I am sure that most of you have experienced the fact that quite a few of your friends hail from somewhere else out of the area. Whenever I meet one of these imports, it gives me a sense of pride that I hail from D.C. I was born there, raised there and schooled there. Therefore it stands to reason that I support all athletic endeavors coming out of the nation’s capital.
It hasn’t always been that way, because in my travels I must admit I became a frontrunner. But I also discovered that I am not the only one. A bunch of Pittsburgh Steelers fans crawled out from under a rock during the team’s glory years. Before the Steelers started winning Super Bowls, most of these people couldn’t spell Pittsburgh, me among them.
After a stint in the military and a few years as a Los Angeles resident, I returned home to take up space in the Colt’s press box. In the beginning, I was a Colt’s fan, but the frontrunner seed had been planted and it took a little chastisement from Pop to make me understand that under these circumstances you rooted for the Colts or kept your mouth shut. This wasn’t hard because one of the perks in the press box was the cuisine. There were hamburgers, hot dogs, crab cakes and other goodies available for me to stuff in my mouth to silence the urge of sometime cheering for the enemy.
My wife is also D.C.-born and -raised, and is a dyed in the wool Redskins fan. If you cut her she would bleed burgundy and gold. When ‘Skins quarterbacks Joe Thiesman and Doug Williams were leading the team to glory I jumped on the bandwagon. During the dog days, she remained faithful, and I went in search of another frontrunner. She adopted Skins’ legendary receivers Ricky Sanders, Art Monk and Gary Clark as her family and whenever a disparaging word was uttered concerning any of them, a chill would come over the room.
My 20 years at the sport’s desk in the Washington area often led me to believe that it is ok to point out some of the areas that need improvement for her Redskins, but that same chill would engulf the room every time I criticized them and she would drag out her soap box.
When RGIII donned the burgundy and gold she was like a mother who had just given birth. I suggested that he should not spend so much time on the run because he may get hurt. The look I got made me think a moving van may be in front of my house the next day. She cut me some slack and went without comment.
As the season progressed, the plight of the Redskins was obvious in my house. I would sometimes watch something different in the family room, and she would watch the game upstairs. You could tell how the game was going by listening to,
“Get him!” or “Alright that’s what I’m talking about!” An occasional “Oh yeah!” coming from upstairs would let me know the Redskins were on the march. When there was total silence, the homeboys weren’t doing so well.
Although RGIII has been recuperating from injury this preseason the Redskins have been winning and all is well at my abode. I guess that goes with the turf when you are married to the world’s biggest fan.