Rachel Zagaroli Probably Knows More About Sherm Lewis Than Daniel Snyder

October 26, 2009 – 3:00 am by Michael Bean

It’s no secret that the Washington Redskins are a trainwreck. The ‘Skins are just 2-4 despite not having played a team with a winning record heading in to their meeting with Washington. The loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week was particularly unsettling for the ‘Skins and their fanbase. The target of much of the criticism has been head coach Jim Zorn, who had previously been in charge of the play calling duties in D.C. After the abysmal start to the season for the offense, Zorn had those duties removed by executive Vinny Cerrato. A wise move? Perhaps, we’ll see. But his replacement sure wasn’t an impressive. Sherm Lewis, the former offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers under Mike Holmgren, was brought in to direct the offense. Lewis hasn’t been involved in the NFL since 2004. That’s concerning obviously.  Rather than keeping his ear close to the ground in the insular world of professional football, Lewis was instead spending his time doing volunteer work in Novi, Michigan where he resides. Not just any old volunteer work though. Lewis was themaster MC of the hopping Bingo scene at the Senior Center of Novi. Good for Sherm for giving back. Is he up for the job though in D.C.?

Hey, just because the man has been spending time perfecting his Bingo calls doesn’t mean he can’t call plays in the National Football League.  Last week on SRI, we heard from the embattled Jim Zorn and heard about how big of a challenge he thought it would be for Lewis. I suppose we’ll see how the first chapter of this saga reads on Monday night when the ‘Skins play the Philadelphia Eagles in the nation’s capitol. First though, let’s hear from Rachel Zagalori, an employee of the Senior Center where Lewis was spending his time. She joined ESPN 710 Seattle to talk about her experiences interacting with Sherm Lewis and how swell a guy she thinks he is.

To begin, Zagalori comments on where exactly Sherm Lewis is coming from as he gets set to begin his stint as the Washington Redskins’ play-caller:

“He’s coming from Novi, Michigan. He lives in Novi and he also does some volunteer work for us over at the Senior Center and for the city of Novi.”

On what goes on there in terms of recreational activities:

“Right, it’s a recreation facility and we do about 130 programs a month and our volunteers play a great role in doing that and Sherm was one of those volunteers.”

On just how much play Lewis’ recent endeavors at the Senior Center in Novi has been getting from the media:

“Oh my gosh! Yes, people are calling all the time and coming over and doing pictures and stories. And it’s quite the story.”

On how ESPN even came to Novi to do a story on Lewis:

“ESPN was there today and they were there for most of the afternoon taping some interviews with some of our people that knew Sherman and they were going to do it for the pre-show on Monday night.”

On if anything this exciting has ever happened in Novi, Michigan:

“Absolutely not. Not this widespread.”

On if she knew who Lewis was or if he talked about his background in organized football:

“Actually he hasn’t. I knew that he had helped do some of our youth football teams and kind of mentoring and those kinds of things. And he played a big role in that. But very quiet, very quiet on the sidelines with stuff like that. It was like he just wanted to give back to the community just as much as he had gotten from the community. And I thought that was really pretty nice.”

On whether or not it is true that Lewis was a good Bingo caller:

“He absolutely was [laughing]. You know, if you are a good bingo caller, they’re going to tell you that. And if you’re not a good one, they’re going to tell you that too. So he did that. But you know, he didn’t just do Bingo. He did Meals on Wheels and he would take meals to people’s homes that were home-bound and couldn’t get out. So he was just making sure people were okay and I think that’s great. But during Bingo he would always say ‘ now, is everybody going to have a good time?’ And then when it was done he would say ‘I’m glad that you were here and be safe’ and all from his heart. So, I know whatever he’s going to do he’s going to do a good job with.”

Listen here to Zagaroli with Kevin Calabro on ESPN 710 in Seattle

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