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Byron Leftwich and H.D. Woodson

We called Byron Leftwich around 6:30 last night. Well, I didn't call him. H.D. Woodson assistant Wayne Johnson did.

"Byron can't come to the phone right now," Leftwich said, "but you know what to do."

"B, just wanted to call and say what's up man, give love to you, and I hope you lose," Johnson said. "All right, do your thing."

This is what Jaguars week is like at Woodson, aka The Tower of Power. Many of the coaches there will tell you they're intensely devoted to the Redskins.

"Come to my basement, you'll think you're in a Redskins huddle," former head coach Bob Headen said.

"When I was a teenager, the Redskins were definitely my heart and soul," current head coach Greg Fuller said.

"I'm a Redskins diehard, all my life, 38 years," Johnson said.

But Leftwich is a Woodson grad. Leftwich donates uniforms and visits football practices and comes to basketball games and drops in on summer seven-on-seven drills. And so....

"I'm going to call him up and say, 'All right big boy, I hope you have the best game you've had in your life, but we're gonna kick your ***,'" Headen said.

"I kind of block Byron out," Johnson said. "You know, I want him to do good but I want the Redskins to win."

"Cheer for both of 'em, whoever wins. Go for whoever's got the ball," said senior linebacker Darnell Tyler, who predicted that Leftwich will "get his rocks off," as the kids say.

"I want him to have a nice game but I still want us to get interceptions and do what we gotta do," wide receiver Teauntay Ford said.

"Jacksonville is sort of off--he should be with us, with the Redskins," wide receiver Antwan Stewart said.

(All in all, the Woodson players were a lot more interested in why they're not ranked in The Post's top 20. A question I couldn't answer. They were also encouraging D.C. sports fans and media members to check out Woodson-Ballou a week from Saturday, which will likely decide a place in the Turkey Bowl.)

Btw, Leftwich, I was told several times, is still a Skins fan. Born a Skins fan, remained a Skins fan at Marshall, and remains one to this day. He even liked Gus Frerotte.

"He'll tell you in a minute, he's a Redskins fan," Johnson said. "He'll tell you that all day long. 'I've got to beat my team,' that's what he'll say."

Which seems sort of odd. I mean, I might have been raised a Washington Times fan, but once I start working at The Post, I have to squelch my secret feelings about Tom Knott, right? (And no offense, Tom.) How can you be a Skins fan when you're playing against the Skins? Does he have burgundy pennants in his bedroom? Will he "Hail" along after touchdowns? Is he collecting the Official Redskins Medallions set? Is anyone actually collecting the Official Redskins Medallions Set? If they are, are they disappointed when it's Gregg Williams week? How can a supermarket medallion be dubbed "ultra-rare?" So many questions.

(Also noteworthy how many Woodson kids said they weren't actually Redskins fans. Some of them want the Skins to win anyhow, like junior Delont'e Johnson.

"My mother and father are Redskins fans; I would like for the Redskins to win so I can get a good meal that night," he joked.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 27, 2006; 1:51 PM ET
Categories:  NFL  
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