Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks Congratulating the Washington Redskins on Winning Super Bowl XXII

February 03, 1988

The President. I'd like to welcome the winners of the 22d Super Bowl, the Washington Redskins; and your coach, Joe Gibbs. Welcome to the White House! Fellas, what else is there to say but Hail to the Redskins!

You know, I noticed that some of your fans painted their faces half-red and half-yellow; some of them wore hog noses; some even climbed lampposts. My staff told me that that wouldn't be very Presidential; but make no mistake about it, I'm just as enthusiastic as your fans!

The Redskins didn't simply enter the history books Sunday night, they rewrote them. In so doing, you gave new meaning to the term "Capital offense"— [laughter] -setting 14 Super Bowl records. And if you will allow me a minute, I'd like to list a few of the more impressive individual records: Timmy Smith, 204 yards rushing and two touchdowns; Ricky Sanders, 193 yards receiving, the most combined yards—235, and two touchdowns; and Doug Williams, the Super Bowl most valuable player, with one of the most inspiring performances displayed by any quarterback in football history-340 yards passing, the longest completion in Super Bowl history, 80 yards. That breaks one record and—and four touchdown passes in one quarter—and that breaks one record and ties two others. Way to go, Doug. [Applause] You recently showed the world how to overcome adversity and did it with style and grace.

It's noisy, isn't it? [Laughter] He's probably on his way to Denver. [Laughter] [The President referred to the sound of a plane flying nearby.] But, as Dexter Manley might point out—and a happy belated birthday, Dexter—this wasn't a victory accomplished solely on individual feats. No, it was the teamwork of a well-coached organization. This is exemplified by the five team Super Bowl records set Sunday night. So, congratulations go to Joe Gibbs and his excellent coaching staff.

And, Joe, if I could just add one personal criticism. Having spent a share of my life in show business, couldn't you have saved some of those thrilling moments in the second quarter for the last 10 minutes of the fourth quarter, so we could have a big curtain?

But seriously, I'm sure all the Redskins join me in congratulating the Denver Broncos on a fine season. Being number two in the NFL is also something to be proud of. There probably isn't a classier organization to win that runner-up position. Coach Reeves, John Elway, and the rest of the Broncos are true sportsmen.

But today, tomorrow, and the entire year belong to the victorious Redskins and your loyal fans who, thanks to you, are in hog heaven. Once again, congratulations, Redskins, and God bless you.

Joe Gibbs. On behalf of the Redskins, I want to thank the President. And we really feel like that this was a total team and family effort for the Redskins. And by that I mean there was no one individual, as Doug and Ricky and Timmy and everybody else will tell you. It was all of us pulling together. It was special teams; it was our defense-played absolutely superb; our offense; it was our owner, Jack Kent Cooke; Bobby [general manager Bobby Beathard], getting the talent; and our coaching staff, which I'm very thankful for; and most assuredly, all the fans. Everybody out there that belongs to the Redskin family pulled together and helped us get this. And we really did it as America—the same thing as a team effort by every single person in the family. And we thank you very much, and thank you, President.

Bobby Beathard. As a small token of appreciation from the Washington Redskins, we would like to present a small present to President Reagan, making him an official member of the Redskin family. And thanks to everybody out there. We're going to give President Reagan a Washington Redskin jersey.

The President. Thank you very much. I play right guard.

Doug Williams. First of all, on behalf of the Washington Redskins and the President, I'd like to tell him one thing—this is a long ways from Zachary. [Laughter] But I have a token of appreciation also. It's a Super Bowl XXII football with both teams engraved on it—Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos. I'm going to give it to the President upon one circumstance—that he run the right play. And the play is trip right, fake zoom, Larry crisscross. [Laughter] And he's got to throw it. [Laughter]

The President. Where's Ricky Sanders?

Doug Williams. Here he comes.

[At this point, the President threw a pass to Ricky Sanders.]

The President. I'm going to go down and shake their hands.

Dexter Manley. I came up with a solution, that we're going to renegotiate the President's contract for 4 more years.

Note: The President spoke at 2:35 p.m. at the South Portico of the White House.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks Congratulating the Washington Redskins on Winning Super Bowl XXII Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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