WASHINGTON — As if the allure of making it onto the 53-man roster wasn’t enough, the Washington Redskins are upping the ante for practice squad players. In related news, parking just got more complicated at Redskins Park.
On Friday, the team unveiled a new reserved parking spot for the practice squad player of the week:
This follows a long-standing tradition of reserving parking spots for choice players, coaches and owners. When the team moved to the new facilities ahead of the 1992 season, Joe Gibbs brought with him the idea of rewarding players for game performance with everything from small financial rewards to plush chairs in the meeting rooms, and yes, a premium parking space.
When the team moved to the then-new Ashburn facilities ahead of the 1992 season, Joe Gibbs brought with him the idea of rewarding players for game performance with everything from small financial rewards to plush chairs in the meeting rooms, and yes, a premium parking space.
When Gibbs returned to the team in the early 2000s, he again sacrificed his premium parking spot, steps from the front door, to the team’s players of the week. Shadows of the numbers 21, 47, 26, 89 and 59 could still be seen on the pavement years after those players left.
Now the team has taken to posting signs in front of the spots, including a bike spot for former running back Alfred Morris, and this new designation for the team’s best practice squad player.
These may not be players that even a die-hard Redskins fan can name, but they are critical to the preparation of the 46 men that take the field each Sunday. This is a nice gesture, and public recognition for players toiling Wednesday through Friday, who won’t have a chance to suit up on Sundays.
Then again, such recognition isn’t for everyone. Redskins legend Russ Grimm was granted the title of “Ultimate Redskin” back during his playing days and declined to take the more luxurious parking spot.
“I’m always the one by the dumpster anyway,” Grimm told the Washington Post in 1991. “I don’t need a sign for that.”