Washington Redskins: 1987 Comes Full Circle with Recognition
It takes the unity of a team to win a championship. Even when the members of that team are guys whom the organization pulled off the street. That is what happened to the 1987 Washington Redskins. You see, in 1987 the NFL went on strike. Instead of missing games, the owners decided to use SCAB players to play the games. The Redskins ownership assembled one of the best teams to play those strike games. Now this team is finally getting the recognition they deserve.
In the early stages of the 1987 NFL season, the players and owners came to an impasse on issues regarding the league. Thus, after week 2 of the season, the players went on strike. The NFL would cancel games for week 3. However, after the players union voted to end the strike, the teams would play games in week 4-6 with “replacement players”.
These players would come from the streets, a folded Montreal Alouettes, and former USFL players. The USFL folded in 1986. Some were even players that teams brought back from preseason cuts.
Of the current NFL players, 15-20 percent of the picketing players chose to eventually cross the picket lines and return to their teams. Doug Flutie, Mark Gastineau, Joe Montana, and Steve Largent were some of the bigger names to jump the picket ship. However, two teams did not have any players cross over. The Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 1987 Redskins would finish with the best record in the NFC East, 11-4. Although, had it not been for those replacement players going 3-0 in their three games, this story could have been completely different. Who knows how the regular Redskins would have done in the four games prior to the end of the strike.
This team was so good that Hollywood honored them twice. The movie, The Replacements with Keanu Reeves, was a reference to the 1987 strike and team. Then in 2017, ESPN came out with a 30 for 30 episode called “Year of the Scab”. The show documented the season as well.
The Washington Redskins would go on to win the NFC and play in Super Bowl XXII. They defeated the Denver Broncos 42-10 after having one of the best quarters in NFL history. Doug Williams would become the first African-American QB to win a Super Bowl. He was also the game’s MVP.
For years, many believed that the “replacement players” should get Super Bowl Rings. After all, they were responsible for three wins on the season. However, the organization refused to honor them.
That was until June 12, 2018. The Washington Redskins finally did the right thing and honored the 1987 replacements for their achievement. The players will receive the Super Bowl rings they so rightly deserve.
Do you feel they 1987 replacement Washington Redskins deserve Super Bowl rings? Leave a comment below.
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