In today's Rewarding Moments In Redskins History presented by Maryland Lottery My Lottery Rewards, we look back to when former Redskins owner George Preston Marshall led a parade through the streets of New York prior to the Redskins-Giants matchup in 1937.
The oldest rivalry in the NFC East dates back almost 100 years. The first matchup between the then Boston Braves and New York Giants came in 1932 -- 87 years ago. The game kick-started a rivalry that has lasted almost as long as the league itself. This Sunday's Week 4 matchup represents the 175th matchup of the two teams in the commemorative 100th year of the NFL.
1937 served as the Redskins' sixth season as a franchise in the NFL and their first in Washington, D.C. After half a decade of poor attendance in Boston, then owner George Preston Marshall moved the team south to his hometown, the nation's capital, in hopes of revitalizing the fanbase while bringing a professional football team to one of the largest markets in the country. It worked.
After losing to the Curly Lambeau-led Green Bay Packers in the 1936 NFL title game, Marshall felt the franchise needed one more piece to put them over the top. The answer was a revolutionary gunslinger from TCU named Sammy Baugh. The Redskins selected Baugh sixth overall in the 1936 draft, and the rest was history.
The Redskins' first season in Washington was a successful one, as Baugh led the league in passing yards while running back Cliff Battles carried the backfield to an 8-3 regular season, earning a berth in the NFL Championship game against the Chicago Bears.
The battle against the Giants in Week 11 in downtown New York City served as the beginning of the Redskins-Giants rivalry.
In an effort to fuel the franchise to its first ever title, Marshall led an impromptu parade through the streets of New York prior to the Week 11 matchup, challenging any modern day tailgate.
About 12,000 of Washington's most passionate fans, including a 150-man marching band that boarded trains in Washington D.C., made their way to the big apple, where Marshall led the swarm of burgundy and gold faithful in chanting "Hail To The Redskins" through W 155th street outside at the infamous Polo Grounds, home of the Giants.
The following day, the Baugh-led Redskins went on to rout the Giants, 49-14, earning a spot in the NFL Championship against the Bronko Nagurski-led Bears. After departing New York with seemingly the entire city in support, the Redskins defeated Chicago, 28-23, at Wrigley Field, earning their first NFL title in franchise history.