All Hail

Hello everyone. There is something important you all should know about me. I have been a Washington Redskins fan for as long as I can remember.

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I believe this was my first Redskins game, I was five years old. Preseason, August 2000.

But to be honest, I never really had much of a choice. My dad is about as diehard of a fan as you’ll ever find. He bleeds burgundy and gold. And to be quite honest, he didn’t have much of a choice either. His father, my grandfather, is just as big of a fan. Washington football is a sacred Wood family tradition. My poor mother is a New York Giants fan, but she didn’t stand a chance against my dad’s love for her NFC East rival. Both my brother and I are diehard Washington fans, so for all twenty one years of her marriage, my mother has been surrounded by everything REDSKINS. By now though, she is used to it and puts up with it for the most part.

Redskins football was a major part of my childhood. I grew up going to games every Fall. When I was six years old, I was really upset because my dad couldn’t go to the Girl Scouts Daddy/Daughter Dance with me that year. He felt bad of course, and instead offered to take me to a Redskins game for my birthday. We have done it every year since then, as I grew older I got to go to more than one game a year. The games I’ve attended throughout the years have brought me some of my best and worst memories. I watched Darrell Greene win his final game. I watched Troy Vincent block a last-minute Dallas field goal attempt, Sean Taylor running it back leading to a successful Redskins FG for the win. However… I also watched the Redskins attempt two horrible fake field goals back-to-back in a game we lost 12-45. I watched our center fumble the ball on an extra point attempt that would have sent the game into overtime. I watched through excitement and heartbreak, and I cherish it all.

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Redskins game during my awkward years…

I am not going to lie, in my lifetime, being a Redskins fan has not always been easy. In my near nineteen years of living, the Redskins have won 133 games and lost 170 games. They have only won the division two times, yet they have placed last in the division seven times. In my life the Redskins have travelled to the playoffs four times, only bringing home two playoff wins. Lackluster, at best. By the way you better appreciate those statistics because it took me a long-ass time to put that together. Anyway, being a Redskins fan has not always been the most glorious thing. I’ve taken a lot of crap for it. But I’ve never once faltered. I could never think of cheering for another team. Like my grandfather and father before me, I bleed burgundy & gold.

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Tucker & I at last season’s playoff game against Seattle. We may have lost but we were damn proud to have been there.

I love sports in general. Sports can really be a genuinely amazing thing, no matter what team you cheer for. What exactly do I mean by that? Well, as I mentioned previously, the Redskins have only won the NFC East Division twice in my lifetime. The first was in 1999, I was only five and don’t remember it at all. Once I started getting into football, I watched us lose a lot and be average for years. We had our bright moments, but the majority of it all, as I stated before, was lackluster. I had gotten pretty used to the Redskins being mediocre, and I would usually expect it, but I always hoped that maybe this would be our year. Maybe this would be our year to shine. But it never was. My whole life, every year was… lackluster. But I guess that’s why last year felt so damn special. For those of you who live under a rock, the Redskins are now led by rookie quarterback sensation, Robert Griffin III. After a typical lackluster start to the season we stood at 3 wins and 6 losses. However, led by RGIII, the Redskins went on a stunning seven game win streak, leading them to an NFC East title and an automatic playoff berth. And let me tell you, it felt DAMN good for myself and Redskins fans everywhere! We have stuck around for years of countless dumb decisions, dropped passes, interceptions, missed kicks, high snaps, and whatever else. But watching them make that historical playoff run made all of that totally and completely worth it! And that is what I believe makes sports so amazing. You have your one team that you stick with through thick and thin, good times and bad times. The losses may be heart wrenching, frustrating, insufferable, or whatever else but the wins make your heart fill with so much joy. Being able to experience last season with my family, friends, and fellow Redskins fans everywhere was absolutely indescribable.

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Me at the 2013 Redskins Training Camp right here in RVA 🙂

For once in my life, it is cool to be a Redskins fan. Throughout the years I have taken endless crap from my peers, but now they can’t say anything because we are good, and we are only gonna get better. On top of that, the Redskins have relocated their training camp to my hometown: Richmond, VA. It is the hottest, most talked about event in the city right now and I am absolutely loving it. I went down to training camp the other day and it made my heart soar. My beloved town is covered head to toe in burgundy & gold. The Redskins spirit is unbelievably high. Everyone is so excited and encouraged because we are actually GOOD! I just love it. It feels awesome to be a part of that community. It makes you feel like you are a part of something special, you know?

A lot of you by now may be rolling your eyes, if you have even made it this far. I know its only football, and in the grand scheme of things, its not all that important. I get it. But Washington Redskins football means so much to me. It’s about more than just the football. A lot of people don’t understand that. Redskins football brings back so many bright memories of my childhood. Redskins football brings me closer to my grandfather, father, brother, uncle, aunt, cousins, boyfriend… (Yes, Tucker is a Redskins fan. After reading all this do you really think I could date someone who was NOT a Redskins fan?) Redskins football has brought me some of my heroes, inspirations like Champ Bailey, Patrick Ramsey, Lavar Arrington, Chris Cooley, and Robert Griffin III. Redskins football gives me confidence, motivation, something to be excited about. Redskins football has given me so much, as stupid as you may think that sounds, its true. Redskins football is a huge part of my life, and it will be forever.  I wouldn’t want it any other way 🙂

Hail to the Redskins 🙂

xoxo Katie Lou

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