Know Your Fans: Redskins Fan Molly Henneberg
Introducing a new, irregular segment: Know Your Fans, featuring interviews with well-known and lesser-known fans of our local pro teams. If you have a suggestion for this feature, please let me know.
To start, meet FOX News Channel Washington correspondent Molly Henneberg. Molly joined FNC in 2002 and was on the campaign trail for much of 2008. She also will be at the Republican National Convention, which, as you'll see, could pose a serious conflict with her fandom.
She's previously covered stories like the D.C. sniper and the Virginia Tech massacre. Molly grew up in Arlington and Falls Church, went to George Mason High and Vanderbilt, and moved back to the D.C. area after a few stops in smaller markets. And, as you'll also see, she's something of a nut for the Redskins.
So when you did you start liking this crazy football team?
Ever since birth. I mean, there's a picture of my grandfather holding me with a Redskins cap on. I grew up here, my parents are from here; well, my mom is anyhow. Definitely from birth
And when do you remember starting to pay attention?
Every Sunday we go to church, pick up McDonald's and come back and watch the Redskins. I don't ever remember not being part of it. It was just always part of our Sunday routine. And then the Super Bowls, of course. And I remember a Monday night game against the Giants, I went to bed after the first quarter, I heard my parents yelling, I came down, and that was when Taylor and Theismann had their little run-in. That was one of my most vivid memories: hearing my parents yelling, running down, and just being crushed that Joe Theismann was hurt.
Do you still eat McDonald's and watch the game?
I do go to church and come home and maybe not pick up McDonald's, but we have a family meal and watch the game.
How often do you go to games?
My mother had season tickets at RFK and I just loved it, because the whole stadium bounced, it rocked. And now my parents have season tickets at FedEx Field and it is fun to go there, but this is my thing: I've got to be able to sit down and hear the commenters, Larry, Sonny and Sam, and have instant replay, and have my TiVo. So I like going to games, but I don't go to a ton of them, because I need to be in my chair with my Redskins cap on top of my head on top of my TV. So I don't go to as many games as you would think.
Why do you put your cap on top of the TV?
I just put it up there. It's a tradition. It's sending good luck through the TV to the team, I guess. I never really thought of it that way, I just put it on top of the TV.
And you recently got married, right?
I did, and I married a staunch Redskins fan as well. In fact, the very last song before we left the reception was 'Hail to the Redskins.' He and I both know the chorus and the verse. We're die-hards.
Was that a condition for marrying?
We had talked about what we would do if we met each other and one had been a fan of any other NFC East team. Outside of the NFC East, perhaps we could have considered it, but I'm not sure if I could have considered it if he had been an Eagles, Giants or Cowboys fan. I mean, that's just too difficult. Marriage is hard enough.
And we just came back from our honeymoon in Maui, and got the devastating news about Phillip Daniels and Buzbee going down, we got off the plane and a couple hours later we heard that. And then we heard about Jason Taylor. What a bit of Redskins news to come back to.
Do you see every game?
Even if I have to TiVo it. Sometimes I have to work on Sundays. Chris, my then-boyfriend, would TiVo the games and not tell me and not say anything, and we'd watch them that night.
But John McCain's speech at the RNC Convention is Thursday night, on opening night, against the Giants, at the Meadowlands, and I'm going to be on the floor of the convention. This is a big deal to me.
So what are you gonna do?
I really don't know. My best hope is that somewhere in sort of the Fox area of the convention there might be another TV that could be tuned to football that I could run back and see. I don't want to get score updates. I've got to be able to see it. This is going to be difficult, Dan. This has been the subject of much discussion.
So do you know players or front office people with the team?
I don't know them, no. The only thing, when I was a kid I was asked to hold the cue card for Joe Gibbs for a commercial he was shooting; he was walking and talking and I was holding his cue card. All those years I kept the picture of Joe Gibbs and me in my Bible so I would remember to pray for Joe Gibbs and pray for the team. And then two years ago, that Bible got stolen from my car. Obviously the Bible was more important, but the Joe Gibbs picture got stolen too. I talked about it on the air--I always talk about the Redskins on the air--and then a year later I got a package at Fox: 'To Molly, thanks for standing up for the 'Skins, Joe Gibbs.'
That's my new prize possession that's in my house, in sort of a UV-protected case with bodyguards around it. I don't think it was related to the Bible being stolen, but in my mind it was like one window closes and another one opens.
Ok, who's your favorite Redskin of all time?
It's gotta be a tie between John Riggins and Mark Moseley. Because Mark Moseley, one year when I was a kid, was my vacation Bible teacher, and that was very exciting, so I always have a fond place in my heart for him. And John Riggins, I loved him on the field obviously and I love him on the radio now. I love his irreverent sense of humor.
And who's your favorite current Redskin?
Um, let me think. Golly, this is so hard. I respect Shawn Springs for his athleticism on the field and what he's going through with his dad and now his step-mother, I just respect the kind of person he is and who he is. I like watching Captain Chaos, Chris Cooley, because he has such a zest for life and a passion for the game. I guess those would be the two people. And Randle El, and Jason Campbell. Oh gosh, everybody is coming to mind now.
And what's your prediction for this year?
You know, my predictions are always the same. I can't take my heart and my emotion out of the prediction. I mean, even when I look at the schedule and I see different games that might be tough, I always think we're going to win 11 or 12 games, whatever it takes to have home-field advantage, 11, 12, 13 victories. I can't look at it objectively and say anything other than that..
You sound like a true Redskins fan there. I think they're kind of delusional.
I believe we're going to the Super Bowl every year. I know, Dan, I know, it's crazy, but everybody has to have their sports fantasies.
Do you own lots of Redskins paraphernalia?
You know, you'd think, but I own sweatshirts and t-shirts and stuff like that. My fanaticism is more verbal--talking about it with people--and visual. I have to watch the game, and then the three-hour postgame show on Comcast. That's number one on my TiVo: Postgame Live with Chick Hernandez. Although I've got to say, when my boyfriend at the time went to a game and bought me a Redskins t-shirt with the words to 'Hail to the Redskins' on the back, including the verse, I mean, it was true love.
As a journalist, would you like to cover them?
I get asked that all the time, if I want to be a sports reporter, but here's the thing: at Fox they teach you you have to be fair and balanced. And I can be fair and balanced on every topic in the world, I think, except the Redskins. I just can't be fair and balanced about the Redskins. I have to say, I shouldn't cover the Redskins. They hang the moon to me. So no.
Do you read Jason La Canfora's blog?
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Especially during the Sean Taylor thing, constantly. Especially during the season, starting about now through the end of the season, it's one of the first things I check in the morning, to see what scoop they've got.
Do you ever post on it?
Oh, no, I never do.
Do you know any other famous Redskins fans?
At work we've got a total posse, we've got a Redskins e-mail group whenever there's news. Brit Hume is a huge Redskins fan and so is Chris Wallace, and whenever we're in the hallway we have to discuss the latest news, or the games. We have very, VERY passionate discussions about what the coaches should do, what the players should do, what plays were called, this that and the other. It's a very serious business.
Of the three of you, who's the biggest fan?
C'mon. You're talking to me, I am. If you talk to Brit Hume or Chris Wallace, they'd say they were. But you're talking to me, and I get to say I am.
Do you follow any other local teams?
I love sports and I'll watch the Wizards or Capitals or D.C. United, but I'm not well versed on them like I am the Redskins. The Redskins are my passion.
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