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Mr. Cool
Michael Silver
October 06, 1997
Though even his wife was heckling him, Gus Frerotte exhibited Montana-like unflappability in rallying the surprising Redskins to victory over the Jaguars
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October 06, 1997

Mr. Cool

Though even his wife was heckling him, Gus Frerotte exhibited Montana-like unflappability in rallying the surprising Redskins to victory over the Jaguars

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•On the Skins' next drive, with Washington facing second-and-five at the Jaguars' eight, Turner called a play known as 438-Run-It, Fake-Cross. Frerotte fired a perfect pass to the primary receiver, tight end Jamie Asher, whose diving catch gave the Redskins the lead for good.

•With 5:48 remaining and Washington ahead 17-12, Turner called for the same play on third-and-goal from the 13. Asher was covered, but Frerotte spotted Shepherd cutting across the middle of the end zone and threw one of the best passes of his life. "It was a laser," Turner said. The throw resembled the one Montana made to John Taylor to give the San Francisco 49ers a last-minute victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII.

In Washington, Gus and Annie (who have a two-year-old daughter, Abby) have emerged as post-Dan Quayle poster children for family values. During the July press conference at which the Redskins announced the signing of Gus, a former seventh-round draft choice, to a four-year, $18 million contract, he broke down and cried, and thanked Annie for her support and encouragement. Last Friday, as the featured speaker at a charity dinner honoring organ donors, Gus wept again while discussing his father, Gus Sr., who underwent a heart transplant in May. After struggling to regain his composure, Frerotte told the audience, "I'm being myself. When I get happy, I get emotional. I can't control it. I can't stop it."

Back home a few hours later, Gus disappeared upstairs for several minutes before rejoining Annie in the kitchen. "I drew you a bath," he told her, and then they started talking about old times—how she thought he was "geeky" when she met him during the summer after their freshman year in college; how they forged a long-distance relationship while she was attending Pittsburgh and he was at Tulsa; how they were married in Maui in February 1995 with former Redskins quarterback John Friesz (now with the Seattle Seahawks) and his wife, Julie, as the only guests.

"You'd better get in the bath," Gus told Annie.

"It's fine," she replied.

The unflappable one was distressed.

"It's going to overflow," he warned.

"Will you relax?" she said, glaring.

There was an uncomfortable silence. Then the two started laughing.

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