I grew up just outside of Washington, D.C. My Dad had a wife and four daughters. Surrounded by girly girl stuff, he reserved the TV for Sunday afternoons and Monday night football when the Redskins were playing. So in the early 1970’s we either learned to be Redskin fans or did something else. We all chose to be fans!
When I was in high school in Waldorf, Maryland some Redskins came to our school and played a benefit basketball game with the Jaycee’s circa 1974. I was a cheerleader and so excited to see my team live even if it was as basketball players. At the time the players were Chris Hanberger and Darryl McClinton among others.
Several of my high school classmates were in the Redskin band or Redskinettes.
After high school I worked in various jobs while going to college. Again I had interaction with some Redskins in Waldorf as they were there for promotions at different companies.
Joe Theisman opened a restaurant close to my home. A boyfriend took me to dinner there. Joe stopped and chatted with us and gave me this autograph circa 1977.
On the road playing music in the upper mid-west in the 1980’s I was the only one in a Green Bay bar rooting for my “Skins.” The establishment was nice enough to let me stay!
In the 1990s, my sister had season’s tickets at FedEx so I got to go with her. It was a rough day for the Redskins, but a beautiful day for football!
Bringing back an old skill from my teen years I perform as a clown and ventriloquist. My puppet, Dee-oh-Gee, now has a Redskins jersey to match mine!
In 2009 and a forty-year Redskins fan I got to see another game. A business associate, Steve Crawford President of Main Street Group investments, had season tickets and took several of his clients to FedEx for tailgating and the game. That day it was another beautiful day for football…well enough said!
Mark Mosley was at a business event in Alexandria, Virginia in 2009. He was nice enough to chat and pose with guests at the cocktail party. I remember what a kicker he was!
The best of the best to date was an adventure that took on a life of itsown in 2009. For more than two decades I’ve been a nationally certified massage therapist. I’m so protective of my clients and I don’t mention names. I was telling Steve Crawford about a client of mine with muscular dystrophy who LOVES the Redskins. Each home visit, even off-season, Scott and I talked about the Redskins. Scott’s birthday was coming up and since I knew Steve worked with some retired Redskins, I asked if he could get me an autograph or two for my client. He said, “I can do better than that!” Talking with my client’s parents, they were okay with me sharing his name and surprising Scott for his birthday. Scott not only got an autograph, but Steve brought Pat Fischer, retired Redskin to Scott’s house to meet, pose and give him an autographed picture. Then Pat took off his Redskin cap and gave it to Scott. Well, I was emotional. The look on Scott’s face was priceless!
Here are pictures of Pat Fischer. The black and white is circa 1976 and the color photo is one he signed for me after we’d visited Scott in 2009. The last one of Pat and me is after a surprise well done!
So have the Redskins impacted my life? You bet! It’s been 40+ years of the joys of victory and the agony of defeat. I’m a Redskin fan through and through. I just talked with Scott the other day. I smile each time I think about surprising him for his birthday. As a fan I am grateful for the kindness of the players through the years.
Should I win the “Together We Make Football” contest, I would like to donate the tickets to the Roanoke Virginia Muscular Dystrophy Association. Maybe they can have a contest to send one of the people with muscular dystrophy to Super Bowl 2015.
Thank you all and HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!
-Kelly Harris , September 24, 2014