Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Amidst Sunday Excitement, Banks’ Performance Not Lost

DOWN TO CHINATOWN Amidst Sunday Excitement, Banks’ Performance Not Lost By Eric Kim Hoya Staff Writer

Sunday was a day of miracles. The Yankees lost. Formerly unstoppable Yankee closer Mariano Rivera pulled a Byung-Hyun Kim and blew game seven and the World Series for my beloved Yanks, proving that God is not a Yankee fan. The Chicago Bears, a team that has yet to see anything good since the 1985 Super Bowl season, pulled off its second miracle in two weeks, getting a game-tying touchdown in the last second and then a Mike Brown interception in overtime for their league-leading sixth win. Yet overshadowed in all the days’ sporting events, Tony Banks led the Washington Redskins to their third straight win.

A perennial outcast, Banks may have found himself a stable job for once. He may have also escaped the unbelievably bad luck that has followed him throughout his entire professional career. Little do we remember that Banks was once the quarterback of the future for the St. Louis Rams before a guy named Warner came along. The former Michigan State star was actually a second-round pick for the Rams and the first quarterback drafted in the 1996 NFL Draft.

After three mediocre seasons, then-Head Coach Dick Vermeil booted him from St. Louis and the Banks-less Rams only went on to win a Super Bowl the following year. Poor Tony missed out on his chance to become part of the Greatest Show on Earth and to win a championship. More importantly, it could have been him and Terrell Davis on those Campbell’s Chunky Soup commercials.

Banks packed his bags and headed to Baltimore, where all he had to do was let the defense score. Too bad Banks screwed that up, too. In a battle of two hapless quarterbacks in Baltimore, it was fellow bust Trent Dilfer who ended up on top and Banks on the bench. Sadly, only Dilfer’s name will ever be associated with the Super Bowl winning Ravens team. It’s true Banks got a Super Bowl ring and hundreds of other more deserving quarterbacks like Jim Kelly or Dan Marino ended their careers without one. But I highly doubt that Banks flashes that piece of jewelry anywhere he goes. And I know for sure that he didn’t show off the ring to the Redskins when he took over as starting quarterback. Who cares if he started eight games for the Ravens that year? Unfortunately for Tony, no one in five years will remember that he was on the Ravens when they won their first championship.

Even worse, HBO decides to air an unprecedented training camp show on the Ravens following their Super Bowl season. Here’s another chance for Tony to become a household name, but wait, he’s in the last place any quarterback would want to be: Dallas. Tony has literally been handed the job of leading the Dallas Cowboys, with only rookie Quincy Carter and Anthony Wright, and not Troy Aikman to contend. But in one fell swoop, Dallas Head Coach Dave Campo decides he wants to start a young quarterback and he cuts the 28-year old Banks in perhaps the most embarrassing moment of his career.

Tony’s at home probably talking to his agent and praying that one of the other 30 NFL teams will need an extra veteran quarterback, who is supposed to be in the prime of his career. But you know that Tony’s also praying that the hapless Redskins won’t call. But Bad Luck Banks does get that phone call from arty Schottenheimer. It turns out Todd Husak is injured and Marty needs someone, anyone.

Tony then has to bear a horrific 0-2 start where the Skins give up 67 points and only score three. Out Jeff George, another big bust. Banks is announced the starting Redskins quarterback on Sept. 26, and everyone in the NFC East is snickering. The low point comes in the Monday Night game when Washington loses to Dallas in front of a national audience and extends their losing streak to five. It hurts when you lose to a team you were cut by, but it’s even worse when Dennis Miller actually has a good game.

Luckily the Redskins have Banks, a man who’s experienced enough humiliating moments and is probably immune now to them. The week after the futile bowl, Banks breaks out with a 346-yard passing game and leads Washington over Carolina in overtime. Tony actually realizes he’s got weapons on the offensive side like workhorse Stephen Davis, rookie sensation Rod Gardner, and a good tackle in Chris Samuels.

Tony gets heads turning though after the Skins win against the Giants for two in a row. He throws a solid two touchdowns and no interceptions, enough to let New York’s mistakes make the Giants lose. And now this, a win against the Seahawks for three in a row. Granted, all of these games have been at home, but Tony’s actually being recognized. So give him a hand. To have survived the past five years and still be playing in the NFL is indeed a miracle.

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