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London's Redskins Legacy Precedes Him

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Wilber Marshall? Sam Huff? Neil Olkewicz? Whoa nellie take a deep breath.

Once again Skin Patrol must be self-absorbed in some silly matter or having a day off or a life or something.  Damn you Skin Patrol! Don't you realize the blog-beast needs to feed?  What the hell it's Friday and Curly R is on cruise control.  Have a great weekend and we'll see you here (and there) for the Redskins game tomorrow. -Ben Folsom
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The Redskins admittedly have been starved for good linebacker play since LaVar Arrington left, or rather, sort of disappeared then left after the 2005 season. Marcus Washington and Lemar Marshall and Warrick Holdman variously played well, though not necessarily together and none was really a fan fave.

So look out, here comes the pedestal on to which the traditional media is placing London Fletcher. Two days ago, WJLA-TV ABC Channel 7 sports reporter Greg Toland invoked three-time Pro Bowler Wilber Marshall in his comparison. In fairness Greg was reporting from a director's chair so close to the Redskins' astroturf playing field that you could see the heat waves so maybe he had the vapors.

Now the Washington Post's Mike Wise reports that London spent time watching New York Giants and Washington Redskins Hall of Famer great Sam Huff, currently of Sonny, Sam and Frank fame (sorry like the nation of Bophuthatswana I do not recognize Larry Michael and have not listened to that broadcast when I had a choice since they shitcanned Frank Herzog), while preparing to be a Redskins linebacker.

You mean London's working on his clothesline, his head slap and his helmet spear? Awesome!

In his career from 1956 to 1969, Sam was known as a hitter and comedian Alan King said of a 1960 CBS special, 'The Violent World of Sam Huff' that watching it, he could hear bones crunching (op. cit.)

If London is preparing in the image of Sam Huff, Sam himself sees Redskins great and Bobby Beathard pick Neil Olkewicz who played 11 years with the Redskins and was on two Super Bowl teams, in London. Neil will always have a special place in Joe Gibbs' heart, returning an interception for a touchdown on October 11 1981 to help give coach Gibbs his first win as Redskins coach after five straight losses to open the season.

Love the excitement and the hype sells papers (and draws eyeballs). What Redskins fans really want to see is a dominant middle linebacker superlative in his own right and let the comparisons come after the Super Bowl rings.

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It must have been London Fletcher day at camp. John Keim at the Washington Examiner has his own piece on London. It seems London was quite the accomplished basketballer, leading his team to two Ohio state championships. He was awarded a basketball scholarship from St. Francis but transferred to Division III John Carrol to play football. I did not know this. London still uses head fakes and basketball footwork to outsmart blockers and get around them.

Both of these pieces also speak glowingly of London's zeal for watching and studying film. Very refreshing given this summer's blockbuster mystery about missing players.

Photo credit
New York Giant linebacker Sam Huff in 1962:  Neil Leifer / New York Times from here.