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You CAN'T watch the game before you read THIS!!!


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Not to be egotistical or an attention hound, but I just really wanted to share this with my fellow fans:

Originally, I wanted to post this in the days after Gibbs was rehired as head coach. But I figured it would get lost in the deluge of threads all preaching similar thoughts. Then, I was going to post it during training camp or pre-season, but the timing didn’t seem right.

It’s now or never.

Non-Redskin fans really don’t understand the excitement that has infected the fanbase. Most people simply figure that we’re excited because Gibbs was a great coach, he retired, we stunk, and now he’s back. They figure we’re excited because we think the team will perform better now. In a way, that’s very true. But that doesn’t explain why grown men (and women) were readily admitting that they had to pull to the side of the road or wipe tears from their cheeks upon hearing the news that Gibbs was coming back.

You see, he didn’t come back for football. He came back for US.

It wasn’t just that we were getting a proven coach; it was the fact that Gibbs came back when the fans needed him most. It’s as if he sensed the overwhelming doom and disappointment that had infected the amazingly loyal fans, and said, “enough is enough—time to go save my people.”

The Redskins haven’t just been disappointing in the 11 season since his departure—they’ve been heartbreaking, and at times, embarrassing. Love them or hate them, no one that knows football can deny that the Gibbs-era Redskins teams played with heart, passion, intelligence, and savvy. No one can deny that he got the most out of his players. No one can deny that he was as innovative as any coach in history. No one can deny he is a man of great character, and that his personal traits trickled down all the way to the fans and helped create arguably the best homefield advantage of the era. No one can deny the five NFC Championship Game appearances. No one can deny the four Super Bowl appearances. No one can deny the three Lombardi Trophies.

The Redskins had been a spirited organization since the early 1970’s when George Allen stirred up the Capital with his “Over the Hill Gang.” Allen got the ball rolling, and Gibbs took it to another level. The band, the shaky cameras, the noise, the toilet paper streaming from the stands at RFK—all staples of the Gibbs era. I grew up glued to the TV on Sunday’s, feeling as if I was “fighting for ole’ DC” right with the players. Gibbs was our leader. The Redskins and everything they stood for became ingrained inside of me. Gibbs created an aura, a passion, an excitement. Bottom line, there was nothing more fun than watching our Redskins do battle on those chilly late Sunday afternoons against the Giants, Eagles, or Cowboys. It was all a kid could ever ask for.

After he left, the Redskins went into a tailspin from which they have yet to correct. One playoff appearance in those eleven seasons. Lazy players, uninspiring coach’s, front office mishaps. The coach was gone, the old stadium was gone. In many ways, the Redskins were gone. Rock bottom came late last season when it became apparent that the Steve Spurrier experiment was going to be an unquestioned failure. Four coach’s had tried to resurrect the Redskins after Gibbs. All four failed miserably. Late last year, the life was completely sucked out of the organization. The fans kept showing up, season tickets still impossible to get a hold of, and the Redskins were once again ranked #1 on the Forbe’s list for sports franchises. But the life was gone. The passion drained. Hope erased. Talks of a new coach filled airwaves and message boards, but no one was excited. No one seemed confident that any of them could turn it around. The Redskins had become a joke. Didn’t matter the player, the coach, the salary, the situation—in the end, if it was involved with the Redskins, it would fail. The Redskins were losers. With no hope in sight.

The came the report.

At first I refused to believe my ears; refused to believe the scoop. No way was going to get my hopes up until I was sure I had reason to do so. In a flash it became official. Gibbs called his old buddy (offensive line coach) Joe Bugel and told him, “Get out of bed, we’ve got work to do. We’re going home.” In the world of the Blues Brothers, Gibbs was getting the band back together.

In an instant the Redskins were restored. You see, the Washington Redskins aren’t just a football team. They are a passion. Something that is handed down generation to generation. Something that unites an all to often fractured city. It sees no color. At least 16 times a year, the Redskins are a unifying force. It felt as is all of that had been stripped away. Then, it all came back.

It’s even better now than before because we no longer take it for granted. Eleven years is a long time. That’s 176 regular season games. That means 176 times over the past decade plus, I’ve woken up hoping that would be the day it all got back to the way it should be. 176 times I went to bed still hoping.

Confidence is a powerful force. In recent years, while the stands may have been full, you could almost hear to groans and shrieks from the fans, who were just anticipating the next catastrophe. Sometimes, the team was so unprepared and/or unmotivated, that was impossible to fully get behind them. Many fans seemed to want to scream, “What have you done with the REAL Redskins!!??” Many fans were angered and felt disgraced at what had become of their team. Those feelings seemed to transfer to the field. No unity. No pride.

Now, not only will it be back, but it will be back like we’ve never seen before. The fans are so appreciative of Gibbs and protective of his legacy, that they will simply not allow anything less than pandemonium in the seats. There is so much pent-up frustration, emotion, and excitement stemming from the fans, that the place just might explode when Gibbs is introduced this Sunday.

The Redskins won’t go 16-0 this year. They may not win the division. They may not even make the playoffs. But right now, none of that seems to matter because something far greater is at work. Passion. The passion is back. The fans adore Joe Gibbs and everything he has meant to their beloved team over the years. He came back to restore HIS fans. He came back to restore HIS team. Check that, he came back to restore OUR team. I pity the teams that try to get in our way. He came back for us, and we’ll be there loud and proud for him. Never thought I’d say this with a smile on my face, but It feels like 1982 all over again.

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Guest SkinsHokie Fan

That brought tears to my eyes.

The passion is back. I'll never forget the lump in my throat and the goosebumps I had that night in New Jersey when I was streaming the internet at midnight and saw the Washington Post report

"Gibbs in Serious Negotiatons with Redskins"

And then a big grin on my face. And even though I personally had never lost that passion, and during each of the past 11 seasons thought we were playoff bound at the beggining of the year, I had not had the feeling of "we are going to take this"

And I really feel we are going to take this and joy that has not been seen in the DC area in over a decade will be back. I can't wait to celebrate victory in the streets of Georgetown, or fly out to a Super Bowl. This is going to be amazing

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Before I was ready to read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings my mom told me the story for many nights in a row, dividing it into parts. I think the Nazgul were more frightening for that small child than even when I read the books a bit later.

But the worst was hearing that Gandalf 'died' and that the heroes were without their guide and their hope.

Gibbs coming back is like Gandalf coming back. "I've been sent back until my task is finished." Gandalf was Hope, his task was to inspire Men to face Evil and defeat it.

Gibbs is back, because he saw that his people were lost and his task was unfinished.

Now hope is rekindled...

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kleese...I don't think your posts will ever get glossed over or lost in the shuffle by me for what it's worth.

In any case this is exactly the perfect post at the perfect time.

As Redskins Fans (and I speak for most everyone I think) we feel included again. I spent the last years carefully saying "they" and "them" when making a comment about the past years' teams, but NO more. It us and we...We are as much a part of that passion that is the Redskins again.

Good Lord it feels good to be part of that "passion" again.

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I cant sleep either *lol* great read! kleese...and nice analogy ghost.

I can't wait...for many it may be realized and settled in, that Joe Gibbs is back...but for just as many others...I dont think it really hits until the first game of the regular season..when it all counts and our General is back. Sunday, 1pm EST it's ON!!!!! Hail Skins!!!

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excellent post kleese!

i've read two articles/posts today that have echoed my sentiments exactly...yours and om's. i've been watching the skins for the last 11 years peeking through the cracks of my hands that are covering my eyes. i've been anticipating disaster with every single snap, hoping that maybe, just this once, the skins will get it right. my hopes were realized far too infrequently.

the sad thing is that my son is fairly indifferent to the skins. he hasn't seen the excitement and the *real* passion yet. i was so happy to be able to tell him last january that the skins were going to be good again...very soon. he kinda looked at me as if i were crazy...still too young to realize who gibbs is/was and what his return meant. i'm duct taping him to the couch tomorrow so that he can see the redskins for the first time in his 7 years.

he may also see his daddy shed a tear...

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Kleese I was waiting for that piece.... Funny how the timing turned out to be perfect.

I've read the History of the Redskins as others have. The next closest thing to compare this to is When Lombardi came to Town. This blows that away. This is THE PINNACLE of Redskins History. No matter how many times this era is written about and archived, our experiences surpass all that. We are fortunate.

I'm still awake, finished making food for the tailgate party tomorrow at the game... Going to sleep now after reading that post. Need to wake up in 4 hours. I'm so pumped up.

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Well said Kleese:cheers: . I've been a Skins fan for 35 years, and remember all the good times we had. When Joe retired, I figured it would take a couple years to get back to where we were........Boy, was I wrong. When Coach came back this year, there was tears I wiped away. I told people, many people, that it was the happiest day in my life, as happy as I was the day my son was born 25 years ago. I got alot of funny looks, but I guess they just don't understand the PASSION we feel toward OUR team.

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For once in your life,

Here's your miracle!

Stand up and fight


Make no mistake where you are

You're going no further

Until it's over and done

One way or another

No one can tell what the future holds

Your back's to the corner

You make the choice of how it goes


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Originally posted by Skin-N-NY

It's 6:30 am, my son and I are about to go to the airport to fly down for the game. This is better than any Christmas he or I can EVER remember.


hope you had a safe flight and evey Sunday is like Xmas if the Skins win!!!!!!!

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Kleese, you knocked that one out of the park. That captured everything that this fan felt and is feeling. We've died enough Redskins deaths over the past dozen years. It's time to live again! It starts today. Win or lose, we're back. We ARE a factor.

For those fortunate enough to have tickets to today's game, make the new building shake like RFK did - for old times sake.

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Kleese, Thank you very much. That just about made me cry. It really made me remember how I felt as a kid compared to the last 12 years. I would like to add one feeling.

RESPECT......................Gibbs brings back instant respect.

After a decade of being a joke were back. After listening to sports talk hosts for years poke fun at the Skins this past off season it all came to a screaching halt. No longer are we the butt of there jokes. Now everyone of them may argue as to how long it is going to take us to get back, but they all know it is just around the corner. It is now just a matter of time.

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That was a very nice piece. As a Redskins fan for as long as I can remember, that post was true to the feelings I have today. I grew up on Allen, late teens and young adult through the Coach's first tenure and having been enduring the pain of the last 11 years, culminating with the lowest point at last Dec. defeat by the Eagles. Today it begins! Hail to the Redskins :helmet:

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definitely brought chills/nostalgia. I agree, I am young, and barely remember the old Gibbs era, I just remember the stories from my dad and people. Riding off those stories is enough for me to be as excited as anyone else is here. I just wanna see the determination and fire the players used to once have. I also like how Gibbs suddenly brought his old school coaches together soo quickly, as well as being able to draw Gregg Williams over right away.

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