Another once proud football team has reached into its past to hire a coach to save them from years of lackluster play and outright failure. After going through coach after coach, it was finally obvious that there was only one choice. Like Joe Gibbs, this coach is riding to the rescue to right a sinking ship. Missed it on ESPN this morning? Didn’t see it while you were eating your bagel and reading the internet while you were supposed to be getting that budget ready? That’s because ESPN doesn’t think this kind of football is worth covering.
The man I’m speaking of is Kevin Keegan and the team is Newcastle United.
ESPN didn’t cover it, but between you and me, football is football no matter what side of the pond it is on. And as a fan of both types, I can say there was nothing more exciting than seeing the Geordies (that’s Newcastle fans to you) gathering in mass to celebrate the hiring of their man.
It reminded me of exactly how I felt when Joe Gibbs was hired. I just wanted to be in a crowd of Redskins fans. I wanted to go to RFK and shake the rafters again. I called every Skins fan I could because I wanted to feel a part of things again. I felt alive, and I felt part of a thing larger than myself. That’s what being a fan is all about.
As Newcastle fans were reminding me of this, I started thinking about the “Gibbs legacy” again. I think everyone agrees the last four years didn’t hurt the legacy. Now I want to go so far as to say that for me, Gibbs coming back actually helped the legacy. I’m more of a Redskins fan now than I’ve been since I was kid. Gibbs reminded me, in person, what it meant to be a part of the Redskins family. For that, I’m thankful.
So when Gregg Williams or Russ Grimm or Pete Carroll or whoever takes the podium in the next couple weeks, I know I’m not going to take to the streets looking for fellow fans the way I might of when Gibbs was hired. I can’t get that excited by the choices. But I’m going to smile knowing that no matter who it is. I’m a real Redskins fan again and that will never change. Thanks one more time, Joe.