Redskins fans enjoy coronation in Canton

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CANTON, Ohio | Washington Redskins fans had to be here Saturday. They had to celebrate the induction of Darrell Green and Art Monk into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Paul Schrantz, a season-ticket holder since 1961, came from Gaithersburg.

“Having Darrell and Art inducted together is like a doubleheader,” the 71-year-old Schrantz said. “We wouldn’t miss this. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.”

Schrantz traveled to Canton with 10 family members. His sons Steve and Paul and grandsons Joe and Sam, all in Redskins’ attire, joined him for lunch at Max and Erma’s in North Canton.

So were lifelong pals Michael Marquis, 43, of Olney and Ross Wolf, 44, of Brookville, Md., along with their FedEx Field tailgate buddy Jeff Lachin, 41, of Bethesda.

“As soon as I heard that Art got elected [on Feb. 2], I called Ross and asked him if he wanted to go to the Hall of Fame?” Marquis said. “He called Jeff, and then I got online to see about buying tickets. We saw their whole careers. We had to be here.”

That’s how Monk’s fellow Posse members Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders felt.

They were joined by many other former Redskins players and personnel - Mark Moseley, Ken Harvey, Scott Turner and Brian Carpenter, assistant coach Tom Hayes, general manager Charley Casserly, scout George Saimes, Dr. William Knowlan and front office employees Barbara Frye and B.J. Blanchard.

Hall of Fame quarterbacks Sammy Baugh and Sonny Jurgensen remain beloved in the D.C. area, but only those older than 40 saw either of them play, so Green, who retired in 2002 after a record 20 seasons with the team, and receiver Monk, who set the all-time record for catches in 1992, the 13th of his 14 seasons in Washington, are nearer and dearer to the hearts of most fans.

Back in the day, Marquis’ uncle owned The Locker Room, a souvenir store on Pennsylvania Avenue. He recalled meeting Monk there before the rookie ever played for the Redskins.

“From Day 1, he was a draw,” Marquis said.

Green and Monk, close friends as they starred together for the Redskins from 1983 to 1993, rode in separate cars along with their respective presenters/sons Jared and James during a morning parade through downtown Canton.

Many of the parade-watchers were clad in Redskins colors, including the self-described “Fun Bunch Group,” a group of 46 D.C. area fans all wearing burgundy shirts and holding cardboard signs bearing Green’s No. 28 and Monk’s No. 81.

Sisters Nadine and Adine Smith of Arlington organized the group, which previously attended the inductions of coach Joe Gibbs in 1996 and running back John Riggins in 1992.

“It was a football fan’s paradise,” Marquis said of the rolling caravan that included many of the 70 returning Hall of Famers.

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About the Author
David Elfin

David Elfin

David Elfin has been following Washington-area sports teams since the late 1960s. David began his journalism career at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., history) and Syracuse University (M.S., telecommunications). He wrote for the Bulletin (Philadelphia), the Post-Standard (Syracuse) and The Washington Post before coming to The Washington Times in 1986. He has covered colleges, the Orioles ...

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