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Culture Change Starts With Pipp–Part 1

This is part 1 of 2.

October 13th, early morning: This story is a rewrite or rather different take on an American classic—a cautionary tale for any athlete.

Right now, there is a lot of controversies surrounding Washington Football Team especially at the QB position. That sentence sounds like an understatement here in the Metro area as of this early morning a couple days after a game 5 loss. What fireworks Sunday with the insertion of Alex Smith from the injury to Kyle Allen.

Not only do I disbelieve the rumors that Haskins—somewhat self-reported—has been lazy since the start of the season but I think it is wrapped in racist stereotypes that pervade are sports towns attitudes and airwaves.  Just like our town was so easy to accept the pu pu platter story as a dumb kid, now our town seems to be accepting  without questioning the narrative or the new rumors of Haskins, a lazy African American who lacks leadership…so now, accepted by many that Haskins was lazy after given the keys to this utmost important position.  Does this start at the top, in this town there are not many jobs more important, right!

Also, 9 out of 10 Native Americans did not feel Redskins was a racist name, was pretty well accepted as facts. Hmmm…did Hopkins hit the right or left upright the other day, right!

Just like Alex Smith was a key cog in the development of Patrick Mahomes, I guess Haskins is more of a communist socialist than a potential Mahomes pay off. What’s a few, spent on draft day anyhow! Racist stereotypes always need to be expelled, this town is doing a lousy job of this with Dwayne!

Unfortunately for WFT (I stress incredibly early on in Rivera’s tenture), Haskins like Allen and Smith seem to have problems with spreading the wealth. Welcome to 1-4.

You see I have a buddy who says she has worked the past 6 plus years—mostly, Monday thru Saturday—without missing a day. I have known this lady for nearly 4 years and never seen her miss a shift or a day, period. Like the queen, she is always present. So, what does this have to do with WFT QBs, the NFL or anything QB—we are getting there but just remember my buddies story throughout the rest of this article.

You see, I have a pretty good record of not missing a shift when on a typical workday schedule but not a particularly fantastic record. I remember last year because I had a headache and was worried it might turn into a migraine I asked to get the day off. Little did I know that a headache was the believed cause of one of the greatest cautionary tales of American sports.   A tale intertwined in the fabric of MLB and American sports: the tale of Lou Gehrig and Wally Pipp.

As the tale went, on June 2nd, 1925, Pipp asked New York Yankees manager Miller Huggins to take a day off because of a headache. That day Gehrig replaced him and started the longest games streak in the history of American sports at 2130…a streak never thought to be broken until Superman Cal Ripken broke it nearly 6 decades later (56 years later) and went on to play in 2,632 games. A streak that will not be broken.

As it turns out the legend had it that Pipp simply had a headache which is actually 100% false. Untrue even if in the annals of Cooperstown.

The fact was there was no headaches or ask to be releved by Pipp. There are a few versions of what actually transpired but the one that now seems to be the most accept account: NYY was struggling and Pipp was playing very poorly at 1st. Huggins decided to bench Pipp and 5 other Yankees to jump start the team because NYY were struggling immensely.

Gehrig, a young upstart, went 3 for 5 in his starting lineup debut and never missed a day for the next 14 seasons.

Whatever account is true: the headache has been fairly well documented to have been false.

As for Pipp remainder of his NYY career–later in the season (while benching it), Pipp did not wear a batting helmet to bp and got struck with a ball and nearly died.

By the offseason NYY traded Pipp to the Cincinnati Reds and the legend of Pipp slowly began  to transpire with the meteoric rise of Gehrig soon thereafter somehow entering the fabric of American sports.  But somehow, the reported story of Pipp’s headache became the myth surrounding his benching.

By the time Gehrig retired—the deterioration of Gehrig’s body because of the contraction of the fatal ALS, the legend of Pipp —already cemented in the fabric of American sports with professional MLBers using slang like “ I have been Wally Pipped” or “ I don’t want to be Pipped!”

Gehrig amazing…14 years consecutively, not until baseball superhero Superman Ripken broke it…



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