On Now
Coming Up
  • Fri., Apr. 29, 2016 6:00 AM - 10:00 AM EDT Live Mike & Mike

    Mike and Mike wake you up every weekday morning from 6am-10am on ESPN 980!

  • Fri., Apr. 29, 2016 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT Live The Tony Kornheiser Show

    Check out The Tony Kornheiser Show weekdays from 10am-12noon on ESPN 980, online at ESPN980.com and via the ESPN 980 App for iPhone and Android.   

  • Fri., Apr. 29, 2016 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM EDT Live Redskins Saturday

    Catch the latest news from Redskins Park every Saturday from 10am-12noon with Andy Pollin – exclusively on ESPN 980 and the ESPN 980 AppDownload it now, FREE for iPhone and Android!

  • Fri., Apr. 29, 2016 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT Live The Sports Fix

    Check out The Sports Fix weekday afternoons from 12noon-2pm on ESPN 980, online at espn980.com and via the new ESPN 980 app for iPhone and Android! 

  • Fri., Apr. 29, 2016 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT Live Inside The Locker Room

    Check out “Inside the Locker Room” weekdays from 2pm-4pm on ESPN 980, online at espn980.com and on the ESPN 980 App for iPhone and Android.  Listen to podcasts of each show on the ESPN980.com Audio Vault page, the ESPN 980 App and via iTunes. 

  • Fri., Apr. 29, 2016 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM EDT Live The Drive

    Take Chris Cooley, Czaban and Al Galdi along for the ride home each weekday from 4pm-7pm with “The Drive” on ESPN 980, online at espn980.com and on the ESPN 980 App for iPhone and Android!   Complete show downloads available on the Audio Vault page at espn980.com, through the ESPN 980 App and on iTunes. 

  • Sun., May. 01, 2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM EDT Live Sports Sunday

    Join Tim Murray every weekend as he keeps you up-to-date with the latest from Redskins Park,  local and national sports news, and more, only on ESPN 980 and the ESPN 980 App for iPhone and Android! 



Monday Night Week 1 Win Keyed Super Run

Posted Sep 5, 2013

Monday’s game against the Eagles marks the 10th time the Redskins are kicking off a season under the lights on Monday night. Here's a look back at a win that sprung the 1972 Redskins' Super Bowl run.

Monday’s game against the Eagles marks the 10th time the Redskins are kicking off a season under the lights on Monday night. 

They’ve won twice before, 35-16 over the Cowboys in 1993 and 24-21 over the Vikings in 1972.  The win against Dallas was a tease in a forgettable 4-12 season, but beating Minnesota set the tone for a year when the Redskins ended up playing in their first Super Bowl.

Monday night football, in its third season by 1972, was already a national spectacle.  The new and bold form of TV entertainment, which then aired on ABC, featured the loquacious and controversial Howard Cosell, jokester “Dandy” Don Meredith and monotone-speaking Frank Gifford in the booth.

The Redskins helped fuel the Monday night mayhem.  During the 1970s, one of the most successful decades in team history, they appeared in 16 games on Monday night, among the highest totals in the NFL.

“We were the team to be seen on Monday nights,” said Brig Owens, a Redskins safety at the time.  “At one point, we had the most Monday night appearances of any other team.”

Their third Monday night showing came on Sept. 18, 1972 at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minn.  That night, the Redskins beat Minnesota largely on the strength of their special teams, an engine of the George Allen-coached Redskin squads of the 1970s.

At the time, most teams put little emphasis on the concept of special teams.  Allen, a pioneer in that facet of the game, lunged at the chance to gain an edge.

Allen depended on special teams for at least two wins per season.  His men responded by influencing games with blocked kicks, clutch kick returns and forced turnovers.

The Vikings game was no different.  Redskin special teams had a hand in 17 points, with Bill Malinchak, a reserve wide receiver reactivated before the game after going unclaimed on waivers, leading the way.

Early in the game, Malinchak charged in from the right side, blocked a punt squarely in the chest, scooped up the loose ball and ran 16 yards into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.  Washington’s offense was sluggish, though, and the Vikings took a 14-10 lead into the fourth quarter.

But the offense came alive to produce a 58-yard scoring drive.   

Quarterback Billy Kilmer, who completed only five of his first 13 passes with an interception, hit receiver Roy Jefferson on a 16-yard third-down pass, and running back Larry Brown ran 14 yards for another third-down conversion.  Brown ended the drive with a three-yard scoring run.

Minnesota fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Malinchak again made the highlight reels by recovering the ball deep in Vikings territory.  That set up fullback Charley Harraway’s nine-yard scoring run with about three minutes left.  Ball game.

After beating the Vikings, the Redskins charged up the Metropolitan Stadium ramp and shouted, “We’re on our way.”  Malinchak received a game ball, and one of his special teams buddies, Ted Vactor, earned kudos for deflecting a 43-yard field goal attempt.

The Redskins defeated Atlanta, 24-13, in their other Monday night game that season as part of a nine-game win streak that secured the NFC East title.  They crushed the Packers and Cowboys in the playoffs before losing to Miami, 14-7, in Super Bowl VII.

Reflecting back, Owens said he and his teammates saw nothing special in playing on Monday nights.  To him, it was “just another game.”  He recalled, however, that Allen reveled in making Monday night appearances.

“George would press the fact that the nation is watching us,” Owens said of the Redskins’ famed coach.  “He thought everyone around the country wants to see what the Redskins are going to do.  So he made it really extra special.”


Mike Richman is the author of The Redskins Encyclopedia and the Washington Redskins Football Vault.  His web site is redskinshistorian.com.  Check out his Facebook Friend and Fan pages and follow him on Twitter.