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Archive for the ‘What B2BR means & Introductions’ Category

The first Redskins game I ever watched; I mean really watched where I understood the rules and kind of knew what was going on, was on November 18, 1985. I had moved to Washington, DC four months before from Mexico City. Before I moved I followed baseball and had no clue what the hell was happening on the football field on TV. All I saw was huge guys lining up, bashing into each other, and then doing it again.

I learned the rules in a P.E. class at my school and heard the chatter from my classmates about a game that Monday evening between the Redskins and the New York Giants. I remember being caught up in the game and naturally gravitating towards the hometown team.

And then it happened.

Lawrence Taylor came at Joe Theismann during a flea flicker that hadn’t fooled anyone and threw him to the ground. I saw Joe Theismann’s fibula and the rest is history. I was hooked.

I think having that be my first Redskins experience formed my opinion of the team. Since then, I tend towards the pessimistic. If a player is writhing on the ground, I wonder about his career. If the team loses the first game of the year, I think they’re going 2-14 at best. When the team went down 10-0 in the ’87 Superbowl, my 12 year old self was ready to jump in the Potomac.

These days, there is no shortage of reasons for pessimism. From the big things (Snyder and Cerrato, Fed Ex field vs. RFK, free agent missteps, Sean Tayor) to more everyday mundane football things (fielding a team without a right tackle, fielding a team without a second wide receiver, fielding a team without a field goal kicker, hell, fielding a team without an offense) there’s certainly a lot to be down about. But I’m excited for the season. Excited to beat NFC East teams, excited to look at the schedule in advance and figure out what the record could possibly be (I go between 2-14 and 11-5 right now), excited to see if this year the team makes that jump forward to where you just know you’re going to pancake teams that deserve it.

I’m old enough to remember when making the playoffs was a foregone conclusion at the start of each season. I think fans that are too young to remember that are in many ways the true diehards. Maybe this is the year all of us together get rewarded.

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The last time I lived in Washington permanently, there were no blogs, there actually was no internet, at least that I was aware of. There was no sports talk radio that I remember other than Ken Beatrice’s show on WMAL 630 which I used to listen to all the time.  The main source of information was the Washington Post, Redskins Report on Saturday night hosted by George Michael, ( a fellow Greek), and news coverage.

My life as a Redskin fan had been ideal. I had witnessed three super bowl victories, one as an 8 year old, one as a twelve year old and one as a seventeen year old.   While there had been hard, gut-wrenching defeats, (namely the last game of this era – a 20-13 playoff loss at the 49ers in 1992 when Mark Rypien muffed a hand-off to Brian Mitchell in the mud at Candlestick Park,) overall, my life and upbringing as a Redskins fan had been rosy.  We frequently vanquished our most hated foes- for most of the years from 1981- 1992, we were, for the most part, better than Dallas, always beat Philadelphia in big games and while the Giants had our number (and I do remember crying the day after we lost 17-0 in the 1986 NFC Championship game), I felt that our victories over them during the 1991 season, especially the first game at the Meadowlands when we came back from a double-digit halftime deficit,  in some way, somehow made up for that smug, shit-eating grin Parcells laid on us on more than one occasion after a Redskin loss to the Giants.

All that changed in 1993 when I left D.C. and went to college. My parents got divorced that year, Joe Gibbs left the Redskins,  and the Redskins really started sucking.  And aside from some glorious runs, (1999, 2005 and 2007), life has been tough as a Redskins fan.  Other things have changed too: I have gone from treasuring every game I got to go to see the Redskins play at RFK to being a proud season ticket holder at Fedex field, which aside from a few games, (Dallas, Eagles and Giants in 2005, Jacksonville and Dallas in 2006, Dallas in 2007, Eagles in 2008) has never lived up, as everyone I know agrees, to RFK.

The expression “Born and Bred to be a Redskin” or “BBR” was invented by my friend and me sometime in the early 90’s in reference to a Redskin player who had been drafted by the Redskins and remained with the team past his first training camp.  This of course was an important distinction because, as many remember, even the Redskins teams of the 80’s and 90’s were filled with free-agents and players acquired through trade who were of some prominence.  And while there have been many famous players to be “BBR”, such as Green and Monk, not to mention many Hogs, this term came to be applied more to the unsung heroes who became near and dear to our hearts as teenagers – players such as Alvin Walton and Jason Buck (remember the fumble he caused in the 1991 game against the Cowboys at RFK).  These days, I am happy to say that the Redskins seem to have more and more players like this on their roster.  We believe that these players have a mystic quality that destined them to be Redskins. In some ways, perhaps all of us Redskins fans are the same – we are mystically linked to our team and accept it for its greatness and its flaws.  It’s possible that most dedicated fans feel the same way, but we are Redskins fans, we have a fight song, and we carry our own unique history and passion. I have returned to live in D.C. just recently and am very excited to be at the heart of Redskins territory, not to mention that I don’t have to commute eight times a year from Philly, where I lived for the past seven years, to all the home games. This blog will be one that we embark on in hopes that others will find some interest in our discussions of the team we love and which has become such an integral part of our lives. I don’t believe that we have insights that are any greater than most fans, but we hope to engage fans and others in a discussion of all things Redskins and some other things that we think D.C. sports fans will like.

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