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The Sports Daily > Redskins Hog Heaven
Dan Steinberg, Hog Heaven and the lost art of hat tipping

Sammy Baugh - RG3 connection

Dan Steinberg quoted me today in the print version of his DC Spots Bog story on the 75th Anniversary of the signing of Sammy Baugh to the Washington Redskins.

I find it odd that the online version did not contain the reference. It was disappointing, too. Now I cannot back up the brag with a live link to the story. Here is the excerpt from page D2 of the Sports Section of The Washington Post delivered to my front door today.

“Robert Griffin III, one Redskins fan wrote this spring, ‘lives 36 miles from where ‘Skins great Sammy Baugh was born, roughly the distance between FedEx Field and Baltimore.’

“‘Call it a good omen,’ wrote Anthony Brown (Ahem) on Redskins Hog Heaven’s (Double Ahem) Web site.’We share the widespread view that RG3 is possibly a transcendent player, like Baugh, who may change how the position is played.’

“Possibly transcendent. Like, the best player in franchise history. No big deal.”

Mmm, not sure if Steinberg is laughing with me or at me on that last part.

Steinberg lifted the quote from our Aprill 22, 2012 story, “Robert Griffin III has something in common with Sammy Baugh: Texas.”

Between Slingin’ Sam and RG3 

There is no question, however, that Griffin III is the best Redskins quarterback draftee since Baugh in 1937. The second and third-best quarterbacks in Redskins history, Sonny Jurgensen (still my favorite) and Joe Theismann arrived via trade.

Doug Williams is tied as much to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he is to the Redskins.

Williams  was in the right spot in Washington at exactly the right time, not by coincidence by the way. Joe Gibbs scouted Williams out of Grambling State and recommended him to Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach John McKay who drafted him in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft.

Williams was the first black quarterback drafted in the first round of an NFL Draft. In the Age of Michael Vick and Cam Newton, we forget how big a deal that was.

Williams led the woebegone Bucs to three playoff appearances in four years, including the 1979 NFC Championship game. His salary was lower than 12 NFL back-ups at the time. His conflict with Hugh Culverhouse on the matter led to his departure from the Buccaneers.

Gibbs reunited with Williams for the 1986 season to back up Jay Schroeder, but did not name him starter until the 1987 playoffs. Williams was 5-9 as a Redskins regular season starter.

Big-armed Mark Rypien succeeded Williams. Washington drafted Ryp in the sixth round of the 1986 Draft. He benefited from Washington stellar receivers Art Monk and Gary Clark and the 1991 Hogs, the best version of Washington’s famed offensive line. Rypien could not offset the decline of an aging team in the early ‘Nineties.

Trent Green and Brad Johnson joined and left Washington as free agents. (How could any franchise let both those guys slip through their hands?) 

I am not shy about pointing to RG3 as the best prospect since Baugh. That is not to say Griffin will deliver the same results, as Steinberg might think we think. If you are a regular Hog Heaven reader, you know that both writers here are looking for evidence that the 2012 Redskins will finish above .500. We hope to see it — on the field in this offense with these coaches.

The lost art of hat tipping

Steinberg did something I like that is rare among professional journalists. He hat-tipped Redskins Hog Heaven.

“Hat-tipping” was an early blogging practice when blogs quoted other blogs and gave live linkbacks. When you wrote on a topic suggested by another blog, you hat tipped them. Google credibility came with those links. It was courteous for the blogger to return the favor. Not all bloggers were courteous.

Journalists scorned the practice. Bloggers were the unwashed heathen of writers. Those pioneering blog posts were more rant than reporting. Bloggers had to learn to hat-tip the press who initially impeded linkbacks until they saw the value in Google placement.

Now, bloggers and journalists have arrived at a symbiotic relationship. Bloggers rely on the media for source materials. Media mines blogs and social networks for story ideas.

Journalists originate stories from first-hand sources. Their output is better edited and better vetted for accuracy. But, media journalists lost their monopoly on analysis and opinion. Blogs are better at that because the sheer number of bloggers will see any story from vastly more angles than journalists can match.

So I am not surprised when I read a media story with a slant I read in a blog a few days earlier. It’s part of the trade off. We tap the media for sources. I wish the media offered more hat-tips when they borrow story ideas from the unwashed heathen.

Point after

Perhaps I should emulate John Riggins after scoring a touchdown — act as though it has happed before and will happen again. Oh snap. I’m telling my Mom and all the relatives.