- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 1, 2006

Hopes were high yesterday as Redskins fans across the D.C. area watched the game that sent their team to the post-season for the first time since 1999.

“I’ve been excited for the last three weeks,” said Wyimi Ayu, 24, of the District, who watched the game at ESPN Zone in Northwest. “It’s been great to have something to cheer about in December. It would be a great start to the new year if they win and a bad omen for the rest of the year if they lose.”

The sports bar was jammed with hundreds of Redskins fans young and old witnessing the team’s victory against the Philadelphia Eagles. The win was the Redskins’ first against the Eagles in Philadelphia since 2001.

Some fans at the sports bar wore Redskins jerseys while others were arrayed in red and gold baseball caps, jackets and T-shirts.

“This is the first time I wore my jersey during a game in a long time because it was bad luck,” said Kirston Young, 29 of the District. “But now I feel like they are playing on sheer talent, not luck, so it doesn’t matter.”

A September win against the Dallas Cowboys, the first at Texas Stadium since 1995, gave Redskins fans hope early in the season that the ‘Skins would make it to the playoffs.

Such predictions seemed far-fetched at the time, said some fans, but Redskins faithful didn’t even consider the prospect of a loss to the Eagles.

“Old Redskins football is back,” said Morris Tucker, 35, of the District. “It’s been a long time, but it’s back, and we’re ready.”

If the Redskins make it to the Super Bowl, Mr. Tucker said, he will be following them.

“I’ve got my savings account ready, and I’m going,” he said.

Eagles fans were supporting their team at the bar.

“We come to most Eagles games here,” said Greg Rollins, 25, an Alexandria resident who is originally from Philadelphia. “We’ve got four fans here now and I expect four more to join us. There should be quite a few here tonight, but I wouldn’t expect any problems. The Eagles have a strong base in D.C., so we should be OK.”

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