Spring 2021 Magazine

Washington great London Fletcher inducted into Redskins Ring of Fame

Linebacker London Fletcher spent 16 seasons terrorizing NFL offenses, his last seven with the Washington Redskins. On Monday night, the Redskins honored Fletcher for what he meant to the organization by making him the 50th player in Washington’s storied history to be inducted into the franchise’s Ring of Fame.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

The ceremony took place during the Redskins’ home game against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, and former offensive tackle Chris Samuels was also inducted.

“It is a tremendous honor to be going into the Ring of Fame,” Fletcher told NBC Sports. “I grew up watching a lot of the old Redskins players whether it was Darrell Green, John Riggins and some of the old guys that wore the Burgundy and Gold, so for me to be joining them in the Ring of Fame is something.”

Fletcher was arguably the best linebacker in football from 2007 to 2013, the seven years he spent in a Redskins uniform. He made it to four consecutive Pro Bowls from 2009 to 2012 and recorded 955 of his 2,031 career tackles in Washington, which led the entire NFL during that span. His 12 interceptions were also the most by a linebacker during those seven seasons. He was named a captain in 2008, a position he held until his retirement after the 2013 season.

It was Fletcher’s relentlessness, toughness and dedication at the middle linebacker position that endeared him to Redskins teammates, coaches and fans everywhere. Astoundingly, Fletcher played in all 256 regular-season games in his career, starting the last 215 of them. His consecutive-starts streak began with his first team, the St. Louis Rams, in 2000, continued throughout his five seasons with the Buffalo Bills, and only ended when he retired, after 112 consecutive starts in Washington. Fletcher started all nine postseason games in his career as well, including Super Bowl XXXIV during his second season, when his St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans, 23-16.

Fletcher discussed his incredible longevity, his path to NFL stardom as an undrafted rookie out of Division III-John Carroll University, his difficult upbringing and his faith in Christ on the Sports Spectrum Podcast last October.

“It was almost like I couldn’t imagine not playing,” Fletcher said of his consecutive-starts streak. “I love playing that much. I love to compete. I don’t want to sit on the sideline. I don’t want to watch on TV.”

Fletcher said he began his career by playing angry and cussing out opponents out on the field. Yet when Jesus became a part of Fletcher’s life in 2004 as a member of the Buffalo Bills, Fletcher felt a peace he had never experienced before.

“I was like, ‘Man, I should have done this years ago,'” Fletcher said of his conversion. “That peace, that gratification, that joy, that void that I was missing, it came right away when I gave my life to Christ.”

Fletcher was a nominee for the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class but didn’t make the final list. He will be considered again next year.

RELATED STORIES:
NEW PODCAST: London Fletcher, Former NFL Linebacker – Part 1
NEW PODCAST: London Fletcher, Former NFL Linebacker – Part 2
NEW PODCAST: Tress Way, Washington Redskins Punter
Washington Redskins’ Josh Norman visited Israel twice to walk ‘where Jesus walked’
MAGAZINE: Wesley Woodyard is Tennessee’s Captain Chaplain