We are down from the 68 best players, coaches and personalities in DC sports history to the final four.
The Team 980/95.9 FM’s Ultimate DC Sports Star Madness bracket pitted the best of the best from the DMV against each other and it’s almost time to crown a champion. We started with regions representing Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Arlington County, and Fairfax County.
Fans can vote on every matchup on Twitter (follow @team980) and right here on theteam980.com. Make sure to comment throughout on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #DCSportsMadness. Unlike November’s election, you can vote as many times as you want in this bracket. The voting schedule is below.
Final Four: April 1st – April 3rd [6am – 6am]
Championship April 3rd – April 7th [6am – 6am]
April 7 One Shining Moment!!! We Reveal The Champion!
Let’s examine the winners of the Maryland regions and what made them so integral to the fabric of DC sports history.
PG County Region – Joe Jackson Gibbs
If there was such a thing as a favorite for this tournament, it would have to be Joe Gibbs.
The innovative offensive mind of the most successful era of Redskins football, Coach Gibbs came to Washington in 1981. Despite an inauspicious start to his head coaching tenure, losing his first five games, the team finished with and 8-8 record in his first season.
Gibbs’ second season is where ownership and the fanbase’s confidence was paid off. The team made the playoffs, advanced past the NFC championship and won the franchises first Super Bowl, defeating the Miami Dolphins 27-17.
This momentum carried into his third season as coach where Gibbs’ squad finished the regular season with a 14-2 record and advanced all the way to the Super Bowl. They ultimately lost to the Marcus Allen led Los Angeles Raiders
In 1987, Washington rode quarterback Doug Williams to a blowout victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. Four years later, Gibbs’ made league history. The 1991 Redskins led the league in scoring, allowed the second-fewest point and boasted the NFL’s best special team’s unit. Their success extended past the regular season where they would win Gibbs’ third Super Bowl in a blowout victory over the Buffalo Bills. This team is considered by many to be the best Super Bowl team in league history.
Gibbs retired after the 1992 season but returned to the Redskins in 2004 and helped the team snap a six-season playoff drought. In his second stint as head coach, Gibbs led the team to the playoffs twice in four seasons, including a post-season win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2005.
MoCo Region -Robert John Riggins aka “The Diesel”
Riggins signed with the Redskins in 1976. He was used mostly as a short-yardage back early on but rushed over 1,000 yards in the 1978 and 1979 seasons.
A contract dispute cost Riggins the 1980 season but he would return to the team in 1981 after new head coach Joe Gibbs traveled to Kansas and made peace with Riggo.
The Diesel didn’t have a wildly successful 1982 regular season but he made up for it in the playoffs. Riggins went off in the playoffs. He carried the Redskins in victories over the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, and the Dallas Cowboys as Washington reached Super Bowl XVII.
Riggins rushed for a then-Super Bowl record 166 yards on 38 carries as the Redskins beat the Miami Dolphins 27–17. He was then named Super Bowl MVP. His 43-yard touchdown in this game was later voted by fans as the greatest moment in Redskins history. The 610 rushing yards and 625 yards from scrimmage he gained in the 1982 playoffs are both single NFL postseason records.
The next two seasons Riggins rushed for almost 2,600 combined yards and 38 touchdowns, including a then-NFL record 24 touchdowns in 1983.
Riggins 12 post-season rushing touchdowns have him tied for the fourth-most all-time. He was the second player ever to rush for over 100 touchdowns in NFL history and the first to do it since Jim Brown reached the feat in 1965.