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NFL Pro Football HOF: Washington Redskins History


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Washington Redskins History


Three Super Bowl championships and 14 playoff appearances since 1971 make the Washington Redskins one of the NFL's most dominant teams of the past quarter century. But the organization's glorious past dates back almost 60 years and includes five overall world championships and some of the most innovative people and ideas the game has ever known. From George Preston Marshall to Jack Kent Cooke, from Vince Lombardi to Joe Gibbs, from Sammy Baugh to John Riggins, plus the NFL's first fight song, marching band and radio network, the Redskins can be proud of an impressive professional football legacy.

Franchise Granted:

July 9, 1932 as the Boston Braves

First Season:


Changed Nickname to Redskins:


Moved to Washington:



FedEx Field


Daniel Snyder

Head Coach:

Joe Gibbs

Super Bowl Championships:


NFL Championships:

1937, 1942

NFC Championships:

1972, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1991

NFL Eastern Division Championships:

1936, 1937, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945

NFC Eastern Division Championships:

1972, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1991, 1999

All-Time Record:


Retired Uniform Numbers:

#33 Sammy Baugh

George Preston Marshall was awarded the inactive Boston franchise in July 1932. He originally named the team "Braves" because it used Braves Field, home of the National League baseball team. When the team moved to Fenway Park in July 1933, the name was changed to Redskins. A bizarre situation occurred in 1936, when the Redskins won the NFL Eastern division championship but Marshall, unhappy with the fan support in Boston, moved the championship game against Green Bay to the Polo Grounds in New York. Their home field advantage taken away by their owner, the Redskins lost.

Not surprisingly, the Redskins moved to Washington, D.C., for the 1937 season. Games were played in Griffith Stadium with the opener on September 16, 1937, being played under flood lights. That year, Marshall created an official marching band and fight song, both firsts in the National Football League. That season also saw the debut of "Slinging Sammy" Baugh, a quarterback from Texas Christian who literally changed the offensive posture of pro football with his forward passing in his 16-season career. The Redskins won five NFL Eastern division titles and NFL championships in 1937 and 1942 during Baugh's tenure.

Ray Flaherty was Baugh's first pro coach from 1936-1942 and his 56-26-3 record (.701 percentage) is the best in team history. In 1944, the Redskins formed a radio network to broadcast their games throughout the southern United States. By 1950, all Redskins games were televised over a network of southern stations, thus making Washington the first NFL team to have an entire season of televised games. D.C. Stadium (later changed to Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium) was opened in 1961 and the 55,683-seat stadium was the Redskins home through 1996. In 1997 the Redskins moved into the new FedEx Field. A consecutive sellout streak began in 1968 and is still alive today. No other NFL team can claim that long a string of sellouts.

In 1969, the legendary Vince Lombardi guided the Redskins to their first winning record in 15 years but he died of cancer before the 1970 season. Class of 2002 inductee George Allen took over in 1971 and coached Washington to 69 victories, five playoff appearances and the 1972 NFC championship in his seven years. Joe Gibbs, who led the Redskins from 1981 to 1992, ranks as the most successful coach in Redskins' history with a 140-65-0 record that produced eight playoff appearances, five NFC Eastern division championships and victories in Super Bowls XVII, XXII and XXVI. He was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1983 and elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

In 2004, Gibbs returned to the sidelines when he was hired as the team's head coach once again.

Redskins in the Pro Football Hall of Fame:

George Allen |Cliff Battles | Sammy Baugh | Bill Dudley | Turk Edwards | Ray Flaherty | Joe Gibbs | Ken Houston |Sam Huff | Sonny Jurgensen | George Preston Marshall | Wayne Millner | Bobby Mitchell | John Riggins | Charley Taylor

Firsts, Records, Odds & Ends

Original Franchise Location/Name:

The Redskins franchise began in 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts. The team used the nickname "Braves." The team became known as the "Redskins" in 1933 and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1937.

First Draft Choice:

Riley Smith, B, Alabama was selected second overall in the NFL's first-ever draft in 1936.

First Regular-Season Game:

A 14-0 loss to the Brooklyn Dodgers, 10/2/32.

First Winning Season:

1936 (7-5-0).

First Playoff Appearance:

A 21-6 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the 1936 NFL Championship Game played at the Polo Grounds in New York, 12/13/36.

First All-League Players:

T Turk Edwards, 1932.

First Redskins Elected to Hall of Fame:

QB Sammy Baugh and Founder/Administrator George Preston Marshall, charter members, 1963.

First to Rush 200 Yards in a Game:

Cliff Battles, 215 yards vs. New York Giants, 10/8/33 was the first player in NFL history to rush for 200 yards in a single game.

First 1,000-Yard Rusher:

Larry Brown, 1,125 yards (1970).

First to Pass 400 Yards in a Game:

Sammy Baugh, 446 yards vs. Boston Yanks, 10/31/48.

Most Yards Rushing, Career:

John Riggins, 7,472 yards, (1976-79, 1981-85).

Most Yards Passing, Career:

Joe Theismann, 25,206 yards, (1974-1985).

Most Receptions, Career:

Art Monk, 888 receptions (1980-1993).

All-Time Leading Scorer:

Mark Moseley, 1,207 points, (1974-1986).

It's A Fact:

On 10/16/38, halfback Andy Farkas ran the wrong way and was tackled for a safety. Farkas, however, went from goat to hero when he led the Redskins to a 7-5 comeback win over the Detroit Lions.

Longest Interception Return:

Barry Wilburn's 100-yard return vs. the Minnesota Vikings, 12/26/87.

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Wanted to say thanks, because to make it better, its good to know where you've been, so you focus better on where you are going!

And the band marches on!

We now have some other distinctions as well!

1. Largest stadium venu in the NFL

2. No# 1 NFL fan site on the Internet - now being acknowledged by Sports personalities themselves!

3. Draft Day concerts and helicopter shuttles are now tops

4. Racking up large number of nationally televised preseason games over the past 15 seasons (improves our profit margin in the regular seaon :D )

5. Have one of the largest grossing markets in the NFL, with return on investments, no less than in the top 3-5.

6. Maintained at least 3 out of 4 of our top picks from round one, and kept our #2's and #3's over the same span, even though we had losing seasons. Always helps to keep the core strong.

I guess these fall in the intangible area of tops, but add it to the history and it makes it even sweeter.


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