106.7 THE FAN decided to do a ranking of the greatest Redskins of all time...1-80. It was a big topic of debate on the air, and now that the list is finally public, Ken Meringolo and I decided to debate it. It's a fine list with a few head scratchers. First, let's meet the panel that put the list together. It's quite a star studded panel: Former Redskins GM Charley Casserly, 106.7 The Fan blogger and NFL Hall of Fame voter Dave Elfin, former Washington Post writer Len Shapiro, and Ernie Bauer (former Sports Director of Channel 9, 5, and CSN).
Well, OK then. That immediately makes me less qualified, but certainly I'll respond anyway. The full 80 is available at this link, but here's the top 15:
1. "Slingin" Sammy Baugh, 2. Christian "Sonny" Jurgensen, 3. Darrell Green, 4. John Riggins, 5. Ken Houston
6. Bobby Mitchell, 7. Chris Hanburger, 8. Charley Taylor, 9. Art Monk, 10. Turk Edwards, 11. Joe Jacoby, 12. Joe Theismann, 13. Gary Clark, 14. Russ Grimm, 15. Cliff Battles
My initial e-mail to Ken Meringolo:
- Agree with #1...but #2 should be Darrell, #3 Riggo, then Sonny.
- Monk deserves to be higher.
- Sean Taylor is WAY too high...4 seasons doesn't mean you can pass Hogs and several other SB champs.
- How is Dave Butz #32? Played 14 healthy seasons and was an anchor of 2x SB DLine. Portis and Huff above Butz? Come on.
- I don't think Sam Huff deserves to be so high given he only played 5 years with Skins....would you rather have Huff for 5 years or Chris Samuels, BMitch, or Charles Mann for a decade?
- London Fletcher at 39?
Ken then replied:
Ken: I have to admit I am slightly shocked at how high Sonny is here. He was a GREAT quarterback and he has dedicated a great deal of his life to the burgundy and gold, but he did play for the Eagles into his 30's before coming to Washington. I would have no problem putting him in the top ten, but I feel strongly about seeing Darrell and Art ranked higher than him. That's two Hall of Famers that spent their whole careers in Washington AND hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. I think Sam Huff's ranking also benefits from his time in the booth. I love me some Sonny and Sam, but when I was asked to review an advance copy of Sam's book, I was a bit vexed to see him in a Giants' jersey on the cover.
I have no problem with Sean Taylor squeezing into the top 50. He was certainly good enough, and the way the events of his tragically shortened life transpired, the fanbase is forever and inextricably linked to the man and the myth/legend. To be honest, I am a little surprised he didn't finish higher.
Kevin: I also question how some of the 70 greatest Redskins didn't make the list: Al DeMao, Rusty Tillman, Bill Brundige. I didn't see Charlie Justice play (ranked 79), but he had 10 career TDs as a RB...seems like a stretch there.
Ken: You know the rule—if you want guys back in, you have to take guys out to make room for them. It is curious how in the ten years since the 70 Greatest was put out—ten years when this team has generally stunk out loud—enough additional players were identified to boot out a few of the "Greatest" players. I would take Portis over Justice personally. DeMao, Tillman and Brundige is a great name for the law firm that should argue their case.
OK, so what are your thoughts? Anyone not in the top 80 that should have been?