The White House. The Capitol Building. The Washington Memorial. Though professional football may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of our nation's capital, the Redskins have been an integral part of Washington, DC's pro sports community for over 70 years.
The franchise began its NFL tenure in 1932 as the Boston Braves -- a name that lasted only one year. After officially becoming the Redskins in '33, the team spent four more years in Beantown, then packed up and moved down to DC in '37. That same year saw their first of fivechampionship titles, thanks in part to first-round draft pick and Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh, who also led the team to another championship win in '42.
As one of the first players to implement the rarely used offensive forward pass, "Slingin' Sammy" certainly earned his nickname during his 16 seasons as a quarterback, defensive back and punter. In fact, on November 23, 1947 (which, coincidentally, had already been proclaimed "Sammy Baugh Day" in his honor), he proceeded to throw a total of six touchdown passes to help the Redskins defeat the Chicago Cardinals.
The Redskins went on to win several Super Bowls, but many of their standout moments took place well before these victories. In 1950, they were one of the first franchises to have their games broadcast on television, and in '69, NFL great Vince Lombardi said goodbye to the Green Bay Packers and became the Redskins' head coach for just one season before passing away in September 1970. A high point for both coach and team, '69 marked the first year since 1955 that the Redskins had seen a winning season, and Lombardi's record of never having coached a losing pro football team remained unblemished.
Thanks to three Super Bowl wins in less than 10 years, the '80s and early '90s definitely proved to be an exciting time to be a Redskins fan. The team's championship victories in '82, '87 and '91 were all under the direction of coach Joe Gibbs, who was with the squad from 1981 to ‘92 and distinguished himself by tackling each Super Bowl win with a different quarterback. Gibbs also ended up coming back as head coach in 2004 before officially retiring in ’08.
Regardless of their wins, losses, coaches or players, the one thing that has remained constant throughout the Redskins' history is their loyal marching band, which has stuck by the team for over 80 years. Made up entirely of volunteers, the Washington Redskins Marching Band was created in 1937 and is one of the only professional football marching bands left in the country. In ’38, the WRMB introduced their signature fight song "Hail to the Redskins,” which was written by actress Corinne Griffith, the wife of then-owner George Preston Marshall. The band has been offering entertainment before games and during halftime ever since, and it doesn't look like they're going to be putting their instruments down anytime soon. As the old ditty goes, "Hail to the Redskins! Hail Victory! Braves on the warpath, Fight for old DC!"