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Breakfast With Joe
Greetings From The Booth!
The Booth this week is festooned in pink and green bunting for the 94th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, and although this year’s Bloom is scaled down due to COVID restrictions, the spirit of the Festival is hardly dampened, as folks gussy up their property and proudly hang their Apple Blossom flags and dress up in pink and green regalia.
Sports is an integral part of the Bloom, and certainly one of the staple events of the SABF is the Sports Breakfast, started in 1965 by Russ Potts and Dick Kern. Those two, along with Wendell Dick, Walter Barr, Ken Mease, and Tommy Dixon, will be inducted as the first honorees in the Apple Blossom Sports Hall Of Fame. What an inaugural class!
The Sports always features a “Sports Marshal” who speaks to the assembled crowd. This year, our Sports Marshal is the one and only Joe Theismann. I won’t say Joe likes to talk, but they may have to put him on the clock at the Sports Breakfast. If you’re going, be ready for some great stories!
Joe was, of course, the Washington Redskins’ quarterback from 1974-1985, when his career ended after a Lawrence Taylor sack on Monday Night Football. Since then, Theismann has done everything from broadcasting to running restaurants, and has been successful at them all.
I could list Joe’s stats and football accomplishments , including the Super Bowl appearances, but you can look those up. The one thing that, to me, says everything you need to know about Joe Theismann was his willingness to return punts in 1974. That year, Washington was an “I Like Sonny” and “I Like Billy” town, with Sonny Jurgensen and Billy Kilmer alternating time at QB. The two were friends and drinking buddies, and Joe was a third wheel, with almost no hope of seeing the field. So Theismann, trying to do anything to help the ‘Skins win, and get the attention of head coach George Allen, volunteered to return punts, and did it well.
Joe’s day would eventually come, and under Joe Gibbs, got his ring. In ’74, he could have sulked on the bench, demanded a trade, any number of things that would have been a distraction to his team. Instead, he found a way to contribute, and there’s a lesson to be learned in that.
There are many that think of Joe Theismann as a “me” guy. A look back at 1974 would show you someone different.
Enjoy The Bloom, and until the next visit from the Booth…GO HORNETS!