Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Story Update: Jack Pardee

Did just about everything

While the staff here at worldwide headquarters is heads down preparing a slew of offseason wrap up pieces, I have an update to a previously run Curly R story.

Two years ago The Curly R ran a multi part summer tent pole series on the career of former Redskins player and coach Jack Pardee, a story told through the lens of the game played between Jack's Oilers and Joe Gibbs' Redskins in November 1991 when both teams were Super Bowl contenders.

For those that do not remember this epic game between the Warren Moon Drew Hill Haywood Jeffires run and shoot Oilers and the Mark Rypien Earnest Byner Gary Clark line up and knock you around Redskins, it was the first time Jack Pardee had been back to RFK Stadium since Jack Jent Cooke and Bobby Beathard fired him after the 1980 season, Houston kicker Ian Howfield missed a 33 yard field goal to win with four seconds left in the game, Darrell Green intercepted Warren Moon in overtime and Chip Lohmiller sealed the win to move the Redskins to 9-0 on their way to 14-2 then victory in Super Bowl 26.

I researched this piece meticuously over more than six months and had no direct input from anyone associated with Jack Pardee or the Redskins, I wanted to get Jack's story right and get it on the record for today's Redskins fans, an appreciation for history is very much part of what being a Redskins fan is all about.

Fast forward two years to last week when I got an email from Jack's son Ted Pardee, a former University of Houston linebacker himself:

I am sorry I did not see this posting before now – what a great account of my father’s experience with the Redskins and a summary of what happened after. Thanks for writing – too bad my dad was not considered for the all-Redskin team a few years ago.

We Pardee’s will always love the time we lived in Washington, and Dad’s experience as a Player and Coach – both experiences were great.

Writing about people is always a more personal experience than writing about games and sport, words never die, emotions are involved and someone always has a different opinion. When I started work on this piece I set out to tell a story about a game and the story I wound up writing was about a man. I am very proud of this series, and the thought that it might invoke smiles or happy memories in the minds of the people closest to this story makes me happy.

If you have not yet read Redskins Greatest Games Volume One: Oilers at Redskins November 3 1991, head over and give it a read, as is often the case in life, football serves as a convenient metaphor, in this case for the career of Jack Pardee.

Jack, if you are reading this, thank you again for everything you did for the Redskins and for football.

Jack Pardee in 1992: Ken Levine / Getty Images from here via here.