The Fan With the Hip Hip Hooray Sign
The latest passenger on this autumn's Hip Hip Hoorayride? Meet John Woloshen, the man with the sign at Sunday's game.
Woloshen grew up in Camp Springs as a typical D.C. fan--Skins posters on his wall, Skins sheets on his bed--before moving to Jersey when he was 9, forcing him to deal with Giants fans through college. Then he relocated to Orlando. That's a long exile. But like tens of thousands of his peers, he kept up with his Skins fandom throughout his 43 years, going to the Orlando-area Skins bar every Sunday and traveling north for some NFC East road games, at Giants Stadium with his cousin Vinny (really) and at Eagles games with his best friend Larry.
During their last trip to Philadelphia, John nearly caused a riot when an Eagles fan grabbed an autographed Joe Theismann jersey out of his hands and threw it into the crowd.
"So my history in Philly was not great," John e-mailed me yesterday.
Still, with a seat in Philadelphia right next to the visiting team's tunnel, the software executive decided he would bring a banner, "something that would help inspire the team and not be controversial or antagonistic," he wrote me.
Now, in this season of Zorn, if you were searching for an appropriate D.C. slogan, inspirational but not lewd or crass, hopeful but not aggressive, what would it be? Duh. It's Hip Hip Hooray, silly.
"The Redskins would know what I was talking about, and the Eagles fans really wouldn't have a clue," Woloshen wrote me. "It was perfect."
His company's graphics guy helped him design an image. He called sign makers to see who could do a rush job with only a few hours notice. He found a $40 deal, and asked for his slogan in burgundy and gold. The colors weren't perfect - more like Florida State than the Redskins - and his friend Larry was worried about causing a fuss. Woloshen nearly left the sign in Florida, but then decided he might as well bring it along. Good call, as it turned out.
"It felt a little corny at first, but when I saw the reaction of the players and coaches when they ran into the locker room at halftime and again at the end of the game, I knew I had made the right choice," Woloshen wrote. "Antwaan Randle El gave me a big thumbs up, and Coach Zorn gave me the smile and wink!"
The rest, of course, is good clean history. The team made it two upset wins in a row, Randle El made it two hokey cheers in a row when he stepped into the postgame huddle, and the Hip Hip Hoorayride rolled on.
"I love the fact that the Redskins are doing so well this year and I hope that the Hip Hip Hooray will continue to be the slogan for 2008," John wrote. "I have been reading on forums that fans now want to start doing Hip Hip Hooray in the stands when the team scores. This could get really big.
"I know I didn't start Hip Hip Hooray; Coach Zorn dug that one out. But I like to think that my sign inspired Randle El to do the cheer again, and now that they have done it after two consecutive divisional road games, I have to think it is now here to stay."
Hard to argue with that. The Mister Irrelevant t-shirt shop is cranking out the Hip Hip Hurray model (and they aren't the only ones), the Extreme Skins folks are giggling with delight and plotting post-game cheers for the stadium this week, and John--a musician by night--hopes to compose a Hip Hip Hooray anthem. I'm lobbying for the Naughty by Nature re-mix.
Posted by: Nate in the PDX | October 7, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Arlington Pimp | October 7, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: DirtyHarry | October 7, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: WebberDC | October 7, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: alex E | October 7, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: suzannepdc | October 7, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Kev | October 8, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sackman | October 9, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.