NFL: The 10 Commandments of Being a Washington Redskins Fan
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Since their inception as the Boston Braves in 1932, the Redskins have treated a devoted fanbase to both good times and bad times, and three Lombardi Trophies stand as proof of the success that this team has had as one of the NFL's earliest franchises.
While the last 20 years or so have been as difficult as any for Redskins fans, the team's following is still among the best in the league. Redskins fans are passionate and raucous, smart and proud. All you need to do is step into the confines of FedEx Field in order to feel the pulsating noise of 92,000 screaming men, women and children who bleed burgundy and gold.
It's not easy being a Redskins fan. So to give prospective fans a schooling in the Redskins way, here are the "10 Commandments of Being a Redskins Fan."
Always Hope, Never Expect
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As Redskins fans, the prospect of a Redskins Super Bowl victory is always a desire but never a true expectation. It has been so long since their last Super Bowl that it seems a distant memory that will someday fade forever.
The last time this team had realistic Super Bowl aspirations was 2006. We hoped. We prayed. We got a 5-11 season that was incredibly difficult to watch.
There's no problem with hoping. Every fan hopes. Every fan has the inkling that perhaps his team could make it to the promised land.
In Washington, hopes have routinely been trampled on since 1991.
The Dallas Cowboys Are the Ultimate Enemy
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But for a Redskins fan, no team is above the hatred that is inspired by the Dallas Cowboys. The very mention of their name should send rage through the hearts of Redskins faithful, and the sight of their awful silver and blue colors should make any fan vomit.
And who dare utter names like Landry, Aikman or (oh, the horror) Romo? May they be condemned forever to the very bottom of the NFL fandom ladder.
Remember, Redskins fans, the Dallas Cowboys are NFL Enemy No. 1.
Daniel Snyder Makes Money, Not Winners
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Dan Snyder had the worst possible thing happen to him during his first season as the owner of the Redskins: He won the NFC East. From then on, he felt as though every move he made would come to fruition and that his beloved team could win the Super Bowl every single year.
Wrong. Danny is good at one thing: making money. He's a self-made millionaire and runs an NFL franchise that is one of the most valuable sports teams in the entire world. No one questions his ability as a businessman, or his passion for Redskins football.
But as far as making decisions to help a football team win? Lay off, Danny, Redskins fans are sick of the constant complication you've conjured.
Sean Taylor Was Destined for Canton
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You don't have to be a Redskins fan to follow this one. All you needed to do was watch Sean Taylor. No. 21 was as gifted an athlete as there ever has been, and was a highlight film waiting to happen, which isn't very common at the safety position.
His untimely death sent shock waves through the NFL and left the Redskins fanbase in a state of despair. He was one of the greatest players we had ever seen don a burgundy and gold uniform.
And he was gone. Just like that.
And Redskins fans should always believe that Sean Taylor was destined to become the greatest safety ever to play football. He was going to be enshrined in Canton and be immortalized as one of the best players in NFL history.
It's not a homer ideal. Any fan could agree that Sean Taylor was destined for greatness.
Any Free Agent That Comes to Washington Condemns His Career to Death
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It's popular to say that the Redskins win the offseason but not the regular season.
Well, it's true.
For the last decade, Dan Snyder has decided that money can solve every problem. The only thing is, it never seems to work for him. The list of Redskins free agents that have flamed out in Washington is long and shameful. We're looking at you Brandon Lloyd, Adam Archuleta, Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth (among so many others).
You'd think Snyder would learn. But he simply didn't. He'll probably never change without stern guidance.
And for whatever reason, free agents decide that Washington simply isn't a place where they feel like playing well.
Do Not Take the Coach Joe Gibbs' Name in Vain
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Joe Gibbs won three Super Bowls in Washington.
The only three Super Bowls in D.C.'s history.
Therefore, he is a god. Is there any other way to put it? He won three titles with three different quarterbacks, three different running backs and compiled a playoff win-loss record that borders on inconceivable.
Then he left and guess what? The Redskins have done zilch since those glory days. And the only success they've really felt in the last 10 years were the two playoff appearances courtesy of Joe Gibbs when he briefly returned to the sidelines.
So I say to you: Never, ever, disrespect Joe Gibbs.
All of the Hogs Are Hall of Famers
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Here are the names of the original Hogs offensive line: Jeff Bostic, Russ Grimm, Mark May, Joe Jacoby, George Starke, and tight ends Don Warren and Rick "Doc" Walker.
Only one, Russ Grimm, is enshrined in Canton.
For Redskins fans, it is impossible to see why this is. The Hogs were a unit. They were their own team. They were an offensive line with a nickname—who gives offensive lines nicknames?
How could only one member of the most dominant offensive front in NFL history be in the Hall of Fame. If you are a Redskins fan, you know this to be true: Every Hog deserves the Hall.
John Riggins Is the Original White Running Back
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This is by no means racist. But if you take a look at the NFL, there is an absolute dearth of caucasian running backs in the league. The most recent example is Peyton Hillis, who everyone compares to—you guessed it—John Riggins.
He is the standard by which all other bruising white running backs will be held. His 43-yard 4th-and-1 touchdown run in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl win over Miami is one of the greatest plays in NFL history, and the Diesel's engaging and unique personality made him a fan favorite.
There is only one John Riggins. There always will be.
Joe Theismann Was a Great Quarterback, but He's an Awful Analyst
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Joe Theismann was that guy that the other teams hated. He was brash and cocky, and pretty egomaniacal. But Redskins fans know this: He was an excellent quarterback. He won a Super Bowl and was a superb young player for the franchise.
But Redskins fans also know that Theismann should never be seen on TV. He does not have a TV personality, and there's a reason he was kicked off Monday Night Football so soon—no one else in the booth ever got a chance to talk.
Watch a Redskins preseason game (inexplicably, Theismann is one of the television personalities broadcasting the game). It's painful. Believe me, it's painful.
You were a great QB, Joe. But for the love of God, get out of the booth.
Once a Redskin, Always a Redskin
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Ah, the Golden Rule of Redskins fandom.
Once a Redskin, always a Redskin.
Could it be any clearer?
If you are a Redskins fan, then you are a Redskins fan for life. You always bleed burgundy and gold and never give up no matter how hard things get.
You are tough
You are passionate.
You are patient.
You are a Redskins fan.