Baltimore fans who complain about getting a steady diet of the Washington Redskins on television might have some company around the country this year. That's because the Redskins are going to be on national television almost as often as Bart Simpson.
Seven of their 21 games -- two of their five exhibition games and five of their 16 regular-season games -- will be on national television, according to the schedule the NFL released yesterday.
The exposure is part of the reward for being Super Bowl champions, but they won't be able to establish a routine. They play three Monday night games and a Sunday night game during the regular season. During the exhibition season, their American Bowl game Aug. 16 is Sunday night in London, 1 p.m. Washington time.
Their other two games on national television are a Saturday night exhibition finale against the Minnesota Vikings and a Saturday afternoon regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Raiders the day after Christmas.
"It's always tougher after winning the Super Bowl, but we're glad to be in that position," coach Joe Gibbs said.
The most ominous part of the schedule is the Monday night opener in Dallas. This is the fifth time under Gibbs that they've played in the first Monday night game. They have lost the previous four -- twice to the Cowboys and twice to the New York Giants. Overall, they're 1-5 in Monday night openers.
In their last Monday night opener in Dallas in 1985, the Redskins were blown out, 44-14, on Joe Theismann's 36th birthday. The Dallas fans celebrated by serenading him with a chorus of "Happy Birthday" at
the end of the game.
"We'll have to make sure we don't have any players with their birthdays on Sept. 7," general manager Charley Casserly said jokingly.
Overall, the Redskins are 5-6 in their openers under Gibbs, including an 0-3 mark against Dallas.
The Redskins play four division games late in the year, including a December game against the Giants. During 1988-90, both Giants games were in the first halves of the seasons. The Giants swept them all three years, virtually knocking the Redskins out of the division race by midseason.
The Redskins will open their annual three-day minicamp tomorrow. All players, with the possible exception of quarterback Stan Humphries, are expected to attend. Humphries
wants to be traded and hasn't decided whether to appear. The players don't wear pads or have contact drills at the minicamp.
Meanwhile, owner Jack Kent Cooke has been busy attending to his wife, Marlene, who shot herself in the hand at their Washington home Monday night. In a statement, Marlene Cooke said she found a gun in an antique chest they had moved from their Virginia estate and it discharged when she picked it up.
Aug. 1 Miami at Orlando.. .. TBA
Aug. 8 at Jets.. .. .. .. 8 p.m.
Aug. 16 S.F. at London.. . 1 p.m.
Aug. 22 at L.A. Raiders.. .4 p.m.
Aug. 29 Minnesota.. .. .. .8 p.m.
Sept. 7 at Dallas.. .. .. 9 p.m.
Sept. 13 Atlanta.. .. .. . 1 p.m.
Sept. 20 Detroit.. .. .. . 4 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Phoenix.. .. .. .4 p.m.
Oct. 12 Denver.. .. .. .. .9 p.m.
Oct. 18 Philadelphia.. .. .1 p.m.
Oct. 25 at Minnesota.. .. .1 p.m.
Nov. 1 N.Y. Giants.. .. .. 8 p.m.
Nov. 8 at Seattle.. .. .. .4 p.m.
Nov. 15 at Kansas City.. . 1 p.m.
Nov. 23 at N. Orleans.. .. 9 p.m.
Nov. 29 Phoenix.. .. .. .. 1 p.m.
Dec. 6 at N.Y. Giants.. .. 4 p.m.
Dec. 13 Dallas.. .. .. .. 1 p.m.
Dec. 20 at Philadelphia.. .1 p.m.
Dec. 26 L.A. Raiders.. .. .4 p.m.