In today's Rewarding Moments In Redskins History, presented by Maryland Lottery My Lottery Rewards, we look back to Sept. 16, 1937, the Redskins first game in Washington, and first win.*
In front of 25,000 fans in Griffith Stadium on a Thursday night full of anticipation and excitement, the Redskins played their first game in Washington. The year was 1937. The day was Sept. 16.
The Redskins also won that game, a 13-3 victory over the Giants, beginning the franchise's history on a positive note.
The star that night was former Alabama standout Riley Smith, a kicker and defensive back that pretty much did it all against New York to ensure victory. To steal a baseball term, his WAR (wins above replacement) that night would have been astronomical.
Smith was both kicker and a defender and he ended up being responsible for all 13 Redskins points. In the first quarter, Smith hit a chip shot 19-yard field goal. The game stayed tied at 3 until the fourth quarter until Smith intercepted a Giants pass for a 58-yard touchdown return.
For good measure, and to extend the lead, Smith closed out the scoring with an 18-yard field goal.
In the final game of that season, the Redskins routed the Giants at Polo Grounds, a proper bookend to propel them to an Eastern Division title and, ultimately defeat the Western Division Champion Chicago Bears, 28-21, at Wrigely Field for the NFL Championship.
Under the guidance of Pro Football Hall Of Famer Sammy Baugh, the Redskins made their first year in the league memorable in more ways than one.