A Coincidental Tribute To Sammy Baugh

tcuAt last night’s San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, TCU defeated Boise State by a final score of 17-16. One of TCU’s most famous football alumni passed away a week ago, Redskins great Sammy Baugh. (You may remember this being mentioned here a few times.)

When Baugh was with the Redskins, his jersey number was 33 — the same as the total score in last night’s game. Not quite the same as all the occurrences of 21 toward the end of last season, but a nice incidental tribute nonetheless.

When you’re taking grade school math, one of those questions you ask is “When is this going to be useful in real life?”

And now you know the real answer to that question: “When you need to use the awesome power of arithmetic to assign false significance to arbitrary events.” Also, “When calculating gratuity on a restaurant bill,” but that’s less important here.

Redskins v. Eagles – Sammy Baugh Sticker

The Redskins are wearing burgundy jerseys and white pants. Santana Moss, Clinton Portis, and Shawn Springs as usual, are wearing shoes with yellow trim. Devin Thomas is wearing yellow compression sleeves. And everyone is wearing a black 33 sticker on their helmets in memory of Sammy Baugh.

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Yes, There Will Be A Sammy Baugh Tribute Sunday

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I haven’t yet been able to find out the specifics, but there will definitely be some sort of tribute to the late Sammy Baugh at this week’s game. I had hoped to have more details before posting about this, but the number of emails became overwhelming enough that this was the quickest way to answer the basic question. If and when I hear more, I’ll let you know.

And, if you’d still like to read even more about Baugh’s remarkable exploits, Rich Tandler recounts the story of one of his best games.

EDIT TO ADD: There’s a video up at Redskins.com of old NBC-4 interviews that Sonny Jurgensen conducted with Baugh, two Redskins greats talking football, that make for very interesting viewing. It’s the top video on the Sammy Baugh Tribute page, so give it a look.

Remembering Sammy Baugh

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The flags were at half-staff outside Redskins Park today, to commemorate the passing of Sammy Baugh, which got me poking around to see what other Baugh memorabilia I could find.

Some of it was obvious — the Hall of Fame picture that I posted earlier, for example, or the picture of the 1937 championship team that sits just inside the entryway.
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Thursday, December 18: More on Sammy Baugh

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Sammy Baugh, who passed away yesterday at the age of 94, was arguably the greatest Redskin of all time. For obvious reasons, though (i.e., his playing career ended more than fifty years ago), many of us never got to see the man play, and can’t fully appreciate just how remarkable he was.

Tarhog and TK-IV II I at ExtremeSkins hope to change that, with an impressively thorough biography of Baugh, including text, photos, and archival video.

A brief excerpt:
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Sammy Baugh, 1914-2008

Redskins Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh passed away Wednesday in a hospital in Texas at the age of 94, the last surviving member of the first class of players inaugurated into the Hall. His 33 jersey is the only one the team has officially retired.

In a statement, team owner Daniel M. Snyder said, “Sammy Baugh embodied all we aspire to at the Washington Redskins. He was a competitor in everything he did and a winner. He was one of the greatest to ever play the game of football, and one of the greatest the Redskins ever had. My thoughts and prayers are with his family tonight.”

And ours as well.

(Associated Press story after the jump.)

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Darrell Green: Greatest Redskin Ever (According to 14,101 People)

The results are in on ESPN SportsNation’s “Franchise Players” poll, which purports to determine the “best of all time for every NFL team.” The winner for the Redskins is Darrell Green, although not by a particularly overwhelming majority: of 47,481 votes cast, Darrell has 29.7% of them, the lowest percentage of any team’s winner.

By contrast, Brett Favre takes a 73.2% of 102,801 votes in Green Bay, and Dan Marino takes 90.4% of the 47,233 votes cast about Miami, and Barry Sanders earns a whopping 94.6% of the Lions vote. Even Bobby Hebert got a solid 44% of the Saints’ 65,366 votes (which I assume has driven Archie Manning into some sort of berzerker rage).

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that the Redskins don’t actually have a single face of the franchise. Cold Hard Football Facts calls Sammy Baugh the face of the franchise. USA Today called Clinton Portis the face of the team (although they were clearly talking about the team at the time of writing, not all time). ExtremeSkins tackled the topic in 2006, with no conclusive results — most people suggested Joe Gibbs, who wasn’t eligible on the ESPN poll — and TheWarpath.net had pretty much the same outcome in 2007.

For me, after being around the team for the last month or so, my opinion has changed. At the time of the voting in the ESPN poll, I believe I voted for Art Monk, one of my favorite players I’ve ever seen. Now, though, I think I’d have to go with Sonny Jurgensen — one of the best pure passers alive when he was a player, and he’s also gone on to be something a voice of the team on radio and TV. I remember watching him co-host Redskins Sidelines as a kid, and I’ve listened to him on the radio broadcasts all my life. And watching him interact with the team’s rookies at the Hall of Fame cemented my agreement with Sonny’s 3.1% of the ESPN voters. That would make me feel old, I suspect, but their commenters are running heavily in favor of Sammy Baugh, so that helps a bit.