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A Redskins Letter From Pat Fischer's Son

When Marty Fischer was a boy growing up in Loudoun County, his father's friends would come over on Sundays to watch the Redskins game. Just like a lot of you out there, I'd imagine.

Except his father was Redskins All-Pro cornerback Pat Fischer, and his friends were ex-Skins, guys like Billy Kilmer, for example. And Marty--now 32--can still picture those Sundays.

"I remember having to actually open the windows because my mom was going crazy," he told me. "My dad's ex-teammates would be over at the house, just getting so loud and pumped up, just like they were playing."

This helped form Marty's identity as a Redskins fan, and it helped reinforce what he thought of the franchise: guys who were proud of their franchise, guys who "played with more heart than anybody out there," guys who might have had less talent but who had the best camaraderie and the strongest will.

And like a lot of you, the recent results have been extremely disappointing to Marty Fischer. This week, he sent an e-mail to about 500 family and friends, trying to ask what's been going wrong. Without his knowledge, it got forwarded around to lots of places, including to me.

Let me emphasize that Marty isn't trying to criticize the franchise or the leadership or the roster, and he certainly is wishing them all nothing but the best. He said his dad has strong relations with the team, and that they all are staying positive. It's more a feeling of bewilderment, I guess.

"I don't ever ask questions, but this is getting a little bit confusing," Marty said. "I want everybody to stick with this thing. People are starting to get down on the Skins, and they shouldn't do it. We're born here, we're all proud of being Redskins fans. I see a lot of people getting negative about it, and I don't want them to get negative about it. We don't know the answer to why [players] don't seem a hundred percent into the game, why they don't seem like one unit out there, but we're all Redskins fans, we can't just throw our tickets away."

Basically, Marty and his friends just want things to be like they were when they were kids. Lately, it's seemed a bit different.

"Who knows why?" he said. "We just wish that it was still the same way. We're not in their locker room. We don't know what they're going through right now. But we hope that this loss to Detroit really brings them together and makes them bond as a team, only looking for victory, and not settling for anything less. They're amazing and incredible athletes, and we just hope they can come together."

Anyhow, here's the text of Marty's letter to his friends, in case it doesn't wander into your inbox this week.

Have the Redskins Lost Their Identity?

Have the Redskins lost their identity? The fact is we are Redskins fans and the Redskins are our team. We are dedicated to them during the season and during the offseason. There is no time for us, as Redskins fans, to let them down, right!

I am a Fischer, the son of ex-defensive back Pat Fischer. Being a Redskins fan started before life began for my sister and I. We grew up with so many diehard ex-Redskins players coming to watch the games after they retired. My father had a burgundy and gold Redskins horse trailer. We papered the house burgundy and gold. We opened the windows for mom, because we knew it was going to get too loud inside, yelling for our Redskins! As Redskins fans, it was go time then and it is go time now, for all of us diehard Skins fans.

So what's the answer to my question, "Have the Redskins lost their identity?" I have only just started my thirties, but can remember the fire in the eyes of dad and all his friends when just watching the games. When I watch the old films of them playing, we see how everyone on the field put their heart and soul on the line every single down. The whole team, including the sideline, watched intensely, pushing and being a driving force for their friends and teammates. Every down was played as hard as the previous play. They played every down to win, for their teammates/coaches/ friends, for their fans, for the nation's capital, and for the rich tradition and honor to be a Redskin.

Where is the bitter will to win? Where is the desire to put heart and soul into every play? I wish the fire was there, but no matter what we are cheering and will always be Redskins fans!

Little Fischer "37"

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 30, 2009; 2:51 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Posted by: alex35332 | September 30, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay losing!

Posted by: MarylanDChris | September 30, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Fischer is the right kind of fan that this team needs. I just wish every Redskins fan were like him...maybe our team wouldn't be as distracted by all the nonsense from our fans lately and would play better on the field if every fan were like him.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 30, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I respect Fischer's love for the team, but anything that fails to call out what an inept owner Dan Snyder is, misses the point.

Posted by: smutsboy | September 30, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Barno, the problem with this team is its cotton-pickin' fans and their doggone contrary opinions about things! Shame on them! Why can't they just get in line and enjoy the losing and the terrible play like they oughta!

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 30, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Fischer is the right kind of fan that this team needs. I just wish every Redskins fan were like him...maybe our team wouldn't be as distracted by all the nonsense from our fans lately and would play better on the field if every fan were like him.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 30, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

If a player is distracted by fans booing them because of how terribly they've played, then that player is mentally weak. And you know what? That's most likely a problem that's affecting him and the team. This group of players and coaches have bigger things to worry about than the fans. It seemed like the folks at the Rams game were in it from the start. They were excited about the beginning of a new season. They were expecting to see a changed team, one that was offensively and defensively competent at the least.

And they didn't get any of that. It was more of the same, and I think a decade of frustration bubbled to the surface. So they booed a Redskins offense that scored a whopping nine points against one of the league's worst teams of the past couple of years. And what did they learn from that? Obviously nothing, as they proceeded to lose in grand fashion to the mighty Detroit Lions.

So yeah, that's on the fans. We're the ones who've caused this ship to capsize and start the lonely descent to the ocean floor. I, like most fans, hope the Skins are able to turn it around this season. But you'll forgive me if I haven't seen evidence of that yet. It's early yet, so there can still be hope. But I'm growing concerned. And as a fan who pays attention, I think that's my right.

Posted by: CDon | September 30, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

We must show our displeasure with the organization. I fully support the team and the players, however, I don't support the direction in which that the team has been heading.

Viva la revolucion!

Posted by: Mustachio | September 30, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I think most of the players lost their hearts when Albert and MeAngelo got their big contracts.

Good players, but those two ARE NOT Redskins.

I don't think Danny realizes or cares what kind of feelings those big free agent contracts create in guys making a normal amount - sure, they are professionals and all, but you can't stop the basic human reaction to people being rewarded beyond their contribution to the whole.

Posted by: johnvandermyde | September 30, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

i think the interesting thing is that those old redskins would probably be the first to boo the poor performance and lack of desire shown by this team and this organization this year. if you don't have that desire, then get out (i'm looking at YOU, dan snyder) if your lack of desire to win leaves you asking why the boos are hurting your feelings, get out...i expect you to put your hand in the dirt, get some scratches on your helmet and leave some blood on the field before you tell me "a win is a win" and "we tried, but they were better than everyone thought." anything less than a maximum effort is for the cowboys to bid for.

Posted by: bacaje | September 30, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Barno, what color is the sky in your world? The Skins are not losing because of the fans. They are losing because the owner is an idiot and he's made it known that DC is a place for free agents to come and make easy money. Guys like Deion, Jeff George, Dana Stubblefield, Brandon Lloyd, and Adam Archuleta are just one FA bust after another that Danny has brought in. The players collect the big check, talk a good game and give a crappy effort. If you want to get your butt kicked but have a chance at a ring, you go elsewhere. If you want to be pampered by the owner and make big bucks then you go to DC.

These aren't the Redskins of my youth. The team has too many hired guns only in it for the money and they are headed towards a losing season.

Posted by: calhokie | October 1, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Steiney, Your heart is in the right place with this letter but the letter itself misses the point. Jenkins nails it. We don't need to be better fans, the front office and owner are a complete disaster. The only time little Danny will change is when he feels it in his wallet. Don't go to home games and don't buy's as simple as that.

Posted by: Teeper | October 1, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The Skins haven't played with the reckless abandon and total effort Marty describes in a long time. The only player to play that way in recent memory was 21. I don't know the answer to how to get back to that, but I contend this is a problem that has been building since the mid-90's.

Posted by: jespey713 | October 2, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

That was awesome to read.

Posted by: djorl | October 2, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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