Rammer jammer and hail to the redskins

When people find out I went to Alabama, they always ask if I’m a football fan. Why yes, I’ve been one for many years. Football however never factored into my decision to go to the school. At the time I was starting school, Bama was long past its Bear Bryant heyday. While I was there, I started the end of the Bill Curry era and ended with the glorious National Championship with Gene Stallings. And a Redskins Super Bowl. Hence the running joke that the only way the Skins are going to win one again is if I leave town. Not my preferred way of them winning…

I blame my love of football on my father. Every Sunday he listened to the radio/tv broadcasts of the Redskins. He always muted the tv commentators so he could listen to the Redskins team of Sonny Jurgensen, Sam Huff and Frank Herzog. They might be irritating sometimes, but they were our irritants, thank you very much. Now he’s stuck in a weird limbo of Jacksonsville/Miami/Tampa Bay. Not quite the seventh circle of hell or the pits of Tartarus, but close enough.

New Year’s always means bowl games and parades. It was a Big Deal to play on New Year’s Day back then. I used to watch the bowl games and not care who was playing or even who won. I remember watching Herschel Walker when he was playing for Georgia. My fondest memories are of clearing off the bar so we could have dinner and watch the Rose Bowl at the same time. My mother would traditionally fix chili. Somehow I never acquired my parents’ taste for spicy foods as I’ve discovered this year trying fajitas. I’m fine with the steak and some of the vegetables, just not the extras.

Now the bowl games are all too numerous to count. Today Alabama played Michigan State in the Capitol One Bowl. I have to admit the season after an undefeated national championship season felt like a letdown, especially having watching two of the games we lost. Last year we found ways to win. This year we expected to win, which may have been our problem. I really want that Auburn game back.

Meanwhile my Redskins continue to plumb unknown depths of the NFC East basement. We were of the best known NFL franchises. But now we’re a laughing stock of the league with all of our off field mistakes and player issues. I want to enjoy NFL football again, not dread watching every Sunday.

But it’s funny how I wound up with two such teams.  Both teams have huge stadiums. They can command some of the largest home crowds in the game, easily 90,000. I’ve been to both stadiums, although FedEx was for a Notre Dame-Navy game, before Navy returned to winning. I was so far up I could see the parking lot! Not quite the intimacy or rocking ‘n rolling of old RFK, but boy is it a fun place to be when everything’s going right.

I didn’t plan it though.

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