Joe Gibbs

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Former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame

Former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame

What can’t Joe Gibbs do?

On Friday night, the three-time Super Bowl champion and five-time NASCAR champion became the first individual to be inducted into the Pro Football and NASCAR Hall of Fames.

Former President of the United States George W. Bush and current drivers Kyle Busch (two-time and reigning champion) and Denny Hamlin introduced the Hall of Famer prior to a tribute video being played.

His son, Coy, presented his father with the ceremonial ring.

Gibbs' accolades as a team owner include over 170 premier series wins, five championships, three Daytona 500 wins and being the winningest Xfinity Series owner, including two championships.

 

Gibbs’ induction came alongside four other members in the 2020 class, including former Joe Gibbs Racing champions Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, as well as Waddell Wilson and Buck Baker.

Stewart and Labonte amassed 62 wins and three titles in their time driving for JGR, and Gibbs credited them with “really (helping) build (the) race team.”

Gibbs shared many stories during his speech, including a conversation he had with “The King” Richard Petty ahead of their team debut in 1992.

“I knew that Richard Petty was a huge Redskins fan,” Gibbs recalled. “I said what better a guy to get advice from? So I called him, asked him if I could come down for a meeting, and I’ll always remember this meeting.

“He sat me down in a small chair, he was sitting in this high chair, I’m looking up at him, after a few minutes he goes ‘what do you need?’ I said ‘Richard, I’m thinking of starting a race team.’ He goes ‘What! Why would you do that?’ Caused me to back up a little bit, but we wound up moving ahead,” he said with a chuckle.

The success of the team has only risen since then, including a banner 2019 campaign with 19 wins, a new record for an organization, putting three of his four drivers in the Championship 4 and bringing home the trophy to boot.

Gibbs called 2019 “the best year yet” despite the loss of his son J.D. Gibbs.

The aforementioned Hamlin was discovered by J.D. in Manassas, Virginia in Hamlin’s teenage years while racing on local short tracks. The connection was forged immediately.

J.D. wore No. 11 in football, Hamlin raced in car No. 11, J.D. passed away on January 11 and was honored in the 2019 Daytona 500 on Lap 11.

And wouldn’t you know it, with J.D Gibbs’ name above Hamlin’s door, he won his second career Daytona 500.

“That was the greatest victory me, my family have ever been a part of, will ever be a part of,” an emotional Gibbs said. “J.D. is with us and for us to finish this year with Kyle and a championship, it was a dream season for us ... We all felt J.D. was there with us.”

He tied his time as head coach of the Washington Redskins into his success as a NASCAR team owner by crediting the folks around him.

“Just get good people around you and it’s gonna be okay,” Gibbs said.

It’s safe to say Coach Gibbs has done a little better than okay. His two Hall of Fame plaques speak for themselves.

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Joe Gibbs believes Monday Night Football will 'motivate the players to win'

Joe Gibbs believes Monday Night Football will 'motivate the players to win'

Although some Redskins fans may be nervous about the team's primetime matchup with the Chicago Bears, former Skins' head coach, Joe Gibbs offered a unique outlook on playing Monday Night Football.

"I'm glad we get to play on national television," Gibbs said. "I think the players love it, and hopefully it motivates them tonight to get a win."

Coach Gibbs made sure to remind everyone that during his tenure with the team, they didn't have the best Monday night football record, but "we always did pretty good the next week."

Gibbs brought along his family to enjoy the Redskins first "Monday Night Football" game against the Bears - all parties involved hoping for the best.

It's a thrill for me to be back here in this atmosphere," Gibbs said. "I think that's the best thing we've got going for ourselves is our fans here. I'm praying these guys come out with a victory."

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Monument City: Which D.C. sports icon deserves a statue the most?

Monument City: Which D.C. sports icon deserves a statue the most?

When you think of Washington D.C. sports history, there is a multitude of legendary moments ranging from the mid-1900's up to the present day. When you think of all the greatness that encompasses D.C. sports, it makes you wonder, where are all of the statues?

On July 10 in Pasadena, Ca., 20 years after leading her team to the plateau, U.S. Women's National Team legend Brandi Chastain had her 1999 World Cup pose immortalized at the Rose Bowl to celebrate an iconic moment in U.S sports history. 

Across the country, it seems that in each major city, sports icons are commemorated for their achievements. In Chicago, Michael Jordan's famous pose is sculptured right outside of the United Center, as is in Green Bay with the great Vince Lombardi. Los Angeles is the home of the tribute to Jackie Robinson, and in the Midwest, future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning's sculpture sits in Indianapolis. In Boston, Bobby Orr is immortalized, and in Cleveland, Jim Brown is honored.

But what about here in the nation's capital? 

Legendary Georgetown head coach John Thompson Jr. was recently recognized with a statue in the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletic Center on Georgetown's campus to commemorate his illustrious campaign with the Hoyas.

Other than Thompson, it feels that other D.C. icons should be in the queue to celebrate their achievements in the nation's capital. And if that is case, who should be on deck? 

These five come to mind.

Joe Gibbs

The most revered head coach in the history of the Washington Redskins, Joe Gibbs brought three Super Bowls to the nation's capital with three different quarterbacks. Gibbs has ventured on to other interests in his post-Redskins tenure, but remains one of the most recognizable and iconic figures in D.C. sports history

Alex Ovechkin

The greatest player in Washington Capitals history, Ovechkin led the Caps past the Golden Knights in 2018 to bring the Stanley Cup to the nation's capital for the first time in franchise history. Ovechkin has won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, given to the league's leading scorer, a record eight times.

Abe Pollin

The architect of D.C.'s Chinatown district, former Bullets/Wizards and Capitals owner Abe Pollin spent his life's work revitalizing downtown Washington, erecting the MCI Center in 1997 as well as Gallery Place, in addition to helping the surrounding neighborhoods and being a philanthropist in the nation's capital. Pollin, who passed away in 2009, helped bring the Baltimore Bullets to Washington, as well as the only title in the team's franchise history back in 1978. Former President Barack Obama praised Pollin after his death in 2009 on his impact on the city. 

"Abe believed in Washington, D.C. when many others didn’t – putting his own fortune on the line to help revitalize the city he loved," Obama said. "He was committed to the teams he guided, generous to those who needed it most, and as loyal to the people of D.C. as they were to him." 

Cal Ripken Jr.

Albeit playing his entire career across the Beltway in Baltimore, Cal Ripken was an icon in the DMV when there wasn't a pro team here in D.C. The Ironman played in 2,131 straight ballgames for the Orioles, usurping the record set by the lengendary Lou Gehrig, a record that will never be broken. The 19-time All-Star as well as a two-time American League MVP, is regarded as the best shortstop in MLB History. 

Wes Unseld

The undersized center is arguably the greatest outlet passer in NBA history. A member of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History as well as being the only player to ever win Rookie of the Year honors and Most Valuable Player honors in his inaugural season. Wes Unseld, who spent his entire entire 13-year career with the Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets, helped bring home the franchise's first and to this day, only NBA Title back in 1978.

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