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The team originated as the Boston Braves, based in Boston, Massachusetts in 1932. At the time the team played in Braves Field, the home field of the Boston Braves baseball team. The following year the club moved to Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, whereupon owners changed the team's name to the Boston Redskins. The Redskins relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1937. In their early years in Washington, the Redskins shared Griffith Stadium with the Washington Senators baseball team. The Redskins played and won their first game in Washington D.C. on September 16, 1937, a victory against the Giants, 13–3. Their success would continue, and they would go all the way to the NFL Championship where they would end up beating the Chicago Bears 28-21, and win their first championship.
They would visit the championship two more times in the next ten years, once in 1942, where they would face the Chicago Bears again, and they would end up winning 14-6. The second time would face the Cleveland Rams but fall to them 15-14, the Rams winning on a early safety in the game.
The team's early success endeared it to the fans of Washington, D.C. However, after 1945, the team would start a slow decline and beginning their playoff drought. The team did a complete makeover, hiring and firing coaches the likes of former Packers coach Earl "Curly" Lambeau, Joe Kuharich. While moving tons of players around, changing the face of the team almost every season.
In 1969, the Redskins hired Vince Lombardi, who gained fame coaching with the Green Bay Packers to be their new head coach. Lombardi led the team to a 7–5–2 record, their best since 1955, but died of cancer on the eve of the 1970 season. Assistant coach Bill Austin was chosen to replace Lombardi during 1970 and produced a record of 6–8.
After the death of Lombardi and Austin's unsuccessful 1970 season, the Redskins signed former Los Angeles Rams head coach George Allen as head coach on January 6, 1971. Partial to seasoned veterans instead of highly-touted young players, Allen's teams became known as the Over-the-Hill Gang. That season, the Redskins would make the playoffs for the first time since 1945 with a 9–4–1 record.
he Redskins again made the playoffs in 1973, 1974 and 1976, only to lose all three times in the first round. After his Redskins failed to make the playoffs in 1977 despite posting a 9–5 record, Allen was fired and was replaced by new head coach Jack Pardee, a star linebacker under Allen in Los Angeles and Washington. Paradee did not see success, and was fired two years later since he missed the playoffs both times.
On January 13, 1981, owner Jack Kent Cooke signed the offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers, Joe Gibbs, as their head coach. After having a mediocre first season, going 8-8 the NFL would go on strike on September 21, 1982, the NFL faced a 57-day long players' strike, which reduced the 1982 season from a 16-game schedule to a nine-game schedule. Because of the shortened season, the NFL adopted a special 16-team playoff tournament, in which eight teams from each conference were seeded 1–8 based on their regular season records. After the strike was settled, the Redskins dominated, winning six out of the seven remaining games to make the playoffs for the first time since 1976.
The following season the Redskins would win their first Super Bowl and their first NFL Championship in 40 years. They would go on to win two more Super Bowls before 1993, where the team would take a downturn and would not end until Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III (RG3) would be drafted and lead the team to a playoff spot in 2012.