A multitude of Redskins alumni lined the numbers of FedExField on Sunday afternoon, braving the wet and rainy conditions to take part in the team's Alumni Homecoming Weekend. There were several cohorts, one for each decade from the 1950s until the 2010s. A member of each fondly described their time in Washington.
Near the middle of the field -- along with fellow Redskins legends such as Bobby Beathard, Russ Grimm, Ken Houston, Charley Taylor and John Riggins -- stood former quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen. The weekend was for the alumni, but this pregame ceremony was for Jurgensen. It recognized his 54 years of dedication to the organization, first as a player and then as a longtime radio announcer.
After showing a video montage highlighting Jurgensen's greatest moments, the Redskins gifted Jurgensen with a personalized golf cart presented by former teammate Larry Brown. Brown and Jurgensen then drove off the field together to the applause of the Redskins faithful.
"That's great. That's really nice," Jurgensen told Voice of the Redskins Larry Michael. "It's great to come back in front of all of the fans, Dan Snyder and my family. It's great."
Jurgensen's association with the Redskins began as a player in 1964. Over the next 11 seasons in Washington, Jurgensen's made four Pro Bowl appearances, earned first-team All-Pro twice and became one of the greatest Redskins quarterbacks of all-time. He currently ranks second in franchise history in career passing yards (22,585), completions (1,831) and touchdowns (179), which is especially impressive considering passing was much more difficult during his playing era.
In 1983, Jurgensen was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Almost immediately after his playing career ended in 1974, Jurgensen became a color commentator for CBS and then for WMAL starting in 1981. He went on to call Redskins games for the next 38 seasons, first with Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff and sportscaster Frank Herzog and most recently with Voice of the Redskins Larry Michael and former Redskins Chris Cooley and Richard "Doc" Walker. Jurgensen announced his retirement from professional football before the Redskins' preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns on Aug. 8.
"I've decided to hang up my headphones and my clipboard. It's been a great 55 years in Washington," Jurgensen said in a statement regarding his retirement from broadcasting. "I want to thank our Redskins fans for being so generous to me and our teams; we owe it all to you."
Jurgensen's pregame honoring was a part of the Redskins Fantennial Weekend Celebration to commemorate the NFL's 100th Season. The weekend began with a local high school football game takeover Friday night and continued with the Redskins Day of Service on Saturday.
In addition to the ceremony for Jurgensen on Sunday, the Redskins inducted offensive lineman Chris Samuels as the 51st member of the franchise's Ring of Fame during halftime of a 9-0 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.