Washington Redskins Night occurs every year at the Alexandria Sportsmans Club, a sports-focused civic and social group that recognizes outstanding local high school athletes and participates in charitable functions. Given the mudslide the Redskins have slipped into lately, it seemed apt that former Hog Tony McGee, accompanied by his 1983 Joe Gibbs-era Superbowl ring, spoke at this years rendition of the tradition.
Im no longer a Redskin, said McGee, who played defensive end. So you all can turn the heat down now.
McGee showed up not just to give his insiders view of the teams various predicaments but to congratulate the athletes earning recognition for their play on and off the field this month: Luke Wilson of the Alexandria Titans youth football team; St. Stephens/St. Agnes tennis player Katie Austin; T.C. Williams halfback Cortez Taylor and Bishop Iretons Doug Lee Vines, a playmaking halfback with running and receiving ability.
Coaches congratulated each student-athlete, as did McGee, who presented the awards. A host of Redskins Magazine, a sports news and analysis show, and part of the Redskins speakers bureau, McGee exhibited that he was no stranger to public speaking as he aimed to inspire the athletes.
You can be a great athlete, and thats fine, he said. But a great person thats where it really matters. To be both, well, thats a good combination.
McGee lent his thoughts on the Washington franchises current doldrums as well, and was candid in saying that it is not just members of management that need to be replaced, but players as well. Coach Jim Zorn is his friend, he said, and he even referred to him as a young Joe Gibbs, citing his temperament and style.
When you hire someone who has never been an offensive coordinator or a head coach before, what do you expect? McGee said. Hes going to need time to learn, and hes learning on the job in a town that doesnt give you a lot of time to do that. But he has great potential, Ill say that.
Aside from McGee, two Hogettes Pork Chop and Ed-ette served as celebrity bartenders at the Old Dominion Boat Club and Hard Times Caf dished out chili to the clubs members and guests. Two Redskinette cheerleaders, Stephanie and Emerald, also added to the Skins fanfare.
Next month is Washington Nationals Night at the Sportsmans Club, with Nats all-star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman as the guest who will perhaps share his own insight on the Redskins struggling counterpart from the baseball realm. But as McGee exhibited, advice from seasoned athletes to student-athletes is valuable regardless of a winning team.