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Flashback Saturday: Skins and fans invade NYC

Flashback Saturday: Skins and fans invade NYC

You're probably going to see "Polo Grounds" as the venue for this game and immediately your eyes will glaze over. But if you'll stick with it, you'll find a great story of a bunch of fans so geeked about their new team that droves of them got on a train and went to battle with them in New York City. From the pages of The Redskins From A to Z:

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Polo Grounds--You often hear of a team invading a city for a road game, and it's usually hyperbole, but that's exactly what the Redskins did to New York in the first trip the Washington Redskins made to the Big Apple in 1937. Between ten and twelve thousand fans boarded trains at Union Station to make the trek to the Polo Grounds to watch the two teams battle for the Eastern Conference title on the last day of the regular season. A 150-piece marching band made the trek as well. On arrival, owner George Preston Marshall led an impromptu parade down Seventh Avenue to Columbus Circle. The fans were marching along in step, singing the national capital's new anthem, Hail to the Redskins.

Cliff Battles set the tone, leading the way on a grinding, 83-yard drive that he ended with a two-yard touchdown run. Later in the first, he galloped around left end for 75 yards to the Giants' five. Two plays later, Battles scored again and it was 14-0. A second-quarter drive started at midfield and ended when Max Krause scored on an up-the-middle run from five yards out.

A break got the Giants on the scoreboard as one of their passes bounced off of Erny Pinckert's hand and into the arms of the Giants' Ward Cuff, who scampered 45 yards for the Giants' first score. A second Giants touchdown a few minutes later tied it up and had the Redskins' and their traveling faithful worried. The Giants, after all, had allowed just 60 points all season.

But that didn't stop Sammy Baugh, Battles, and company. Ed Justice was wide open on a 48-yard TD pass and, early in the fourth quarter, got more breathing room when Wayne Milner blocked a Giants' punt and fell on the ball in the end zone to make it 35-14.

The Skins weren't done yet. Battles intercepted a long pass at the Washington 20, broke a couple of tackles, reversed his field twice, cut back and didn't stop until he ran out of gas and was caught from behind at the New York one. Riley Smith got the TD on the next play and, after Ray Flaherty emptied the bench, the Redskins scored once more on a Max Krause TD run of five yards. They were headed to Chicago to play the Bears for the NFL title

The Redskins' fans in the Polo Grounds stormed the field, tearing down the goal posts and reveling long after the final gun. Another gathering of 5,000 greeted the Redskins at Union Station when the trains arrived back in Washington.

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Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

RICHMOND—While Kirk Cousins has had a lot of success in his first two seasons as the Redskins’ starting quarterback, he and the team didn’t finish last season the way they wanted to. They lost four of their last six games to finish out of a playoff spot. With the game on the line in the season finale against the Giants, Cousins threw an interception as the team was driving for a late score to win or tie the game. The loss was the final blow to their playoff hopes.

As with any disappointing situation, Cousins and the team must walk a line between learning from the mistakes that were made—and there were many beyond the Cousins interception—and dwelling on the past. Cousins said today that the failure to make the playoffs will help drive the team this year.

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

“I think what it does is it gives us an edge, because we stay humble and hungry because we left the season realizing we do have a long ways to go,” Cousins said of the late-season woes. “We do need to improve if we want to go in the direction that we all believe we can. In that sense we’ll take the silver lining that nobody is content, nobody is entitled, nobody feels like we can rest on what we’ve done in the past.”

While they can focus on the silver lining for now, Cousins says that they realize that coming close to the playoffs but missing out year after year won’t cut it. That’s what gets coaches fired and leads to players losing their jobs.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

“We do feel like a lot rides on this season up ahead,” he said. “Hopefully, that gives us a sense of urgency all through training camp to be really focused, and as a result gets the best out of every one of us so that our team can play as well as we possibly can.”

Cousins is playing on the one-year franchise tag. He has been quick to point out that many of his teammates are either on one-year deals or in the final season of a multi-year deal. Cousins is one of over a dozen starters or key contributors who will become free agents in 2018. If they are going to stay around they can’t go 2-4 down the stretch like they did last year.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

RICHMOND—As Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins goes into playing under the franchise tag for the second straight season, the phrase commonly used about him is that he is betting on himself, eschewing the long-term security of a multiyear deal in favor hoping to improve his leverage by playing on the tags.

However, Cousins said that is a misconception.

“I don’t know that I ever bet on myself, I bet on the system, he said. “It has nothing to do with myself. I’m just going out and playing and there’s never been anything but positive feelings. I’m excited to get to work here. As I’ve said, my wife and I love it here and we’re in a good place.”

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

Ever since the deadline for him to sign a long-term contract this year came and went without a new deal, Cousins has been trying to debunk the notion that he has a desire to leave the Redskins as soon as he can. Appearing on 106.7 The Fan last week, Cousins said that the Redskins are his “first choice” to be his team going forward. He talked positively about his future in Washington again today after the Redskins first training camp walkthrough.

Although there was talk that the contract negotiations took a sour turn at the end after team president Bruce Allen revealed some of the details of the team’s final offer to Cousins, Cousins indicated today that everything is fine.

“W e’ve done a good job communicating between me and the team,” he said. “We’re on the same page and we’ve done everything we can possibly do to get that settled and move forward. I think we’re all in a good place right now and we’ve got enough to worry about getting our offense playing at the level we need to have a great season so I can be back in future years.”

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

What it really comes down to, what Cousins believes will make things good in the future for him and the Redskins, is success on the field.

“If you win football games, everything else takes care of itself,” he said.

“In the offseason, the ball’s in the team’s court. But from Week 1 to Week 17, the ball’s in my court and I’ve got to go play football well. That’s where my focus is.”

There likely will be more talk of Cousins future beyond the 2017 seas in the coming weeks and months. It appears that for right now that is the furthest thing from Cousins’ mind.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.