Why you still love Bugel and the Hogs
I've always been a sucker for nostalgia, so I'll keep beating this Joe Bugel drum for another day. As Jamie Mottram noted while discussing the glory years, Bugel "was probably the organization's last true connection to that era, and it's not getting any easier to say goodbye."
A massive part of the nostalgia, of course, is because the Redskins were winning like crazy back when Bugel was Boss Hog and most of my readers were young and impressionable. But I'll bet you'd be nostalgic over those years even if the team had stunk, simply for that reason: you were young and impressionable. I had a ball reading old Fred Smerlas stories in regards to Jim Haslett this week, even though the Bills of my early youth were as imposing as a pudding cup. But it was my dang youth, and everything was awesome back then.
And thus, here's Jeff Bostic, on Mike Wise's show Wednesday, talking about the Hogs' first Super Bowl year.
"We started off 2-0, and then we were on strike for almost 60 days," Bostic recalled. "But we stayed together during this, because you know, birds of a feather flock together. We were all broke. I mean, Jacoby, Grimm, myself, we were all broke. You want me to tell you the salaries of our offensive line that won the Super Bowl in '82? Now understand, 50 percent of the pay was cut because we were on strike for 67 days. Jacoby was making $46,000. Grimm was making $55,000. I was making $50,000. Mark May was making $60,000, and I think George Starke was making $110 [thousand]. Now, that's what the new guys are getting paid per snap. This is what they get for offseason training. It's amazing what happens in the building now. Wonder which team won more."
Is it ridiculous to suggest that the current Redskins would win more games if they got paid blogger rates? Sure it is. Peyton Manning isn't exactly hurting for cash. But it's awesome, anyhow.
(Speaking of such issues, Skins aren't raising general admission ticket prices for the fifth year in a row. That's something, anyhow. Would help the 1982 offensive linemen of the world.)
Bugel kept flashing his Super Bowl ring at the crowd on Wednesday; I asked George Starke for an explanation.
"You've got to remind people what it's all about," Starke told me. "Because today, guys make a lot of money, and so if it's just about the money--which it is, for some guys--you're not gonna be a good team. It's about the ring. To do that, you have to play at a different level. It's not just about the money. That's what he was saying...."
"I mean, we were a close group," Starke continued. "It's not like that today. Guys are separate today. Which is why I think it's difficult to put together a good team today, because guys are all over the place. We actually hung out together."
I guess the 2007 Patriots were sort of a good team, regardless of whether they hung out together, but whatever. I get his point. The Hogs had a presence, and their lovability level was off the chart, and 30 years later, they still have a presence and they're still lovable. And as fans, or observers, we sort of want to revel in those days, because of the winning, and because of the the lack of glitz, and because we were kids without jobs and mortgages back then. Same goes for chocolate milk. Same goes for NFC East talk.
"I can still hear hear the fans at RFK chanting We Want Dallas," Bostic told Wise. "Dallas was taking care of their business on the other side, and the stars aligned. And Dallas thought they were God's gift to football, and thought the NFC East was theirs, and world championships only came to Texas. And we came out and did a number on them in the NFC Championship Game.
"People probably would like to see football like you saw the Arizona-Green Bay [playoff] game, which is not really football," Starke said. "That's kind of silliness, because there's no defense. You know, there's no running. If you want to win in the NFC East, that's how you've got to play. You've got to be able to run the ball. A team like Arizona wouldn't make it in the NFC East."
Is this really true? Philadelphia hasn't been a running team for ages. You hear talk about the cold weather in NFC East cities, but D.C. is hardly cold compared to Buffalo or Cincinnati or Cleveland or Pittsburgh or Green Bay or any number of non-NFC East teams. Dallas isn't cold at all. And you only have six divisional games, in any case. Do you need to still play smashmouth football to win in the NFC East? Eh, who cares, because it's too much fun to hear Bugel say things like this.
"I'll tell you what, when you talk about the NFC East, this is blue-collar territory," he said on Wednesday. "Like I tell them, when you're flying to Philadelphia or New York, you're flying over prisons, you're flying over tough neighborhoods--people want to see tough football. Redskins, Giants, Cowboys, Eagles, those are tough opponents. This team was built to play blue-collar football, to line up and knock you back off the football. Baltimore is that right now. This part of the country [likes] a certain kind of football."
And things like this: "We tried our dead-level best, believe me. We laid it on the line. Nobody surrendered."
And things like this: "We have guys in here that can knock you back off the football over and over and over. You don't have to throw the ball. Right now, in this division, you have to have tough guys. It's blue-collar, knock the snot right out of your head--that's the type of football player you have to have here."
Posted by: Barno1 | January 14, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: CByrd1 | January 14, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: alex35332 | January 14, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: alex35332 | January 14, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mandelm2001 | January 14, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nicefellow31 | January 14, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rjohnson66 | January 14, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JohnnyBlades | January 15, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: kenreed1 | January 15, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drischord | January 18, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.