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Teddy's Jersey Was A Coat Of Many Colors

[February 5th] -- It's Superbowl weekend, so I've got to mention football here at the 'Boys, at least in passing.

Growing up in the Washington area, it was very normal to have friends and acquaintances whose parents were famous. J.E.B. Stuart High School had children of several congressmen and senators attend during my four years at the school (1970-1974). The daughter of the Australian ambassador lived in our district. So did the son of the deputy director of the CIA. I was looked down upon because my father was only a 'GS-14' and wasn't a presidential appointee. All my Dad did was to help run the Voice of America. But during my tenure, none of these kids, or their parents, were among the "coolest of the cool" list. This was the beginning of "Redskin Fever" and politics took a back seat to anything remotely burgandy and gold.

The Senators last game coincided with the beginning of the George Allen era in Washington. He brought in a whole new approach to the game of football, as well as a slew of new coaches and players. All of these new players and coaches needed a place to live.

One of Allen's first accomplishments after being named head coach was to build the original Redskin Park in the distant Virginia suburbs. The coaches all purchased homes in and around the practice facility. George Allen's home was within the Langley High School boundaries; every time Stuart played Langley in football, there was George, rooting on his boys George Jr. and Greg. Landing within Stuart's boundaries was Ted Marchibroda, the Redskins new offensive coordinator. That fall, daughter Lonni and son Teddy became "stars" in the school's hallways. Lonni was very quiet and I'd be surprised if I said hi to her more than a few times over the years. But Teddy was different. With his long flowing blonde hair and his signature bow tie, the young Marchibroda quickly became "it" in and around the school.

Teddy was a decent receiver; not great but certainly serviceable. He was fairly fast but was very thin and had a hard time taking a hit. He wore #80, Roy Jefferson's number with the Redskins. On Friday's, all the players wore their jersey's to school. Not Teddy. He wore a Redskin jersey. And that was a big deal. In the mid 1970's, you couldn't buy a replica jersey like you can today. The only place we saw the team's jersey was on TV on Sunday's. I remember exactly where I was sitting the first time I saw Teddy wearing a Redskins' jersey. I was in the library, working on a history project, when he came through the outside door and headed towards the cafeteria. He was surrounded by an entourage of J.E.B. Stuart's finest, all wanting to touch the jersey, to pay homage to the burgandy and the gold, to see what the "real thing" felt like. It was an away jersey, white with burgandy/gold/burgandy/gold stripes on the sleeves. The number was 18, backup quarterback Sam Wyche's number. Teddy's smile was priceless. He was a rock star, a movie actor, an athlete, all rolled into one.

I hated him.

Oh, I didn't hate him because he wasn't nice. I hated him because he was so close to the Redskins and I wasn't. He milked the realtionship for all it was worth. He got dates with the "it" girls only because they wanted to go to his house and meet his dad. Want to meet George Allen? No sweat. He only lives a few miles away. Let's go.

I had to use my personality and all the looks I had (which weren't much) to get dates and have friends. Teddy had a glut of both because of who his father was. Sure, he may have been a wonderful and successful guy had his name been Jones and not Marchibroda, but I doubt it.

He went on to play for the University of Virginia, one of the worst football teams during this time. Today, Teddy is a players agent for several current NFL players.

Sigh. I wish I could have touched Wyche's jersey that day in the library ....


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