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Joe Gibbs on a New York Super Bowl

On Jan. 11, 1987, the Redskins played the Giants for the NFC championship in East Rutherford. The Redskins lost, 17-0, getting shut out for the first time in the Gibbs era. The winds that day were gusting up to 30 mph, and Gibbs later said that the coin flip, which the Skins lost, "was possibly the biggest play of the game." And the post-game reports read more like weather reports than game stories.

Christine Brennan:

The score was New York 17, Washington 0, with the following footnote: the only thing more dominating than the Giants was the wind, which gusted up to 30 mph....

There was no comeback today, for several reasons. The wind was the largest factor. "You had no control over the ball after 12 to 15 yards," Schroeder said. He threw 34 times in the second half (the Redskins ran only once), but completed just 14.

Ken Denlinger:

There had been a quadruple conspiracy against [Jay Schroeder] Sunday: his own erratic arm, his receivers dropping passes properly thrown, the Giants' relentless defense and a wind that made the football fluttery as a balloon....

"The wind took the ball after about 15 yards, made it tough to judge," he said. "I tried to power it, but it was like catching a knuckleball. Green Bay was as windy, but this was more of a swirling wind. That one was straight on {and a tight spiral could defeat it}."

Leonard Shapiro:

Lots of things didn't happen for the Redskins this blustery day. Yes, they even blamed the wind for Bostic's low snap on a botched 51-yard field goal attempt that led to the Giants' final touchdown.

"When you have a 40-mile-per-hour wind, it's amazing what it can do to the football," Bostic said. "I was trying to keep the snap low. I really don't know if the wind got it, but I'm sure it was a factor. The wind had an effect on everything."

Dave Sell:

The Giants held the Redskins to 31 yards rushing on 15 carries in the first half....The Redskins had more first downs by penalty, three, than they had on the ground, two.

"They had to run the ball {to be effective because of the wind}," said Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor, "and no one runs against us."

Tony Kornheiser:

Yes, the Redskins lost the toss and had to play into the wind in the first quarter. And yes, the wind was no small factor. It blew steadily at 17 mph, regularly gusted to 23 mph, and occasionally hawked through at more than 30 mph. Hats were blown off the heads of the members of the Marine color guard. If the coin itself was tossed high enough, it might have landed in Secaucus.

But although the Giants scored 10 points with the wind in the first quarter, they also scored seven points against the wind in the second quarter. It wasn't the wind that beat the Redskins, it was the Giants.

Post Editorial Board:

THE REDSKINS are one Washington concern that really does extend far beyond the Beltway. Yesterday afternoon in places of work and leisure and Loudoun and Howard, Prince William and Frederick and probably points well beyond there was precious little work going on and not much leisure either. Greater Washington Extended was tensely focused on a windswept field of fake grass in New Jersey, where it was hoped miraculous things would happen.

So anyhow, it was windy. And Joe Gibbs, during a Wednesday appearance on SIRIUS XM's Mad Dog Radio, was asked about that game, in light of the news that the Super Bowl is headed to that same East Rutherford hamlet.

"That memory I want to get rid of! That was a nightmare. I think what we've got to pray for is for the Super Bowl day, the day of the game, you gotta have decent weather. You can have some nightmare situations in New York, that far north, particularly that time of the year.

I think as far as the fans going, as far as the teams practicing, everything up there will be great. It is New York. Everybody loves being in New York. I think what we've got to pray for is the day of the game that you don't have a nightmare scenario, which you can get in New York.

You just brought it up. That game? That thing was, I think we had a chance to get one pass downfield and we missed that one, and that was it. Wrap it up. I mean, you're not going anywhere. And it is going to be a tough, tough situation if something like that comes up in New York."

Not that it matters, but I completely disagree with Gibbs. The 1987 championship game was memorable, and footbally, and guys on both teams agreed that the better team had won. If football teams can play in outdoor weather for every other week of the season, they can do it during the Super Bowl as well. And like safety Curtis Jordan said after that game, "Aw, we had the wind for 30 minutes and they had it for 30."

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 26, 2010; 12:53 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Well, been to four Super Bowls. Don't down play the "fun in the sun" aspect of the event. Like spending three days and nights in Palm Desert playing golf and partying then driving over the mountains on Game Day for some football.
Kinda hard to do in a "NY February Noreaster"

Posted by: rich31 | May 26, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

On a neutral site you really don't want to have the weather favoring one team or another due to their styles of play. We will just have to wait and see if this is the first and last outdoor north state game.

As for the Skins game in 87... you betcha the weather favored the Giant and not the Skins. That team was a downfield passing team and that was impossible on that day.

Posted by: Jurgensen9 | May 26, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

On a neutral site you really don't want to have the weather favoring one team or another due to their styles of play. We will just have to wait and see if this is the first and last outdoor north state game.

As for the Skins game in 87... you betcha the weather favored the Giant and not the Skins. That team was a downfield passing team and that was impossible on that day.

Posted by: Jurgensen9 | May 26, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

As a devoted Redskin's fan, I can easily admit the Giants beat them soundly that day.

Blaming the loss on gusts smells like foul wind.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | May 26, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

This happens to be earliest Redskins memory...of course we won the superbowl next year.

Posted by: gatsu | May 26, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The NFL suits don't seem to understandthat most people turn a Superbowl ticket into a mini vacation. The "fun-in-the-sun" thing is a big deal. The over priced ticket packages, outrageous hotel prices and premium priced airline tickets are somewhat justified by relaxing in the sun for a few days. Unless there is bad weather, I am sure the game will be fine. But if the weather is inclement, the rich fans won't show up and a lopsided game will send everyone to the turnstiles by halftime.

Posted by: JAMNEW | May 26, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

In the 1986 season, 1987 NFC postseason Championship Game the Redskins played 30 minutes and the Giants played 30 minutes with the wind in their face. As a major "Skins" fan I can ONLY SAY that the Giants won the game fair and square. After nearly a quarter century (actually 23 years and 4 months), let's get over it and move on.

Bob Schnebly

Posted by: StarLyrara | May 26, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I remember that game clearly, only made worse by the SB VII loss or SB XVIII loss. Giants stadium is one of the worst places to have a championship game. Cold weather site is fine, but not that place. I understand the economics of locating it there, but seriously there are many other cold weather locations more conducive to a good hard hitting football championship. FedEx for one. Green Bay for another. Pittsburgh for sure. Just not Giants stadium. BTW Schroeder never did recover from that game, he had happy feet the rest of his career. Who could blame him.

Posted by: bfjam | May 26, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

The cold weather site sounds all good, but haven't we seen in the past that the warm weather and dome teams struggle in Conference championship games. The noble idea we play in the "elements" sounds all good... but you are handicapping teams that do not play in those "elements" all the time. I hate the idea and we will see what happened when Detroit held it for the first time: People could barely even get to the venue (no problem for me, I will watch on TV). The wind and rain or snow will make it a running and ball control game. That's fine, I love defense games. But, that is what we have and let's be honest: It very well may be one of the worst championship game settings we will ever see.

Posted by: bnccclark | May 26, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Now that I think about it, why the heck don't we just let home field advantage take over. We can play it anywhere, then. Of course, us hard core football fans will not be able to plan on going to a Super Bowl until the 2 weeks beforehand, but hey, it's all about the elements.

Posted by: bnccclark | May 26, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I was there and it was a great game--Giants totally dominated. Best time won by a mile.

Posted by: jhershb | May 26, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

the giants beat the skins on the regular in the 80s and much of the 90s heck they still get the best of us now..

Posted by: cboyhater | May 26, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

New York works as a cold city hosting the super bowl because of the night life of the actual city being close by. The NFL can host all their pre super bowl banquets in the city. Other than New York City there aren't many cities they could host a super bowl without major complaint (and even then there will always be complaint).

Green Bay: The pure history would maybe allow this to work. It would have to be only once though. I don't know how many times the NFL would be able to play up the history card.

Boston: It would be the same deal as New York City with pre game activities being held in the city.

Seattle: The fan base in Seattle is insane and that only might be a major money maker. Gotta think that with Seattle it would be a great game because of how loud the stadium gets.

There are more but these to me are the big possibilities for being able to harbor a super bowl.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | May 26, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

And like Giants safety Curtis Jordan said after that game, "Aw, we had the wind for 30 minutes and the Redskins had it for 30."


Posted by: artsnsportz | May 27, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Lamenting about the possible weather is absolutely absurd. Playing in the winter elements is a reality for every team playing north of the Mason-Dixon line in the last quarter of the regular season. The good teams find a way, and have the resources, to win in the unfavorable elements. I applaud the NFL for making this leap. And forget this crap about having to make it a pleasant week-long vacation for the affluent Super Bowl ticket holder. Welcome to the NFL baby!! Now zip up that parka and scream and yell like the die-hards do all seaon long!!

Posted by: tcquinn1 | May 27, 2010 4:13 AM | Report abuse

I thought Steinberg's remark about completely disagreeing with Gibbs is strange. Joe Gibbs said the wind was a major factor in the game. Is that controversial or incorrect? The context is a question about playing the Super Bowl in New York. Gibbs doesn't think that it is a good idea to play somewhere where the weather is too likely to have a dominating effect on the game. That's common sense. The NFL's choice was based on politics, financial or otherwise, and not based on making for the best football. Regarding who was the better team that year it's not the issue.

Posted by: shane2229 | May 27, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Not that it matters, but I completely AGREE with Gibbs. That day was a nightmare, and we don't want to remember it. Because the weather did suck, and the Skins got dismantled by a better team. Sure it's the truth, but this life long Skins fan would prefer not to talk or remember anything about it.

Posted by: DiehardSkins | May 27, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

If the league is going to let NY have a Super Bowl then it should be allowed for every team to host a Super Bowl. I know you are going to say some stadiums are smaller than others but that is the only fair way to do it. Or like another person who commented - do home field advantage.

Posted by: safoley | May 29, 2010 5:43 AM | Report abuse

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