Nearly everybody at FedEx Field stands as Clinton Portis catches a pass from quarterback Mark Brunell. With each step Portis takes towards the goal line, the fans' cheers become louder. His final leap into the end zone after a 43-yard run is met with thunderous applause. With less than three minutes left in the game, Portis has scored the game-winning touchdown, until the referees take the lead away on a penalty.
Disappointment stemming from missed opportunities, bad plays, lost games and poor seasons has become an all-too-familiar feeling for Washington Redskins fans since 1992, when head coach Joe Gibbs left the team.
All Redskins home games have been sold out since 1968, a record unmatched by any other NFL team. This type of lasting loyalty draws in many Blazers and keeps them cheering for their beloved Redskins.
The burgundy and gold
Since the beginning of the Redskins franchise in 1932, the team has won three Super Bowls in 1982, 1988 and 1992 and made 19 playoff appearances.
English Department Instructional Assistant Janice Taylor became a fan in 1970, when she first moved to Washington, D.C., from Boston, and her support for the team has not died down. "Down here, all I heard about were the Redskins," she says.
According to WUSA TV 9 sports anchor Levan Reid, the Redskins used to be a pinnacle of sports in the Washington area, representing Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the Carolinas before those regions gained their own franchises. These large groups of supporters remained with the Redskins over the years and have a real connection with the team. "[The Skins] have the biggest fan base. There are people who have been fans for 50 years or 60 years, who grew up with Joe Gibbs and really believed in the burgundy and gold," says Reid.
Passing on the loyalty
Long-time fans, along with newer ones, share a commitment to the team. Senior Hersch Bhatia remembers watching Redskins games with his grandfather, a committed Redskins fan. "I could sing ‘Hail to the Redskins' when I was four," says Bhatia. "I continue to watch the games even though they continue to let me down. I've never seen a good season."
Junior David Joseph can't wait for the day when the Redskins are successful so he can proudly and loudly proclaim his lifetime of loyalty to the team. "When they finally win, I can say that I was there the whole time," he says.
According to The Washington Post Sports Writer Nunyo Demasio, these die-hard supporters who stick with the Redskins through thick and thin provide a unique connection between residents of the metropolitan area. "Washington has a small-town mentality when it comes to the Redskins," says Demasio. "It's the one thing everyone can agree on."
Kristi Chakrabarti. Kristi Chakrabarti is finally a Magnet senior who is obsessed with basketball and is a die-hard Wizards fan. When she is not religiously following the NBA, she enjoys playing tennis and reading. Her favorite TV shows are Friends and ER and her favorite food is … More »