Joe Gibbs's favorite Russ Grimm story
As Russ Grimm's induction date approaches, there will be plenty more stories from the past. Most, with any luck, will involve alcohol. Joe Gibbs was on John Riggins's radio show on WTOP 103.5 HD-3 thiss week, and Riggo asked Gibbs about the man they called Rusty.
"The one thing I'll always remember about Russ and Joe and that crew, they would always get away from us a little bit in those afternoons when we had those Wednesday scrimmages in Carlisle," Gibbs said. "And I got in the huddle one night, and I mean, the smell of beer was so strong, that I backed out of there after calling the play.
"And in between plays, I turned to Bugel and I said I've got to tell you something right now, somebody in there has had some beers, ok? And Bugel went and got those guys. I don't know if you remember this, I kind of turned my back and walked off for a few minutes, he got everybody in the huddle and said this better be the best practice of your life or you guys are gonna be running wind sprints for the rest of your life. So Russ goes, I plead guilty."
Of course, a charming story about boozing linemen from the '80s would immediately become a horrific story about lazy linemen if it involved the words "Albert Haynesworth" and "2010," but hey, times change. Riggins asked Gibbs if it was true that 2007 was his most gratifying season as a head football coach, and while the answer is long, it's probably worth quoting in full.
"There's so many, you can't separate them," Gibbs said. "We had a run there, over that first 11 years, you go to 4 Super Bowls, that's one thing I hope doesn't get lost. And sometimes when they talk about the teams of the '80s and the '90s, I think sometimes the Redskins, we kind of get left out.
"Ours was starting in with our 82 Super Bowl, and it went through '91. Because four Super Bowls in 11 years is pretty awesome. Now, having said, one of the thrills of my life was that last season I was there, and to see that team -- after Sean Taylor and the tragedy there -- turn that thing around. We get Jason hurt and Todd jumps in there.
"To win those next four games, I've got to tell you, was probably as great a memory -- it's not better than -- but it was certainly right up there with some of the great victories we had. I think back to a lot of those things, and I guess we probably ought to get together and write a book on it or something, because so many things that happened in practice, so many funny things, so many great victories over that period of time. Those would be things that I'll always remember.
"I talk to Joe Jacoby or I talk to you or I talk to Gary Clark. There are things when you're going through them, you say to yourself you're gonna appreciate them, but when you're outside of football looking back, those are some of the greatest memories, and I'll take those to my grave. Nobody had more fun than we had."
Later both men talked about Gibbs's 1981 trip to Kansas to get John Riggins to report to the Redskins. Their memories were slightly different. Gibbs remembered Riggins leaning across the breakfast table and staring at him.
"You need to get me back there, I'll make you famous," Riggins said, in Gibbs's version. "And I looked across the table, and I went Oh. My. Gosh. Nobody would say that to their coach. This guy, he's a fruitcake. I said, I'm gonna get stuck coaching a fruitcake."
"What I recall is we walked out to the car and I looked at you and I said, Yo'ure gonna be a great coach with or without John Riggins," the running back said. "Of course, I didn't mean it."
"I think we both could say this, it wasn't me, it wasn't you, it was all of us together," Gibbs concluded. "We had a great group of characters, and it's funny, the one thing that I always kind of objected to was I always got labeled, this guy's a boring person. They said he's milquetoast. I actually enjoyed all the funny things that happened in practice and the characters that we had on the football team....Honestly, I loved all that. It was probably as big a thrill as anybody's ever had in sports."
Posted by: trezmartin | May 18, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dbrine1261 | May 18, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dbrine1261 | May 18, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: iubiquity | May 18, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bfjam | May 18, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: daveatobx | May 18, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sallyworking2006 | May 18, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: cali_snowboarder | May 19, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: artsnsportz | May 19, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: harmojo | May 19, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: fmccain | May 19, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: lp_lodestar | May 19, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ExPatYankee | May 19, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nflorida1 | May 19, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: spauldij1 | May 20, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mudd94 | May 20, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sovine08 | May 21, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.