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Redskins By the (Jersey) Numbers: #95 I Am...Speed

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When you think of football jersey numbers in the 90’s, don’t you think speed? No? Oh yeah...no.

North American International Auto Show Features Latest Car Models Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Call me a sucker for cartoons, but when it comes to Pixar’s offerings, I get pretty amped up. On this Friday in mid-June, I find my mind wandering a little bit from hard and fast Redskins topics, and into summertime movie thoughts. My immediate thought when I took #95 from Bryan Stabbe was, “I am...speed.” Lightning McQueen, voiced by Owen Wilson (aka Hansel), is one of my favorite Pixar characters (though not in my top five), and he rocked the #95 all the way to box office gold. More on this below.

I would be remiss not to mention that Jonathan Allen, our top overall draft pick, will be donning the #95 this season, but I am not going to go there today as it is Flashback Friday! When I wrote about the Dana Stubblefield and Sean Gilbert debacles earlier in this series, I kind of covered the Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson topic without really covering it at all. (Better put, I didn’t actually cover it all.) Think about it...we went into a season with both Dana Stubblefield and Big Daddy on the defensive line. On paper, that is a rather far cry from anything we have put together in recent years, but they don’t play games on paper.

I would venture to guess most Redskins fans have a pretty positive memory of Dan Wilkinson. I will share my fondest memory of him, and I won’t be shocked if I am stealing everyone’s fondest memory. It was late October 1999 and the Redskins were hosting the Chicago Bears. I was fresh out of college and my current girlfriend (future wife), St. Megan, had won a raffle to snag us a pair of tickets to the game. Brad Johnson and Stephen Davis rolled the Bears, building a 45-0 lead early in the third quarter, but it was the first half interception by Big Daddy Wilkinson that caused a noise at Redskins Stadium (it wasn’t yet named FedEx...at that point, it was called “The Jack” because of the owner who built it).

Wilkinson rumbled 88 yards for an interception-return touchdown. To this day, I don’t know how he made it, but I will always remember Darrell Green running behind him, like a car tailgating a tractor trailer on the beltway. I am pretty sure we all expected Dan to pitch it back to Darrell so he could take it in for the easy score, but legend has it that Darrell told Dan to keep it. The roar as Wilkinson made his way to the end zone, and the eruption that ensued afterward have stuck with me. It was a day when big players made big plays, and it was a day when our team dominated. No player was bigger than Big Daddy that day, and a nice little sidebar to the story is that the quarterback who threw the pick was none other than future Redskins quarterback Shane Matthews. But I digress.

Before I move on, I do want to throw love at Chris Wilson. The Flint, Michigan native gave us a handful of workmanlike seasons off the edge, and he was always extremely kind to me when I first started out covering the team. I won’t forget that, and I always choose to believe that the league is likely filled with more men like him than some of the guys who ruin it for the lot. C-Will played hard on days when our chances coming out of the tunnel were slim...that’s the job, and yet plenty of guys don’t measure up to the kind of effort Wilson gave us in the stands. Another honorable mention goes to a generally unsung defender, Joe Salave-a, who played well in our 2005 playoff season.

Poll

Which Redskin wore #95 best?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson
    (124 votes)
  • 5%
    Chris Wilson
    (9 votes)
  • 7%
    Chris Neild
    (11 votes)
  • 7%
    Joe Salave’a
    (11 votes)
155 votes total Vote Now

As we find ourselves heading into another June weekend of no football, I thought I would rank my top five Pixar characters for your critical review:

  1. Mr. Incredible/Bob Parr, “The Incredibles”
  2. Carl Fredricksen, “Up”
  3. Lots o’ Huggin Bear, “Toy Story 3”
  4. Frozone/Edna Mode, “The Incredibles” (copout, but otherwise, three Incredibles characters would be on this list)
  5. Luxo, Jr.