I used to read The Sporting News religiously, like so many other fans. But in the age of the internet, the publication has lost some of its impact. I rarely see it anymore, but picked it up this week to read while at an airport.
I was impressed with the way they have reinvented themselves. It was full of good information and analysis, using interviews and surveys with a number of experts in various sports.
I’d urge Washington area sports fans to pick up a copy, because the Sept. 14 issue is chock full of local material worth reading.
They did a survey of 21 former Redskin players on a number of issues surrounding the franchise. The panel include quarterback Billy Kilmer, offensive tackle Mark May, linebacker Chris Hanburger and tight end Jean Fugett, among others. Here are the questions put to them and some of their responses:
Question one: Team owner Daniel Snyder: Thumbs up of thumbs down?
11 panel members voted thumbs up, eight voted thumbs down, and two registered no opinion.
“He seems to run the football side like a fan and wastes a lot of money on players past their prime who have high Madden game numbers.” — Tre Johnson.
“At least he tries to win and will spend money.” — Billy Kilmer.
“Napoleon with a cell phone and deep pockets.” — Mark May.
Question two: Are the Redskins on the way up or on the way down?
Eight panel members said down, seven said up and six said stuck in neutral.
“It really hasn’t mattered how many top free agents they have gotten. It hasn’t propelled them to the next level. Jim Zorn’s passion should help, though.” — Gus Frerotte.
“Quarterback is the big question, and we cannot win with this quarterback.” — Al Dorow
“I think they’ll stay flat until they address the line problems on both side of the ball.” — Joe Jacoby
“I think Daniel Snyder is doing what he can to make a winner.” — Bob Toneff
Question three: Is Jason Campbell good enought to get the job done at quarterback?
Fourteen panel members said yes, five said no and two said the jury is still out.
“If he was throwing behind me, he would be.” — Tre Johnson
“Turn the kid loose and stop being so conservative.” — Chris Hanburger
“Great arm, but he needs to be a stronger leader.” — Billy Kilmer.
“The right coaching system and he will exceed expectations.” — Trung Canidate
“The only thing I would like to see him improve on is his pocket presence. Sometimes he needs to just throw the ball away instead of taking a big loss.” — Joe Rutgens
Question four: Should the name Redskins ever be changed?
Fourteen panel members said no, seven said yes.
“No — and my grandfather on my mother’s side was 100 percent Seminole Indian.” — Mark May
“It should have been changed years ago. what an embarrassment and an outrage.” — Jean Fugett
“There is no put-down implication with this name, only a rally cry of team support.” — Sam Wyche
“It’s an ethnically insensitive moniker that offends an entire race of displaced people. That should be reason enough to change it.” — Tre Johnson
Question five: Would John Riggins be a star running back in today’s NFL?
Nineteen panel members said yes, two said no.
“Running back, yes. Star, no. His style of running in today’s NFL isn’t a great fit.” — Trent Green
“J.R. is a freak of nature. Out of shape at 240 pounds late in his career, he was still 4.6, 4.7 (seconds in the 40-yard dash). He’d be as big or bigger a star now.” — Bill Brundige
“He was a lot faster than he looked, and his power was, well, the reason why they called him The Diesel.” — Joe Rutgens
“Riggo had what I saw in Adrian Peterson last year — heart. Can’t teach that.” — Gus Frerotte
“He was tough, durable and, most of all, blocked well on pass protection.” — Al Dorow
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