In just a week, the Washington Football Team will fade into history. A memory most will want to block out with the exception of a handful of player performances.
As Washington gets set to begin a new future with a new on Feb. 2, it's hard not to look back at the success of the franchise. Specifically, January 26, 1992. Thirty years ago, today.
On that date, quarterback Mark Rypien threw for 292 yards in Super Bowl XXVI. The quarterback completed passes for 114 yards to receiver Gary Clark, and another 113 to Art Monk (my personal favorite at the time). Both had seven catches, and Clark caught one of Rypien's two touchdown passes. The other went to running back Earnest Byner.
Facing the AFC Champion Buffalo Bills in the second of their four-straight Super Bowl appearances, Washington held a commanding 37-10 lead with just 6:30 remaining.
Bills quarterback Jim Kelly (who Washington intercepted four times) did what he could to make it interesting in the end, but Washington walked off the field with a 37-24 win, and the franchise's third Lombardi Trophy.
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It was Washington's third title in less than a decade. It was also, however, its last.
With Super Bowl wins over the Miami Dolphins in 1982, the Denver Broncos in 1988, and then the Bills in 1992, Washington was one of the most successful teams in that era.
Even with a loss to the Los Angeles Raiders in 1984, in that last big game of the year.
So nobody expected to wait more than three more decades before seeing the team rise to prominence again. But in the last 30 years Washington has won only three playoff games and has more name changes (1) than appearances in the NFC Championship Game (0).
A sad truth, but one with renewed hope of getting turned around, as Washington leaps into the future, carrying a history of winning in its memory.