The Washington Redskins, surprising to most who are unfamiliar with the NFL, are actually located in Washington D.C. They play their games at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, and are part of the NFC East in the NFL. The Washington Redskins are the second most valuable NFL team with more than $1.5 billion in worth.
They have been a member of the NFL since 1932, although they weren’t always known as the Washington Redskins. The Washington Redskins team, which started as the Boston “Football” Braves, has played in 11 championship games, and won five. Three of those were Super Bowl titles, and they have played in a total of five Super Bowls. Four of those appearances occurred during the reign of coach Joe Gibbs. Interestingly, the Redskins are one of two teams in the NFL that has an official marching band. Their fight song is “Hail to the Redskins”, and they were one of the first teams with a fight song. Their original team title, the Boston “Football” Braves, was changed to the Boston Redskins in 1933. Then, in 1937, they moved to Washington D.C., and became the Washington Redskins, which they have remained to this day. The reason they moved was a common one among NFL teams in the early years of professional football: lack of fan support. However, since their time in D.C., the Washington Redskins team has consecutively broken records for single seat attendance eight years in a row, proving they now have surpassed the fan support that they once needed so desperately. The Washington Redskins shared a stadium with the Washington Senators upon their arrival, and kept this arrangement for many years. The first championship for the Skins came in 1937, with the addition of Sammy Baugh. They ended up playing against and beating the Chicago Bears, but the Bears got their vengeance in 1940, when they beat the Washington Redskins 73-0 in the championship game.
To date, that was the most outrageous defeat in NFL history. George Preston Marshall, the owner of the team at the time, had a tendency to micromanage his players, which left them in despair for the better part of the late 1940s. The team was constantly urged to integrate their team, but Marshall refused. By 1962, Marshall was mandated to sign a black player, or face eviction from their newly constructed District of Columbia Stadium. They were the last team to integrate, and did so by drafting Ernie Davis, who ended up winning the Heisman Trophy as the first black player to do so. However, they traded his rights to the Browns in exchange for Bobby Mitchell. As it turned out, Davis ended up dying of leukemia before he even set foot on the field, and Bobby Mitchell went on to play a career that gave him a place in the Pro Football Hall of fame. In 1962, Marshall’s health had begun to decline as well, and that left him unable to manage his team. He died in 1969, and the team was sold to Edward Bennett Williams by the other stockholders of the team.
Other memorable moments in 1969 include the acquisition of Vince Lombardi as head coach, and the renaming of the stadium to Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. Lombardi only coached one season with the Washington Redskins, as he died of cancer prior to the start of the 1970 season. George Allen replaced Lombardi, nearly two years later, but not a moment too soon. In 1972, the Washington Redskins team made it to the championships under the leadership of their new head coach. However, they ended up losing to the Miami Dolphins. In total, the team made the playoffs five times in Allen’s seven years of coaching. Currently, the team is owned by Daniel Snyder, a marketing guru who sold the stadium to the highest bidder, creating the name FedEx Field, and is coached by Jim Zorn.