Open Forum: Hail to the Redskins!

Posted: January 5, 2013

Since moving to Winchester from Manassas in 2002, I have often felt compelled to write a letter regarding politics, God being pushed out of our country by many, racism, and other issues — but not until the Washington Redskins have embarked upon another dynasty do I feel truly compelled to do so.

As a lifelong Redskins fan surrounded by Steelers, Ravens and Cowboys fans, it is refreshing to see the Washington Redskins (our true local team) in the early stages of a return to glory. How rewarding to not only defeat the hated glory team in Dallas twice this season, but also wrap up our first NFC crown since 1999.

With two solid starting quarterbacks, an amazing rookie runner, and many other young players playing keys roles, the Redskins are on a pathway to quite a run. This season has painted a clear picture that no matter what happens in the playoffs this year the Skins are going to be a team to be reckoned with for quite some time now.

It has been humorous to see the varying “favorite team” alliances spring up since the Redskins’ amazing glory days of the early ’80s through the early ’90s, with an 107-47 record from 1981 to 1991 and four Super Bowl appearances and three Super Bowl wins.

Well, get ready to be a part of a run similar to that and be prepared to see many fans want to jump on board with a dynamic, classy quarterback and a Riggins-style running back, along with great chemistry of players and coaches.

I totally understand Steelers fans and Ravens fans being in the Northern Virginia area. With Baltimore in close proximity and the Redskins struggling since the mid-’90s to be a solid winning team, there are people who like to root for winners, and there are those who transplanted from the Baltimore area. With the new expansion team coming from Cleveland and the closest local team struggling for a period of time, I do see where people gravitated toward the Ravens, even though the history and tradition are at the baby stage at this point.

I also totally understand how many Steelers fans have relocated from Pennsylvania for work in the past 20-30 years and carry their rooting tradition for that storied and amazing franchise with them.

What I do not understand is why there are so many Cowboy fans in Northern Virginia. I know we have a society of people who jump on the bandwagon and go for the latest fad instead of being patient and going through the ups and downs with their local team. I know the media for more than 25 years has portrayed Dallas as “America’s Team” and has heaped so much praise upon them and publicity for what has been a pretty mediocre team since their run in the 1990s. In fact, over the past 12 years, as bad as the Redskins have been, the Cowboys have only been 16 games better overall in those 12 seasons with 138 wins while the Redskins have won 122.

The past three seasons have the Redskins with a 21-27 record and Dallas with a 22-26 record. Not a big difference at all. And we all know that, despite the fact Dallas has made the playoffs four times since 2000 to the Redskins three, Dallas has lost in the first round three of those times and was destroyed 34-3 by the Eagles in the second round in 2009.

I do know of some Cowboy fans (although very few) who had a father who liked the Cowboys or actually did live in Texas in their lifetime. That is a very small percentage.

As humans, we go for the most popular team, singer, actor, movie, and politician who fools us the easiest or makes false promises, or has the fanciest car, prettiest girl, nicest house, and what we visualize as the best without truly knowing why. I thought the greatest sign at the Redskins stadium Sunday night questioned Cowboys fans if they had ever even been to Dallas before.

I guarantee if we surveyed Dallas fans this side of the Mississippi River that 80 percent have never even been to the state or been to a game, but just fell for all the media and hype of the glamour team. It has been interesting to talk to Cowboys fans the past few days, making excuses and making claims that it is the first time the Redskins have been good in a long time and how much better the Cowboys are overall. NOT TRUE!!

They get a great deal of publicity and media attention, but as we see in our country that does not always make them the best or have the most substance and depth to them. After a period of a few years, you Cowboys fans may apply to jump on the Redskins bandwagon and we will conduct interviews to see if you fit the criteria and are allowed to join us.

If you are a true local Cowboys fan who has a solid reason for liking them, more power to you for being a true fan and not a bandwagon fan.

It is nice to be back in the saddle, Skins! Keep rolling and thanks to those local residents in Winchester who were Redskin players during their previous long run of glory!

Terry Young is a resident of Winchester.