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How big a deal are the Redskins in your life?

One of many experimental iterations ...

Boone

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Marine Corps Virginia


I've thought about this a lot over the years.

If you're reading this, you hang (at least occasionally) on an internet messageboard devoted entirely to the Washington Redskins. If you're a regular here, you probably even consider yourself part of this online 'community'. You consider the guys and gals that frequent this place friends, brothers and sisters of the burgundy and gold cloth, fellow soldiers in the cause, soulmates even?

But just how big a deal are the Washington Redskins to you? Why do you care? What is it about rabid fandom of an NFL team that reaches into your chest and grabs you, every year, every time, regardless of record, potential, or reality?

Why are you a fan?

Is it the games?
Is it the camaraderie?
Is it life's eternal yearning for hope, potential, and glory?
Is it a terminal disease for which there is no cure?

Is your Redskins fandom genetically-wired, part of your upbringing and personal history?

Does it fill a gap in your life you can't fine fulfillment for elsewhere?

And just how big a deal is this inexplicable fandom in your life? If you're here, you ain't no casual fan. But what drives your passion for this team and their fate?


Frankly, I gots to know. :)
 

Skinsfan1311

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Why are you a fan?

Is your Redskins fandom genetically-wired, part of your upbringing and personal history?
This.

I don't live there now, but growing up in Norfolk/Va Beach, the Skins are the home team. Other than the Red Wings and Tidewater Tides, they were on every Sunday when I was a kid.

My Dad's a fan and we used to watch the Skins games together when I was a kid. Every half-time, he's play catch with me and my brother. My first favorite player was Chris Hanburger, cuz his name sounded like "hamburger"

The '72 Skins/Dolphins Super Bowl was a day of firsts in my young life.

It was the first tangible memory of a Redskins game.
It was first time that my Dad didn't play catch at half-time.
It was the first time that I heard my dad drop the F-bomb.
It was the first time that I heard my Mom yell at my Dad for dropping the F-bomb:betterwink2:

We are insane over the Redskins. My wife is as big-time football fan, (she grew up watching the Baltimore Colts with her Dad), and I converted her after the Colts left and she never looked back.

The Skins are a big part of our lives. We schedule everything around Redskins games. Our wedding, our vacations, hell.....we even planned the the birth of our kids, (seriously...I know..it's sick, but true), so that it didn't intefere with football.

I guess that we're obsessed....
 

Fear The Spear

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Why are you a fan?

1) Is it the games?
2) Is it the camaraderie?
3) Is it life's eternal yearning for hope, potential, and glory?
4) Is it a terminal disease for which there is no cure?
#4 is technically the reason why I became a fan and remain a fan - how else can you explain someone remaining steadfastly loyal to a team/sport that has only dished out literally decades of misery and harassment from other fans ? Just like alcoholism, it's not just an addiction, but a disease, as you state it.

and #2, is the way I comfort myself, that this addiction is not in vain. I think of all the great people I have met along the way, that I never would have met, if I was not a Skins fan......people like Big Mike, Big Boone, Hilarious & Honorary Hog, Hopeful Henry, Omnipotent Om, and all the rest of you.
 

Boone

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Marine Corps Virginia

Fear - I'm just curious - how old are you? One thing I've noticed is that there are distinct differences in the world views of those like me who experienced the 'glory days' and those who have become fans since....
 

China

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Michigan State

It started as a family thing. Sundays in the fall were always get-togethers to watch the games, have a meal with family and friends, root on the 'skins and boo the Cowboys during the Allen and Pardee years.

Those days are long gone but it was ingrained into my being and reinforced in the Gibbs years with the Redskins' success.

My wife couldn't care less about football and only my daughter shows any interest so my new 'family' to share my Redskins passion with is now mostly online.
 

Goaldeje

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James Madison

Yep, I have to blame my Dad too. We didn't watch a lot of sports or any TV growing up, but what we did watch was mostly the Skins. I suspect it had something to do with being the local team, but I latched onto the Skins more than any other of Dad's teams; my best friend growing up was and still is a huge Skins. We talk once a week or so during the season and dissect the games together (our wives get mad because we share no info on kids, family, jobs, etc., just the Skins :)).

I missed the Theismann teams, don't really remember them. I vividly remember '87, in fact that is one of my earliest sports memories. And 92 remains the greatest football team I have ever seen. Ever. That was a great season to be a young Skins fan, just going into High School. No matter how many Dallas fans there were (and there were more than enough), they couldn't talk **** that year. They go up there with the Dream Team and the 86 Celtics as the best of the best that I have watched myself.

My two oldest daughters have no interest in the game, but wear Skins stuff to school. I am hoping my 8 year old son will latch on. His grandparents (wife's side) have brainwashed him to be a Red Sox fan, so I think it's time to turn it up this year to bring him to the light side before they try it with the Pats. He loves what I love though, so it shouldn't be a problem.

What do the Skins mean to me? A lot. I have my community family here that I treasure dearly. But I still have my friends who love the Skins, and there is still nothing better to me than calling my Dad during a game and talking through how they look. Dad's getting up there in age, and we probably don't have too many more seasons to call each other, so here's hoping Griff makes them count!
 

Elephant

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Florida State

I have to be honest, I feel that if I answer this question forthright I may admit to being delusional or at the least obsessive. :laugh:

There's something about football season. I don't know if it is because it coincides with my favorite time of year, if it is the camaraderie, or simply the competition that strikes up the visceral obsession with sport that hearkens the days of gladiators, but football stirs in me the enthusiasm no other sport can. I do not go to the lengths I do to watch the Orioles, Wizards or Capitals. Hell, I played soccer at an international level when I was a teenager and would rather watch a NASCAR race than a soccer game! Regardless, it is football that has me spending time everyday perusing the internet in search of the latest news and even share time with some friends.

But that's only part of it. I thoroughly believe had my father not instilled in me an obsession for Redskins' football, the stars would not be aligned, the earth would not be on axis and toilet bowls would flush the same way in the Northern Hemisphere as they do in the Southern Hemisphere!

I have told numerous stories here over the years about my obsession with the Redskins. Most importantly was the Thanksgiving Day game against the Cowboys that saw us lose a 6 point lead with under a minute to go in the 4th quarter with the great Roger Staubach sitting on the sidelines! Longley! Clint friggin' Longley! That was the day my father created mania in this BG Obsessed individual with his outburst during our prayer before dinner. As Pearson was running past the Redskins defense on that game winning TD, with my uncle (Former US Armed Forces Chief of Chaplains) saying the prayer, my father jumped up from his seat and screamed, "Get that son of a *****! Get him!" With a grand mother and grandfather in complete shock, I sat still, quietly and smiled. That was my first vivd memory of the Redskins! Although I have some recollection of the first Super Bowl, it is vague and barely coherent. That play and the Sonny/Billy controversy are my first true memories of the Redskins. Dad wore a Billy t-shirt.

How big a deal was it being a Redskins' fan then? It was a bond with my father, a bond that would last a lifetime.

I can say I was blessed enough to grow up in the 70's watching the Skins be mediocre. It was nice to watch them good enough to make the playoffs semi-regularly leading up to the greatest time to be a Redskins' fan in this clubs history...the Joe Gibbs era.

Our first Super Bowl victory was so bittersweet. As 13 yr old boy, I could have been in the Rose Bowl if only we could have afforded last minute airline tickets to get me there. Nevertheless, that SB vicory was awesome! I grew up around a lot of Colts' fans. Not only were we a championship caliber team, but Irsay pulled a shady move and took the Colts from the jerks in my neighborhood. Looking back, I think what Irsay did was cowardly! But at the time, after spending the 70's having to listen to how great the Colts were, it was my turn to rub it in! And I did! It was a great time to be a Redskins' fan!

How big a deal was it to be a Redskins' fan then? The first in a long line of friends were created through the same loyalty to our team or friendly competition among opposing fans.

Then there was Norvell, followed by Snyder, Spurrier, and Zorn. Had Gibbs II not been sprinkled in there, I may have stopped watching all together, but the football Gods must've known exactly what they were doing to keep me around for that brief thrill ride with Joe. I went to the Redskins/Seahawks playoff game to see Coach Gibbs in 2006 with a broken arm, an arm I broke just 30 minutes before the game in a car accident looking for a parking space outside the stadium. getting to that game was a big deal. Other than the playoff runs in 05 and 07, From 2002 through 2010 really was a big blur and I will never forget how far down the depths of despair the organization had gone with Jim Zorn at the helm. We had reached Hades!

What did it mean to be a Redskins' fan then? Well, humility is a bitter dish to swallow sometimes.

If I had to narrow it all down to one thing, it would have to be the relationships I have developed over the years as a result of being a fan of the Washington Redskins. It's not just Redskins' fans I am talking about either. One of my best friends today is a Steelers fan. If I had not been so obsessed with the Redskins, we would probably not be friends. He shares the same obsession with the Steelers and because of it, we talk football. That single ingredient has sparked a great friendship. There are many on this site I consider friends and it is the same cement that bonded me to my father that brings us together here. That's a big deal!

How big a deal are the Redskins to me? Well, the reality is that with the birth of my son just a little more than 2 months ago, I have a new perspective. Yes the Redskins are a priority in my life, but they pale in comparison to him. I could never watch another game in my life and know that life would still be fulfilling. The good news is, I don't have to do something so drastic. In fact, I have a chance to pass along my obsession to my son. I hope to do it in a less dramatic way as my father (maybe not), but I hope he grows to enjoy the friendship developed, the competition among opposing fans, and most of all I hope he will enjoy spending Sunday afternoons watching the Redskins with his father! I will never forget that Thanksgiving Day my father screamed out! It is a big deal!
 

Canadian Hog

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Boone,

A very interesting topic of discussion you brought forward here.

Honestly, it's a very hard question for me to answer. My parents were immigrants from Italy and soccer was my father's sports passion. Being Canadian, all the kids (including my brother) were hockey fanatics. Football wasn't even a part of the landscape in my family's house as a child. I can't say I was born into it, or that I was even remotely raised in a Redskins environment.

September 11th, 1988 changed everything though. I was 8 years old playing in the living room, the Redskins were playing the Steelers on NBC and the game was on in the background, I watched Doug Williams throw a 55 yard touchdown pass to Rickey Sanders in the first quarter, and the rest was history. I was hooked on the burgundy and gold. Throughout my whole life, I was always the lone Redskins fan. There was nobody to share the joy of winning or pain of losing with. Just me, myself and I and it's largely been like that even until this day living in Canada.

I suppose at this point in life, Redskins football is something I simply can't picture myself going without. It's a routine, it gives me a sense of comfort to a certain extent.

I should add that being a fan from afar, it's places like BGO that help that passion for team continue to burn strong within me. It's always comforting knowing that there are others that share the same pain and joys that I do on any given Sunday.
 

Bulldog

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Cerrato really had me on my last nerve with this team. Being lectured by Cardinals and Saints fans on how to build a winner..........

I knew as soon as he was gone the sun would evetually come back out here.

Is it important?

I think the Redskins are as important to Washington's self-image as the Yankees are in NY.

When the team is down or poorly managed there are a lot of glum faces around.

Makes people start to follow MLS and the the Caps to try and stay sane.
Posted via BGO Mobile Device
 

Henry

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I was born and raised a Redskin fan, simple as that.

My first memory as fan, my first real memory, was the final game of the season against the Cowboys, 1979. That game solidified my obsession with the Redskins and my pure and utter hatred of the Cowboys.

I spent my formative years watching Joe Gibbs' Redskins contend every year. I never thought the party would end. That glow carried me for many many years after Gibbs retired, though these days that glow is completely gone. I find now that I am more a fan out of habit than anything else. The Redskins were the only team I've ever truly followed, and I'm not going to start a new one now. But there's no real obsession, not like there was. The highs when we win and the lows when we lose just aren't very strong these days. I suspect Shanahan/Allen may be the last best hope for this team. If they fail, I don't know if anything can save Dan Snyder from himself, and if that happens ... well.

Let's hope it doesn't.

Hail to the Redskins.
 

ntotoro

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My first memory as fan, my first real memory, was the final game of the season against the Cowboys, 1979. That game solidified my obsession with the Redskins and my pure and utter hatred of the Cowboys.
Irony of all ironies, that's my first game of memory, too! I remember betting how proud my Mother was of me for betting $1 on the 'Skins against a Cowboy's fan who was a friend of my Grandmother... :) A lot of my fandom is because of my Mother. She was born in DC of immigrants and spent her entire life in the District until she met my Father (from South Jersey), the got married and moved to Falls Church (Tyler Park area). She passed away in January of 1981 never having seen her favorite team with a Super Bowl. I'll never waiver because of that. Nick
 

SkinsOrlando

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Kent State

My grandfather and father took me in 85 to see my first live game at RFK against the Giants, since then the Redskins have remained a prominent facet of my life. While I don't seem to get as emotional as I use to these days when it comes to the Redskins, I think that's more to the older you get the less homerism you have, age brings cynicism or something like that lol.
 

tshile

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I've been thinking about how to respond to this question for a while... so i'm going to finally take a shot at it.

I started going to redskins games before I can even remember going to redskins games. I think I was around 5ish. My grandfather first got tickets in 1963; our season ticket holder account number is in the 60,000's. Your account number indicates how many people signed up before you. RFK only held 49k at the time. So he wasn't the first, but he was about as close as you can be to the first.

I remember playing tackle football in the parking lots because for 2$ you could park in the grass right outside the stadium.

I remember watching my grandfather and my father fill my jacket up with peanuts because staff didn't pat down children, and they loved to eat shelled, saltless peanuts during the game.

I remember them filling up giant thermoses with beer (they each held just over a 6 pack). We had two of them. Back then, at RFK, you were allowed to bring in hot chocolate and coffee because it would get cold and our owner wasn't a complete dick. So we said we we had coffee and hot chocolate in our thermoses - it was definitely beer.

I remember peeing in the Anacostia river.

I've since inherited the tickets; about a year before my grand father passed away he decided he was too old to fool with them (he had just been reselling them to me for the past 4 years). He decided since no one who could afford them in the family wanted them, other than me, that they were mine to have. I've had them ever since.

I don't have a million nick-knacks around the house like some people, but i go to every home game and i certainly watch every away game. I can't even stand watching it after the fact recorded (not knowing the score) becuase I cannot tolerate knowing there is a game on and I don't know what is going on.

For me it's a terminal illness, pass down from generation to generation.

As awesome and fun as the redskins tickets are to have had passed down, they're also a burden. They're mine to keep safe until someone else in the family is willing and able to take over them. And make no mistake, that has been put on me. Back when my seats were being ripped out I called the local radio station to explain my experiences with it and part of the whole ordeal included canceling my tickets because i was so fed up - something that did not go over well with family members. Because of the radio segment I wound up getting in touch with tony wiley and getting my tickets back (they explained everything an apologized for the confusion), which is good because there were quite a few people angry at me :eek:

As much fun as it is to enjoy the winning, the losing kills me. It ruins my week. When the season is officially over, and we're out of the playoffs, i just flat out quit watching football.

I've realized over the last two years and I hate the NFL - i hate how it operates, i hate what it stands for, and I hate how they are changing the game through penalties/fines. It's the redskins i love.

Hopefully we start winning, because I'd love to start watching playoff games again...
 

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