Cowboys Fans at Training Camp
Today was apparently "take your kooky friends and neighbors to camp" day. Everywhere I looked, there was blue and white, starting at the front gate, where 18-year-old Dallas fan Chase Hicks cautiously entered camp wearing a backwards Cowboys hat, a Troy Aikman jersey and a Cowboys watch. In summers past, he had come to training camp undercover, wearing neutral clothing or even Redskins apparel, but this year his boss at a Ukrop's in Richmond had offered him $20 for producing photographic evidence that he entered Redskins Park wearing Dallas gear.
"I'm just waiting for that day to get my money," he said.
"That's if he makes it out of here alive," his aunt, Carol Sayyar, said. "I'm serious, he's gonna get a beat down. Believe me, I tried to talk him out of it. It didn't work."
"Carol, I love you," he later said, trying to hug his aunt.
"Back off," she replied.
In the distance were true believers wearing "Dallas Sucks" shirts, or better yet, "Jesus Hates the Cowboys."
Next to Chase proudly stood 9-year-old Gunner Hicks, wearing Romo. A plainclothed Dallas fan came up to Chase and shook his hand; "thank you," he said quietly. Gunner wandered off and didn't reappear for a few moments; "probably got beat up in the parking lot," his older brother said. Eleven-year-old Wyatt Mulroney approached, looking as if he had just spotted George Will entering YearlyKos; "you guys are, like, Cowboy fans???" Wyatt said, disbelievingly.
But they weren't alone. On the other side of the spectator area stood Andy Rodriguez, in a Terrell Owens jersey. He had driven to Ashburn from South Texas with his friend Ronnie Gomez, a lifelong Redskins fan who had never been to training camp.
"I told him if he gets me thrown out of here, I'll never forgive him," Gomez said.
And lo, here came 54-year-old Benny Gaines sweating through his Roy Williams jersey; "there's another dummy," Sayyar said. "I don't want to be mistaken for a Redskins fan," Gaines explained.
It was a lot of heat to take in exchange for watching a team you don't like, but none of the Cowboys fans reported anything worse than mild taunts from the largely burgundy crowd. I figured the sun was too oppressive for rabble-rousing, but Gaines had another reason.
"They're not selling alcohol here," he pointed out.
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