Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo
Extremeskins

life after Washington... Says Shuler, "I'm still a huge Redskins fan."


Recommended Posts

good article in The Post about former Redskins and where they are now... interesting read... that Shuler part was :laugh:

WP article

A Full Season Of Away Games

Life After the Redskins Doesn't Mean That You Can't Still Be a Player Things never panned out for Heath Shuler as an NFL quarterback, but he owns a large real estate company in Tennessee. (Bill O'Leary - The Washington Post/File Photo)

By David Montgomery and Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Washington Post Staff Writers

Monday, August 26, 2002; Page C01

The long nightmare may be coming to an end at last.

The Washington Redskins are beginning to resemble an actual football team again.

This is a big change from much of the last decade, when the franchise was easy to mistake for a soap opera, a comedy act, a dynasty laboring under a curse.

The highlight reel from those zany times would include milestones on and off the field: quarterback Gus Frerotte injuring himself after a touchdown by head-butting the stadium wall; Marlene Cooke racing through Georgetown with a man clinging to the hood of her Jaguar convertible.

Then there was all the shuffling of quarterbacks, coaches, owners and wannabe owners. And the lawsuits. Marlene sued the estate of her late husband, Jack Kent Cooke, after learning that he cut her out of his will shortly before his death in 1997. She settled before trial for a reported $20 million.

Real estate mogul Howard Milstein sued Cooke's son, John Kent Cooke, after Milstein's 1999 bid to buy the team from Cooke's estate with partner Dan Snyder fell through. Milstein alleged that the younger Cooke -- who also wanted to buy the team to keep it in the family but didn't have enough money -- illegally interfered with Milstein's bid. The case was dismissed in 2000. Snyder bought the team on his own for $800 million in 1999.

Almost no one connected with the team in its tumultuous times is still there. As we turn over a new leaf -- we hope -- let us pause to remember scattered members of the Redskins family. Everyone knows that last year's coach, Marty Schottenheimer, is now with the San Diego Chargers, but what about the others? Where are they now, and what are they doing?

• John Kent Cooke: After failing to buy the team, Cooke and wife Rita moved to Bermuda, where he plays golf and sails his sloop, Bernadette, most recently voyaging to Cuba.

But Cooke is planning a splashy second act in the Washington area: Last fall he bought the historic 130-acre Boxwood farm in Middleburg to start a vineyard and winery.

"It's going to be a Bordeaux-style wine, a cabernet sauvignon, and it's going to be a very premium wine," he says. "It's not going to be a cheap wine. Cookes never do anything cheap."

The first vintage will be bottled in 2006 or 2007, says Cooke, 60. It will take that long to construct the winery and grow just the right kind of vines. Cooke's daughter, Rachel, who is spending a year studying wineries in France, will run the day-to-day operations. Cooke will oversee from Bermuda.

Meanwhile, Cooke has also added to the family communications business, operated by sons Tom and John Jr. The company recently acquired a chain of newspapers in the Florida Keys and has established an Internet presence with a Florida tourism Web site.

And Cooke is a director of the $500 million Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which has begun distributing graduate school scholarships worth as much as $50,000 a year, the most generous in the nation.

He still follows the Redskins, "but not with the same enthusiasm as I once did." He doesn't go to games, though, even when he's visiting the area. "It's hard for me to go to FedEx Field when I know it should be called Jack Kent Cooke Stadium," he says.

• Marlene Cooke: In the summer of 2000, after 14 years of fighting attempts by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to deport her because of a 1986 cocaine distribution conviction, the Bolivian native decamped to Rome. Then 47, she had been engaged to marry a twenty-something Swedish entrepreneur but broke it off. Several months before she left the country, she served a seven-day sentence in the D.C. jail for drunken driving.

She may be gone for good. After her departure, a spokesman for the Justice Department said she wouldn't be allowed to return to the States.

She may not still be in Rome. "I don't know her immediate whereabouts," says Michael Maggio, her immigration attorney in Washington. "She's a person who travels a lot. She could be anywhere in this wide world.

"She's definitely not in the U.S.," he adds.

Maggio says Cooke could one day decide to legally challenge the government's intention to bar her return.

As she globe-trots with her $20 million and her electric personality, is any part of her soul still burgundy and gold?

"I'm sure she's still a fan," Maggio says.

• Charley Casserly: After 23 years with the team, including a decade as general manager, he resigned in 1999, forced out by Snyder shortly after the new owner's purchase. Now Casserly is general manager of the Houston Texans, a brand-new NFL team.

He says he has enjoyed the unusual experience of building a football operation from scratch. But the blank slate also feels a little strange to a man who came from a franchise with such deep history.

"You don't inherit a tradition. You have to build a tradition," Casserly says.

He promptly hired 15 former members of the Redskins organization, filling positions including scouts, coaches and administrators. Among them, they have 19 Redskins Super Bowl rings.

"We have more Redskins Super Bowl rings in this building than there are in that building," he says, referring to the Texans' and Redskins' respective stadiums.

Casserly also has been transplanting to Houston some of the late, great George Allen's wisdom, including what you're supposed to ask yourself every minute of the day: "Is what you're doing now going to help us win?"

The Texans will visit FedEx Field to play the Redskins for the first time Dec. 22. Casserly says his loyalties will not be divided. But he can't predict his emotions.

"I'm not sure what it's going to be like coming back, to be honest with you," he says. "I've never been in the visitor's locker room before."

• Howard Milstein: He's still not through with his legal efforts to recoup losses he links to his failed bid to buy the team. For one thing, he lost a $20 million deposit. Now he and Snyder are involved in an arbitration proceeding in which Milstein is trying to collect some expenses from his former partner.

Milstein's camp declined to comment last week; a Redskins official said previously that Milstein's action was "frivolous."

Having failed to get into football, Milstein also got out of hockey in 2000 when he and his brother sold the New York Islanders, according to a spokesman. Meanwhile, Milstein's real estate business continues apace. He's developing a major office building on the last available parcel on Times Square. And for all his frustration in Washington with the Redskins, he remains a player on the local philanthropic scene. He's on the boards of the Smithsonian, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Shakespeare Theatre, where he helped underwrite a presentation of the Oedipus cycle. He has also supported various charities aimed at young people, including one spearheaded by Redskins cornerback Darrell Green.

• Heath Shuler: The quarterback never lived up to the hopes invested in his selection in the first round of the draft for the 1994 season. He eventually lost the starting job to Frerotte and moved to the New Orleans Saints. In a game in 1998, several tacklers landed on his left foot. All of his toes were dislocated, and numerous nerves and ligaments were severed. He moved briefly to the Oakland Raiders but never played another game.

Now that foot is essentially paralyzed. He can't move anything below his ankle. He can't run anymore, and he has stopped playing golf, too.

And yet life is good, Shuler says. He and wife Nikol have a 15-month-old son named Navy. And Shuler is the proud co-owner of one of the largest independent real estate companies in East Tennessee, Heath Shuler Real Estate, based in Knoxville. He and his brother, Benjie, and another partner started it a few years ago and now have 200 agents. Shuler is building a separate healthcare operation, including consulting services and a "smart" health card, like a credit card, that keeps track of your medical records.

He stays involved in football with a radio show for the University of Tennessee, where once he was the college football hero who so impressed Redskins scouts.

Says Shuler, "I'm still a huge Redskins fan."

• Richie Petitbon: He served under George Allen as a defensive back, and went on to become became head coach for the disastrous 1993 season, after Coach Joe Gibbs left. The team was 4-12 under Petitbon. He was fired. Petitbon, 64, retired after that and now lives a quiet life in Vienna. What's he been up to since he left football?

"Not a whole heck of a lot," he says, and he sounds happy about it.

He plays a little golf and spends a lot of time "watching my grandchildren." He has five, and three children, all in the Washington area. "I still do a little traveling. Really, I'm just enjoying life."

He watches his old team every Sunday but rarely attends home games. When he was the coach, he was whisked right in. Now he's just a fan, and driving, parking, reaching your seat is just not worth the effort.

"That's too much hassle," he says. "It's an all-day job."

So "I go with the TV NFL package. I can look at all the games, then after the game's over, I can have a drink and relax."

• John Riggins: The Hall of Fame running back was always a character, but now he's an actor. After retiring in 1986, Riggins landed a number of broadcasting gigs. Yet he also felt a yearning to try the theater. He took some acting classes, appeared in some roles, and earlier this year got a chance to star off-Broadway in a play called "Gillette."

He played the leading role of footloose Mickey Hollister blowing into the Wyoming town of Gillette. The four-week run got mixed reviews, and the director's hopes of getting an extension at another playhouse have not yet been realized.

In another era, Riggins would have merited mention in the New York sports pages for his performance steamrolling the Giants defense. This time it was theater critics who judged his work. The reviewer for the New York Times had this to say about Riggo:

"Mr. Riggins, who is supposed to be something of a down-home philosopher, gives each line and each gesture a self-conscious thespian's twist. But he's no worse than anyone else on the stage and better than quite a few. He seems actively engaged, anyway, in seeking a way to play his part, even if it seems he's experimenting anew from scene to scene."

• Norv Turner: After getting the head-coach ax from Snyder in 2000 with three games left in the season, Turner wound up with the San Diego Chargers as offensive coordinator and now, in his 18th NFL season, is the Miami Dolphins' assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.

• Michael Westbrook: The fighter. The hothead. The Bengal.

The wide receiver who just couldn't stay healthy, who scuffled with teammate Stephen Davis and often yelled at officials and coaches, is now a Cincinnati Bengal and is once again injured: A few weeks after he signed with the team, Westbrook fell during practice and broke the navicular bone in his left wrist. He had surgery to pin the fracture and returned to practice Aug. 13 wearing a soft cast. Bengals officials hope he'll be available to play once the season starts.

Longtime Redskins fans had grown tired of waiting for the bandage to be taken off Westbrook's star. They often booed the former first-round draft pick, who was once hailed as the successor to Art Monk's dynasty. Upon his departure to Cincinnati, he told The Post's Mark Maske: "I don't have any feelings about leaving, really. I had some really bad times in Washington. It seemed like 80 percent of the fans didn't like me, I guess because of some thing or things that happened a long time ago. I tried to make people like me, but there was no changing some people's mind."

• Gus Frerotte: After four years with the Redskins, Frerotte bounced around the league, playing one year with the Detroit Lions and two years with the Denver Broncos. He is now with the Bengals, trying to win a starting job.

• Mark Rypien: The 1992 Super Bowl MVP is back in the state of Washington, where he played college football for Washington State, and has signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks. After leaving the Redskins in 1993, Rypien spent the next four years with three different teams, one of them twice: the Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams, Philadelphia Eagles and the Rams again.

In 1998 he left football for three years: His 2-year-old son, Andrew, died of a brain tumor that August, and his wife, Annette, was diagnosed with cancer. She has since recovered. With his daughters urging him on, Rypien returned to football in 2001 with the Indianapolis Colts and appeared in one game. He completed five passes for 57 yards.

• Joe Gibbs: After a painful telephone conversation with his son, Coy, in 1993, he walked away from the Redskins and the 100-hour workweeks and devoted more time to his family. He went on to fulfill his boyhood dream of forming his own NASCAR team, Joe Gibbs Racing. Although it took him only three years to win his first NFL championship, it took nine to win his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Gibbs also founded Youth for Tomorrow, a home for troubled teenagers. The home shelters 20 to 40 kids year-round. Gibbs lives in Charlotte with his wife, Pat, and enjoys spending time with his grandsons, Jackson, 5, and Miller, 2.

• Darrell Green: Wait a minute . . . isn't the cornerback still with the team? Yes, he is. He has been a Redskin for 20 years, longer than anybody. His career has spanned the good old days and the stinkin' ugly times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Saints team that Shuler played for was so bad, he literally got killed week in and week out. He was voted a team captain because of his work ethic and the punishment he took. I feel bad for him because he really never had a chance, the Skins teams he played on were terrible and Norv sucked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never had anything against Shuler personally. I just didn't think he was a very good QB.

I do still shudder when I think about that game against the Niners (pretty sure it was the Niners,) when he came on the field for one play ... one running play, and the crowd booed him off. I was at that game and it was one of the few times I was truly embarrassed to be a Redskin fan.

Glad to hear Shuler is doing well now.

Good stuff on Riggins. Never took him for a Thespian. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One other note on Shuler; I attended Bruce Smith's celebrity softball tourney in Norfolk Va at Harbor Park the offseason after Shuler's rookie year. When Shuler came up to bat the first time, he received scattered boo's, he proceeded to hit a towering shot over the concession stand in left field . It landed every bit of 400 feet from home plate. His second at bat, he hit he ball 400 to dead center but it was caught on the warning track against the fence. No one else even came close, including a professional softball player that took part in the game. No one was booing after that either. Shuler was bada$$. I still think if given the right situation, he would have done well. (not because he could hit a softball far....lol):cheers:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...