By Marc Lande
“No, the Indian, not the Cowboy!”, said my older brother Michael age 10 in 1977.
“Cowboy!”, I would shout.
“No Indian!”, my brother Michael would say while holding me and turning me around.
I just have a vague memory of rooting for the Cowboy when I was really young and the broadcasts of the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys would show Chief Zeke and the Cowboy fake fighting. Maybe these as memories of the Dallas Cowboys playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl, Staubach and Bradshaw are just that vague vague memories.
Mean Joe Greene and Coca-Cola commercials Those terrible reruns of Cowboy and Indian movies. Somewhere between when I started having friends and schoolwork and pre-nursery school, I went from rooting for a Cowboy to rooting for an Indian. OR, at least, not being terrified of the image of a Redskin.
Then, about that time, a family friend had a Redskins kid helmet and the love affair began. Paint on this kids helmet, soon there was a JT #7 jersey and some sort of football pants and the helmet on and we, older brother, dad and me we at RFK stadium for the Redskins on Sunday. Welcome to the 1980s.
Learning about birch bark and hollowed out canoes, peace pipes, teepees, moccasins, a Redskins fan slowly emerging into a Native American supporter. In 1981, the redskins stated the season 1-6 and my dad happened to get me a signed note from Howard Cosell saying, “Cheer up Marc. Better days ahead!”
The following year, 1982, a Redskins wearing from head to toe fan in his 1st season of attending full time the Redskins, an 8-year-old than 9-year-old who would have all the fans around him knocking his helmet after scores and scoring a bunch.
Us friends playing school yard fun bunch reenactments. Mosley winning kicks with snow as graffiti. For a kid from Chevy chase, Maryland, who was not clued in that since he was in Maryland he could pick up on the Baltimore Orioles, the Redskins were his hometown team, missing or feeling like we did not have a baseball team and by the NFC Championship game loving everything Redskin or Indian and disliking everything Dallas and Cowboy.
Welcome to Washington, 1982.
Probably going to games with friends way too young like the Gerald Riggs 203-yard loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Or, trips to Chicago and Philadelphia for playoff wins in cold chilly weather. Yes, Ditka keeping on calling out Dexter’s IQ. Dexter’s covid-free and able to talk circles around most on the trial and tribulations of substance abuse. Bobby Mitchell, Darrell Green, Doug Williams.
Yes, we own that—breaking the ceiling for the African American quarterback. Russell Wilson was just voted the quarterback on the decade team of the 2010s.
Doug if playing for a winner and avoiding injuries throughout his career might have made that team a few decades earlier. Whether he could have or could not have, he still put together the most impressive quarter and one of the most dramatic quarters of football in the history of the NFL given the 10-0 hole and hyperextended knee .
Riggins run to glory a few seasons early and this boy was there in Pasadena and would sleep with the famous poster of his immortalized run over his bed.
That poster is still in storage and like the helmet is ready to go—out the door. Tomorrow to some, we will be honking our horn at every stop light and yelling, “Go Insert New Team Name.” Tomorrow is a Super Bowl Victory for the former team named the Redskins.
Today is ending an era. I will always be a Redskin in some way. But now I can go to the National Museum of the Indians and be a Native Rights Activist knowing that the team I am rooting for is not a racial slur.
That, racial justice, sharing between nations like the 1st Thanksgiving, is better than any Super Bowl. Thanks Daniel Marc Snyder for a true gift—the gift of prioritizing where a win starts: with a name. Httr! Until tomorrow!
The post Redskins No More, A New Era in Washington Football Begins Today appeared first on Redskins Gab.
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