the Skins at training camp with my dad. They were the happiest times of my life. Every summer, knowing, we were watching guys who would either be playing in the Super Bowl in January or playing deep into the playoffs! If only my son could have those memories.

Posted by: sjakemuzik | January 27, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Going through a box of my old stuff at my mom's house last year, I ran across my old burgundy and gold Washington Post Bandwagon bumper sticker. I was a high school senior that season, and I remember Tony Kornheiser's Bandwagon columns more than I remember any one particular game from that year:

Posted by: mikeinrockville | January 27, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Actually Barno1 what's sad is how anyone not in Snyder's payroll could defend that smug little brat and his destruction of a once proud franchise.

And oh yeah don't forget - Danny's learned his lesson and he now knows how to build a winner. Also please renew your season tickets because this is the year things finally turn around.

Posted by: Leofwine | January 27, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

23 years ago, when my daughter was born, I placed a Redskins stuffed doll in her crib and she became a lifelong Redskins fan. This past year she asked me how I could do such a thing to her because the team always ends up breaking her heart. My only defense is that I did not have any way of knowing that it would be so long before we returned to the glory days.

Dan Snyder, Bruce Allen, Mike Shannahan, coaches and team, please help all the parents who have introduced our beloved Skins to our children to see what hooked us so many years ago.

Please return us to days when a Redskins/Dallas week really meant something, and the Super Bowl was not won just in the off season but after play had begun. All the best to you all. Hail to the Redskins!

Posted by: hmwipf1 | January 27, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I was going through a box in my attic and came across an old superbowl XXVI sweater. It was awful looking so I washed it. When it came out of the dryer I put it on and when it barely covered my beer gut I realized the last time i wore it I was 11 years old. I'm 29. lol.

The thing is, growing up in that generation you never thought the Redskins would ever be as bad as this.

I think good times are coming back to DC soon, Dan is doing the right things let's just hope he keeps it up.

Posted by: halbert1 | January 27, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Those clips from the Guardian are the best things I think I've ever actually read about those of us who have been sports fans here for our whole lives.

Posted by: Goat_74 | January 27, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

People forget that Mark Rypien was a heck of a QB and had one of the greatest seasons a Redskin player ever had. What a shame he is not on the Redskin Ring of Fame.

Posted by: sovine08 | January 27, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Well we got Allen as GM and Shanahan as Head Coach that's a good start. Now the Skins NEED to get a new QB! Like Cerrato and Zorn Campbell has to go. I hope they give Colt a shot but at this point I'll take anyone over that Loser Campbell....

Posted by: sovine08 | January 27, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm okay with not winning championships. But I'm tired of the Suck Snyder puts together year after year. He's pretty much killed the franchise.

Face it: Washington will never, EVER, be as good as Dallas, NY, Philly, Baltimore or Pittsburgh. Not in his lifetime.

Posted by: peterandmeredith | January 27, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I was 14 years old. It was a different time, a different game back then. Mr Cooke owned the team back then and it was all about the fans and winning games. Now that Snyder owns the team it's all about revenue. Snyder himself said that it's not a game, it's an event. The players have changed also. It's all about the individual and their pay check. The days of Green, Monk, Coleman, and the Hogs are long gone. I will always cherish the memories of those years, but I never expect to see anything like it again.

Posted by: Howsthathopeandchangeworkingforyou | January 27, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic memories with 3 superbowl wins. We Redskins will rise again and have the glory! HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!!!

Posted by: ladyredskins | January 27, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

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