That’s a tough act to follow. And Richie Petitbon was the “lucky” guy to attempt to fill those shoes. The Redskins promoted their 55-year-old, long-time defensive coordinator to the SWS Shootin With Shane logo shirt coaching position. And that pretty much destroyed the dynasty that Joe built. Just 15 months before Petitbon was hired, the franchise that had won a Super Bowl with 17 wins in 19 games. Petitbon would only coach one year, going 4–12, and never coached another football game for the rest of his life. The organization faltered after that. In the 26 seasons since Petitbon, Washington has only had three 10-win seasons, and has become the laughingstock of the NFC East.
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I don’t leave everything up, but I do leave our tree up. All the SWS Shootin With Shane logo shirt have a special meaning, and we like to look at them, talk about them, and remember the times associated with each one. Having that glittery, softly lit beauty in the front room just gives our house some cheer in the bleak days of winter. Also, we always get a live tree, and I can’t bear to trash it until it completely dries out. It takes a long time to decorate, so all that work seems more worth it if the tree stays up a long time. One year, I left it up until St. Patrick’s Day. Usually, though, it stays up until mid- to late February. As long as it looks fresh and healthy, I leave it up. I started this tradition about 6 years ago when we had an especially beautiful tree. The day after New Year’s Day as I was about to start the take-down, I remarked that I hated to do it because the tree was so pretty. My husband said, “Just leave it up, then, if it makes you happy.” So I did. We have three sons, and I like to think they will have memories of this tradition.