WASHINGTON – A number of former Redskins legends took the same stage Thursday night at the Lansdowne Resort for the 11th annual Michael Wilbon and James Brown Celebrity Roast and Golf Classic, which benefited the D.C. College Access Program.
The players turned out to roast their former coach, Joe Gibbs. Doug Williams, Dexter Manley, Joe Theisman, Clinton Portis, John Riggins and Jeff Bostic were the roasters along with Gibbs’ son, J.D.
But how do you roast Joe Gibbs? Jeff Bostic said it best:
“Trying to roast Joe Gibbs is like trying to roast Jesus (in) the Holy Land.”
Theisman kicked things off, reminiscing about the mornings when he would show up at Redskins Park to find that Gibbs had slept there.
“He would walk out of his office, which was his bedroom, with a cup of coffee in his hand,” Theisman said. “He’d see me walking down the hallways, and I had a little bit of energy, and (Gibbs would) say, ‘Oh, god, not now.'”
Each roaster shared stories of the glory days of the 1980’s and early 90’s, when the Redskins won three Super Bowls and made regular playoff appearances. The lone player from Gibbs’ second stint with the team was Clinton Portis, whose first game as a Redskin was also Gibbs’ first game back.
The theme to Portis’ roast was about how he hated to practice and not only that, but hated to practice in full pads. Apparently Gibbs made the team do that a number of times – something Portis wasn’t used to after coming from Denver.
“In Denver they practiced in pajamas,” Gibbs said.
Side note: That’s very funny, especially since the coach while Portis was in Denver was none other than Mike Shanahan. I think I’ll mention that to Mike next time I see him.
Riggins recalled his first meeting with Gibbs, when the coach traveled to Kansas unannounced to try to get Riggins to come back to the Redskins.
“I had never heard of Joe Gibbs … I just stayed out all night on purpose, Joe, because I wasn’t coming home,” Riggins said. “Besides, you should have seen my ex-wife … you would have stayed out, too.
“Everybody always asks me, ‘Who hit you the hardest?’ My ex-wife, who else?”
Riggins was at his best Thursday night, and had the place cracking up.
“When he left there I told him, ‘I’m going to make you famous,'” Riggins said. “I did a pretty damn good job, Joe – I didn’t say anything about making you wealthy though.”
Doug Williams recalled a day in the 1987 preseason when Gibbs told him he had been traded to the Raiders and to come to his office later in the day. Williams was thrilled because Jay Schroeder was the starting quarterback for the Redskins, which meant Williams would get a shot to start with the Raiders.
When Williams went back, Gibbs told him he had changed his mind.
“You can’t change your mind,” Williams said.
“I don’t work for the Raiders,” Gibbs responded. “I got a feeling that somewhere along the line you are going to come in here and win this thing.”
The rest is history, as they say. Williams led the Redskins to a world championship with a record-setting performance in Super Bowl XXII.
See more on the roast from ABC7 and footage of Gibbs before the roast below: