The Redskins’ 2013 preseason starts tonight. That sentence would deserve an exclamation point, but it will be blacked out down here in North Carolina so that the NFL can try to squeeze $19.95 out of me to stream glorified practices online. Bastards.
I enjoy the preseason, you see. The games don’t matter and therefore aren’t stressful. We get to watch guys get some shine that would not otherwise. And we’re all pretty hard up for some football by now anyway.
But let’s take it back to the guys. It seems that every year we fall in love with someone new, usually a skill position player who throws for or scores touchdowns. Last year, for me, it was Dez Briscoe, who just may make something of himself yet. Many of them don’t, though.
They shine in August, only to disappear in September-December, if they’re heard from ever again. That doesn’t mean we don’t remember, though. And that’s who this list is for, the Redskins Preseason Hall of Famers eternal. May all their home games be played in Osaka.
Credentials: Rode chillwaves from an epic college career in Hawaii all the way to Washington, where he spread the stoke with his 2008 Hall of Fame Game debut, going 9-for-10 with two touchdowns. Two weeks later he went 4-for-5 and threw a game-winning TD. After that the ocean went dry.
Outcome: Never played a snap of regular season professional football.
Credentials: Returned punts for touchdowns in the 2010, ’11 and ’12 preseasons, which is okay I guess.
Outcome: Scored one touchdown and fumbled 13 times over three seasons as the Redskins’ primary return man. Is currently looking for a job.
Credentials: Dan Snyder’s big hire debuted in Japan with a 38-7 rout over the 49ers. The Skins averaged 38 points in their first four preseason games that year, with Danny Wuerfful and others putting up huge numbers.
Outcome: Spurrier went 12-20 before hightailing it back to the SEC.
Credentials: The Georgetown Prep alum and undrafted free agent racked up 603 total yards and three scores from 2007-09.
Outcome: Never started a game for the Redskins or anyone else.
Credentials: Caught 11 passes and scored three touchdowns in the 2009 preseason. Pretty good for a seventh-round pick. His name is Marko.
Outcome: Never scored an actual touchdown for the Redskins. No longer plays professional football.
Credentials: The sprinter from USC put up 380 total yards and scored three touchdowns in 2003-04. His name is Sultan.
Outcome: Carried the ball three times in the regular season. Total.
Credentials: Just read this, from Redskins Encyclopedia:
Babe Laufenberg is perhaps the most beloved preseason player in Redskins history — and one of the unluckiest, too. A quarterback drafted by the Redskins in the sixth round in 1983, he participated in four straight training camps and exhibition season (1983-86), never to set foot in a real game. He also joined the Redskins during the 1987 season and stayed for two games before being cut, missing out on the Super Bowl share by one game.
Nevertheless, Laufenberg, made a habit of thrilling the crowds at RFK Stadium in the dog days of summer. They called him “Mr. August.”
Against the Dolpins in 1983, he completed 9 of 17 passes for 86 yards to earn the third-string job. Against the Patriots in 1984, he completed 10 of 17 passes for 154 yards with a 36-yard scoring pass, all in the fourth quarter, to nearly rally the Redskins to victory.
Against the Patriots in 1985, he orchestrated a come-from-behind 27-24 win by hitting on 13 of 20 passes with a 30-yard touchdown pass.
Despite his feats, the 6-2, 195-pounder with the rock star hair length and an unorthodox release just couldn’t beat out quarterbacks like Joe Theismann, Jay Schroeder, Doug Williams, and Mark Rypien. When Laufenberg was cut before regular-season play begin in 1985, general manager Bobby Beatherd told the press, “It’s just terrible that a guy like Babe Laufenberg can’t be on this team.”
Also, his name is Babe.
Outcome: Never played for the Redskins. Started seven games for the Chargers and Cowboys, going 2-5 and putting up horrible numbers.
Others Receiving Thoughts
Terrence Austin, Chris Doering, Joe Theismann (announcer), Billy McMullen, Mike Oliphant, Doug Dutch, Nehemiah Broughton, Cliff Russell, Gibran Hamdan, Sage Rosenfels, Jimmy Farris, Jesse Lumsden, Mark Stock, Anthony Mix, Darnerian McCants