Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Say It Ain't So, Joe

"WASHINGTON -- Joe Gibbs will resign as coach and team president of the Washington Redskins, the Associated Press has learned."

While Gibbs' noncommittal press conference yesterday was a little strange, this is still pretty surprising news. Perhaps the emotional drain of what Gibbs called his most trying season took its toll on the greatest head coach in Redskins history. An explanation will likely come later today.

As critical as I was of Gibbs this season with respect to his poor clock management and baffling decisions, I respect and admire the way he held the team together in the wake of Sean Taylor's death. That remarkable feat, along with his final Super Bowl season, will be my lasting memory of Gibbs, not the back-to-back timeouts he called at the end of a gut-wrenching loss to Buffalo this year.

I'll remember the boundless optimism most Redskins fans felt when Gibbs announced he was returning to coaching in 2004, injecting new life into a franchise that needed it, and the conversation I had with Gibbs' son Coy for an article I wrote while in college shortly thereafter.

During the 1991 season, when the Redskins went 14-2, my uncle flew Gibbs from Virginia to North Carolina. Not much of a football fan, he raved about what a great guy Gibbs was and had him sign a plush Redskins football for me. I was 8 at the time, so imagine my excitement when my uncle handed me a ball that read, "To Scott, a super Skins fan. Thanks! Joe Gibbs."

Thank you, Joe. Best of luck in your life post-football.

No comments: