Washington Redskins By The Numbers - #29 Mark Murphy

It has been a long time...too long. The regular season started and Kevin and I obviously had other responsibilities. Games and in-season subplots took over this blog (and rightfully so.) But based on the lost/aimless nature of a good deal of the comments lately, I realized we need to regain our sense of direction. I think part of that solution lies in picking back up the series that gets us in touch with why we are Redskins fans at all.

We have added close to 1000 members since I first started this series, so let me re-set the ground rules here. I am NOT listing the greatest Redskin to ever wear each number. I am NOT trying to crown some former player "King of..." whatever number. All I like to do is take the next number and write something that occurs to me about a player that wore the number, and even go off on a ridiculous tangent (like when I used the Brad Edwards platform at #27 to discuss the Super Bowl Halftime show's history, evolution, etc.) Ken Houston was the greatest player to ever wear #27. Any Skins fan who doesn't know that would have found that out after some of the comments I got for not using the #27 post to talk about Ken Houston.

We do our best to lineup relevant interviews for these pieces. Hell, I interviewd Tom Tupa's dad for God's sake (I still stand by that as possibly my best interview, ever.) 

Your job Hogs Haven Nation, is to provide your own such stories and memories about players who wore the number we cover on any given day. Tell us about your favorite player who wore the number and your favorite memories about that player. As always, I reserve the right to change the rules at any time.

#29

Mark Murphy

Murphy1_medium 

In Super Bowl XVII, the Dolphins were driving in the second half. They had reached the Washington 37-yard line. Miami quarterback David Woodley dropped back to pass and was intercepted by Mark Murphy. The turnover played a very key role in the 27-17 win over the Dolphins. The following season, he led the NFL with nine interceptions. Both of those Super Bowl seasons, Murphy made it to the Pro Bowl.

 

As we pick back up at #29, I find it fitting to highlight a player that was able to shine brightly for teams that defined success in terms of championships. The Redskins made it to two straight Super Bowls, and despite being completely destroyed by the Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII, those teams were champions in every sense of the word. Mark Murphy was a huge part of what made our defense tick. He was a very bright guy--he earned an MBA from American University in 1983 during his playing years (try finding a Pro Bowl football player anywhere near a classroom these days that doesn't involve the phrase "mandatory drug and alcohol education". He was tough, a sure tackler, and super competitive. I can't say I remember his career vividly. After all, I was born his rookie year. But I do remember those Gibbs Super Bowls. In my house we watched every game, listened to every radio show, and knew every player in burgundy and gold. When the ball was put in the air deep against the Washington secondary, you always had a good feeling Murphy was going to make the play.

Off the field, Mark Murphy was the player rep for the Skins to the NFLPA. He was rather pro-union, and though I was a little young at the time to get what was happening during those strike-shortened seasons, he played an instrumental role in the players' strike during 1982. When he finished his playing days, he served as the athletic director for Colgate University, then the A.D. for Northwestern University, and then in 2007 was named the President and CEO of the Green Bay Packers. He stepped in right as the Brett Favre saga was really starting to heat up.

Mark is a member of the Redskins' "70 Greatest Players" as well as a member of the Redskins' "50th Anniversary Team."

(Sorry to disappoint all you Sam Shade fans out there.)

OK...so I eased into it a bit. But make no mistake about it--the comments section of this series of articles is where the fun happens. Looking forward to getting this back and going with at least a little regularity.

 

P.S. For all of you out there who have been clamoring for this to be picked back up, you better sign in/sign up and be in the comments section.

 

 Image via veracity.univpubs.american.edu

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