But, now, it’s for good. Actually, the word good is the wrong one. For him it’s a good thing, but for those of us who have been around a while it is not. Tyer was a link to the glory days, back to George Allen. Nobody knew the last 38 years of Redskins history better than Tyer.
And nobody cared more than Tyer whether the team won or lost. In his first season, Tyer remembered a victory vs. Dallas. He hated the Cowboys, digesting the mandate from George Allen. So Tyer celebrated as he left the field, shouting a thing or two at the fans. Then assistant coach Mike McCormack reminded Tyer, "Hey, we play them again this season."
Tyer was a confidante of the players, but he was mindful of whom he reported to: the coaches. He had his favorites and kept their name tags in his training room, guys like Joe Jacoby and Russ Grimm. He did not like John Riggins, once telling me that he thought he took advantage of Joe Gibbs.
Tyer also kept things loose for the players. Jon Jansen used to lock him in his office. Tyer used to take Grimm’s shipment of chewing tobacco and hide it, which prompted the ex-Hog to throw him in the whirlpool.
But Tyer got his revenge. One day at practice, he took Grimm’s clothes and walked to the field. He waved at Grimm, then a coach, who waved back not knowing what was happening. Then Tyer dumped his clothes on the ground, took out a match and started a fire.
The episode was caught on video, prompting Norv Turner to show it to his team as an example of getting revenge.
Tyer likely will spend time in North Carolina, where he has a boat. He’s earned a good ride into the sunset. But Redskins Park got just a little less friendly and fun.