Joe Theismann

August 7 is the Washington Redskins’ Fan Appreciation Day. Former quarterback Joe Theismann chatted with us about being a player, a parent and a part of the Northern Virginia community.

August 7 is the Washington Redskins’ Fan Appreciation Day. Former quarterback Joe Theismann chatted with us about being a player, a parent and a part of the Northern Virginia community.

By Clara Ritger

Joe Thiesmann
Joe Thiesmann (Courtesy of JRT Associates)

On the Redskin community
“One of the unique things about playing football when I did is that the players lived in the team’s area. This was our home. Our families grew up here; we went grocery shopping here. And I think that being a part of the community made the player experience even more special. I’ve never left.”

On his injury
“I wouldn’t trade one minute—even the career-changing broken leg—for my life to be any different. The things that I’ve gone through have really shaped who I am as a person. Before my leg injury in 1985, I had become a despicable, egotistical maniac. I felt like everything that I thought was important was taken away from me. That was the line that was drawn in the sand for me. I was either going to have to change the type of person that I was or I would continue on the path of self-destruction.”

On being a football player
“I tell guys to develop a great work ethic, respect other people, and don’t think that you’re the reason why something is successful. If you keep those three things in mind you have the opportunity to be a decent person on and off the football field.”

On children and parenting
“They don’t ask to come into this world; we bring them into it. The least we can do as adults is to give a child every opportunity to succeed. Success is being a respected person who knows how to respect others. It’s not the material things; that’s the most false sense of success anyone could ever have. But success is being a good parent, a good friend, and trying real hard to teach kids the difference between right and wrong.”

On the restaurant
“Back in 1975, I sat down with some guys to see about putting my name on the restaurant. My position on the team wasn’t very good back then, and I remember them saying, ‘Give us one good reason why we should put your name on it.’ And I said, ‘Well, my reputation can’t get any worse. It can only improve.’”

 

(August 2011)

 

 

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