A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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Docsandy

Yes, I am a FAN

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Someone told me before the November 3, 1991 game at home against Houston that I wasn’t a “true fan”.

I had decided to forego the home game against Houston that weekend due to a request from a friend of mine. Gene Roddenberry had died on 10/24/1991 and the weekend of 11/3/1991 there was a Star Trek convention at which DeForest Kelley was a guest. It was the first convention after Gene’s death that De was slated to appear. Before I go any further I have to explain that DeForest Kelley and his wife, and I were good friends. I received a call from De early in the week before that convention. He asked me if he should go. I asked him how he felt. See, De and Gene were great friends and in fact, De worked with Gene Roddenberry before Star Trek and it was that work that prompted Gene into getting De into the Star Trek universe. De and Carolyn, who were both on the phone, asked if I could be there if they arranged passes. I said yes without hesitation. And I went. He knew I was giving up a game as he knew I was an avid Redskins fan. He even commented that he wouldn’t mind if I wasn’t there on Sunday. (And I even had thought about going home for Sunday, but seeing the two of them on Saturday back stage before he went on, sharing hugs of grief over Gene Roddenberry’s death, I knew I had made the right decision.)

Which brings me to why I am writing this. My family has been Redskins fans since I can remember. My dad saw Sammy Baugh play and knew the championship teams of the 40s. He never saw them go to the Super Bowl as he died the summer before Super Bowl VII. He often talked about Griffith Stadium, the infamous “Pearl Harbor Game” and how Sammy Baugh was his favorite player. He said then there would never be another 3-way player like him. Shoot these were times before I was even born but yet I feel like I know those times because of stories from my dad.

My history of Redskins fandom goes back to my dad. While he took my brothers to games and my older sister (though she was less interested at the time), I got to go to the majority of the home games with him. We would go to church Sunday morning, sit in the back so we could be out first and go to DC Stadium for the games. Those times with my dad.. just me and him.. are times I remember fondly. It didn’t matter whether we won or lost. It mattered that I was with my dad, rooting for the Redskins.

I once actually believed that not going to a home game would mean I was less of a fan since I had tickets. That was my immaturity talking. My dad came down with tuberculosis when I was in high school and I always went to the games, and then went to visit him to tell him all about it.

So yes, I am lucky. I got to see the glory years of the Super Bowl championships. I was in Pasadena when Riggins had his infamous run and we beat the Dolphins. I’ve lived through the good times and now I am living through the bad. Frustrating? Yes.

I met my husband because of the Redskins. We were on a sports chat board discussing Darrell Green and his run-down of Tony Dorsett. He insisted the the run down was from left to right, I said no, it was right to left. We actually were both right.. we were both at the game but on opposite sides of the field. We eventually met for lunch, and within a year were married (in 1996). He died in 1999, a short month after DeForest Kelley died. I in fact was at Paramount’s private memorial for De to which I had been invited when I came home to find my husband dead. But the #28 will remain to be a number that means a lot to me… Darrell Green of course wore #28, my birthday and my husband’s birthday were both the 28th of the month. He proposed to me on the 28th of the month. We started our honeymoon on the 28th and, unfortunately, I buried him on the 28th of the month.

So when people ask me how I can be a fan now, I ask, why not? They are my team. My love. I have too much history to just “give up”. Whether I agree with ownership, coaching, etc., the Washington Redskins mean way too much to me to “not be a fan”. Do I get frustrated? Of course. I consider myself somewhat realistic. I am always optimistic during games, I always hope for a miracle comeback, but bottom line, I know that, for this year, we are simply not in the league of other teams. But they are my team.

Being a fan of a team is not measured by games you attend or even watch for that matter. Being a fan has to do with passion, love, respect and loyalty regardless of outcomes of games. I try not to be a downer during games. I get frustrated. But I am finding in my older years, I do not let it linger like I used to. There were times that if we lost on Sunday, my “depression” (for lack of a better word) lasted the entire week. However, life at times has taken over but the Redskins remain a true passion (if anyone saw my wardrobe or my main office/living area, they’d know). I now live in West Virginia, in Steelers Country.. but I wear my burgundy and gold proudly ESPECIALLY after a loss. In fact, people have commented while walking my dog why I have Redskins shirts/coats on when they’ve lost and I reply.. this is when I especially wear them. They are MY team. If you’ve seen some of the pictures I’ve posted you know anyone seeing my house knows I am a Redskins fan.

There are many types of “true fans”. I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about football. I do consider myself somewhat knowledgeable as I grew up in a football family. My oldest brother was a high school football coach and currently coaches for a local small college. I know enough to watch games and not ask stupid questions. But I don’t know enough to talk about draft picks as I don’t follow college that well.

There’s also the fan that is also in the limelight. Now don’t get me wrong.. I have no problem with that. Many of these limelight fans do wonderful things (Hogettes and their charitable work, etc.) and those that just like to be in the forefront. Me, personally, I don’t. I don’t mind not being in the limelight, but that doesn’t make me less of a fan. I sometimes envy people who are able to do things I wish I could do (be on the sidelines, etc.), but at the same time it does not negate the passion I feel for the team. I’ve had my own personal memories that are mine; meeting Coach Gibbs in his office at Redskins’ Park, being able to attend the HOF induction of Darrell and Art, seeing Grimm and Hanburger (one of my dad’s favorites) be inducted. All are special memories to me. So while I’m not “out there” in the forefront, I am no less of a fan.

I had to give up my tickets for the 49ers game (decision was made before we lost to the Bills) and someone made a comment to me saying that it was because of the Bills’ loss that I gave them up. That hurt coming from the person saying it because the only reason is that I simply do not have the finances to drive to Maryland for that weekend. I’m still amazed how some people are judged as to their “loyalty” because of certain things. But I do understand in a way, as I am one who tries never to miss a home game. Having moved away from the area, I don’t get to go to all the home games as much but I still have the tickets which I split with a friend. But it’s frustrating being told that “oh you are not going because they aren’t doing well.” It just makes me mad.

No they aren’t doing well. But they are my team. I’m emotional and passionate about it. Sometimes that comes across as false optimism, or false expectations. Sometimes my heart speaks before my head can control it. But I know the truth about the team year to year.

Bottom line.. I love the Redskins, win or lose. I remember my dad saying once.. heck.. “I root for them to score, a win is a blessing.” People who tell me I’m less of a fan because I am realistic gets me going and thus this “blog” or vent, as you may want to call it .

Hail to the Redskins.. forever.
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Comments

  1. flskins's Avatar
    great article,a true skins fan never has to justify there love for the B&G because we feel it in the core of our soul.

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