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TEDDY'S JERSEY WAS A COAT OF MANY COLORS

[November 9th] -- Growing up in the Washington area, it was very normal to have friends and acquaintances whose parents were famous. J.E.B. Stuart High School had children of several congressmen and senators attend during my four years at the school (1970-1974). The daughter of an Australian ambassador lived in our district. So did the son of the deputy director of the CIA. I was looked down upon because my father was only a 'GS-14' and wasn't a presidential appointee. All my Dad did was to help run the Voice of America. But during my tenure, none of these kids, or their parents, were among the "coolest of the cool" list. This was the beginning of "Redskin Fever" and politics took a back seat to anything remotely burgundy and gold.

The Redskins were 3-0 by the time the Senators played their last game, and were only a few days away from a 20-16 victory over the hated Dallas Cowboys. George Allen brought in a whole new approach to the game of football, as well as a slew of new coaches and players. And all of these new players and coaches needed a place to live.

One of Allen's first accomplishments after being named head coach was to build the original Redskin Park in the distant Virginia suburbs. The coaches all purchased homes in and around the practice facility. George Allen's home was within the Langley High School boundaries; every time Stuart played Langley in football, there was George, rooting on his boys George Jr. and Greg (and Bruce as well if I remember properly) [Ed Note: a reader commented that George Allen Jr. was already in college at UCLA before George Allen Sr. took over the Redskins. That means that it was Greg and Bruce Allen that my fogged memory recalls. Thanks to "Mr. Anonymous" for setting me straight]. Landing within Stuart's boundaries was Ted Marchibroda, the Redskins new offensive coordinator. That fall, daughter Lonni and son Teddy became "stars" in the school's hallways. Lonni was very quiet and I'd be surprised if I said hi to her more than a few times over the years. But Teddy was different. With his long flowing blonde hair and his signature bow tie, the young Marchibroda quickly became "it" in and around the school.

Teddy was a decent receiver; not great but certainly serviceable. He was fairly fast but was very thin and had a hard time taking a hit. He wore #80, Roy Jefferson's number with the Redskins. On Friday's, all the players wore their jersey's to school. Not Teddy. He wore a Redskin jersey. And that was a big deal. In the early 1970's, you couldn't buy a replica jersey like you can today. The only place we saw the team's jersey was on TV on Sunday's. I remember exactly where I was sitting the first time I saw Teddy wearing a Redskins' jersey. I was in the library, working on a history project, when he came through the outside door and headed towards the cafeteria. He was surrounded by an entourage of J.E.B. Stuart's finest, all wanting to touch the jersey, to pay homage to the burgundy and the gold, to see what the "real thing" felt like. It was an away jersey, white with burgundy/gold/burgundy/gold stripes on the sleeves. The number was 18, backup quarterback Sam Wyche's number. Teddy's smile was priceless. He was a rock star, a movie actor, an athlete, all rolled into one.

I hated him.

Oh, I didn't hate him because he wasn't nice. I hated him because he was so close to the Redskins and I wasn't. He milked the relationship for all it was worth. He got dates with the "it" girls only because they wanted to go to his house and meet his dad. Want to meet George Allen? No sweat. He only lives a few miles away. Let's go.

I had to use my personality and all the looks I had (which weren't much) to get dates and have friends. Teddy had a glut of both because of who his father was. Sure, he may have been a wonderful and successful guy had his name been Jones and not Marchibroda, but really, who knows. He went on to play for the University of Virginia, one of the worst football teams during this time. Today, Teddy is a players agent for several current NFL players.

Sigh. I wish I could have touched Wyche's jersey that day in the library ....

Managerial mumbo-jumbo: It has to be Manny Acta, right? Acta, considered the "major domo" of this year's managerial candidates, really has only one job still available for him, and that's right here in Washington. You've read all the nicities -- young -- energetic -- smart -- baseball savvy -- well schooled -- ready. If there are no "secret" candidates (and how could there be; this is Washington D.C., home of the leak), then there is no way that Tony "I quit on my team" Pena with his excessive baggage gets the job over Acta, with no baggage (but no experience). So you heard it here first; it's Acta. Of course, unless it's Pena .... or ... someone else .....

USA Today Says It's Zimmerman .... The newspaper has been doing some polling of Rookie-Of-The-Year voters and is predicting that Ryan Zimmerman will win the award. I don't know if they are right, but I have believed all along that it was a race between Zim and Dan Uggla. Here is the USA Today story:

The Case for: Zimmerman was the Nationals' most consistent player despite being less than a year removed from college. He hit .287 before and after the All-Star break, batted .323 with runners in scoring position and led rookies with 25 go-ahead RBI. Uggla, a Rule V selection, provided the Marlins with a surprise at the top of the order, ranking second among NL second basemen in homers and third in RBI.

Case against: Without Uggla, the Marlins aren't in the playoff race into September. Without Zimmerman, the Nationals still finish in last place.

Little-known fact: The last player to drive in as many runs as Zimmerman and not win the Rookie of the Year was in 1953 when St. Louis' Ray Jablonski, who had 112 RBI, lost to Brooklyn's Jim Gilliam.

Quote: "What Ryan Zimmerman does defensively ... I think he deserves to win the Gold Glove and the rookie of the year." — Jim Bowden, Nationals GM

USA TODAY voting: (Based on 5 points for 1st place, 3 points for 2nd place, 1 point for 3rd place): Zimmerman 41; Uggla 26; Josh Johnson, Marlins 12


Comments:
Manny Acta will eventually be named manager. He fulfills the number one criteria because he won't cost much. My guess is a three year contract at around $300K per year. That will make "bottom line" Ted very happy.
 
I remember Teddy. I played DB for Robinson '75-'76. He had really good hands and great speed. If he caught the ball behind the DB's, you might as well stop running ... he was going to score. But he was fragile over the middle. I remember several times when he saw me out of the corner of his eye and dropped the ball when coming across the middle.

Who was the QB for Stuart? Was it Steve Burton?
 
Good memory, sweet pea. Steve Burton was the starting QB in '73 & '74 (Gene Sullenburger started before him). In '75, John Banks took over and led the Raiders closer to the state championship than at anytime before.
 
I'd say Acta has a 95% chance of getting the job. The other 5% is only if a new "top of the line" candidate comes out of nowhere.
 
George Allen (the Senator and coach Allen's son) never played football for Langley. He transferred to UVa from UCLA when his dad moved east to coach the Redskins. That was mentioned in several articles about Senator Allen when the allegations of his use of racial slurs while at UVa were in the news a few weeks ago.
 
Thanks, anonymous. That's what a so-so memory will do for a guy. It must have been Bruce and Greg that I remember.
 
I went to Jeb Stuart, only for a minute in 1973, I believe. I was a Majorette but I got into trouble and was shipped to Washington & Lee. I hated it. I was there long enough for Homecoming I think and to have our Class and Team pictures taken which I never got to see. Those were some crazy days back then and the Redskins were kicking ass, were they not?
 
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