For an unknown reason, NFL history has robbed the Redskins dynasty of the 1980s and early 90s of the recognition it deserves. But the real question is, why?
NFL fans remember the Packers championship teams of the 60s, the Steelers of the 70s, the 49ers of the 80s, the Cowboys of the 90s, and the Patriots of the present day. But no one remembers the Joe Gibbs-led Redskins.
From 1982 to 1991, the Redskins appeared in four Super Bowls and won three of those games, and in each game, they won with a different starting quarterback and a different starting running back.
Not content with one of the most successful coaching careers in NFL history, Gibbs created his Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR team in 1992. The team has won three Sprint Cup championships since 2000 with stud drivers like Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart.
At this Sunday’s Daytona 500, the Joe Gibbs Racing Crispy M&M’S #18 car will return to the track after a 10-year absence, piloted by Kyle Busch.
We spoke to Coach Gibbs about flourishing in both sports, the upcoming Daytona 500, his relationship with Jack Kent Cooke, and why he thinks his success with the Redskins has been largely ignored. You can listen to the interview via the audio player or read the full transcript below.
Let’s talk about Crispy M&M’S making their return to the track after a 10-year hiatus, kind of like you making your return to the Skins the second time.
Just about the same; I was 11 years, Crispy’s been out 10 years. We’re excited to have them back. And on Sunday’s Daytona 500, every time that Toyota Camry comes off the corner with Kyle Busch driving it, it’s going to be bright green and it’s gonna represent the return of Crispy. So we’re excited about that and I’m excited to be part of the M&M’S team.
It just occurs to me that the Skins dynasty doesn’t get the props it really deserves. Why do you think that is the case historically?
“Well, I’m glad that you mention that because I feel strongly about that. And I think you’re right. We went to four Super Bowls in 11 years. And we had great players; I think that more of our players should be in the Hall of Fame. You’re right, for some reason that era gets left out. Obviously, the 49ers were in there, the Giants… there were some other real good teams. But I feel just like you, you voiced the opinion, which I agree with. What it takes to be able to get to a Super Bowl, and to do it four times, that says a lot about our ownership, our front office and our players. So, I agree with you and I appreciate you bringing it up.
Well, I’ve thought about this probably more than I should’ve, but it’s almost like the legacy is punished because of your versatility. You’ve got three different quarterbacks that you won a Super Bowl with, three different starting running backs. Defense has a couple of stalwarts, but there’s a lot of personal changes there as you’d expect over an 11-year period. Do you think the success you had with so many personnel changes has been detrimental in hindsight, if that is even a possibility?
Well, you bring up an interesting point. I’ve never looked at it that way. But I think we had a lot of those players that went to two, three, four Super Bowls. And I think that for that period of time, we did have three different quarterbacks. But I think that says a lot about the surrounding players we had with them and those three guys. People always say, “Hey, you won three Super Bowls with three quarterbacks.” What they leave out is three great quarterbacks. You got Theismann, you’ve got Doug, and you’ve got Mark Rypien. I mean, those guys were special; we had special players. But I appreciate you bringing it up this morning, you made me feel good! Okay? Because I think we need more attention on what we were able to accomplish, that team, in that 11-year period.
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