Washington football quarterback Taylor Heinicke brought hope to the franchise and he brought hope to fans.
Last Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons was a classic example. As a fan of the team for 40 years, I can’t tell you how many times Washington was down in Q4 over the past 30 years, and I just had that dark feeling in my stomach that the team was going to lose.
Other than the heroism before Robert Griffin’s injury, everything we mainly got in the squad was just guys. There really weren’t any dynamic players who were money when the game was in play.
Hope. It is the most powerful word in the English language. Those who can sell it become millionaires and those who can provide it become legends. That’s why I recently ordered my own Heinicke # 4 jersey which arrived on Thursday.
I even picked Atlanta to win last week on my podcast, The dirty pocket. Call it sitting in too many sports bars over the past 30 years and watching Washington find a way to lose or miss a winning kick.
Growing up in the ’80s I used to pick Washington to win the Super Bowl every year because as a fan I used to win, but not anymore and definitely not on the road against one. team we should beat. This has been a proven recipe for losing over the past 30 years – – although it’s not entirely true historically, it sure feels like it.
My wife Samantha and I were sitting in a sports bar in Key West watching the games. I was obsessed with the Washington game while my wife was glued to the screen showing the Cowboys. Long story and yes it is true love. I saw something that even surprised me as much as I love Heinicke. I saw him lead us in a winning race, with a frightening level of intensity and a lot of heart.
Look at the look in his eyes as he scans the field on the reader. Here’s what a champion looks like in the eyes:
Sunday was another defining moment for Heinicke and his legend. We’ll come back to that game and say on the timeline, “This is where it happened. It was one of those 4th and 1 moments in Super Bowl XVII or like one of those times Darrell Green stopped the Bears player from coming back for a touchdown, on his way to the show.
Heinicke brought hope – – real hope to this team. Now we know that with Heinicke in the game we never got out of it, just like the 49ers knew with Joe Montana and the Patriots knew the same with Tom Brady. There is also no price that a team can put on it. Players like Heinicke are very rare.
Heinicke also brings hope for something more than winning too…
It brings hope that dreams can come true for everyone. Last year around this time, Taylor Heinicke was sleeping on his sister’s couch and he was out of football. He shows us all that dreams come true and he reminds us all to never give up.
Chase Young knew it the moment Heinicke scored that touchdown that’s frozen in the minds of Washington fans everywhere when he pointed to the back of Heinicke’s jersey – – when he pointed at number # 4.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired into the scheme which included Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and is a contributing reviewer for Draft Diamonds. For more information on him, visit his website at thoughprendsbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO TALK NFL.