Revisiting The 1982 “Strikeskins”

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Greetings From The Booth!

Hard to believe, but we are rapidly heading into mid-season of the high school football schedule, as Fall comes in on cue this week with cooler weather. Soon, shorts will give way to long pants and fleece jackets, and hot chocolate and coffee will replace soda as you take your place under the Friday night lights around the area. At the (almost) midpoint of the season, the cream is starting to rise among area teams, and 2 remain undefeated: The Handley Judges and Central Falcons. All is not lost among the other schools, however, as these days even 3 wins can get you into the post-season. That is a conversation for another day. Enjoy your games this week!

In case you don’t remember, this is the week in 1982 that NFL games came to a screeching halt because of a players strike that would last 57 days. As a fan of the Washington Redskins, this was especially bad news. The year before, under new coach Joe Gibbs, the ‘Skins started 0-5 before ending the season 8-8, winning 8 of it’s last 11, and optimism was high going into 1982. Indeed, Washington started the season with a thrilling 37-34 win over Philly and a win over improving Tampa Bay 21-13 to start 2-0. But the dark cloud of a players strike loomed, and the season was halted on September 21, 1982.

While other players sat around doing little during the strike, something very different happened in Washington. Coaches were not allowed to have any contact with the players during the work stoppage, so ‘Skins quarterback Joe Theismann gathered the team together and organized unofficial practices, and the ‘Skins stayed sharp and unified. When the 2 month-old strike came to an end, Washington rolled through the 7-game amended regular season, losing only to the Cowboys while finishing 8-1.

The ‘Skins would get their revenge on hated Dallas. With running back John Riggins carrying the load through the 4-game playoff format, Washington would defeat Detroit and Minnesota at RFK, setting the stage for the 1982 NFC Championship Game with the Cowboys. With Riggo plowing for 140 yards and Daryl Grant’s iconic pick-six sealing the deal, Washington was on to the Super Bowl with a 31-17 win over Dallas!

In Super Bowl XVII against Miami, Riggins would put the exclamation point on one of the greatest postseasons ever by a running back with his now-famous 43-yard run that would give Washington  the 27-17 win–the first of it’s 3 Lombardi trophies.

There are no asterisks in the NFL next to World Championships, but I still feel like the Redskins never got the love or respect they deserved for that 1982 season. Yes, there were fewer regular-season games, and the playoff format was a bit different, but because they were ready to play when most teams weren’t once the strike ended, the ‘Skins proved to be worthy champs. We’re they lucky? Maybe, but as the old saying goes, luck is a by-product of preparation.

Until the next visit from The Booth…HTTR!



SABF wraps up the weekend

The 94th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival wraps up this weekend.

Saturday morning features the Sports Breakfast with special guests Joe Theismann and Santana Moss, formerly of the Washington Football Team, amongst other local sports stars.

Afterwards at the Frederick County Fairgrounds will host another fan favorite event, the Country Music Party.

At 9:30 pm, Shenandoah University will host their “Light Up the Night Fireworks Display.”

The Ohrstrom- Bryant Theater parking lot will serve as the staging area.

Jim Barnett Park and the surrounding parking lots are recommended for optimal viewing.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

The Bloom and Sports

In the latest SDPC, Randy Woodward and Scott Snapp talk about the relationship of sports to the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. This year, the first-ever class of the Apple Blossom Sports Hall Of Fame will be inducted, and we also talk about this year’s Sports Marshal, Joe Theismann. Happy Bloom from The Sports Dogs!

Sports Dogs Podcast
Sports Dogs Podcast
The Bloom and Sports

Breakfast With Joe

SU field oversight
SU field oversight
Winchester Printers

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!


Shenandoah Apple Blossom announces a new guest

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival (SABF) announced Coach Tommy Dixon will be an addition to the annual Sports Breakfast.

Coach Dixon holds legendary records in local football, track and field as well as basketball.

The retired coach is a Winchester native who is still a mentor to many former student athletes as well as decorated coach.

The Tommy Dixon Basketball Court at Handley High School is named after the legendary coach.

The coach will join football legends Joe Theismann and Santana Moss at the Sports Breakfast this year.

The event will take place at the Frederick County Fairgrounds May 1 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m..

Tickets for Apple Blossom events are limited and available at

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.