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Doc Walker's Playing Days


jerrarde

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Since I wasnt old enough to remember, how good or bad was Doc Walker when he played with the Skins. I see that he played from 80-85, but there are limited stats because he was probably a blocking tight end.

Was he good?

Was he bad?

Did he get cut, or just retired?

Thanks.

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Doc was mostly a special teams player, but he was valuable on short-yardage situations as a blocker and caught a few TD passes on play fakes. He also was an original member of the Fun Bunch. #88 will ALWAYS have a special place in my Redskins memories.

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Since I wasnt old enough to remember, how good or bad was Doc Walker when he played with the Skins. I see that he played from 80-85, but there are limited stats because he was probably a blocking tight end.

Was he good?

Was he bad?

Did he get cut, or just retired?

Thanks.

Doc was great! Just ask him.

Actually, Doc was a valuable contributer. He was a very good blocking TE and a pretty good special teams player.

The thing I always finding interesting about Doc is that he somehow managed membership in both "The Fun Bunch" and "The Hogs." And we think he has a lot of jobs now....

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Doc was definitely more than a "special teams player." :)

http://www.docwalker.com/aboutdoc.shtml

Rick "Doc" Walker, a veteran of nine NFL seasons, distinguished himself on the football field with his blocking and timely pass catching. "Doc" was a starting tight end for Coach Joe Gibbs’ 1982 World Champion Washington Redskins. He developed the concept of the Skins’ "Fun Bunch" and was an original member of the famed offensive linemen known as the "HOGS." Playing for coach Dick Vermeil's UCLA Bruins, Rick received Lineman of the Year honors in 1977 and became a Rose Bowl champion. Also that year, the Associated Press (AP) selected Rick as an All American.

His career numbers won't astound anyone, but he was a multi-year starter on one of the great offenses in NFL history, and one tough, reliable sum**** who helped in ways not reflected on the stat pages.

That's not blowing smoke, either. That's straight recollection of watching the man play.

And about the Fun Bunch ... I'll never pass up an opportunity to share THIS little bit of burgundy and gold knowledge:

May-16th-2004 02:04 PM

Q&A with Doc

1st of a series of interviews with a member of the Super Bowl Champion Redskins, and long time media personality here in Washington DC

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Doc Walker: The History of the Fun Bunch

by Mark "Om" Steven

May 12, 2004

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To begin this month’s interview, I thought to ask Doc to talk a bit about the concept, formation and inside story behind one of the most beloved chapters in all of Redskins lore--The Fun Bunch. What followed, quite frankly, exceeded my expectations by orders of magnitude. It didn’t take long to realize something special was happening, so I simply shut up, and listened.

The balance of the interview--about the draft, June 1 free agency, and more--will be presented in the next few days ... but this portion stands alone.

:helmet:

ES: I’d love to ask you about The Fun Bunch, Doc. History records you as the founder--where did the idea come from, first of all?

DW: When we warmed up in our calisthenics every day, it was really just the receivers and backs in that particular section--that’s how it worked out. That’s when you talk a little trash between the lines, it’s really a great time for guys who are stretching and warming up and getting ready for practice to [form] a fellowship.

It’s like fishing stories ... guys talking about where they went last night, what they did, what kind of fun they might have had or not had, where guys are sitting around like--not inside-the-locker-room chatter, but on-the-field chatter, pre-practice. And so Charlie Brown, Otis Wonsley, Virgil Seay, Donnie [Warren], Clint [Didier], Clarence Harmon, Ike Forte, Joe Washington, [Terry] Metcalf ... all these guys were in our area, so we tended to talk a lot of trash. You know, like guys will just sit around shooting a dozen, and taking shots at one another--talking about a guy from his hairdo, to the clothing he wore, to his car that might have been ugly--just whatever. The guys get together and pick on each other. But it was fun-loving, in our group. We had a lot of fun.

And every day, if you made a mistake with us, if you made an error--anything you did, we were on it--and everybody had fun with it. It might have been from the day before, the night before, whatever. That was our area of socialization ... and it was a fun bunch.

I think the coaches looked at our little area, because they walked by all the time, and they were involved in what we did. Coach [Charley] Taylor was there, Hall of Famer, and we were talking a lot of trash-not to but with Charley--messing around and having fun, because he was a great guy to communicate with, and because everybody looked up to him--he was a legend. Charley has always had the best stories, because he accomplished so much more than everyone.

There was good cohesion; Jerry Rhome would be around it ... Wayne Sevier was the best... Rennie Simmons ... guys knew what was going on, and we were just having fun with it as a unit. So I think it kind of became a group-that area, that side of the calisthenic line--a group that had a lot of fun ... a fun bunch.

Then Art [Monk] was injured in the Cardinal game (final game, ‘82 regular season) at home--we had to win the game, it was a must-win and we won it--but Art broke his leg ... and that spurred us. We were ready to go into the playoff run, really our first, and you remember all the excitement that was involved in that, but here we go into it without our go-to-guy.

So we got together, and really the whole plan was that we wanted to do something-because everyone now had to contribute a lot more. When you lose your go-to-guy, most people think you don’t have a chance, and really, it does hurt your chances, but if everyone else chips in and does a little more, and becomes a little bit bigger part of the offense--which everybody had to in his absence--we just came together with that. We talked about it--after practice, before practice, we’d meet-and we’d say that everybody’s got to give a little more, because we really thought we had a good team, and we could do some great things.

Then [against] Detroit (first round, ‘82 playoffs), Alvin (Garrett) scores three touchdowns, which everyone knows. But before that game, we’d all met and decided that if we got into the end zone, whoever scored, that we would get together, and jump-a jump as a gesture to honor Art. We were going to jump together, and we were going to really be together for Art. That’s what it was all about.

It had nothing to do with the opponent, not at all. We had to get together, so we kind of came up with this routine that we would do ... because everybody was high-fiving, and we wanted to have a collective high five, as a unit. So we kind of rehearsed this thing, and it sounds so corny at this point, but we spent so much time together, and were a very close team, that it didn’t seem out of line.

The question was, that you didn’t know who was going to score. Then Alvin scored the first one ... and he forgot ... because of the excitement in RFK-the place was going nuts. We’re playing the Lions, and Alvin scores, and we’re running over there--all of us, basically, forgot, we were so excited about it--and then we come back to the bench and say, hey man, we forgot to jump.

So here we are, in the process of the game, and we say, next guy scores, don’t forget--we’re going to jump for Art. And then Alvin scores again. And, of course, there’s excitement, pandemonium, the place is going berserk, and we forget again-there’s just too much confusion going on. And then we come back again for the third time. Alvin scores his third touchdown, and by now he’s comfortable with scoring, and the game is well in command--Riggo was just a battering ram, Joe Washington and those guys were just killing the Lions--and that last time, that was the first jump ever.

The fans there just went berserk. Our fans, in the Budweiser end zone, were about as wild as anything you’ve ever seen, and we were so close to them you could touch them. You could high five those people, you could see their eyes, you could see so much excitement from those people in the stands. So we jump, the place goes berserk--it’s over. Now everybody wants to know what it was about, what else is going on with it ...

Next game, we come out ... and we’d been talking about this, because Charlie Brown had mad hops, like Jordan hops, and nobody wanted to be crushed. We all thought that when we jumped, Charlie’s waist would probably be where our hands were ... which again, we were all talking trash over-nobody wanted to be embarrassed over it. And of course it’s harder on the big guys, because you’re trying to put 250 up, and here are these little guys--the Smurfs, and Charlie with these incredible hops--so these are the kinds of things we’d talk about throughout the week, having fun with it. And again, it had nothing to do with the opponent.

So in the next game, the Vikings come out, and they attacked the Hogs, talking about how they were gonna “butcher the hogs.” Well, that was the worst thing they could ever have done in their lifetimes, because our unit was so close, and had so much pride, and Joe Bugel ... Buges had flame and steam coming out of his ears. We don’t say anything about it the whole week, everyone just kind of keeps it within, but we couldn’t wait to get after their front seven.

So we come out, and we do that, and everyone’s getting into it. I think Charlie Brown scores first, on a post--a seam eight-and the Bunch, we jump ... and the place is just going absolutely nuts. This time it was on the opposite side of the Budweiser sign, and it was a little further away from the fans at that point, but that’s the tunnel that we came out of, so that side's pretty close too--not as close but it’s where we come out, and where the opposition comes out, so it’s really spirited ... and the place is, as you know, berserk.

Charlie scores, and we get the jump ... he’s excited about the score, and of course, with his hops, everybody’s freaked out that CB’s going to just jump out of RFK. So we get that jump, and he skies .. a lot of fun.

We went on and beat those people up pretty well.

The following week, it’s the NFC Championship game against the Cowboys. Diesel horns going off, the introduction-Riggo comes out, and I remember people just hyperventilating--this is pregame. They start the chant ... by now we had the Fun Bunch towels, and t-shirts ... I mean, the place was just pandemonium.

You could see the shirts, you could see the towels--Hogs, Fun Bunch, the Pearl Harbor Crew on defense--we had all these things going on, and it’s just about as crazy as you can imagine. Again, the focus is on the game and the plays--that was never at issue, all the silliness, and the things that we did for fun, happened after work, and before work, but never doing work.

So the Cowboy game comes up, and I think Charlie scored first on that one as well, and of course [we did] the jump, and the place was just sick. Then there was Dexter’s hit ... and Darryl Grant’s catch ... and the rest is history. It was mad, just mad by now--it was just out of control.

And then we get to the Super Bowl, and we don’t have the extra week [between the NFC Championship & Super Bowl], so we go right into it. Now there’s posters, hats, caps, you name it. “The Hogs” is going nuts, and the Fun Bunch, it’s just so ridiculous--it’s just sick.

So we’re rolling with that, it’s good spirits, and we go into Pasadena ... and Al scores. Theismann hits Alvin Garrett right in the edge of the end zone, and we get our first Super jump.

At that point, it’s just outrageous. We go on and win that, and get the world championship.

Then in the offseason, of course, the whole country now knows about the Fun Bunch, and everything that’s going on ... and then Art returns. He comes back, and in Art’s first game, against St. Louis [Cardinals], it was really special ... because it was all for Art, and we’d been waiting on Art. I think on Art’s first score, he forgot ... I don’t think he actually jumped on his first score. It think he forgot, because he didn’t have the practice in it, and we were just killing him--talking so bad about him for forgetting, ribbing him. And then he came back and scored again [Detroit, two weeks later], so we got our first jump with Art.

And that was really it, for us. That’s what it was all about ... but by then, that was the year of the 14-2 run, so we were winning, and things were going well, and we just continued to do it. Until the infamous Cowboy game.

We go down to Dallas--the fatigues game--we go in and get ready for that ball game, and about 25 guys go in full military outfits, fatigues-you name it, we had it. It looked ridiculous, I’m sure, from the outside, to people who didn’t understand. But we understood the importance of going in there-we had lost to the Cowboys in our opener. We had been up 20-3, and lost the game, at RFK on Monday Night. So we were chasing them, that whole year, and we realized the importance of it-the magnitude.

Again, this group was so close, there were so many little things that may seem kind of crazy on the outside, but [they] motivated us. We were so close, and would band together for things, so it wasn’t ridiculous to think that we would come up and have this militaristic mind-set, and really want to go out and explore what we were going to do.

So we go into Dallas, and Art scores, we jump ... and Dennis Thurmond and Michael Downs try to break it up. That’s when the poster was formed, “Fun For Some.” We jumped, and they tried to break us up; so needless to say, that created a reasonable amount of friction ...

ES: You have to tell me what was said, Doc ... what was said in that end zone?

DW: I just recall saying to Downs--and of course Thurmond, who I grew up with; Santa Monica kid who went to Southern California and is now a very close friend, just a great guy--I remember I said that, “if you put that kind of energy into stopping him from scoring, we wouldn’t have to go through this.”

We were kind of laughing about that as we went off the field ... but they were talking trash, and we were talking trash, I mean it was Skins/Cowboys rivalry. Two great teams--we go at it, and we win that ball game.

Then it kind of went all the way to the next playoff run, it just went on and on, and it continued to go, full momentum ... until the Raiders put an end to everything-because there were no jumps. They really ended the thrust of that, because we go in and lose the biggest game ever, and there is no fun. And we never jumped when we were trailing--that was the key--only when we were up, when we were winning, and it had nothing to do with the opponent.

After the tribute to Art, it just became “The Bunch,” we were just jumping for fun. It’s what we did as a team. Because if you run pass routes--especially for the H-backs and tight ends, who were at the lower end of the food chain when it came to passes--you had a role in it. You had a clearing route ... everybody’s route was significant in the touchdown, and that was really what the emphasis was. You pass as a team; the Hogs are blocking, Joe [Theismann] has to make good reads, everybody has to run their things out, it’s a collective deal.

I think that one time, Jake [Jacoby] was so excited he nearly jumped--

ES: I was going to ask you if anyone ever tried to crash the party ...

DW: Nobody tried to crash ... I think one time Jake was just pumped up in one of those big games--of course, he would have been fined. They just allowed for the fact that Donnie and I were in the Hogs, and were so intricate in developing the thing, we were granted the opportunity to do that ...

I think that’s the difference between championship teams and non-championship teams--when you win, you can do a lot of things that seem crazy, foolish, silly, whatever. But it’s such a closeness, and a bond that’s involved in that. Nothing’s done to denigrate the opponent, nothing’s done to show off ... it was in the spirit of what we were doing as a team.

Of course, [former Dallas executive] Tex Schramm was on the Rules Committee at the time, and Don Shula, and eventually they had it outlawed ... which we thought was a tremendous tribute-that we could do something so well to irritate the hell out of them, and since they couldn’t stop it on the field, they had to stop it in litigation.

I’ve always taken great pride in being part of that.

ES: Do you still get together with that group--do you still talk to each other?

DW: Well, you talk to them if you see them. Everyone’s gone their different ways .... we’re talking over twenty years now. But it’s still special in this town. It’s special for the participants, because it was a special team. That team was unique ... not only the results they garnered, but the personalities.

So many personalities.

:helmet:
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