Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS
Posted at 5:31 PM ET, 02/15/2011

Two Redskins fans and their FedEx Field sign

By Dan Steinberg

To many of us of a certain age, FedEx Field has all the charm and nostalgia of a pack of Orbit Maui Melon Mint. I mean, maybe you like it, maybe you hate it, but it doesn't exactly conjure up musty old images of childhood wonderment and international glory. More of 1990s-era spaceships. The stadium, not the Maui Melon Mint.

But if you're on the younger side, and you did grow up with FedEx Field, things are maybe a bit different. Take Jeremy Root, for example. The 26-year old Fairfax County native was a Skins fan from birth -- his first game was a Monday Nighter against the Cowboys in the Richie Petitbon Era -- but he was in first grade then. His actual childhood was mostly lived in the FedEx days. And when he was a 22-year old recent college grad making $20,000 a year at the National Institutes of Health and the Skins offered him season tickets, it was for seats in Landover, not in D.C.

Root and his childhood friend, Brennan Wergley, now 25, bought the upper-level tickets they were offered, realizing they were pretty upper, even as upper-level tickets go. But when they finally showed up to their first game as season-ticket holders, they realized that they were actually in the very last row of the stadium.

"Trying to recall those emotions from that day, I think we enjoyed the fact our seats were in the last row--we told ourselves the best fans sit up high," Root wrote in a recent letter he sent to Dan Snyder at Redskins Park. "We soon realized that the huge FedEx Field sign immediately behind us could be of great use to make noise while the Skins were on defense. And as the game and the later the season progressed, we banged away with all our might on the FedEx Field sign...In fact we became so well known in our section that people would turn up to us and encourage us to start banging to help get our section all fired up.

"Throughout the season we came to realize we had the best seats in all of FedEx Field. We had no one behind us, we could stand the whole game, we were in the aisle, and most importantly we had an amazing sign to bang on to make noise. We felt as dedicated as any Skins fans in the stadium."

Why did they write this letter? They noticed that the sign had been banged on so consistently that there were indentations in the paint from their fists, and were concerned that some eager staff member would paint over the marks to make it new and fresh again. I guess you don't get to have memories of a dump like RFK unless staff members play along by letting things dumpify.

"As diehard fans we are not asking for much in return," they wrote to Snyder. "Paraphernalia, autographs or even a seat upgrade to dream seats for one game would be the treat of a lifetime, but what is most important to us is that if possible you do not allow your staff to paint over the sign where we sit. We love our seats and the markings into our sign could not be a better example of our ever lasting dedication and devotion to our Washington Redskins."

Sure, it's a bit much, but that's how they felt, and they wanted to let their voices be heard. And it sort of worked. First Lon Rosenberg, the team's vice president of operations, called Root, said he loved the letter and promised that the indentations would not be glossed over. Then, a few days later, a letter arrived from Redskins Park. He couldn't read the signature at first.

"Dude, that's Bruce Allen!" a friend said.

"Thank you for your passionate support of the Redskins," Allen had written. "I loved your letter & could feel your energy and enthusiasm for the Burgundy & Gold. We will notify the stadium staff of your request."

Root and Wergley -- who live together in Ballston -- were having a party that night. The letter from Allen went on the refrigerator, and all guests were required to admire it.

"We were already pretty diehard," Root, now a medical student at Case Western, told me on Tuesday. "If we weren't lifers beforehand, we would never think to give up on them now."

See, this is the way to get your fans to love you. More of this, and fewer lawsuits, please.


By Dan Steinberg  | February 15, 2011; 5:31 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Dexter Manley tries to do the Dougie
Next: Carlos Rogers says Skins are "nowhere close" to Super Bowl teams

Comments

This is awesome! Way to go fans!

Posted by: jlevy2 | February 15, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I wanted to write Dan Snyder about the sign for a very different reason. About 2 years ago I had season tickets on the top row and during the Skins/Steelers Monday night game, a large female usher tried to kick me out of the stadium for banging on that sign, telling me to get out of "her stadium". With zero warning. Apparently some old couple in our row had complained about it and I was somehow supposed to know about this. Eventually I was permitted to return to my seat after missing a good 20 minutes of action. That experience soured me enough to make that my one and only year of season-ticket ownership.

Posted by: TreezieFoSheezie | February 15, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

can someone teach me how to have such cool handwriting?

Posted by: philarmy | February 15, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

seriously, Bruce Allen's hand writing could be a great photoshop font.

Posted by: alex35332 | February 15, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Nice work Steinberg. you had to get the lawsuit in there, but I'm giving you credit for a better balanced blog. Nice work!

Posted by: Hondo5 | February 15, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Nice work Steinberg. you had to get the lawsuit in there, but I'm giving you credit for a better balanced blog. Nice work!

Posted by: Hondo5 | February 15, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Nice work Steinberg. you had to get the lawsuit in there, but I'm giving you credit for a better balanced blog. Nice work!

Posted by: Hondo5 | February 15, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Still rooting for a team with a racist name. Don't forget this quote from Adolf Hitler when talking about colonizing Russia: "There's only one duty: to Germanize this country by the immigration of Germans and to look upon the natives as Redskins." (Hitler: a study in tyranny, by Allan Bullock, pg. 385)

Posted by: jmarks09 | February 15, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Awesome! I've pounded some top row metal in Raljon. Feels damn good to wake up with sore hands the day after a win. Here's to cheap seats, beer, and passion for the Skins

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | February 15, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

.

Posted by: Hondo5 | February 15, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Guess all the dream seats are sold out (probably not). No use giving away a couple of high priced seats to just regular fans. Better to give them to Snyder friends or even better to sit with Dan in his box for a game or 2 (Like his friend mentioned yesterday who valued those seats at 'only' $446 for 2 seats to 2 games).

Posted by: bbmcoachk | February 16, 2011 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Snyder's gonna send them a five-figure bill for damages to his sign.

Bat Night @ RFK - Promo night where the Senators used to hand out 1/2-scale bats to kids. When Frank Howard would come to the plate, people would start banging the bats on the concrete floor. Made a pretty good racket once the whole place got going.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | February 16, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

"Still rooting for a team with a racist name. Don't forget this quote from Adolf Hitler when talking about colonizing Russia: "There's only one duty: to Germanize this country by the immigration of Germans and to look upon the natives as Redskins." (Hitler: a study in tyranny, by Allan Bullock, pg. 385)"

I like how you prefaced the quote with "don't forget about this quote" as if anybody already knew it or even gave a sheet.

I'm second 3rd generation Irish and it is my lifelong goal to rid the Notre Dame Fightin' Irish of their disgusting, despicable namesake which characterizes the Irish as inebriated, violent, heathens. (/eye roll)

Posted by: PropJoe | February 16, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I had back row seats at FedEx when I lived in D.C. Loved them for all the same reasons - you could do whatever you wanted without someone behind screaming at you to sit down and you had a great birds-eye perspective on the game (although when it was 30 degrees and windy out there, that back row was about the coldest place in the stadium). I didn't have a sign behind me, so I had to pound on the chain link fence to make noise. Not quite as effective, and the first time I did it with my fist, my hand ached for about a month. Soon learned that you need to pound with the bottom of an empty plastic beer bottle. Good times.

Posted by: mroctober | February 16, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't know...anybody else think these kids seem like tools? Just kind of lame to take the time to write a letter like this. I mean, shouldn't they be out in Ballston trying to hook up or something better...get a life guys.

Posted by: dbunkr | February 16, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Poor saps - still keeping the faith

Posted by: Kev29 | February 16, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I gotta tell ya...I read this story and got all pumped up with some renewed Redskins fan mania--then I read these posts. What a freakin' downer some of you guys are!! What the heck, man? We have almost nothing to cheer for lately..and then these two young guys come along and remind us how some of us used to be..and some of you have to just piss on the whole thing!! I LOVE these two guys and wish 'em the best. Keep loving our team. It wasn't always this way and we will be great again!!! HTTR!

Posted by: mcgintyman | February 16, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

GREAT job Jeremy and Brennan! You make us all proud to be Redskin fans! Since you guys are season ticket holders (which I believe takes a HUGE chunk out of your cash flow) and one of you are back in school, I want to pass on a link that will help you to save money at local stores and restuarants (while also allowing you to EARN money!). Here’s the link: http://share.moolala.com/r/Q93FJL6

It is like Groupon except you can EARN money. I thought it might help you guys out so that you don't have to live like paupers. Keep banging away on that FedEx sign!

GO SKINS!!!

A Fan from Birth

Posted by: humen8r | February 16, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Now that Dan Snyder knows the names and address of the fans that damaged his Fedex Field sign, they will surely receive a bill followed by a lawsuit.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | February 16, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Still rooting for a team with a racist name. Don't forget this quote from Adolf Hitler when talking about colonizing Russia: "There's only one duty: to Germanize this country by the immigration of Germans and to look upon the natives as Redskins." (Hitler: a study in tyranny, by Allan Bullock, pg. 385)

Posted by: jmarks09 | February 15, 2011 9:33 PM

I'm confused. Our team is named after Communists? I guess the indians can relax now.

Posted by: paperwc | February 16, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Another tip for Skins fans trying to make noise: buy an aluminum beer and (once its empty of course) use it to bang under your seat! It makes a nice bass sound and will help get the crowd riled up.

Posted by: MexiMike | February 16, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Usually a story about some kids banging in the last row would be in the crime blotter.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | February 16, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget this quote from Adolf Hitler when talking about colonizing Russia: "There's only one duty: to Germanize this country by the immigration of Germans and to look upon the natives as Redskins." (Hitler: a study in tyranny, by Allan Bullock, pg. 385)

Posted by: jmarks09 | February 15, 2011 9:33 PM


Way to take a quote out of context.

Hitler was a Cowboys fan.

Posted by: freakzilla | February 16, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, that handwriting is so dope.

Posted by: jpfterps | February 16, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

And they only have to pay 20% of their gross incomes to have the privilege of sitting so high in a stadium that their noses bleed 8 times a year.....Ah, youth!

Posted by: KDSmallJr | February 16, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Hitler was a Cowboys fan.

Posted by: freakzilla |


Yes, here's proof (most of you have seen this or a version of it already)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG3WxdfS8Xk

Posted by: jgarrisn | February 16, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Another great spot to make noise is that new standing room only area in the club section. The railings are these metal sheets and when you bang on them with the metal beer cans you can make quite a commotion :)

I don't know how some people managed to turn a lighthearted post about a metal sign into drama! Stop being such negative nancies.

Posted by: CMS2003 | February 16, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Nice PR spin.... our fans are rapid and extreme.... please... i see right thru this crap! I call these kids "special" that they like having seats in the last row of the stadium!! Of course the skins love people like them... because they are gullable and willing to take it! You love your team but do you love the product they are giving you?? When these early twenty something kids get married, start a family and take on more responsibility... I guarantee, they will change their tune! To them, getting hammered and banging on signs is cool for now!!

Posted by: rvanags | February 16, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

It's still a low-class loser organization with blind sheep and lemmings inexplicably and illogically (that means it doesn't make sense, for the vast majority of fans out there) spending their money year after year on a declining product.

Posted by: playahatah | February 16, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

It was really nice of all of the negative nancies to take the time to come to the Bog, read the entire article, and then rant about how much the Redskins organization sucks. You rock.

Nice article Dan, hail to the Redskins.

Posted by: Tiffany010 | February 16, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Can Bruce Allen buy the team?

Posted by: Toochilled | February 16, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

They live together in Ballston and in the next paragraph we find out one of them is a medical student at Case Western - in Cleveland?

Tough commute.

Posted by: snoopylad | February 16, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

It's still a low-class loser organization with blind sheep and lemmings inexplicably and illogically (that means it doesn't make sense, for the vast majority of fans out there) spending their money year after year on a declining product.

Posted by: playahatah | February 16, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------
Try using "inexplicalbly" only once if you really want to try to come across as intelligent!!
The way you wrote it makes me think you are a moron!! But after reading it again, even without that repetition, you are still a moron!!

Posted by: dkidwell61 | February 16, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Too young to know better, I guess...

Idiots!

Posted by: noslok | February 16, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Billings Montana is more PC than DC.

http://www.kxlh.com/news/red-lodge-school-trustees-vote-no-more-redskins/

Posted by: 20yrskinfan | February 16, 2011 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Dear Dan,

I have been a season ticket holder for 20 years. You can paint anything you'd like in the stadium as far as I am concerned. Please stop asking for my money in January for tickets that don't start until September (completely ignoring the full priced preseason games). Also, for the love of all things, would it really kill anyone to put more port-a-jons in the goddam parking lot. I mean, I have only been asking for this for 5-6 years. Those 26 year olds who beat on signs in the upper deck drink a lot and therefore pee a lot and waiting 30 minutes to take a wizz isn't exactly appealing and doesn't add to the pre-game fan experience.

Sincerely,

One of the 1st down guys from the 108-109 aisle

P.S. I apologize this won't make for a feel good story

Posted by: dtysko | February 17, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company