A rollicking chronicle that takes fans behind the scenes of the legendary Super Bowl-champion Washington Redskins teams of the Joe Gibbs’ era and offers a revealing portrait of the NFL during the 1980s and early 1990s.
Based on more than seventy-five original interviews, here is the inside story of the glory days of the famed Washington Redskins teams of the Joe Gibbs’ era—one of the most remarkable and unique runs in NFL history. From 1981 to 1992, Gibbs coached the franchise to three Super Bowl victories, making the team the toast of the nation’s capital, both among the political elite and the city’s majority African-American population. Veteran sportswriter Adam Lazarus charts the team’s rise from mediocrity (the franchise had never won a Super Bowl and Gibbs’s first year as head coach started with a five-game losing streak that almost cost him his job) to its stretch of four championship games in ten years. What makes the run of sustained success all the more remarkable is that, unlike Joe Montana’s 49ers or Tom Brady’s Patriots, each of Gibbs’s Super Bowl victories featured a different quarterback—a testament to the genius of the team’s head coach, who proved himself one of the most adaptable and creative minds in NFL history.
Hail to the Redskins features an epic cast of characters: hard-drinking halfback John Riggins; the dominant, blue-collar offensive linemen known as “the Hogs” who became a cultural phenomenon; quarterbacks Doug Williams, the first African-American QB to win a Super Bowl, and Joe Theismann, a model-handsome pitchman whose leg was brutally broken by Lawrence Taylor on Monday Night Football; gregarious defensive end Dexter Manley, who would be banned from the league for cocaine abuse; and others including Darrell Green, Art Monk, Mark Rypien, owner Jack Kent Cooke, and more.
Building on Lazarus’s interviews with key inside sources, including Redskin players, personalities, and journalists, Hail to the Redskins paints a colorful picture of one of the most compelling teams in football history.