It’s hard to keep your head up when your team is losing constantly – for years, I could never do it. I’d drag my ass around town until Thursday or Friday after every single Redskins’ defeat. Given the win/loss record for most of the last two decades – that makes for gloomy weeks and winters.
Over the years, my ability to ‘get over’ losses improved. Gradually I would be able to peel back that layer of disappointment more quickly, and not let a game’s result affect my well-being so much.
This weekend marked a momentous occasion though… the Redskins lost, again, and I didn’t get upset one bit.
Now before you go judging me as a fan, or as to the quality of my dedication, I’ll remind you that not many fans have sunk the time, energy, and money into supporting the Redskins as I have – especially over the last eleven years while running this site. So at least hear me out, before you throw me under the bus…
On Sunday, I watched the game with my son for the first time.
He and I had been out with buds to watch the week before, but this week it was just the two of us. He’s 2.5 years old, but very bright. He has the attention span of an OCD gnat. But somehow, he just got it. I don’t mean that he sat beside Daddy for three hours, quietly drilled to the television set or anything… but he was certainly very well behaved, he certainly took interest in the game at many, many points, and he was certainly very interested in whatever it was that was making Daddy yell and scream. More screaming given the landscape of the game.
The week before, he had taken great interest in the fact that my friend Marco’s daughter, who is just over 3, was singing Hail to the Redskins. He was obviously quite upset with his dad for teaching him silly things like 4-syllable words, and reading, and counting, when there are so much more important things for him to learn, like singing the Redskins Fight Song.
Frankly I agreed with him, and can’t answer as to why he hadn’t been taught this offseason while he has been in his ‘learning phase’.
But as bright as that little young man is, even I was surprised when he just started singing it before the kickoff this weekend. Well surprised totally doesn’t cut it, I damn near sh*t the bed.
I grabbed my tablet, and tried to record it, but unfortunately only managed to grab the last half of the chorus. I’ll try to get him again next week – maybe the Skins can score a little more and give the young man some practice.
I could wax poetic all day about the great little things that happened during the game… the 2,987,481 “What’s that Daddy”s… the impromptu RG3 chants from his mouth, including once after the Lions scored (and I should clarify that that’s RGFree to Tommy)… the silly giggles… the innocent ignorance… that smile.
The image of him playing with his football men on the table in front of me as I watch the game behind him, is forever embossed into my Redskins fabric. As much or more than any Super Bowl victory to boot.
Fact of the matter is, something that has always been so serious to me, so important to me, so integral to my fibre and being – just wasn’t so dire anymore. I don’t mean that I am handing in my fan card or that I am any less dedicated – I just mean that having him there to experience the whole thing with, and to share with – goes well beyond the significance of any result or game. I’m building a young mind. The Redskins will likely play as much a role in his life and entertainment as they do in mine – but from now on, I’m just a Dad showing his kid the ropes.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Hail brothers and sisters, keep your heads up!!
More By Mark Solway
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