Riggo & “Brother” Walker

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Greetings from The Booth!

Well, we are just days away from “The Big Game” as we head toward Super Bowl 57, or XLVII if you insist on using the Roman numerals (I’ll use those when the Coliseum in Rome is rebuilt and they bring back the chariot races). Countless words have been written about this year’s matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, and by kickoff Sunday, you will know everything about every player, down to the shoe size. So, instead of more expert analysis (you can get that in our latest Sports Dogs Podcast on this very website), I choose to look back at one of my favorite Super Bowls, Super Bowl 17.

That game holds a special place in my memory for several reasons. The Chinese say that revenge is a meal best served cold, and it took 10 years for the Washington Redskins to avenge their Super Bowl loss in the 1972 season to the undefeated Miami Dolphins. The 14-7 score that year belied the domination of the ‘Fins on that January day in Los Angeles. The ‘Skins only score came late in the 4th quarter on a fluke Mike Bass touchdown on a botched Miami  field goal attempt. That Super Bowl appearance was the high-water mark for the “Over The Hill Gang.” George Allen’s geriatric bunch would never return to the Big Game.

Enter Joe Gibbs, who, in his second year as head coach of the Burgundy & Gold, navigated his team through a work stoppage, through a revamped playoff format, and back to the Super Bowl against…the Miami Dolphins. The ‘Skins found a winning formula that season with a stout defense, quick strike passes from quarterback Joe Theismann to a receiving corps known as The Smurfs, an MVP kicker in Mark Moseley, and The Diesel, John Riggins, who ran behind the legendary O-line, The Hogs.

Riggo was the engine that made the Redskins go, especially in the post-season, rushing for 610 yards in 4 playoff games that season. But it is one run that stands out. Facing a crucial 4th and 1 at the Miami 43 and trailing 17-13 (and everyone in the Rose Bowl knowing who was going to get the football), The ‘Skins called on Riggins, who shook off an initial tackle and raced into the end zone to complete the most iconic run in Washington football history. The Redskins would add another score for the 27-17 final, and the Lombardi Trophy was headed to the Nation’s Capital!

I had the best of both worlds that day. Not only did my beloved ‘Skins win the Super Bowl, but Martinsburg’s own Fulton Walker returned a Miami kickoff for a touchdown. I had the pleasure of playing high school baseball with Walker for the MHS Bulldogs, and I’m pretty sure that even the many Redskins fans in the Eastern Panhandle, including me, swelled with pride as “Brother” Walker, as he was known, outraced the Washington coverage and put his team ahead 17-10.

Walker died in 2016, but I believe there is still a great picture of his Super Bowl kickoff return that hangs in a ticket building at the MHS football stadium. The full-size picture shows Fulton racing toward the end zone with all 11 Redskins trying to chase him down. Riggo’s touchdown that day is probably most remembered, but those of us in Martinsburg will never forget the afternoon that one of our own made Super Bowl history. Rest in Peace, Brother Walker!

Until the next visit from The Booth…enjoy the Big Game!

RW

 

Sports Dogs Podcast: R-Dog & The Duke Break Down “The Big Game.”

It’s Super Bowl week as we head toward the 57th edition of The Big Game and a day of football, meatballs in the crock pot, queso dip, and calling in sick Monday! R-Dog & The Duke have some thoughts and predictions in the latest Sports Dogs Podcast. Enjoy the game, and if you’re away from a TV on Sunday, you can catch the play-by-play on The River 95-3 and Fox Sports Radio 1450.

RW

 

The Pro Bowl-Revisited

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Greetings from The Booth!

Well, we are on the eve of the most exciting weekend in pro football, a weekend where friends and family gather in homes and watering holes around the USA. A weekend where tons of wings and pizza are consumed, and gallons of suds are imbibed. A weekend that has become a de facto national holiday. Yes, it is…Pro Bowl weekend!

I jest, of course. The Pro Bowl is the NFL’s all-star game, and in the words of the late NFL great, Sonny Randle, “a pillow fight.” It was definitely that when it was an actual football game (defense optional), but even more so now that Pro Bowl weekend features skills competitions and a series of 7-on-7 flag football games. I’ll probably be catching up on some much needed sleep or watching The Paint Drying Network or The Traffic Light Channel, both of which have been added to my cable provider–just in time.

I took an informal poll on my morning show today, and the question was simply, “Pro Bowl or Bridges Of Madison County.” The latter holds a special place in my heart. I watched it in sunburned agony in the old movie theatre in Chincoteague, Va., on a vacation getaway with my wife one Summer. Sunburn aside, as a red blooded male, it was certainly agonizing to see Clint Eastwood’s character standing in the rain crying like a baby.  I kept waiting for him to say “Come on punk, open up the white zinfandel.” Sadly, that line never came. Anyway, I tried to come up with the ultimate chick flick that even the most casual football fan might decline for the Pro Bowl, and here are the results of the poll: “Bridges” edged out the Pro Bowl. So, there’s that.

I have an idea for reviving at least the concept of a Pro Bowl, which used to be a nice getaway to Hawaii for players and their families when NFL salaries were much lower. Today’s Pro-Bowlers could actually go to Hawaii every week of the year, so that perk has become irrelevant. Remember the old 70’s ABC show “Superstars?” That show featured athletes and celebrities in various sports competitions: weightlifting, track and field, bowling, etc. It was great seeing Gabe Kaplan (Welcome Back Kotter) pulling a hammy during the 100-yard dash or Joe Frazier nearly drown in the 50-meter swim (he didn’t know how to swim). Let’s do that with the Pro Bowl. Yes, we could see a Pro Bowler actually “bowl.” I would watch that.

Or, let’s just move the Puppy Bowl to the Sunday between the NFL Championship Games and The Super Bowl. I never miss a Puppy Bowl, which features rescue dogs from all over the USA running around a football field, complete with a play-by-play announcing team, and a Puppy Bowl Blimp. The winner even gets the “Lom-bark-i Trophy.” The Puppy Bowl has become a tradition in our house on the day of The Big Game. It deserves it’s own Sunday, which we could call “Puppy Sunday.” It beats watching someone trying to pull Cee Dee Lamb’s flag.

And besides, you’re never going to call in sick the day after The Puppy Bowl…

Until the next visit from the Booth, have a great Pro Bowl party!

RW

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sports Dogs Podcast: The Duke Interviews Nazeeh Johnson

It’s Pro Bowl week, as we make our way to the Big Game…Super Bowl 57. In case you didn’t know, the area has a local connection to the Super Bowl, as Kansas City Chiefs’ special teams standout Nazeeh Johnson played for Millbrook High School. Our own Ryan “The Duke” Rutherford takes over this edition of the Sports Dogs Podcast with an interview he conducted this week with the former Pioneer. I now know who I’m going to be rooting for on “Super Sunday!”

RW

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Sports: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

HS Hoop Tonight On 1450, Area HS Scoreboard, Caps Skate Tonight

THE CAPS RETURN TO THE ICE TONIGHT WHEN THEY TRAVEL TO COLUMBUS FOR A 7PM PUCK DROP. IT’S THE CAPITALS’ FINAL GAME BEFORE THE ALL-STAR BREAK.

IT’S HS BASKETBALL TONIGHT ON FOX SPORTS RADIO 1450…AS BRENTSVILLE VISITS SKYLINE. AIR TIME IS 7:20 WITH RYAN RUTHERFORD ON THE CALL.

IN BOYS’ HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL LAST NIGHT…

WOOD GOT PAST CENTRAL 56-51

CHELSEA RAN PAST HOLY FAMILY 62-33

IN GIRLS B-BALL

SHERANDO ROUTED FAUQUIER 72-27

IT WAS WOOD OVER CENTRAL 72-60

ST JAMES OUTLASTED RMA 42-35

WAKEFIELD DEFEATED QUANTICO 56-8

IN COLLEGE HOOP…NUMBER 6 UVA WON A TIGHT ACC BATTLE, DEFEATING SYRACUSE 67-62 IN THE DOME. THE CAVS IMPROVED TO 17-3 WITH THE WIN.

13-8 VIRGINIA TECH PLAYS AT MIAMI TONIGHT, WHILE WVU TRIES TO KNOCK OFF IT’S THIRD TOP-15 TEAM IN 2 WEEKS WHEN THEY TRAVEL TO TCU TONIGHT AT 9.

IN THE NBA…THE WIZARDS ROUTED SAN ANTONIO 127-106. IT WAS THEIR FIRST ROAD WIN AGAINST THE SPURS SINCE 1999.

SUPER BOWL 57 IS SUNDAY FEBRUARY 12TH…AS KANSAS CITY TAKES ON PHILADELPHIA AND YOU CAN HEAR IT ON THE RIVER 95-3 AND FOX SPORTS RADIO 1450.