No place like RFK Stadium

The circular build of the RFK Stadium limited football seating to 56,000 but produced a cozy and loud environment that afforded the Redskins one of the most intimidating home fields in the NFL.

Joe Gibbs photo courtesy of the Washington Redskins
Joe Gibbs photo courtesy of the Washington Redskins

(RFK photo on the cover and Joe Gibbs photo above courtesy of the Washington Redskins)

Talk of Fame Network

The Washington Redskins haven’t won anything since they left RFK Stadium for the suburbs in 1997.

Maybe they should move back.

That would be fine with the listeners and readers of the Talk of Fame Network, who voted RFK their favorite old football stadium in last week’s poll. RFK received 81 percent of the vote to easily outdistance Texas Stadium, the old home of the Cowboys, at seven percent.

Mile High Stadium (Broncos), Municipal Stadium (Browns), the Met (Vikings), Candlestick (49ers), War Memorial (Bills) and the Astrodome (Oilers) all received support in the low single digits. But Talk of Fame Network tri-host Ron Borges cast his ballot for one of those also-rans.

“You can't beat the old Municipal Stadium, even if it had a barely-heated press box,” Borges said. “The open end of the stadium faced the lake, which made it look like they were playing next to the ocean.”

There was no ocean by RFK. Only successful football teams. The Redskins moved into RFK in 1961 and Hall-of-Fame coaches Vince Lombardi, George Allen and Joe Gibbs all strolled the home sideline. RFK became the home of five NFC champions and three Super Bowl champs.

The circular build of the stadium limited football seating to 56,000 but produced a cozy and loud environment that afforded the Redskins one of the most intimidating home fields in the NFL. When the Redskins got rolling the upper deck would shake. Talk of Fame Network tri-host Rick Gosselin cast his ballot for RFK.

The Redskins moved to FedEx Field in Landover, Md., in 1997. With 82,000 seats there, more fans are now exposed to the Redskins -- but not the success of the Redskins. FedEx has hosted only three playoff games in the last 19 years and Washington lost two of them. The memories and the championship moments remain downtown in the nation's capital.

The third member of the Talk of Fame Network, Clark Judge, cast his vote for Candlestick.

"Yeah, the press box was small, and it could be winter in summer there," said Judge, who spent a chunk of his life covering the 49ers. "But I loved walking through the crowd to get to the field. I loved seeing the Transamerica pyramid andSan Francisco in the distance. And I lovebeing anywhere that is steeped in history -- from great baseball players to great football players to the Beatles."

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