The rivalry between the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles was one of the NFL’s fiercest in the 1980 and ‘90s, especially when Buddy Ryan’s brutal defenses took on Joe Gibbs’ innovative offenses from 1986 to 1990.
“They were wars,” former Redskins defensive tackle Darryl Grant said. “Both teams knew each other so well, and it was always a battle.”
Tomorrow those Redskins and Eagles will do battle again, if a little less brutally, in a charity Flag Football Legends showdown at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Center in Landover.
Redskins alumni will face Eagles alumni in the first of two games — the second is scheduled for Aug.13 at Villanova — to raise money for each alumni association, the Greater Washington Sports Alliance and the NFL Players Assistance Trust Fund.
Among those scheduled to participate for the Redskins are Grant, George Starke, Gary Clark, Ricky Ervins, Joe Washington, Brian Mitchell, Mark Moseley and Mark Rypien. Eagles scheduled to compete included John Booty, Andre Waters, William Thomas and Wes Hopkins.
It will be a one-hour game. The doors will open at noon with a football festival featuring former players signing autographs and games. The flag football contest will start at 3 p.m.
“It’s going to be fun,” said Ervins, who was a running back for the Redskins from 1991 to 1994. “I like doing these things, and it’s for a good cause.”
Ervins remembers hearing about the “body bag game” (when five Redskins had to be taken off the field in a 28-14 loss in Philadelphia on Nov.12, 1990) when he got to Washington the following season.
“We were told about the game, and then we saw a film of it,” he said. “It was a legendary game.”
Rypien often was a prime target, trying to complete passes under pressure from Reggie White or Thomas.
“With Buddy Ryan coaching them, they were probably considered one of the more intimidating teams to play,” Rypien said. “You knew you were going to get your nose bloodied when you played them. They came with a lot of pressure, so you had to buckle it up and make something happen, or else they were going to make it happen.”
Tickets for the event are $20 each and available at Ticketmaster outlets from flagfootballshowdown.com.