“The players they had were just leaving to go someplace else, and last year didn’t meet my expectations,” the Burke resident said.
“Thank God I kept them,” he said.
As he manned the bloody mary station at his small tailgate party, Fairfax resident Vince Curtis, 45, said that as a lifelong fan and 15-year ticketholder, he had “seen it all” when it came to the Redskins.
“I remember seeing Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Theismann — and George Allen brought a different culture,” Mr. Curtis said.
Asked whether he ever thought about giving up his tickets during the team’s leaner years, Mr. Curtis scoffed, as did his friend and fellow tailgater, Bayard Kennedy, 68, of Falls Church.
“If you’re a fan, you’re a fan,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Whether it’s a good streak or a bad streak, you’re still a fan.”
Ernie Pappas, 75, of Springfield, who has held his season tickets since 1971, saw the Redskins play in two Super Bowls.
For more than 65 years, John O'Bannon has been cheering on the Redskins — whether at FedEx Field, RFK Stadium or Griffith Stadium. When his family bought their first season tickets in 1945, the price for a lower box seat was $2.50.
On Sunday, as he ate steaming soup from a black bowl, the 74-year-old said he was excited about the changing face of professional football and the impact it had on his beloved team.
“The game is so competitive nowadays,” Mr. O'Bannon said. “It’s a new era where everybody is trying to get younger, quicker, faster players. You can see that with the Redskins and with [Griffin]. I think it’s exciting to see where the game is going.”
Making her way around a rowdy game of cornhole, Arlington resident Michelle Robinson, 50, said she has been a fan of the Redskins from the time she learned about football and wore Larry Brown’s No. 43 jersey.
“I got on the waiting list [for tickets] around 1982,” Ms. Robinson said, her earrings in the shape of Redskins football helmets, twinkling against her hair. “I saw them go through triumphant years and tough years. But I’m never giving them up. I’m not a fair-weather fan.”
The 15-season ticketholder said she appreciated the football players who came to the field “playing for pride,” and she would return the favor in the years to come.
“A season like this is a reminder that you should always stand with your team,” Ms. Robinson said. “Because you never know what next season will bring.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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