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Boz on Baugh

Thomas Boswell takes a very personal look at Sammy Baugh and just how enormous his legacy is, for the Redskins and pro football.

Whenever anybody tells me that Vince Lombardi's one-year arrival in 1969 or George Allen's one Super Bowl team or Joe Gibbs's dynasty gave birth to this city's Redskins fanaticism, I know better. The late Shirley Povich didn't have to tell me (though he did). It was Baugh. He brought not just victories but thrills and ignited Washington with a passion even the worst Redskins periods can barely diminish.
In my father's house, all Redskins quarterbacks had a place of respect, yet none were ever compared to Baugh -- this unseen but vividly imagined man who wore No. 33, averaged 49 yards a punt for years, passed more accurately than any human and once intercepted more than a pass-a-game for a full season.
To this day Baugh remains, even in Washington, that purest of legends, the player who exists only in the retelling of his deeds from parents to children. How many have even seen him in the flesh? Compared to Baugh, Joe DiMaggio was a publicity hound. Better, perhaps, that he retired quietly to his 7,600-acre ranch in Texas, to his five children, 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren, and almost never showed up back here in his "second home" to take bows.

By Cindy Boren  |  December 18, 2008; 1:55 PM ET
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Can't be 1st

Posted by: Devo2 | December 18, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

i heard that sammy baugh turned into a cowboys fan..any truth?

Posted by: FAB88 | December 18, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

quick point on an earlier post where JLC compared POrtis to Thomas Jones.

Portis is overpaid, but comparing it to Jones doesn't make sense. The reason is that the contract he signed with the Bears was overpriced because he pretty much hadn't done anything in his previous 3.5 years in the league. He got that contract based on 4 games at the end of the year where he put up decent numbers with the Bucs when all of their starters got hurt and they had to turn to Jones.

You should also mention that Jones pretty much stole money from the Cardinals his first 3 years in the league. Had such great stats that the Bears drafted a RB to replace after he ran for 948 yards, and then after he had run for 1300 and 1200 yards they decided to let him go and go with an unproven high draft pick. Lastly, his numbers this year are inflated due to games against Oak, STL, and Den. You take those three games then he is averaging 3.9 YPC, and he is so great that in the 4th quarter the Jets hardly ever go to Jones anymore and rather go with Leon Washington.

Posted by: tedunni1 | December 18, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse


I agree. Had the Bears known that Jones's production would have been similar to what he and Portis have produced the last few years, they would happily have paid what the Redskins paid (or someone else would have). We overpaid with a second round pick for Portis (Champ should have been enough), but I have no problem with his salary compared to others in the league.

Posted by: LiberalMike | December 18, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Why go on and on about Portis? The facts are:

He needs to practice.

The Skins need to shift to a running back by committee format next year just as every team in the league, but them, has.

He needs to be ready at season's end, not starring in October and sore and tired in December.

The Skins will get a soft schedule next year. Let's make it Portis' last by saving what ability he has for the end of the season/playoffs.

Draft Moreno. Bring in Derrick Ward.

Portis-Ward-Moreno is a much better running attack than what we have now. When Portis' time is up, the Skins will have two, ready, younger guys to rely on.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 18, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

It is Portis' salary in future years that will be the killer. He is past his prime, and yet his salary is not in line with that fact. Bad for the Skins, good for Portis.

Posted by: driley | December 18, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Sammy Baugh and Leigh Torrence once squared off in a no holds barred fight to the death. It ended in a draw, and the universe was created.

Posted by: Rypien11 | December 18, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

++++Why cut enough after burning the pick to get him? We did that for E James, didn't we? Let's copy what he did for the Fins before sending him away. The guy was a Pro Bowler and MVP for some reason. Let's find out why.

Posted by: MistaMoe++++

I know why he aint' a Pro Bowler anymore. He got old. He got hurt. He got distracted. He danced instead of worked out and ticked off Tuna and got traded.

Hey, I'd love to find out why Sammy Baugh can't help the skins anymore, but we know why that won't work, either.

If the Redskins kept every bad, washed up, or inept player their FO acquired for a pick under the Dan/Vin regime, they'd have to suit up about 150 guys.

Posted by: TheCork | December 18, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

qeed qeed

Posted by: Redcoat | December 18, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"Lastly, his numbers this year are inflated due to games against Oak, STL, and Den"

But have we not also played some really stinky teams as well? Portis was given every opportunity to run like he talks against the Cinncinnatti team, the second worst defense in the league and he came up with very mediocre numbers.

Posted by: driley | December 18, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"Draft Moreno. Bring in Derrick Ward"

Years later, a doctor will tell me I have an I.Q. of 48 and that I am considered mentally retarded

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 18, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Portis is better than Jones...stats don't mean everything...but he is overpaid, given the large supply of talent at his position.

Posted by: shaunsherman12 | December 18, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Baugh was a great player but not a 2009 draft pick--that's why you try to get something out of Taylor (and that's why your analogy doesn't work).

Trust me, I agree with not keeping him around because of age/money. But if an old dog that cost me money and a 2nd round pick has one last hunt in him, I'm getting my gun and taking him back out into the woods one last time.

...and oh, BeantownGreg, re-watch Skins/Giants game and you'll see the 101 yards Derrick Ward put up on the Skins D (the break away speed is there, admit it when you see it)and you see why just taking him from the Gints makes sense.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 18, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

moe, if you're foolish enough to think that RB is the problem with this team, and that they need to draft Moreno, as well as bring in Ward, then I'm amazed that you're able to sign onto a computer....that thinking you've outlined, is galactically stupid....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 18, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Well it's nice to read all these remembrances of Sammy Baugh.

It's uplifting at a time when our dreams for the Redskins are bottoming out.

Posted by: _Stumped_ | December 18, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

We all know about the Redskins' weak o-line and d-line, Beantown. I'm just ahead of the curve. I wait until after the bowl games and NFL combine to express opinions about players I have seen. You guys sweat over articles from magazines about people you haven't seen play. I watch SEC/Big Ten Football and Moreno, Stafford, Brandon Sikes, Percy Harvin, James Laurenitis, and some other players are NFL quality players I like.

And I don't insult people I can't see, either.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 18, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

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