hail2skins

1990: 30 Years Since The Season Before Super

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I'm not sure how or if the Skins commemorated the 20 or 25 year anniversary of the 1991 Super Bowl winning team, but next season will be the 30 year anniversary of that team. If you've seen the "America's Game" episode of the 1991 Skins, you'll remember that the program starts in the 1990 season.  So of course 1988 was the season after the second SB win, but the Skins floundered down the stretch to finish 7-9, the only losing season under Gibbs 1. Then in 1989, a five-game run to end the season wasn't enough to overcome two heartbreaking losses at home to start the season and then some midseason struggles, including famously losing to a Cowboys team that wouldn't win another game all season. So two straight years of missing the playoffs, which, as hard to fathom now, was something Skins fans in the 80s weren't used to.

 

So 1990 starts and business as usual as the Skins blast the crappy Cards. Then a loss at back-to-back SB champ San Fran. Next week and a gutty win over an improving Cowboys team, but Mark Rypien goes down with an injury. Next, Sunday night, and Stan Humphries puts everyone at ease in a great performance at AZ.  The next three weeks are uneven, as the Skins squeeze in a tough win against Philly in between two losses to Parcells, the coach that Gibbs just had a hard time with in the 80s. Next was Detroit, and the Lions are up 17 in the 4th. Jeff Rutledge replaces an ineffective Humphries and leads the Skins back to an OT win. But then, Body Bag, as both Rutledge and Humphries get injured, leaving B-Mitch to mop up a brutal Monday night in Philly. Rypien returns the next week and leads the Skins to a solid home win against the Saints. But on Thanksgiving, the Cowboys give a preview of the team which will dominate the first half of the 90s, as Emmitt runs wild. At 6-5, Art Monk calls a players-only meeting, and the team responds by winning four of the last five, including a thrashing of a solid Miami team and a comeback win against the Bears. I don't remember much about the other three games, all of which were AFC East opponents (did we really lose to a Jeff George-led Colts team?).

 

Then the playoffs, and a pissed off Joe Gibbs leads a pissed off team into Philly, and the Eagles are stymied 20-6. Gibbs dismissively waves across the gridiron as Buddy Ryan waddles off the Vet Stadium turf for the last time. But the next week, against nemesis SF again, the Skins hang with the Niners, but Rypien throws roughly 10 red-zone picks and the season ends out West.  But the stage wound up being set for what was a monster season the following year.

 

What are your memories of the 1990 season?

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Good thread.  I recall how excited everyone was after Humphries won that first game.  No one was particularly enamored with Rypien, so there was hope that Hump was going to be the answer.  Of course that wasn't the case.  I recall the Rutledge comeback game, having gone down to the park behind my house to play football with some friends because we were all pissed when we were down by 17, then my dad yelling down the hill at us that the skins had tied it up or had taken the lead or something.  I remember not being old enough to stay up to watch the Monday night eagles game disaster.  I also remember how great it was when we beat their ass in the playoffs.  Then Rypien did his thing against the 49ers, and the question was when are we finally going to get a real QB in town

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I remember in 1990 the playoff game's controversial play where Earnest Byner was called for a fumble, but they overturned this and said he was down before the ball came out, I believe that was the first time instant replay was used to overturn a call on the field 

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It's funny how I had every game you described playing out in my head like it was last year instead of 30 years ago. That Detroit game was wild. I believe Rutledge had over 300 yards passing in the 2nd half alone.

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I was at the Colts game.  Had just graduated from grad school in VA and some college buddies and I decided on a lark to go.  Drove my parents' conversion van there, just before Christmas 1990.

 

I remember Lohmiller hit 2 long 50+ yard field goals in the first half.  The last one he kicked our way and it hit the crossbar, bounced straight up, and fell just behind the crossbar.  Seems like it was around 56 yards but that was 30 years ago, so my memory fails me.  Rypien threw a late pick 6 that was the game-winner, if I recall.

 

But what I'll remember about that trip was when the game ended.  An ice storm had descended on the city.  A serious one.  There were warnings over the PA to be careful leaving the Hoosier Dome.  There was a couple behind us from Indy (Colts fans) who begged us to stay with them for the night.  Nice folks.  But we declined.  

 

We walked outside into a full on sleet storm.  You had to shield your face it was sleeting so hard.  I can still remember seeing trucks plowing sleet, not snow.

 

We all gathered in the van and discussed our options.  One was spending Christmas in Indy as the forecast there said that they were expecting 6-10" of snow on top of the ice.  But then we heard over the AM radio that it was 45 degrees and raining in Frankfort, KY.  (This was pre-internet days.)  So we decided to make a run for KY and get ahead of the ice.  I drove thru Indiana at less than 25mph.  Wrecks everywhere.  Trucks in the median.  It was a sight.  Had one car pass me and lose control.  I couldn't brake so I just took my foot off the gas and told everyone to brace for impact.  Luckily, that driver regained control and we narrowly missed each other.  Finally we got to Frankfort and welcome rain.  Drove the rest of the way to VA on no sleep.

 

Great trip.  We still talk about it to this day.

Edited by LightningBuggs
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Thats when my uncle Darrell, the black man from the east coast, big eagles fan would come over and root on his eagles in a Redskins house and sing there stupid ass fight song. I once told him that if he was walking down the sidewalk at night all people would see was his huge bulging white eyes and nothing else because he was so black. I loved this man..we all did..the whole taylor family loved him. We used to have big outtings where we made sure everyone was there, envolved, hanging out with family..he was one that we made sure was there to be with the family even if his wife(my aunt)didnt want to go, we made sure he was there, he was that loved..absolutley fun to be around. This is when i learned about racism... When I told him about that walking outside at night he told me that was rude. And that I shouldn't say things like that and i remember it embarrassing me. Borned in Idaho falls where the only black family in town was the Lewis's..than i moved to southern California and being a toehead with bright blue eyes i got picked on alot. Than we moved back to idaho. My beloved uncle Darrell and his love for the eagles is what i remember.

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Thanks for the trip down memory lane, I love nostalgia threads. For some reason i remembered that week 1 thrashing of the cardinals ( a TNT game AT THE TIME)  being part of the 91 season , but to my surprise it was actually the Lions we thrashed in 91 week 1,  45-0 

 

 That season (91) we beat Detroit week 1 and in the NFC championship game by a combined score of 85-10 😄

 

  As far as the 90 season goes other then the body bag game i can't remember any real specifics other then Rypien being extremely streaky when he played. Of course the next year he would turn into Joe Montana

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Don't remember much of '90, but '91 was 15 weeks of pure bliss after each win. The only bummer week was after the second Dallas game. I wonder... if we had beaten them, would Gibbs not have pulled out most of the starters in the last game against the Eagles to try and beat the '72 Dolphins perfect record?

Edited by BleedBNG

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51 minutes ago, BleedBNG said:

Don't remember much of '90, but '91 was 15 weeks of pure bliss after each win. The only bummer week was after the second Dallas game. I wonder... if we had beaten them, would Gibbs not have pulled out most of the starters in the last game against the Eagles to try and beat the '72 Dolphins perfect record?

I feel Gibbs certainly would've gone for the perfect season if he was 15-0 heading into the last week.  Although didn't the Colts coach (Caldwell) pull his starters in a game where the Colts were 14-0......they wound up going to the Super Bowl that year, but lost to the Saints. 

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3 hours ago, hail2skins said:

I feel Gibbs certainly would've gone for the perfect season if he was 15-0 heading into the last week.  Although didn't the Colts coach (Caldwell) pull his starters in a game where the Colts were 14-0......they wound up going to the Super Bowl that year, but lost to the Saints. 

 

Yeah, he did. The last 2 games were against the Jets and Bills. Pulled Manning out for Painter. Lost both games.

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I remember that playoff loss being full of bad calls. There was something about someone getting poked in the eye, leading to a big ply, but I don't remember the details.

 

In the next year's season preview, Sports Illustrated (and for the young, they have no concept of how big they were in sports at the time) predated the Redskins would win the title. And one of the main reasons was because they thought they would be so ticked off from that game that it would fuel them all year.

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Apparently Playboy magazine also predicted the Skins to win it all before the 91 season and when Steve Buckhantz mentioned that to Gibbs (who publicly liked to tone down expectations), Joe went off on him.

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I remember thinking they were good, but disappointing as well. There was zero inkling that they would turn into the juggernaut they would become in the 1991 season.

don't get me wrong, they were good but they made a giant leap into mega elite for that 91 season.

I still maintain that if Rypien hadn't held out they would have repeated in 1992. As it was they were a Bmitch fumble away from beating sf in the divisional game. I remember Mitchell jumping over the pile trying to make something happen and fumbling the ball away, they never recovered after that.

eta I think he actually fumbled a handoff, I remember him dropping one over the middle of the line as well.

Edited by crabbypatty

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17 hours ago, MartinC said:

My God I'm old ...

Wanna trade? I remember being 2 when this happened and that's it : /

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1 hour ago, Renegade7 said:

Wanna trade? I remember being 2 when this happened and that's it : /


The memories are great. The bad back and ruined knees? Not so much.

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19 hours ago, MartinC said:

My God I'm old ...

Yup.

 

I remember the season well though I was only 15. 

5 minutes ago, MartinC said:


The memories are great. The bad back and ruined knees? Not so much.

If all you’ve got it a bad back and ruined knees, you’re ahead of the game. :P 

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The Lions game in 1990 was one of the most memorable ever. Stan Humphries threw 3 picks in the first half and we were down by 21 in the second half. Jeff Rutledge game of the bench and lead one of our greatest comebacks ever.

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Cool thread. 

 

What I loved about my childhood Redskins was the organization's ability to re-define themselves for each of their Super Bowls. Gibbs gets credit all the time for winning with 3 different QBs, but he essentially won with 3 different core group of leaders. 

 

The early-1980s teams were led by Theismann, Riggins, Washington, Brown, and Monk on offense. The late-1980s teams were led by Williams/Schroeder, Monk, Clark, Rogers, and the TEs on offense. The early-1990s teams were led by Rypien, Byner, Riggs, and Monk/Clark. The OL was the staple, but that even slowly evolved over that decade...

 

Obviously 1990 was the last transition we had during the Golden Age. That was an exciting season for sure!

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8 hours ago, crabbypatty said:

I still maintain that if Rypien hadn't held out they would have repeated in 1992.

 

You know who got him to sign the contract? 

 

His wife

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Good thread. While my memories of the Redskins/NFL date back to around 1982.1983 and I have pretty strong recall of the 86/87 seasons, 1990 was probably the first year my memory is TRULY game by game. Not coincidentally, 1990 (when I was 13) was the year someone told me there was a place that had satellite dishes where you can see all the games. I had been pretty lucky in the 80's that a lot of Redskins games were on national TV or shown locally, but if they weren't... the in-game updates was your only recourse. Well, the first game I ever saw via satellite was Redskins-Dolphins in 1990 at Outback Sports Cafe. I would watch every non-local game for the rest of the decade at a sports bar until the 1999 season when I got Sunday Ticket myself, which I've had ever since. 

 

I agree that 1990 was a fun season; after two years of missing playoffs I remember there being some urgency in 1990. I am pretty sure 1990 was also the first year of the extra Wild Card teams-- and the first year you had two games Sat/two games Sun on wild card weekend. We played the early Saturday game which at the time started really early (11:30 central where I was). This remains one of the most gratifying wins in my history as a fan. That Body Bag game on MNF that year was brutal. I was so mad/disappointed. Gotta remember back then MNF was THE must-see sports event of the week. Just huge. And we got annihilated and embarrassed that night-- not typical for a Gibbs team. To get such great revenge right back at The Vet was awesome. Our D was incredible that game. 

 

The loss at SF next week wasn't all that painful to me. I didn't have super high hopes going into that one-- 49ers were just better. We had our chances, but it slipped away. I do remember feeling encouraged overall though. The loss at SF in the same round two years later would be the one that sticks with me to this day. 

 

That loss to Indy was another one that sticks out... it was played on a Saturday Night; Monday was Christmas Eve so I assume we played that game Sat in place of a Monday Night game for that week. I remember I wasn't feeling 100% and I did something I never did/do-- I started to doze off during the game. We took an 11 point lead and I think I was comfortable with that so I let myself drift off; from there I have these weird vague memories and waking up in and out of sleep and seeing the Colts come back. I do distinctly remember waking up with the score tied just in time to see the Colts get the Pick 6 that won the game for them. I went to bed that night all bewildered that we'd lost. Although I'm pretty sure we had either clinched a playoff spot or would clinch it with results from the next day because our final game vs Buffalo was meaningless as we were already slotted in our spot. I do think the Colts loss cost us home field in the wild card game though. 

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