Gibbs: Long-lasting dispute could hurt NFL
NASCAR owner Joe Gibbs went through NFL labor problems twice
during his Washington Redskins’ coaching career. Now a fan, Gibbs
doesn’t want the game he loves to suffer through a long work
stoppage that costs the sport popularity and prestige.
The three-time Super Bowl winner and NASCAR owner said Tuesday
the NFL lockout disturbs him and he hopes players and owners can
settle things before football suffers.
”There’s too much at stake,” Gibbs said. ”They may miss a few
preseason games, but I think they’ll get this done because
otherwise, I think it would hurt the sport.”
Gibbs spent Tuesday morning visiting inmates at the Broad River
Correctional Institution in South Carolina’s capital. He was in the
state six months ago on a similar mission at Turbeville
Correctional Institution, telling those behind bars that they can
find a second chance through religion.
”It could be the most important thing I do on this earth,”
Gibbs, 70, has lived a life of accomplishment.
After winning the Super Bowl following the 1982, 1987 and 1991
seasons as Washington’s coach, he became a success in NASCAR. The
teams of Joe Gibbs Racing won Sprint Cup titles in 2000 with driver
Bobby Labonte and in 2002 and 2005 with driver Tony Stewart.
Yet, Gibbs told 150 or so prisoners at Broad River’s training
facility that he, too, was laid low by mistakes. Gibbs pointed out
one misstep was a real-estate deal in Oklahoma soon after he began
at Washington that quickly soured and nearly led him to bankruptcy.
He said he called on his faith and his family to lead him back to
”I don’t care what your mess is, finances, relationships,
addiction,” Gibbs said. ”God is bigger than any mess.”
Gibbs also gave the keynote speech at a luncheon hosted by
Columbia International University.
He said his faith has helped him keep perspective on his
professional life. Gibbs acknowledged that hasn’t always been easy.
He recalled the long nights in his football offices, scheming plays
and scouting teams to win another game. He said he apologized to
his sons, J.D. and Coy, in the past few years for all the events
and milestones he missed putting football coach ahead of
”So I’m probably a good study on not getting the right balance
at times,” he said.
Gibbs said he often gets asked by fans who was harder to manage,
Washington running back John Riggins or JGR star driver Kyle Busch.
”I tell them, ‘Neither one’s a piece of cake,”’ he said with a
laugh. ”I enjoyed them both.”
Gibbs second stint as Washington coach lasted from 2004-2007.
He’s bothered that NFL owners and players haven’t come to agreement
before now. Still, Gibbs believes a settlement will be reached
before the regular season starts.
”I worry about it,” he said. ”I think it’ll come down to the
Gibbs left little doubt a possible return to the sidelines in
time to pick up another Super Bowl title after a season of labor
”The best answer to that is to ask my wife and she’ll say ‘Read
my lips: The big no,”’ Gibbs said. ”I think we’re done
Gibbs said he’ll get to work with his NASCAR teams on engine
problems that have plagued his three drivers, Busch, Denny Hamlin
and Joey Logano, at times this season. Gibbs spent much of his time
out in California analyzing the problems and diagnosing a
”We got several options, different things we can do,” he said.
”It’s just a matter of making the right decision.”
That’s what Gibbs hopes the inmates he spoke too can do after
their release. After the speech, state Corrections Department chief
Bill Byars gave Gibbs a plaque that designated March 29th ”Joe
”We’ll put this in the race shop where everybody can see it,”
Gibbs said. ”There’s a lot of people there praying for you.”