Fellow Redskins fans, it’s finally here – football! Hail to the Redskins! It’s time to put all the offseason speculations and calculations to rest. Thursday night the rubber meets the road – live, full contact against an opponent. Hopefully some of our questions will be answered concerning our beloved Washington Redskins. All the fans’ and media’s opinions collide for four 15-minute quarters of Redskins football bliss – especially if we win. Yes, I’m aware it’s only the preseason. There are certain valuable keys regarding the regular season that can be taken from preseason play.
Anticipating the return of football, I’m like a child waiting for Christmas at 11:59pm on December 24th. So much runs through my mind, primarily my love affair with this Washington Redskins team. My fandom for the Redskins runs so deep; I’m often offended when I see people wearing merchandise of other NFL teams. I have a pure dislike of Cowboys fans and the arrogance with which they parade around. If anyone has the nerve to ask me why I’m a Redskins fan, I reply: “It’s in my blood.”
As a kid I lived less than 5 blocks from the famed RFK Stadium located in Northeast Washington, DC. The year was 1977 when as a boy I was introduced to the Washington Redskins. The excitement and connection with the fans throughout the city had me hooked. I wanted to attend every game and watch every news report about my Redskins. Due to financial constraints, I wasn’t able to attend all the games, but the old timers in my neighborhood hosted game day parties. Adults were celebrating and we kids were re-enacting plays we saw in the games. Nothing brought this DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area together better than a Redskins game. When the Redskins won, the city was happy. When they lost, people’s attitude reflected that as well.
How do you know if Burgundy and Gold is in your blood? Answer these questions: Do you get goosebumps watching the team practice? Do you find it difficult to walk pass team gear without making a purchase? Do you lose your voice after games because of cheering for and/or screaming at the Redskins? Do you turn your TV or radio off in disgust when you hear broadcasters talking bad about the team? I can’t help but give 100% of myself – each down, each play and every quarter of every Redskins game. I’m not what some would call a “blind homer.” When it comes to the performance of the Redskins, I call it as I see it – good, bad or otherwise.
The feelings and emotions that I go through when it comes to this Washington Redskins team are indescribable. I lost my father two years ago. While he was ill, the Redskins were playing the Giants. My family was gathered around my father’s hospital bed. Pops looked at me and said: “Son, aren’t the Redskins and Giants on right now?” I replied: “Yes sir.” We turned on the TV and watched the game against my mother’s wishes. She believed we allowed ourselves to get too involved watching the Redskins play. The Redskins fought back from a 10-point deficit and won the game. For that moment, it felt like we had the victory over my father’s cancer. Everyone was celebrating, high-fiving, hugging and showing so much love. We were cheering so loud, the nurse came in to see if everything was okay. We yelled: “WE WON! WE WON!” It turns out she was a Redskins fan as well. As we were leaving, the nurse said: “You all really love Redskins football.” My brother said: “It’s in our blood.”
So it’s that time of year again. This is our chance to make new memories and buy new Redskins gear. It’s time to yell until we lose our voices. It’s time to shut out the media or anyone else who belittles our Redskins. It’s time for families and friends to gather together to enjoy good food and football. It’s time to cheer for the Redskins players and all the effort they put forth to win games. If loving the Washington Redskins is wrong, I’ll never be right. As always, I will be donning my Redskins gear whether we win, lose or tie, because it’s Burgundy and Gold until I die. For those who don’t understand or may even wonder why – IT’S IN MY BLOOD. HTTR4LIFE!
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