For as long as I can remember, I have always been a Washington Redskins fan and always will be. It has been difficult over the past few decades watching them lose close games like throwing an interception while driving down the field to win the game or missing a field goal in the final seconds that would have had FedEx Field in an uproar.
We have also had our moments of glory as well, such as winning three Super Bowls and of course beating the Dallas Cowboys. Along the way, we have encountered a few players who we have grown to love like they were family and others who if they weren’t so big, we would give them a piece of our minds and let them know how much we hate them.
Love is such a strong word, but since we're passionate fans, this best describes the way we feel about our favorite players on our favorite team. The first one that comes to mind for me would be cornerback Darrell Green. Darrell Green played his entire career with the Redskins and no matter if they won or lost, Darrell Green always gave out a positive vibe to everyone.
From his rookie year, where he chased down Tony Dorsett to returning a punt return for a touchdown with broken ribs, he gave his all for the Redskins and played against all odds with a feel of a David versus Goliath mentality.
Another player that seems to have left their mark as a beloved Redskin is the late Sean Taylor. When the Redskins selected him fifth overall in the 2004 NFL Draft, it was a step in the right direction, getting away from throwing money at players to come here and drafting talent. Boy was he talented and could play any position on the field at an all-pro level.
He put fear in the hearts of opposing offenses with his exceptional speed and anticipation along with his stadium rocking hits he delivered. When word traveled that he had unexpectedly passed away, it was devastating to the Redskins nation and the NFL because he seemed to have his life back on the right path with a future that had sky is the limit written all over it.
Let’s not forget about the past before Redskins who brought Super Bowl trophies to the Nation’s capital and will still love today. Players such as Sammy Baugh, Sonny Jurgensen and Joe Theisman who led the Redskins at quarterback during their glory days and Super Bowl runs. John Riggins also rings a bell as I remember seeing the number 44 romp up and down RFK Stadium dragging players along by his jersey.
Also seeing Art Monk, the Redskins all-time leading receiver, fly down the field or out leap an opposing cornerback brings a smile to my face as I reminisce about the good old days. The Hogs also deserve a lot of love for clearing a path for their running backs and protecting their quarterback for many years. Coach Joe Gibbs seemed to be at the helm of these memorable times winning all three of the Redskins Super Bowls and the team's all-time leader in wins.
: Doug Williams, Mark Mosley, Mark Rypien, Bobby Mitchell
As much as I love the Redskins, I have to admit there are times where I would literally turn the television off or change the channel because the same player was making the same mistakes every time on or off the field. Whether it was a high draft pick that never reached his full potential or someone who didn’t deserve a dime to play football but was given a king's ransom always leaves a sour taste in Skins fan's mouth.
The person who seemed to headline most of these costly mistakes is owner Daniel Snyder, which most fans hated him for throwing money away on players who were at the twilight of their careers or simply laid an egg once he cut the check. I can say recently he has learned to keep away from the field and close his wallet but the damage is already done.
One of the people who contributed to Daniel Snyder's hated resume was once former all-pro Albert Haynesworth. Once seen as the best defensive player in the NFL, Redskins fans were elated when he decided to sign a seven year, one hundred million dollar contract with them in 2009. That marriage only lasted for two seasons, which was filled with drama, suspensions and run-ins with the law. He was sent packing to the New England Patriots in 2011, where he was soon released from there the same season.
Another head scratching idea was acquiring Donavan McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2010, making people as if they had final found the quarterback that would lead them to victory. Wrong again. Not only did the Redskins throw money at him as well but they ended up benching him before the season was over. They sent him packing after one season to the Minnesota Vikings. Mom always said “don’t let the money burn a whole in your pocket son".
There is also the path of drafting players out of college and hoping there game translate well into the NFL. Some Redskins fans wished the players drafted would have stayed in school another year or not been drafted at all. Heath Shuler looked like the quarterback of the future when he was drafted out of Tennessee in 1994. Well the Skins swung and missed with that one as the third overall pick only lasted two seasons as the Redskins quarterback before losing his job to Gus Ferrotte and being shipped to New Orleans in 1996.
Speaking of Gus Ferrotte, he wasn’t as bad as Shuler but for someone who is supposed to be the one of the smartest guys on the field and leader of the team, who celebrates a touchdown by ramming their head in a wall in injuring themselves? I wonder why there aren’t any hands raised right now.
: Dana Stubblefield, Deion Sanders, Steve Spurrier, Jim Zorn
The Redskins are in good hands for now with Robert Griffin III at the helm but as long as Mr. Snyder keeps his wallet in his pocket and Bruce Allen makes smart personnel decisions, the Redskins will be well on their way to back to elite status where they belong.