Rings For The “Replacements”
First things first. I would like to welcome to the Booth…a sponsor! A hearty “welcome aboard” to Winchester Printers, great supporters of Shenandoah University athletics on The River 95-3, the “Flagship For S-U Athletics”. And now, they are lending their great name to this blog post. Be sure to click on their link above and see what they are all about!
I was humbled to learn this week that my name is attached to 2 Associated Press nominations, one for Outstanding Sports Operation of The Virginias, and the other for Best Sports Feature for the Thursday night sports-talk show I do with Clint DeHaven, “Sports Dogs After Hours.” Doing sports on the radio is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 10 years old, and not for awards. But it is nice to be recognized by one’s peers for doing quality work.
As public address announcer this past Tuesday , I witnessed one of the best basketball games I’ve ever seen in one of the craziest atmospheres I’ve ever seen (and heard!). The Handley High School Judges defeated the Loudoun Valley Vikings in a Virginia Class 4 Semifinal in an overtime thriller 54-52. Fans of both teams jammed the Wilkins Center at Shenandoah University to capacity, and at times the noise was deafening. The game itself was an “instant classic” as the Vikings held the lead until midway through the 4th Quarter. Handley managed a defensive stop to send the game into OT. That’s where Handley’s Michael Brown took over.
Brown basically “refused to lose”, and almost single handedly willed the Judges to victory, driving to the basket time and time again for clutch baskets and free throws. Then, with 8 seconds left, drove into triple coverage, rose above the defenders, and hit the game winning bucket at the buzzer, as the Wilkins Center came unglued. It’s a game that will be talked about for years. Good luck to the Judges this Saturday in the VHSL title game.
Finally, believe it or not, the Washington Redskins did something right this week. The organization righted a great wrong by deciding to give 1987 Super Bowl rings to the replacement team who went 3-0 during that year’s NFL players strike. The “Scabskins” as they were nicknamed, were a ragtag bunch that Joe Gibbs somehow molded into a winning unit.
The high point for the ‘Skins replacement team was a Monday Night affair against the Dallas Cowboys. On paper, Washington had no chance, as several big name Cowboys like Danny White, Tony Dorsett, and Randy White broke the picket lines and returned to the team. On national television the “Scabskins” shocked the football world by beating the favored Cowboys 13-7.
The regulars would soon come back, and given a 4-1 record (including 3-0 by the replacements), stumbled a bit upon their return, but went 11-4 and went on to rout Denver in the Super Bowl 42-10. The team voted against giving the replacement team championship rings, but it is safe to say that without the replacement team, the Redskins would not have gotten to the Big Game.
So here’s to names like Ed Rubbert, Tony Robinson, Ted Wilson, Craig McEwen, and Lionel Vital, who played such a big, but sometimes forgotten part in the Redskins Super Bowl Year, and who now have the rings to prove it.
Hail To The Scabskins!
Until next time, good luck to the Handley boys and Millbrook girls in their quest for state championships this weekend! See you next week from the Booth!