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Ahmad's Guest Blog

Ahmad/Fourth Floor shared his thoughts about today's game, and this day in general. He lost his baby girl in April, and today would have been her birthday. Anyone who was not with us on the blog back then can read check the archives here - A Friend in Need.

Ahmad writes:

RI Nation,

Today is December 30th, 2007. It is an exciting day. The one we have all been waiting for since April of '07. We get the Cowboys at home for the last game of the year. If you were on the blog back then you know how amped we were.

The Skins just picked LaRon Landry, signed London Fletcher-Baker (what happened to the Baker part?), and maneuvered through the salary cap like we always do to dispel any notion of 'Cap Hell'. Etrod and others led the gang with classic Sean Taylorrisms. I knew this season would be different, I could just sense it. That's why I didn't talk too much smack to people because I wanted our work on the field to speak for itself. I knew that December 30th game against Dallas would be special. It had to be, I thought to myself back then, since my daughter Saraye's 2nd birthday was that day (Redskins Birthday party sounds like a great plan!). This day, December 30th, will be a special day, but I just couldn't put my finger on why it would.

8 months later and December 30th is here. Wow. No birthday party to plan for. No more Sean Taylorisms. Just a bunch of teammates fighting their guts out for a cause. What's the cause? One word: Diversion. A diversion from the everyday reality.

I really thought to myself the season doesn't matter after sooo much tragedy the team has been through. When Gibbs muffed the back to back timeouts, I, one of his most staunches supporters up here, was ready for him to leave. The next day was the funeral I def regretted what I was thinking the day before. I was thinking to myself, 'We're all in this together'. You can apply this term to so many situations, it's unbelievable. In the worst and best situations in your life, we're all in this together. That has never meant so much sense then now. The Redskins individually have been able to put a cause other than themselves in front of them, the team. And with putting something bigger than you out there, it takes your mind away from all the bad thoughts. And because of that, they are excelling as a team. I feel this is the same way in life.

I have drawn many parallels in my life after this public tragedy. Joe Gibbs demonstrated how to stand strong against adversity. I too, have come across many people like Gibbs after my family's personal tragedy, and I remember all of their stories and guidance I was given in my situation though none of them have been through the exact same thing. We have to continue living our life's regardless of any tragedy we've been through. Taking a tragedy and turning it into a cause, a reason to live, and a reason to fight and be positive to show other people they too will have a life after a tragedy.

Today, I have to pull one of my biggest Joe Gibbs since I have to stand strong for my wife, who is suffering the hardest from our tragedy. Wish me luck. To handle this, you have to be a core Redskin. Up here, there is never an easy game plan. I have to fight my guts out to stay strong for my family (team) every (game) day. I need every swinging soul in my support system to be on the same page with me. And last, but not least, at the end of the day, no matter what. We're all in this together. Go Skins! Playoffs, here we come.......

Ahmad/4th Floor

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 30, 2007; 12:59 PM ET
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Posted by: kreitman4 | December 30, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Ahmad, I hope that you and your family are doing well. I cried all day (at work, no less) when I read first heard about your little girl. I'm very glad that you can be excited about today game on such a difficult day for you. love, Sherry

Posted by: sherryzangueneh | December 30, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Okay, for those of us living elsewhere, what's the weather report for the game?

I checked online: low ~40s with rain.

Rain all day? Is it supposed to stop? How's the wind?

Posted by: SteveMG | December 30, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

stay strong 4th floor, i can't imagine your pain


Posted by: realchica | December 30, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Ahmed, thanks for your blog. As you recognize, life's not about the score. It's about how you play the game. Be well.

Posted by: forces | December 30, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse


can't even imagine what you are having to deal with.

stay strong and be well. . .


Posted by: skinsfan8KaboveMSL | December 30, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

where's the Coloarod RI-contingent?

last I heard from anyone in CO it was Sfskin on vacation . . .

Posted by: skinsfan8KaboveMSL | December 30, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

4th --


Posted by: daggar | December 30, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Ahmad, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife today.

SteveMG, it is not windy in DC and just barely spitting rain.

Posted by: Lisa_R | December 30, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Ahmad you know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today. Stay strong and positive brother.

Posted by: jm220 | December 30, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Let me apologize for my post above re the weather. I put it in the wrong place.

Ahmad, best to you and your family.

This was a bad year for us too. My father (very ill) died and we also had to put to sleep our dog. Both were old (my Dad was 77 while the dog was nearly 15); so the losses weren't unexpected. Still hurts though.

My pain is nothing compared to yours but I can understand at least some of it.

Thanks for sharing.


Posted by: SteveMG | December 30, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"we also had to put to sleep our dog."

Put to sleep our dog?

Put our dog to sleep.

Geez, I'm nervous about this game.

And she was a helluva dog too. Just great.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 30, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your post Ahmad. Peace to you and your family.

Posted by: pulldownclaw | December 30, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Exceedingly well written. Very poignant.

Ahmad, along with your immediate friends and family, the entire RI community stands with you today.

Posted by: PDiddy | December 30, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse


May you find some solace today with the Skins during this most difficult time. Peace to you and your family.


Posted by: squashmo | December 30, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Our thoughts are with you, Ahmad. Hope this space brings you some smiles today.

Posted by: TheCindy | December 30, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Nate....Change of plans. My wife is a superstar. See you at the OnDeck!

HTTR! Beat Dallas!

Posted by: dchandl3 | December 30, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

stay strong Ahmad, your the heart and soul of Team RI!

Hail to your wife!

Posted by: chrislarry | December 30, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Great guest blog, Ahmad. I hope you can bring this sort of message to high schools and youth groups, and let Saraye's spirit make a difference in their lives. It's hard to believe it's been a year already. I hope the New Year brings you and your family only peace and happiness.

As my gift to you, I'll try not to bother you too much during today's game.

Posted by: SMACK1 | December 30, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

getting nervous...i dont share everyone elses good vibes...........

go bears!

Posted by: chrislarry | December 30, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Secrest is at our game....very strange...and it conjures up the Tom Cruise curse.

Posted by: Lisa_R | December 30, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

LISA NO!!!!!!!!!! Ryan Seacrest!!!!!!! that is the worst of all possible omens....please let him not be in owners suite...

chris larry....OUT

Posted by: chrislarry | December 30, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Lisa, That's no so strange. I bet that Ryan Seacrest is there so that the announcers (Joe and Troy, right?) can talk about the upcoming season for American Idol the entire game.

Posted by: sherryz710 | December 30, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Chris Larry, I don't think Snyder invited him.....he is going to be interviewed in a few minutes by Sportsnet....but this is nothing but BAD news!

Posted by: Lisa_R | December 30, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Ahmad, thanks for sharing that, and prayers to you and your family.

Posted by: freakzilla | December 30, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: dwdjmu | December 30, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

When we come back, Sean Payton kills his special teams coach.

"We're not gonna let Hester beat us".

Posted by: SMACK1 | December 30, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Why do people keep kicking to Hester? Makes no sense at all.

Posted by: jm220 | December 30, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"We're not gonna let Hester beat us".

Just rip our hearts out. A little.

At first.

Posted by: daggar | December 30, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Birthday well-wishes to Nate and David.

I'm normally a bit jittery in the run-up to a big game, but I've been full-on nauseous off and on since last night. However, my wife was feeling similarly the other day, so I think the nausea might be a viral thing. I'm used to having butterflies before a game, but I've never before felt like I was going to toss my cookies. I think it's coincidence.

Posted by: freakzilla | December 30, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore, *beep beep*.

Posted by: freakzilla | December 30, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

freak, with what you've been eating the last week, viral things are not the first thing I'm thinking of.

Posted by: daggar | December 30, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Newsflash! Jason Campbell is on the active roster today.

Posted by: Lisa_R | December 30, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Ahmad, my prayers are with you and your family. You're obviously a very special person and people can learn much from how you've dealt with the loss of your daughter. Today is my birthday also and so I share some sort of distant kinship with her. We know she's "up there" cheering on our Redskins, probably with Sean.

Posted by: huskerskins | December 30, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

God bless you Ahmad, we're all thinking of you.

Let's all remember Ahmad's wisdom today - sport can inpsire our lives, lighten our lives, but that's not the same as being our lives.

Now let's take care of business - WE WANT DALLAS!!!

Posted by: mikeysuperdons | December 30, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes to you, Ahmad and your family. I hope many positive things come your way from now on.


Posted by: cmecyclist | December 30, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse


Beautifully put.... The news of your daughter in April on this blog hit home so hard for me... I was truely shaken up for days following the news. It really made me appreciate how blessed I am with my wife, son and daughter!!!!

We know you will be fighting your guts out today showing your wife that hope is alive with the grace of God...

Keep being strong!


Posted by: ericnelson77 | December 30, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse


Beautiful post. Very glad that our guys seem to be putting up a beautiful one for you today. I hope it provides some joy on this day.

Posted by: sfskin | December 30, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Great post. I think about you every time I come to RI. Peace.


Posted by: _Stumped_ | December 31, 2007 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Dear Ahmad,

God bless you and your family.

That was a great post, as many have already said. On one level, football is just a game played by pampered and highly paid athletes. But on another deeper level it is more than that. Like all sports, it is played by human beings with human hearts and feelings. Unlike other sports, it requires so much more from the team acting as a unit struggling all at once in the service of a single goal to move the team forward. Like life, football is a true battle sometimes against overwhelming odds and adversity.

Most of the time, it stays on the first level and its almost always enjoyable. Then there are those rare times when it reaches that deeper level. Then it becomes a choice between being real men or folding like wannabe's. At that time, it shows more heart than any other sport that I can think of. And what could be harder than working as perfect unit when all each individual really wants to do is crawl into a dark corner for a while?

At those times it can become a real life lesson for both the men who play the game and those who watch the game.

When Taylor died, I knew that we had such a moment on our hands. I prayed for the human beings that make up the Redskins, that they would rally like real men and try to bring some light out of the nightmare and that the lesson they learned at this time would affect them and others in the rest of their lives for the better. I had a strong feeling that this was perhaps the reason why Gibbs felt called back to the team. I couldn't think of a greater leader in football than him or anyone more wise about what makes men tick and he has not disappointed me. In fact, I am impressed even more by him and I didnt think that was possible. His game has always been about heart and character more than high dollar marquee talent. Now he has proven that he can even take emotionally shattered team and get them into the playoffs. The man is a wizard and IMO the greatest football coach ever.

I am so glad that in your case the good effects of the lesson that the Redskins have learned has already impacted your life. You are a true Redskins fan. Joe would be as proud of you as he is of his own team. Keep on fighting and do all that you can to bring light out of your own darkness.

Posted by: mrapier1 | December 31, 2007 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Ahmad, I know this thread is old, but I am just catching up after a long layoff from the blog.

Blocked FG, 1 yard rushing, and this whole time I was thinking there was only one angel in heaven pulling for the skins.. of course there were two.

Peace, keep your head up!

Posted by: Zebraskins | December 31, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey guys, I just thought of this........

My son was born on the 21st of December....

I need no further proof as to what this season means........

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 31, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse


My eyes still well up when I read the original 'Friend In Need' string. But reading your most recent post, I can really feel how you've gotten a bit stronger and found perhaps a tiny bit more peace. Continued best wishes.

Your little girl and Sean will have 50 yd line seats in Heaven for this week's game. I'll be flying up from Cali to rep Redskins Nation in person with my Uncle. We'll cheer a little louder for all of you.

- Dan

Posted by: danberth | December 31, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

This is late but I've been out of town - thinking of you and your family. The "Friend in Need" post was the very first RI post I read and so I think of you often when I'm here.

Peace to you and your family.

Posted by: mmok | December 31, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

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