Hog Heaven

I remember reading the news that Joe Gibbs had retired as head coach of the Redskins. It was March 5, 1993 and I was in college, sitting at my desk, surfing the news on Prodigy. This was the first major news in which the internet was my source.

Joe Gibbs was the only head coach I’d ever known as a Redskins fan. He was the glory years. He’d focused the team and won 3 Super Bowls with 3 different quarterbacks. When he retired, I didn’t know how watching football would ever be fun again.

Guess what? It wasn’t any fun in the beginning. I lost the passion for several years. I still enjoyed watching the games, never missing a Sunday. Even as the team started to gel under Norv Turner, ever so briefly, I got excited but it was never the same.

Wins weren’t as exciting and losses weren’t as depressing. Over time, I realized that this change was a good thing. It coincided with growing up and maturing, but it helped me put sports in the proper perspective. It’s just a game. But I’ve missed the passion.

With the rumor, then announcement, that Joe Gibbs is returning as head coach of the Redskins, I’m stunned that this is happening. I can’t sit still. I’m getting goose bumps. For the first time in 11 years, I’m passionate about the Redskins.

Since the Redskins began to tank this past season, I’ve been excited about the upcoming baseball season. I’ve never had my baseball team win a World Series and the Phillies are legitimate contenders this year. Yet, I can’t wait until July for the Redskins to open training camp. Can’t wait.

If I’d been coherent at the time of my post earlier this morning (yes, the words are supposed to be jumbled), I would’ve written a love letter to the first Joe Gibbs era that would read like this.

The “first Joe Gibbs era”… Which means there is now a second Joe Gibbs era. My brother and I have dreamed of this day every offseason for the last 11 years. The reality is so much sweeter than the dream ever was.

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