Only four blogs left this month as I try to write daily about what I like about Washington, DC. I’m sure today’s topic, the Washington Redskins, will create the most number of comments (both good and bad).
For those that read this blog regularly, you’re aware that I’m a fan and season ticket-holder (full or partial) to the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Washington Nationals and Georgetown Hoyas. So, yes, I like all of these teams. And, it’s great to see DC turn into much more of a hockey town (the Caps home games are now the best and most exciting sports attraction in town). Also, it’s awesome to have baseball back in town — especially when the Nats are now the hottest team in baseball. The Wizards will take time but they’re starting to put a good foundation in place.
But, if you have track the history of Sports in Washington, DC, the Redskins are the name that creates the most excitement and animosity. Season tickets are passed on from generations to generations. They sell out the 2nd largest NFL stadium, which has a capacity of over 90,000. They’ve only made the playoffs a couple of times over the past two decades yet they are one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world (thanks to the business and marketing acumen of their staff).
The Redskins are Washington, DC. Nothing unites a city like a Super Bowl champion. Is there anything close? I hope to see a similar reaction when the Caps win the Stanley Cup. But, for those of us that were here and remember the three Super Bowl wins in the 80′s and early 90′s, there’s nothing like a city celebrating a Super Bowl victory. In the streets of Georgetown, you literally come upon hundreds and hundreds of strangers — yet you’re hugging, slapping high fives, hooting and hollering. It’s unabashed joy and jubilation.
NFL Sundays are quite something. During a ‘Skins game, the streets are quiet (and the crime rate drops dramatically). The morning after a Skins game is also interesting — the city jumps to a different beat after a win vs the more solemn nature after a loss (especially to the dreaded Cowboys, Giants or Eagles).
The Washington Redskins are a landmark, a monument, and a fabric of the Washington, DC community. The locals love them (or at least most of us do). The transient citizens that moved here or out-of-town guests that come to visit can’t stand the wall-to-wall media coverage the Redskins receive. But, that’s the power of the NFL (and another reason they need to resolve this strike soon — which will hopefully occur within the next two weeks).
Hail to the Redskins!