(Photo: Courtesy of ESPN/ Former Washington Redskins replacement quarterback Tony Robinson reminisces in RFK Stadium, the former home of the Redskins)
From 1985-1988 the Washington Redskins were the most interesting team in football on and off the field. Combined with a super bowl title within the three years, the Redskins were subject to controversy and a sting operation that would forever change the face of law enforcement. The Redskins will be double-featured with the awarding winning documentary series “ESPN 30 for 30” on ESPN Tuesday, September 12 beginning at 8 pm with “Year of the Scab” and “Strike Team”.
Year of the Scab will shed light onto the careers of the replacement players who led the Redskins to a 3-0 division lead and arguably a Super Bowl title for the 1987-1988 season during a strike led by the National Football League Players Association. In talks with former Redskins replacement receiver Anthony Allen, he discussed the legacy he’s left by being an impactful “Scab”. “Getting an opportunity to play after being cut three weeks prior made me feel vindicated, it verified that I belonged in the NFL,” said Allen. Allen, who is now a lead supervisor at Safeway Foods in Washington state still holds the Redskins single-game record for receiving yards.
In 1985, As part of a sting operation for the U.S Marshals to catch high-level fugitives in D.C, using the Redskins were used as bait. The film’s director, William Ebersol, brought the real-life events to the big screen and created a masterpiece. “I’ve been doing documentaries since I was 16 and this one is a favorite so far,” said Ebersol. “I met with Adam Nehaus of ESPN Films and he loved the story which drove us to today,” he concluded.
Louie McKinney, the first African-American Acting Director of the U.S Marshals was on-hand at a pre-screening for the film on Thursday voiced his team’s efforts to clean up the once crime-ridden district. “We had to use a sting operation to put ourselves in the book. People still are talking about it today and we made an impact, we put people behind bars who should’ve been,” said McKinney. “It’s great to be a part of history, as the first African-American to lead the U.S Marshals and to have a successful operation, it’s truly a blessing,” he continued.
The double-feature “30 for 30” documentary will premiere on Tuesday, September 12 at 8 pm. Also, this episode and many others can be viewed at www.espn.com/30for30/, and the ESPN 30 for 30 Podcast.