During the Redskins’ win over the Eagles, play-by-play man Larry Michael announced that QB Jason Campbell just broke a longstanding franchise record for most consecutive passes without an interception.
“Was that yours?” color man Sam Huff asked his radio partner and former teammate and Skins legend, Sonny Jurgensen.
“No. Theese-mann’s,” Jurgensen huffed.
He meant Joe Theismann, whose name Jurgensen has mispronounced intentionally for decades.
The previous record, 161 passes without a pick, was set in 1983 by Theismann. Legend holds that Theismann changed the pronunciation of his name from “theese-man” to “thyze-man” during his days at Notre Dame so it would rhyme with Heisman, as in Heisman Trophy.
Theismann finished behind Stanford’s Jim Plunkett in the Heisman voting after his senior season in 1970. It’s often said that Theismann blamed his runner-up finish on voters’ sympathy for Plunkett, whose parents were blind.
Jurgensen has always gone with the original pronunciation. For a reason: He and his former running mate Billy Kilmer both instantly disliked Theismann when he came to the Redskins in 1974, in no small part because Theismann vowed to win the starting quarterback job and “put the old men [Jurgensen and Kilmer] on the bench.”
Jurgensen’s in the Hall of Fame; Theismann is not. Theismann’s got a Super Bowl ring; Jurgy does not. Skins fans love ’em both.
But, based on Sunday’s radio call, the 35-year-old feud lives on.