Washington gives Super Bowl rings to 1987 replacement players

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In 1987, the NFL players went on strike, and owners brought in replacement players for three weeks of the season. Washington’s replacement players went 3-0, including a huge upset of a Dallas team that had several players cross the picket line, and after the strike ended Washington’s regular players went on to win the Super Bowl.

At the time, only the regular players got Super Bowl rings. Yesterday, that changed: Washington gave Super Bowl rings to its replacement players, at a ceremony attended by Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams and one of the team’s best defensive players, Dexter Manley.

“It was surreal,” Skip Lane, one of 25 replacement players in attendance, told ESPN. “Even walking in here I never really thought I was going to get the ring. I still don’t believe it’s on my hand. It’s a fantasy almost. It’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s been such a long time coming. I think it’s going to take a while to set in that it’s on my hand. I keep touching it.”

During the strike, many regular players expressed anger at the scabs who gave the NFL’s owners leverage in negotiations. But over time a respect has grown for the 1987 Washington replacement team, which banded together to win all three games without any regular NFL players. Amazingly, in the very last replacement game — after the players’ union had agreed to end the strike but before it was officially over — a Washington team featuring only replacements beat a Dallas team that had several stars cross the picket line, including starting quarterback Danny White, Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett and Hall of Fame defensive lineman Randy White. It was one of the greatest upsets in NFL history.

And it was a game that helped Washington win the NFC East. Although the replacement players who got their rings yesterday were long gone by the time Washington won the Super Bowl, they helped the team get there. And yesterday they were recognized.

68 responses to “Washington gives Super Bowl rings to 1987 replacement players

  1. Why? These guys were scabs who crossed union picket lines in support of ultra wealthy owners. They have already lived fantasy’s. Then again the next time Washington wins a
    Superbowl our moon will have turned purple.

  2. Long time coming but a super classy move by Snyder.nonetheless. The replacements were based of the scabs. I remember watching the 30/30 on espn about them and seeing how they were dropped like a sack of potatoes after the strike and nobody really took up for them or wanted to recognize them. Joe Gibbs especially came up small when asked if they should get rings. It’s hard to say anything bad about Gibbs but he really came up small for them there. Anyhow, great to hear this and congrats to those players who received their hardware.

  3. Good for them. When you have practice squad players that never played a down in a game getting rings, I feel like these players are well deserving of the rings.

  4. I was so angry at the NFL and NFLPA that I was happy to see those replacement players play for the sheer joy of playing, not just for money. So I watched every game I could and it was a refreshing time for me. In fact, I was hoping the regular players didn’t come back for a couple of years!
    There have been documentaries made about those replacement players and some of their stories are really touching. They still break down in tears for having the chance to wear a real NFL uniform and play in real NFL games. It wasn’t about money at all to them. It was about living a dream.

  5. They did this on the day of the Caps Stanley Cup parade. It was a total d-bag move but I can’t tell if that is more because he was trying to take attention away from the Caps or take attention away from the scabs.

  6. Danny boy finally got something right. Its long over due.
    Now fire Bruce Allen already.

    Hail !

  7. That was a weird year. The teams that took the strike seriously and assembled the best talent they could really had a leg up when the NFL decided to count the replacement games.

  8. Let’s keep this in perspective. It should have been done long ago (Beating a Dallas team with veterans was a big deal at the time) but they were considered scabs and there would have been a huge outcry if they got rings during that time period.

  9. officialgame
    Jun 13, 2018, 6:12 AM EDT
    Why? These guys were scabs who crossed union picket lines in support of ultra wealthy owners. They have already lived fantasy’s. Then again the next time Washington wins a
    Superbowl our moon will have turned purple.

    Regardless of how they became NFL players, they went 3-0 and helped Washington win the division. More importantly, had they went 0-3, which most people thought they would, and lost to Dallas, Dallas would have won the division and Washington would have been a Wild Card team. Who knows what would have happened then. I’m pretty sure at this point the players from that Redskins team are very thankful for these guys going 3-0 and securing the division

  10. A game that helped the Redskins win the NFL East? They won the division by four games. Look it up.

  11. Good for them and good for the Redskins organization to finally recognize these players that played a part in them winning the NFC East and putting them in position to win the Super Bowl. Well done sirs!!

  12. Many of these guys actually played for several years after the 1987 season. Clearly, they were good enough to play. One of the main reasons the Skins won the Super Bowl that year was because their so called Scabs were among the best. You take that away and maybe there is no Super Bowl win. Give me a break on the union talk, too. The vitriol thrown at the replacement players is extremely misplaced, and makes the professional player look like a greedy tool.

  13. Id watch eric ruppert throw to anthony allen and watch lionel vital run the ball any day over the product the NFL puts out today. Those scabs played with heart. Beating Dallas was The Greatest Upset in NFL history.

  14. Who wouldn’t want to put on an NFL uniform and play ? The regulars chose not to play, the replacements saw this as a chance to not only be “replacements” but have a chance to make an NFL team after the strike.
    The Redskin players who played and beat NFL regulars playing for the Cowboys were sent packing without a second look or try out. Glad to see Snyder make this classy move. The 3 wins counted in the standings and put the Skins in the playoffs. Teams who had good teams, but their replacements didn’t win, didn’t make the playoffs.

  15. Casca’s friend says:

    June 13, 2018 at 6:34 am

    Good for them. When you have practice squad players that never played a down in a game getting rings, I feel like these players are well deserving of the rings.

    —–

    True that. Donnell Pomphrey will be getting a ring this week, and he only made the practice squad because he was drafted. Not an NFL player whatsoever, but he is getting a ring for practicing with the team.

    Kind of like Rudy getting a ring from Notre Dame. Except without the playing 2 snaps part.

  16. A garbage championship … they should all hand in their rings. It’s one step over a participation trophy.

  17. Calling people who work scabs? That is a disgraceful term to apply to other human beings that simply didn’t join a closed club intended to keep them out.

  18. I respect anyone who crosses a “picket line” for an anti-American union strike. Unions need to be eradicated from every non-communist society.

  19. These guys aren’t receiving NFL pension money. They probably need the cash more than the ring. Check eBay often if you want to buy one.

  20. Good, now how about a replacement commissioner?

    Permanent replacement!!!!

    Life after Goodell would be swell…

  21. This would have been bigger news locally if it didnt coincide with the Capitals Stanley Cup parade and celebration…..but, one of the few things Snyder has done correctly.

  22. patslaya says:
    June 13, 2018 at 6:54 am
    They did this on the day of the Caps Stanley Cup parade. It was a total d-bag move but I can’t tell if that is more because he was trying to take attention away from the Caps or take attention away from the scabs.

    If you bothered to research anything about this, the date was planned weeks in advance before the Caps secured the Cup. People were flying in from out of town and already had hotel reservations.

  23. pauldeba says:
    June 13, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Calling people who work scabs? That is a disgraceful term to apply to other human beings that simply didn’t join a closed club intended to keep them out.

    Shows how little you know. They are caled scabs because they crossed a picket line! The NFL isn’t a closed club its about talent!! Some scabs had talent and actually played in the NFL afterwards!!!

  24. I’m a big supporter of unions in all lines of work. But since this was a one-off situation filled with players who were never going to play a down of NFL football for the rest of their lives, playing only for a one-time shot to briefly live a dream, I think this kind of exception is a great gesture.

    It would be different if the owners were creating a viable alternative to the regular players. But they weren’t, and I think we’re at the point now here they wouldn’t be allowed to do this again. So recognizing this odd chapter in league history as a strange, messy, and even fun diversion along the way, and raising a glass to the regular guys who lived their dream for a few weeks, is OK with me.

    And now the current NFL players are all wealthy and the owners are still selfish, so in the end nothing’s been lost.

  25. I never thought I’d ever associate the phrase, ‘Classy move’ with Dan Snyder, but here I am typing in disbelief.

  26. nyneal says:
    June 13, 2018 at 6:41 am
    I was so angry at the NFL and NFLPA that I was happy to see those replacement players play for the sheer joy of playing, not just for money. So I watched every game I could and it was a refreshing time for me. In fact, I was hoping the regular players didn’t come back for a couple of years!
    There have been documentaries made about those replacement players and some of their stories are really touching. They still break down in tears for having the chance to wear a real NFL uniform and play in real NFL games. It wasn’t about money at all to them. It was about living a dream.

    ————————————-

    Given that you have the option to watch amateur players (not college), kids, and just random leagues around the city instead of NFL players, I’m going to guess what you really want to say is, Gosh I wish I was those guys where I could play pretend while helping billionaires get richer.

  27. Dan Snyder hates unions. Big surprise. Instead of giving medals to football scabs from 1987, why don’t we give school teachers raises in 2018?

  28. They are SCABS people !!! Would you like it if you were relieved of your job so they could hire someone and pay them less? What’s wrong with this Country … That’s rhetorical knuckleheads!

  29. Well deserved… without these guys, maybe the Skins don’t make the playoffs? Maybe they don’t have a ring at all.
    Either way… thanks for the inspiration for one of the best football movies ever.

  30. =============================
    thewizardsrevenge says:
    June 13, 2018 at 10:33 am
    Scab is a term used only by people who feel entitled to something.
    =============================

    I’m entitled the to everything the CBA at my workplace entitles me to. Why is that so scary to some people? Move to Cuba if you don’t like it.

  31. The untold story of the replacement players is that Trump was behind the scenes trying to destroy the NFL in revenge for him destroying the USFL. This is why the NFL rightfully denied him ownership of a team, and why Trump is trying to get revenge on the NFL now.

  32. I heard things moved slowly in Washington, but they wait 31 years before giving them their rings. I would imagine some of the players have passed by now.

  33. patriots123456 says:
    June 13, 2018 at 9:36 am
    Good, now how about a replacement commissioner?

    Permanent replacement!!!!

    Life after Goodell would be swell…

    ———————-
    It would be a hoot if Goodell went on strike. The comments sections on the articles would be great reading.

  34. kevpft says:
    June 13, 2018 at 10:10 am
    I’m a big supporter of unions in all lines of work.

    ——

    Why? I would never want a group of people to negotiate my value to an organization on my behalf. Why would you?

  35. ————————————————–
    nhpats says:
    June 13, 2018 at 12:06 pm
    kevpft says:
    June 13, 2018 at 10:10 am
    I’m a big supporter of unions in all lines of work.

    ——

    Why? I would never want a group of people to negotiate my value to an organization on my behalf. Why would you?
    ———————————————–

    Leverage. Use it if you got it. (Personal Finance 101)

  36. Danny White was horrible and likely the reason the Boys lost to replacements. He might have been the starter in ’87, but had been beaten out for the job by Hogeboom as early as ’84. He also traded the job for years with Hogeboom then with Pelluer during ’87. Reminds me of Kordell who “won” the job over that stiff Kent Graham & Tomczak.

  37. These comments show how times have changed. If you weren’t around to experience this season, it has to sound ridiculous. And crossing picket lines was serious business, but it wasn’t a left-right deal like it would be now. No one knew what was happening at the time. Once it was decided that the three scab games counted in the standings, it was back to business. If your team took the three scab games seriously, then you were in contention. If not, you were screwed. If the Skins didn’t go 3-0 during this time, the Skins don’t win a championship that year. These guys deserve it. It was a great story and it was a long time ago, but it was still a great story. Better than all the hurt feelings stories that we have to deal with lately.

  38. If I remember correctly, Steve Bono mad a little nice career after the strike. Also, Joe Montana played in every game. He didn’t follow the union. Which would make him a scab too.

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