A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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    • Nine Years Ago -- The Weekend the B&G took over Canton

      I really want to get the DeLorean revved up again, but the nerve damage in my hand is really prohibiting me from typing a lot.. so I'm looking into other ways to get articles and old stuff posted without having to type (scanning, converting PDFs to text, etc.). In the meantime I wanted to share something personal.. some of you may have already even read this; but it tells you alot about me, personally, and I hope for those that were unable to be there feels the emotion and excitement the way I describe it. I also apologize for the length... and no offense taken if you don't read it all or even the article period.

      Yes, we're talking about the weekend that Darrell Green and Art Monk (long overdue) were inducted into the Hall of Fame. I apologize if this is redundant for some of you.


      Chapter One – The players

      First, you have to meet the principle players. As in all stories, there are people you need to remember throughout the story or else be scratching your head saying, shoot, I knew I should have remembered that person. And there are people who can remain nameless as while they may play an important role in the festivities, the details about who they are, are not important to the story. So let’s get that boring stuff taken care of quickly. If you can get through that part, you can get through the rest.

      What: Canton Professional Football Hall of Fame Induction, August 1-4, 2008. (Will be referred to as “HOF”)

      Where: Canton Ohio. Now.. where is Canton. Know the song by John Denver “Saturday Night in Toledo Ohio”? Well, there’s a phrase in that song… “… they roll up the sidewalks precisely at 10:00”. Well in Canton, the roll them up at 9 p.m. It’s a small town in Ohio, south of Cleveland and is known for nothing other than the Professional Football Hall of Fame, because Canton is the home of the first professional football team. That’s it. That’s all you have to know about Canton. It’s an insignificant town that plays a very significant role in what was definitely a weekend I’ll never forget.

      Who: The people you need to keep track of in this story (anyone else mentioned, don’t worry about… don’t worry about names, et cetera. Just worry about the people talked about below and you’ll be fine.

      1. Me – Sandy. That part is easy.
      2. Penny – my niece. My traveling companion for the weekend.
      3. Christie (Huly) – My friend who organizes stuff from the chat board of which I was a member at the time. I somehow get roped into helping her at times. We’ve done stuff such as going away parties for the team for away games at Redskins Park, to welcome homes at 2 in the morning (win or lose), to baking Joe Gibbs (our coach) a birthday cake on the evening of his birthday, only to be invited into his office “to chat” (never did it before, and obviously since he retired, never will again – I was one of the lucky 9 people who were there for that one). We also organized the vigil when Sean Taylor, the player of ours who was shot and killed last year, was shot, and then when he was killed, we organized the memorial at Redskins Park. Oh, one other thing… Christie’s uncle played the drum for the Baltimore Colts’ marching band and donated his drum to the Hall of Fame after the Colts won the Superbowl, I believe in 1968 (don’t quote me on the year.. but that’s not important). He died a few years ago.
      4. Chris (Pez) – Christie’s husband. Just repeat the entire paragraph 3 for him as well.
      5. Chat Board Member: Before BGobsession was a glimmer in our eyes, I did belong to another board, where I originally met the likes of Boone, Om, as well as Huly and Pez.
      6. RS Fan. A Redskins fan that was not a member of our board. Other than that NO distinction. The Redskins fanbase is a family. Not everyone is on the message boards. But chat board members plan tailgates for all games, road games, and get togethers, such as those that took place this weekend. Other RS Fans join us when they find us, and we welcome them with open arms. We welcome fans of other teams as well. As long as they treat us the way we treat them – with respect.
      7. I mentioned Sean Taylor above when talking about Christie (Huly) and (Pez). Sean Taylor was a young player who, as a rookie, got into some trouble, but as time went on, he became a father, turned his life around, and had plans to marry his daughter’s mom (who had been his girlfriend since high school), only to be shot by some kids trying to be smart. Sean Taylor died defending his fiance and his child who were in the bed behind him as he opened the door to the bedroom to have a gun go off; and to die a short 36 hours later. He had already been a pro-bowler for 2 years and the Redskins, in tribute to him, wore #21 on their jerseys all year. In addition, the 4 Redskin players who made the pro bowl in February (the best players of all teams, AFC versus NFC), were all allowed to wear #21 on their jerseys, which subsequently were auctioned off to benefit Sean’s daughter and go into her trust fund.
      Now.. let’s see.. did I leave anyone important out?

      Oh.. yes.. the players. Why were we even in Canton this weekend?

      Art Monk. Number 81. Wide Receiver. Played for the Redskins 1980-1993. Retired in 1995. He played a couple years after leaving the Redskins but he was enshrined as a Washington Redskin. He held all but one receiving record at the time he retired. Everyone considered him to be a “first ballot” hall of famer when he retired. That was in 1995. He was eligible in 2000. It took until 2008 for him to be voted in. Why? He’s quiet. He doesn’t self-promote. He doesn’t talk to the media. Other than that, he does nothing but stay in the Washington, DC area, run a youth camp in the summer for underprivileged kids, and helps out Darrell Green with his Youth Life Foundation. Never did drugs. Never was arrested. Never any controversy. It was a crime that it took that long for him to be inducted. But to go in when he did.. just made the weekend all that more special. Art Monk was always one of my favorites. I never had a specific favorite. But he was one of them. He was a Redskin in their glory years… and went to the SuperBowl all 4 times with them (we won 3). My friend in California was with me the Monday Night game against Denver when he broke the single season reception record. A night neither of us will forget. Number 81. While it was a crime he was kept out until now; it was only fitting he be put in with next up…

      Darrell Green. Number 28. Cornerback. Defense. Mr. Redskin. Played 1983-2002, 20 seasons with the Redskins. Never went anywhere else (and yes, he was a free agent). He chose to stay a Redskin for his entire career. He was offered more money to leave. But chose to stay. His career overlapped Art Monk’s.

      But #28 … Darrell Green. Is a little more special to me than that. See first it’s Darrell Green. It was an argument over Darrell Green on a Redskins message board that ultimately resulted in my meeting who was to be my future husband, Bruce. And while Bruce and I were only together for 5 short years before he died in 1999, they were by far the best 5 years of my life. And … #28 … the number Darrell Green wore? Well, my birthday is the 28th of the month. Bruce’s birthday was the 28th of the month. He proposed to me on the 28th of the month. We started our honeymoon on the 28th of the month. Unfortunately, I also buried him on the 28th of the month. So while Darrell Green was another one of my favorite Redskins, he is also special to me in other ways.

      The Redskins alone are special. I could do a page on why. But just know this. Burgundy and Gold are the colors of the Redskins. Burgundy and Gold are my favorite colors. They belong together. They are rich, celebratory colors. They are great colors for the holidays. But also know that the Redskins were my life when I was growing up. It was my time with my dad when I was a kid… that time that I had my dad all to myself when he would take me to games. The Redskins were also how I met my husband. And to this day, other than my animals, the Redskins are truly the one thing every year I really look forward to.. win or lose… because of the memories I have over the years. They’re the first team to have a band, the first team to have a half-time show, the first team to have a fight song. And the first team to have an ‘unofficial” official mascot.. Chief Z, who will be mentioned in this story. He’s a man who has been a fan of the Redskins his entire life. My brother and niece bought cars from him when he was a car salesman (he is now retired). He was friends with the Cowboy’s “mascot”, Crazy Ray (they were best of friends, despite the fact that the Cowboys and Redskins are enemies) and the Chief was at Crazy Ray’s funeral when he died at the expense of the Cowboys because it was the right thing to do. Chief Z, while not an “official mascot” (doesn’t where a big headed costume, and doesn’t get paid), he truly is a mascot in the real sense of the word… he represents the fans, doesn’t hesitate to stop for kids to say hi or take a picture, no matter how long the day has been or how tired he is. He’s not a well man, but what he did this weekend was incredible, including numerous charity events for kids in the Canton area. (2017 addendum: Chief Z.. may you RIP in burgundy and gold heaven)

      Okay… Hopefully you haven’t stopped reading. Because that, hopefully, is all the boring stuff that you just need to know to understand the weekend to start with.

      Chapter Two – The Plans

      The plans for this weekend started, oh, about December 2002 (the 2002-2003 season) when Darrell Green played his last game. See we knew, even though Art Monk did not get in his first year, we KNEW that Darrell would get in his first year of eligibility. And I knew I was going to be there. Darrell played too much of an important part of my life.. part of which he will probably never know with regards to my husband… and there would be no way I would miss his enshrinement. But that day he retired, I never dreamt that that promise I made then would turn into the weekend that it was. Because it was after my husband died, that I became a member of the Chat Board, met Chris, Christie and other members and became involved in something that is more than just going to football games. Oh I had been an active member of the Prodigy Board “Corner Critters” where we had get togethers where members from as far away as Oklahoma attended; we posted news (the “internet” really didn’t exist then) the morning the Washington Post (and yes, the paper copy; we had to type the articles, could not link them, etc.); but that was then and it’s a ‘whole nother chapter in my life.

      They announced the Class of 2008 on February 2, 2008. That was a Saturday. By Saturday evening, the plans were already cooking on the message boards. Who was going. Where would we stay. How to get tickets. What would we do. Of course go to the enshrinement. Let’s get together for dinner Friday night. And the game… do we want to go to the game. Well, they don’t announce the teams for the game until the schedule comes out in April. We don’t want to wait long to decide. So most of us go ahead and say, yeah, we’ll go to the game. After all, even if the Redskins don’t play IN the game, we have 2 Redskins going in (technically 3.. one of the other players who went in as a cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs (Emmmitt Thomas) just happened to have coached the Redskins when Darrell Green and Art Monk played) with Coach Gibbs (and just an addendum to bring you up to date to 2017 currently is on the coaching staff of the Kansas City Chiefs.) Anyway..back to the plans… So yeah.. let’s tailgate before the game, and do the game and drive home Monday. Make it a football weekend.

      By Wednesday after the announcement of the class, we had 4 hotels within 20 minutes of Canton booked solid at a group rate and needed more. That was just chat board members that we knew of… that didn’t account for the thousands of other RS Fans who were making the same plans we were, but didn’t have the benefit of what we were organizing. The day the enshrinement tickets went on sale, they were sold out by noon. That was a record in itself. They extended the seating and did sell more seats. The fact that they sold out that quickly, and the fact that just the chat board members had booked up 4 hotels, should have told them something about what was going to happen that weekend. Can you say “Taking Over Canton”? We knew we were. But Canton had no idea what was about to happen.

      Then, it was announced the Redskins would be playing in the Hall of Fame Game (it’s never been decided that early before, but the Redskins requested it… and they got it (made some rival teams’ fans mad, but I won’t go into that). That definitely ensured it to be a Burgundy and Gold weekend in Canton, Ohio. WE knew what was going to happen. The town of Canton did not. We could feel it and it was only February. But Canton. They had no clue. The burgundy and gold were coming to Canton and they just did not know what was going to hit them come August 1st.

      Chapter Three – The Wait

      The plans were made and the wait was on. Yeah, we had stuff. Like hiring a new coach because Coach Gibbs retired. Chris, Christie and I, along with other chat board members had organized a “goodbye” at Redskins Park for Gibbs. Despite the media circus, we were allowed up to the building where the media was (we always behaved ourselves and never “rushed” the players or coaches.. otherwise they’d never let us up there)… for send-offs and welcome homes, we got to go up to where they load the buses. As long as we didn’t rush the players and kept our distance, we could cheer them on, and we got paid back for our behavior by players coming over to us and shaking our hands, thanking us for coming, and the Coach… Coach Gibbs.. ALWAYS came over and shook everyone’s hand, took pictures with everyone, gave autographs (I will send you a scan of picture of the coach and me that he signed the day of his retirement). We had a good reputation and we were rewarded for it. When we talk to fans of other teams about stuff like this, they are amazed that we were allowed “that close” to the players and the coaches (we could see the practice fields, and as mentioned above, the Coach Gibbs invited us into his office one night after they had lost a game, it was raining, but it was his birthday and we brought him a cake). That was to be the start of a very long week as it was that very night that Sean Taylor was shot, and would be dead within 48 hours of when we were singing Happy Birthday to the Coach. ::sigh::.

      We got together for some fund-raising stuff for kids with Chief Z, and other fans because of the comraderie we had. But the wait really seemed to go on forever.

      Chapter 4 – The Weekend is Here

      And things will go quickly because now you know why I’m here, what the significance is not only to me but fans throughout the country.

      It’s Friday. Penny and I had already worked it out that I did not have to drive all the way home to Maryland only to turn around and drive back west to Canton. My sister, grand-niece and great grand-nephew drove up too, dropped Penny and my place, stayed here for a night and went to visit a friend of my sister’s. Then they drove back up to Steve’s Monday, picked up Penny.. they went home and I stayed.

      Penny gets here. We have a late morning appointment to see a house down the street that I might buy (yes, a move is imminent). Everyone agrees the house is perfect. Taz goes crazy because he gets to see everyone, but he knows Mommy is going somewhere. So he is confused.

      Penny and I leave for Canton. We have a dinner planned for the chat board members and any other RS fans who heard about it at a rib place in Canton at 6 p.m. We wanted to get there sortof early to get a shower and change (Penny at that point would have already been driving 5 hours. From here it was another 2 hours).

      Now… what do we see on the way to Canton. Other cars with Maryland/Virginia/DC tags and Washington Redskins bumper stickers and magnets. But… what could be more perfect than to see a tractor-trailer (I may be dating myself now), that has the sheriff’s car and the General Lee from the “Dukes of Hazard” television show. Of course, we took pictures, but that was just icing on the cake (at least for us because my sister and I are big Dukes of Hazard fans and Penny knew that). The drive goes quickly – only 2 hours.. and we start counting the cars that we see from Maryland/DC and Virginia and soon realized that to be honest, that really was pretty much ALL we were seeing.

      We get to the hotel and there are cars in the parking lot with Redskin flags, bumper stickers, washable pain on the windows “Follow us to Canton,” “Route 281… (merging #28 , Darrell and #81 Art)… the only way to Canton…” it really was something. There was a group of Shriners that stayed at our hotel. They were clowns. Their bus was really neat (but did not get a picture.

      Got washed up, went to dinner. We had reservations at a rib place/sports bar that seated 500. We had reserved a cordoned off group for 75 from our plans on the message boards.

      Well. We got there. The signs on the door said “Welcome to Canton Redskins”. The place was decorated in burgundy and gold. And the 75 we had reserved? Forget that. We had the entire restaurant. The few people who came that were not Redskin fans we truly felt bad for. But the owners loved us. We were polite, not rowdy and they said to come back any time in the future when we come back for more Redskins to be enshrined (though nothing will top these two getting in together).

      I’m in this picture… right under the sign where it says Redskins? I’m under the “ins” of Redskins

      Suffice it to say, we had indeed taken over Canton. It was fun. No one got drunk. We were in Canton and the weekend was here. And we could feel something special was in the air.

      Chapter 5 – Saturday – Enshrinement Day

      Penny’s and my original plans were to sleep in a little, then go to the fairgrounds (where we would be parking to be shuttled back and forth to the Hall of Fame for the ceremonies and the game itself). Canton has a parade on Saturday morning before the enshrinement, local high school bands, cheerleaders, the enshrinees go by riding on open convertibles waving to the crowds. But if you’ve ever been to any kind of parade, you know the drill. Ya gotta find parking. Then walk to where the parade is. Then hopefully find a place to stand (much less sit). Right?

      Well, sortof. Christie’s parents had an extra set of tickets they purchased in the seated section and gave them to us. Penny and I said, well, we kindof wanted to sleep in, but.. well, we’ll go down and see what happens.

      We were about 15 minutes late by the time we found parking and walked and found our FRONT ROW SEATS CURBSIDE. Wow. And these were chairs, padded chairs. Not bleachers.

      So after being grateful we made the decision to go the parade, we enjoyed the parade. Floats, bands. The usual parade. Past enshrinees.. of course Redskins got the most cheers as the parade route was framed with a sea of burgundy and gold… Redskin cheerleaders went by, then Darrell Green and Art Monk, the 2 reasons we were here. We were following along in the paper as far as who/what was coming up next and we say the “Redskin Cheerleaders” listed again. I said to Penny, that has to be a typo. The Colts’ cheerleaders are probably here since they are the other team playing in the game on Sunday. At least that makes sense, right? Wrong. Yup, a second group of Redskin cheerleaders. No Colts. Chief Z was in the parade too. He saw me and came over and gave Penny and I high-5’s. Everyone stood and applauded when a fire truck that served at the World Trade Center on 09/11 went by and it brought tears to my eyes. Things like that always do still. They had on the side Washington-New-York-Pennsylvania---We will never forget 09-11.

      Okay.. that wasn’t bad was it? The parade was 2 hours and I covered it in a paragraph or two. That’s pretty much how the rest of this is going to be. The most exciting part of any trip is the anticipation, planning, etc.

      Penny and I did stop at the Hall of Fame museum on the way back from the parade. Nothing but burgundy and gold everywhere. It was crazy. The bronze busts of Darrell and Art and the other 2008 enshrinees of course weren’t there, but we had plans to come back Sunday anyway.

      What I was NOT prepared for; however, brought tears to my eyes. In the “teams” room, they have a display for each team, a little bit about their history, their current helmet against a lucite stand within which they have a player (for most teams… just a “player”.. someone you may not really know… the point being it was a member of the team.

      Attachment 3806<picture HOF4>

      However, the “player” they had chosen for the Redskins (and we found out later changed after the 2007-08 season) was Sean Taylor, the player that was shot. I lost it. Big time. I just was not prepared to see that. But I composed myself, got someone to take a picture with Penny and I in front of it.. and then continued through.

      We went back to the hotel, freshened up a bit, and made our way to the Fairgrounds for the tailgate before the enshrinement ceremony. We meet up with Christie, Chris, Chief Z, other chat board members, other RS Fans that probably have become chat board members by now. People are grilling burgers, chicken, hot dogs, we have veggie dip, sodas, beer, the usual stuff at a tailgate. (Mind you, the Fairground rules state no liquor, but this is one weekend they do allow it; plus most of the chat board members are, let me say “more mature” (read that: older) and we really don’t drink that much. So it’s not like a “drunken tailgate” that some places may get like. Our tailgates aren’t like that at all. We’re just all sitting around, chilling, and the anticipation of the evening was growing. After all… Darrell Green and Art Monk.. both of them… probably 2 of the most popular and well-loved players of the modern era.. are going to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame together.

      Christie’s phone rings about 4:30 p.m. It’s the people from Comcast Sportsnet They ask her “How many chat board members can get over here to the HOF within 20-25 minutes.” Christie says, uh… well… I don’t know. It was the producer of Sports Night on Comcast Sports and they wanted us, the chat board members, to do the intro.

      We rushed to the shuttles and got ourselves over there and yes, we were on television. We introduced Comcast Sportsnet and were on television. And I wasn’t home to tape it. (And to this day haven’t found anyone who did.. plenty of people saw Penny and I, but no one taped it. Oh well.. a moment in time… but I was there.

      Fast forward. The enshrinement ceremony starts. Oh one more person.. Chris Berman from ESPN. He is to ESPN Sports what Walter Cronkite was to the News. He comes out and introduces the mayor of Canton. The Mayor of Canton comes out to this sea of burgundy and gold (literally) and proclaims Saturday, August 2, to be Redskins Day in Canton (only one other time have they proclaimed the City to be another football team’s city’s day and that was when the Steelers from their glory days went in. Of course he gets a standing ovation.

      Then Chris Berman gets up and starts welcoming us. He asks “are there any fans of the Giants, Colts, blah blah blah.. goes through all the teams.. and there are splattering of fans that cheer for some… and of course, last he says, are there by any chance any Washington Redskin fans here? Yes, we go crazy. It was electric. Burgundy and Gold fireworks go off. You’d really think there weren’t any others going in. I actually in some way felt bad for the other enshrinees (and I have to admit, they dealt with it very well… all mentioning that they all agreed that it was long overdue for Art Monk and that they actually felt privileged to be going in in a class of guys that included two of the most beloved players on one team from the same era). And I believe they meant it. As enshrinement ceremonies go… I’ve been to a couple others, and I can’t even tell you who else went in other than the person I was there to see. I’ll never forget the 6 names from this weekend.

      Then Chris Berman introduces past enshrinees. And every time a former Redskin is announced, of course the fans go crazy, especially for Coach Gibbs. He is by far the most beloved coach any team could ever ask for. When fans of other teams hear about how he greets us at send-offs and welcome homes, and the fact that he even allows us anywhere near the buses the players are getting on, it creates a mutual respect that will honestly not be matched anywhere else.

      I actually felt sortof bad for one Cowboy who was enshrined last year. Not only because he was a Dallas Cowboy (our arch rivals), but as a player, there were even Cowboy fans who did not like him. He was arrested for drugs, and illegal possession of firearms, but he made it in before Art Monk (he was also a wide receiver). His only redeeming quality was that when he was voted in last year in 2007, he said in his acceptance speech “there is one person that belongs here before me, and it will not be complete until Art Monk is standing on this stage in a gold coat.” So while he was booed, he took it well. I did not boo him. That’s not how I was brought up. I did not boo the other team, cheer for injuries or anything like that. There just are some things that I was brought up not to do.

      Then came the enshrinement speeches. The presenters. Each enshrinee got to pick who their presenter was. There were a total of 6 enshrinees. The first 3 were 3 of the non-Redskins (you really did not think they were going to let the Redskins go first did you?). That just made the anticipation and excitement all the more electric in the stadium. Fourth to be inducted was Darrell Green. His son presented him. At one point in Darrell’s son’s speech, he said “we are blessed that so many members of our family were able to join us, and”, he paused, “and by the looks of this stadium, it looks to be about 95% of all of you are our family today. More applause. More cheers. Darrell gets up, does his speech, gets a standing ovation. Thanks his family, the fans, God and his beliefs, and talked about why he stayed a Redskin despite having a chance to go elsewhere in free agency. It was great. Perfect.

      Then the 5th enshrinee, and then.. it happened (I still get chills). Chris Berman introduced Art Monk’s son, who was to present Art Monk. As he got to the point in his speech, you could just feel the electricity in the stadium. As he said, “I would like to present my father, Art Monk, for enshrinement in the hall of fame,”…. That was it. It was deafening. The ovation Art Monk received was the longest in Hall of Fame history (addendum 2017 -- and remains so to this day). 4-1/2 minutes. It was electric. It was special. It was about time. It was over due. The broadcasters in the TV booths behind us took off their headphones and stood up. The past enshrinees on the stage stood up and gave him an ovation (another first for the hall of fame, for everyone on the stage to give a standing ovation to an enshrinee). I just can’t explain the electricity of that moment. Poor Art. He turned around to Darrell and shrugged his shoulders as if to say “what do I do”.. he tried to start his speech, and it kept going. Darrell shrugged his shoulders as if to say “I don’t know.” Even a special later aired on Art Monk names the records he holds and this is one they mention.

      Art then turned back to the crowd to try to speak and Darrell raises his arms to encourage us to keep going. And we did. Art Monk is a very quiet, very humble man, and he was truly overwhelmed. While we were there for Darrell. We were truly there for Art Monk. And we showed him and the sports world that he deserved to be there. It was truly an electrical moment.

      There were tears, laughing, crying, you name it. And it just went on and on. Yes, we finally stopped and he finally gave his acceptance speech. And he got another ovation. But that ovation.. well.. that ovation was absolutely the best part of the entire weekend. It was so electric, so … so long overdue.

      Then we go back to the hotel. Sunday is the game. We’re exhausted, but exhilarated at the same time. Wow. That is something we will never, ever forget. Nothing will ever top this evening. Ever. Not even a Super Bowl win. And I’ve been at a SuperBowl that we won and nothing will ever match that electricity. That stadium only held about 20,000 people at the ceremony… I’d say easily 19,000 were Redskin fans. It was truly a moment in time.

      CHAPTER 6 – Sunday – The game

      Sunday morning, we opted to go to the Hall of Fame when it opened so we could get pictures of the new enshrinees’ busts, and get a few pictures that we didn’t get the day before because it was simply so crowded.

      Well, remember I told you Christie’s uncle played the drum for the Baltimore Colts? Well, it was only 5 minutes into the museum that we saw the drum… and she broke into tears. We took pictures of that with her and her parents. Penny and I kindof rushed through the rest since we had been there the day before. Christie had the same reaction I did with the Sean Taylor display.

      There were other displays that were tangibly football related that were tearjerkers… You know the player from the Cardinals that died overseas.. Rusty Tillman. They had a display for him and the flag that flew over the Tillman Center USO overseas was presented to the HOF this weekend. They also had a display in tribute to families who lost people on 9/11.. highlighting the New York Giants, the New York Jets and the Washington Redskins; since they were the teams in the cities affected. So this was much more than just football. It was memories.

      Then the tailgate before the game. More of the same. Grilling. Burgers, hot dogs, barbecue chicken, water (I drink lots of water at these things). Various stuff. Then Christie gets a phone call… “we’re sending the family of so and so over”. Who is so and so? Oh, one of your rookie players. We ended up with 3 families of 3 different rookie players at our tailgate, along with Chief Z. In fact, one of members of one of the families PLAYED on the New York Jets with Joe Namath in the first SuperBowl. This is a picture of me with him. I can’t for the life of me remember his name.. Solomon something. One of these days I’ll look up the roster of the New York Jets in the first Superbowl. We were teaching the families of these rookies the words to HAIL TO THE REDSKINS, our fight song. They knew it by the time they left. We made sure of that. Of course, having met the families, we were rooting all the more for those particular players to make the team and make great plays.

      We then go to the game. It started out slow, the Colts cheerleaders were there, but they just came in for the game. Come to find out, the Redskin Cheerleaders had been there all weekend, with Chief Z, and a couple other fan groups doing charity work at local children’s hospitals.

      Then it was over. We won the game. It was preseason.. doesn’t mean a thing, but we’re glad we won the game on the weekend that these two particular players were enshrined in the hall of fame.

      It’s a weekend I’ll never forget. I just hope I haven’t bored you to death. Monday morning, we overslept, got on the road late, but it didn’t matter. The weekend had come and gone. All the anticipation, all the excitement and it was over in a flash. But I have the memories.

      Oh.. the headline in the Canton Paper Sunday morning: HAIL TO THE SKINS; SEA OF REDSKIN FANS WELCOME MONK, GREEN AND REST OF CLASS OF 2008 TO HALL OF FAME. And there’s a picture of when Art turns to Green to ask how to get us to shut up, and he turns back to the crowds and Green is raising his arms to keep us going. Priceless.

      It was a preseason game. Means nothing. But I’ll never forget the score of 30-16. I’ll never forget the electricity when Art Monk was enshrined. It was so long overdue. And just so perfect. And we (and everyone else there, including the people on the stage) let the world know just how much overdue this moment was in a record-breaking 4-1/2 minute standing ovation.

      If you’re read this far. Thank you. I have a lot of “favorite players.” Art Monk is one of them. Darrell for the other reasons will always be that “special player,” in my life for without him, perhaps the discussion between my then future husband would not have taken place and I may not have experienced what I was able to experience for 5 short years of my 55 years of life.


      The end,
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Doc's Blast from the Past started by Docsandy View original post
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