WHAT KEEPS SKINSFANS TICKING

Lots of historic moments this past month. Marty goes 0-3 for the first time in his career 40,000+ fans walk out in the fourth quarter of play on Skins home opener. CapitolPunishment.com decided to run a contest to find out what keeps the Skins fan ticking.

Here is the winning entry posted by Miskinske
I will keep rooting for the skins because their my skins.

Dont be fooled, they dont belong to Snyder, they belong to us.

As long as I can emember I've been a fan.

When in woodshop back in the 7th grade we had a project to make something, anything for a test I guess.....all I could think of was the redskins. I made a Large letter "R" with a feather hangind down from the left, and painted it burgendy with the sides yellow.

In the 8th grade, my mother who worked in a bar at the time promised that If I helped around the house she would give me her tips so that I could buy a Redskins jacket. It was one that I would see Gibbs wearing all the time, it was all burgendy with the indian on the right chest and the yellow and white stripe on the sleeves. I musta wore that jacket everyday for years. Was a good jacket, really lasted. Didnt realize it myself how often I wore it untill one day in 9th grade we had a sub teacher and as she was doing roll call, when my name was called someone said hes the guy allways wearing the redskins jacket.

In the tenth grade, it was summer and my aunt was crosheying, I saw she had the colors so guess what I did..lol. She hooked me upwith sone kind of plastic grid like pattern and I made this checkerboard type mat with redskins right in the middle, took me awhile too. Still have that.

Redskins have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and will continue to be. There will be good times and there will be plenty of bad times. So were in a rut right now, know what..it will be all the sweeter when were on top again,knowing we stuck with our team throught the down times.

Posted by Rat_Boy
When growing up, my mother and father were both avid Skins fans. They bleed the Burgundy and Gold. My mom is the more avid fan of the two. You name it, she had the Redskin version of it. She even had Redskin Boxer Shorts that she never wore, just kept them in the package. Obviously, this is where my Redskin alliance started. Once I got into it, I was hooked.

Now, during these dark times, I can not fathom jumping ship. The Redskins are a big part of my life. They really are. It is obvious by how much time I spend on this board, that they are a big part of my life. I look forward to the season starting the day the previous season ends. Even when they are playing this badly, regardless of what I might say, I look forward to Sunday. I want to see them play again. Them playing this badly almost makes me want to watch more, in hopes of that first win.

The problems with these Redskins, in reality, come from the players AND the coaching. Its BOTH, not one or the other. We like to argue on here wether its one or the other, but its both. Marty is stubborn. The players are quitters. Now, I am thinking I defend Marty becuase like Marty, I am a stubborn man. But his way has proven to work in the past in the NFL to some degree. He has certainly gotten better results than Norv Turner EVER has as a head coach. But I am stubborn like Marty, and I say what I think and I stick with it, wrong or right.

But, for me to quit on the Redskins would make me no better than the players I can't stand wearing a Redskins uniform like Bruce Smith. Just another quiter in a long line of them on this roster.

These players have QUIT on Marty three weeks into the season. Really, they quit before the season even started. Why? Because Marty makes them work a little bit harder than Norv Turner? Please. Because they have curfiew? Please. Because there are alarms on the doors at traning camps? Please. These players quit because they are wuss bags, PERIOD. A big bunch of sissies that want to get their millions without earning a dime.

If these guys think they have it hard, try being in the United States Marine Corps. I bet Boot Camp at Paris Island was MUCH HARDER than training camp was. Matter of fact, I KNOW it was for a FACT. I also made a hell of a lot less money to do it than these players.

I REFUSE to lower my self to these players' level and QUIT on this team.

Posted by Grape
One word, tradition.

It started when I was young. We always ate dinner together as a family (one brother and two sisters plus my parents). But the only time other than dinner that we all sat around together was during Redskins games. It was also the only time we were allowed to eat in front of the TV. And dinner was always the same, a huge pot of Chili.

I recall the good times and bad times with the Redskins, but it didn't matter. We always watched them.

So for me, there is no question I will always remain a Redskin fan because the Redskins are a part of my family. Family members make mistakes, but you still love them and support them.

Posted by NCrdskin Fan
Tradition and loyalty for me.

Got into the team a mere 12 yr old watching this team with my father.. since we lived in Arlington at the time...

I got into the team when we lived in New Jersey.. all the greats were there at the time.. John THE DIESEL Riggins.. Joe Thiesmann.. NOW future HALL OF FAMER D Green my all time favorite Skin... and of course ...

the HOGS... who can forget them... after that 82 season and Super Bowl win.. I was hooked.. that team in the early to mid 80's showed heart, tradition and desire to be a great football and not to mention the awesome coaching staff Joe Gibbs managed to assemble.

My father taught me then to always believe in the team.. cause they had class and great players.. not to also mention the number of championships the team won in the long run.

They were always on the winning side of the ball.. a true tradition in the sport.... and today people still mock me for supporting this team.. why ? cause they are losing.. so ? I believe in this team.. I believe they will get better and return to old glory... a team full of tradition and pride in themselves and the organization known as the Washington Redskins...

Posted by Terry
I'll remain a faithful Skins' fan because only losers abandon their team during the down years.

When the sh!t hits the fan (and boy have we been hit!), then THAT'S when you can tell what kind of fan you really are, and what kind of fan your fellow posters are.

To be honest, this is actually better than Norv mediocrity. That numbing slide into parity hell under Norv was like a cancer. Now, it'll take radical surgery, we purge all the deadwood, and hopefully we begin to build an exiting young team.

There's no excuse now not to find 'Redskin' players, not just guys looking for a coupla NFL contracts before they go sell cars someplace.

Posted by JkkSkins
It's who I am.

Rooting for my alma mater is an obligation. It came with the education.

Rooting for the 'Skins is a passion. I've been rooting for the team since I was 5. I couldn't change the passion anymore than I could change any other ingrained personality trait.

They're like a cherished loved one that has gone sour. You can't turn your back on 'em no matter how pissed off they make you.

Posted by 1AFN1
There is no team of Redskins to be a fan of at the present time. What we are rooting for week in and week out is a collection of non-Redskins who wear our team logo and get paid to do it. They don't wear it proudly. They only succeed in making the Redskins organization a joke, a loser and they get paid to do it. They meet any attempt to make the organization better with moaning, groaning and dissention and they get paid to do it.

We continue to be a fan of this collection of boils and sores because we somehow think that to turn your back on these losers would be the same as turning your back on the glory years when players were proud to wear the Redskins uniform and they played with heart. We continue to to be a fan of this collection of oozing, puss-filled wounds in hopes that one day, hopefully soon, a team of Redskins will reappear.

But anyone who says they are currently a fan of the Redskins, I'd first like them to show me where the Reskins are so I can go root for them, too.

Posted by RedskinDude
I've been a Skins fan since the Norv era. Okay, I admit that maybe I'm not as hardcore as u guys, but I have a thing about rooting for every pro sports team in the D.C. and MD area because I live in MD. Why aren't I a Ravens fan then? You might ask. Because I've been with the Skins before the Ravens were even born. That and my parents hate the Ravens because they were born in Cleveland, OH. Of course, it seems no mistake that Norv ever made has ever or will ever equal to these 3 weeks with Schottenhiemer. But I'll just keep on the ship, even while it's sinking, and wait for the next year that the Skins will rise up and beat the living crap out of everyone in the Super Bowl and then I can finally laugh at my Ravens friends.

Posted by Kirknc
I will remain a Redskin fan because I am a Redskin fan.

Posted by SkinzRule
Growing up I didn't know anything about the NFL. No father around. Just played touch and tackle football in the park across the street or on the street with friends. Those days were the best!

My friend across the street was a Redskins fan, so was his father. I didn't have a team or paid any attention until then. I moved all over the U.S. growing up so I don't have a place to call home. Since, my friend liked the Skins, I liked the Skins. Plain and simple. I have never looked back or ever will. As an adult, I can't imagine ever turning my back on my team. NEVER! I can honestly say that I can walk down the street with my Darrell Green Jersey on, walking tall. My head will never be lowered to ANY other team. I am proud of my team no matter what. If we get to be as low as the Bengals for years to come, I will still be here. (But, let's pray that that won't happen!). Hail Skins Forever!!!!!!

Posted by SacTown
I will always remain a loyal Washington Redskins fan just because it is in my blood. I will never be a bandwagon fan. I will LOVE my Skins no matter what, through the good times and through the bad times. I can remember exactly where I was when the Doug Williams team won a Super Bowl and I also can remember the 0-7 year. But I am proud to be a Skins fan, and that will never change.

I don't live in D.C. or even near the area, I live in Sacramento, CA. I grew up in VA, and that is how I became a Skins fan. But one thing that I have noticed is that when I go to a bar to watch a Skins game I see a lot of Kurt Warner jersey's and other Rams memorabilia. Where were these jerseys, hats, T-shirts and other items 5 years ago? The answer is that nobody owned any of them. I wear my Skins jersey now, whether it be Bailey, Allen or whoever, and always will. And there will be a day when I walk into a bar with my Terry Allen Redskins jersey, while everyone else has on their new "Kurt Warnerish" Redskins jerseys (I hope people know what I mean by that), and I will know that I was a true fan during the Turner years and the early Marty years. I will be DAMN PROUD of that.

HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!!!

Posted by Kilmer17
From the time I can remember my dad's "I like Billy" bumper sticker, I've always been a fan. As a kid I never knew why I was supposed to hate Dallas, but I did. Because that's what real fans do. I survived the Pardee years and was patient (at age 12) when Gibbs started 0-5. Because that's what real fans do.

I called the principle of my Junior High the night we won our first SuperBowl and told him he should declare the next day a celebratory holiday. He declined, but told me the next day he wished he could have. I hated Jack Squirek for years and always gave people a reason why Marcus Allen is the most overrated back in history.

Because the pain of 84 was too great to bear. I proudly proclaimed EVERY redskin QB the best in the league despite the fact I knew the were fair at best. But that's what real fans do.

I cried when Riggo hung them up, and thought for a fleeting second he was going to play one more game when he came out a few years later in his uniform. In 87 I watched the Superbowl with a group of people who had little to no knowledge of the game of football. The second quarter was maddening as they all asked me why I was going balistic. I finally left midway through the 3rd quarter and drove to Georgetown. Walked across the Key BRidge and proceeded to hug everybody I could find. Bartenders were rushing onto M street handing our bottles of Champaign. It couldnt get any better than that. I left my college party in 91 and drove again the Georgetown and again partied with total strangers who were instant friends.

When I moved to Atlanta, I was stunned to find out that people arent football fans like they are in DC. I would go every Sunday to a total dive bar with nasty food and stale beer, but the bartenders wore Skins gear, they played Hail after scores and was surrounded again by strangers who were now instant friends.

I went to the final game at RFK. Took my seat with me as I left. I hid it under my jacket (not real well) until I saw a group of guys hoisting an entire row of seats marching past the guards. I gave Norv 7 years. Well, really I hated him from day one, but I never stopped rooting. I almost had a heart attack when Boomer threw for 500 yds and later when Westbrook took off his helmet (I wish Gus had). But every year I came back figuring out ways in my head we could win it all. Because thats what real fans do.

I hate Jeff George as a Redskin. Same for Deion, Bruce Smith, Heath Shuler, Dana Stubblefield, MIchael Westbrook, Alvin Harper, Flipper Anderson. They never understood the passion and tradition.

I loved Nick Giaquinto, Dave Butz, Mel Kaufman,Neil Olkiwiecs (sp), Mark Rypien, Art Monk, Russ Grimm, Clint Didier, Monte Coleman, Dexter, Chris Hanburger, Ken Houston, Mike Nelms, Mark Mosely, Jeff Hayes. Those guys played with passion. They played with heart and soul. They played because they loved the game, and they loved the fans.

Those days will come back. Jansen, Champ, Davis et al have that fire. From the ashes the Phoenix shall rise again. And I will still be here. My grandfather put his name on the season ticket waiting list in 1968. He died in 1974. My uncle and mom kept his place in line and got season tickets when the new stadium was built. I myself put my name on the list in 1988. I was told by the saleswoman that at current pace, my GRANDKIDS would have a chance of getting the tickets. I still did put my name on the list. Because thats what real fans do.

Posted by Gerry69
Holy Smoke! I can't conceive being anything else, I couldn't be anything else. In 1963 I moved from Montana State in Bozeman to Indian Head Maryland to begin my first Engineering job. Most of my fellow engineers were new and from elsewhere (and like me were dumb as posts) and the people who knew anything were out in the plant and a lot of them were REDSKIN fans.

I spent a lot of time in the plant learning the trade and many other important things. For example, I had only met one other black person before and most of a very good work force was black and, also Redskin football . I soon became a REDSKIN fan. They had poor teams in those years though 1964 brought Sonny and Charley Taylor and they along with Bobby Mitchell gave us some real exciting though losing football. I loved it.

I loved when Vince Lombardi came and we had our first winning season in my time. I hated it and was so sad when he got cancer and died. More losing seasons. Then George Allen came and the rest is history.

So, maybe some players and some fans have given up but I stand proud to be an American and to be a Redskin fan. I will never be anything else.

Posted by CounterTrey
It's an involuntary process. It can be painful at times like now but it can be enjoyable like nothing else. I revel in their success and I agonize over their failures. I keep telling myself to try and have some perspective and certainly events like the last few weeks can help that. It never matters though, I always end up taking it to heart as if I was actually playing.

I've been a fan basically for life like Kilmer has. I started rooting for them in my early years, the late Kilmer early Theismann days in the mid 70's. I've suffered through some pretty rough years but there were so many glorious moments along the way that it's made being a Redskin fan a true joy. Players like the Posse and the Smurfs, Kilmer and Theismann, Capital Defense and the Hogs will forever give me pride as a Redskins fan. I will forever have an image of Dave Butz' Helmet when I picture smashmouth football.

Who will ever replace our beloved Riggo the big bad Diesel? Certainly many have tried, and The Redskins have produced some fantastic backs in the process, but no one player will ever represent what our teams on field prowess was about than John Riggins. He exemplified our teams spirit and toughness. He will forever be #1 in my book of Redskin greats.

The Joe Gibb's era will forever be what we as Redskins fans use to guage our teams success. We have been lucky enough to have had a coach that was one of the greatest and most innovative of all time. Not only that but this team has a tradition of class and sportsmanship that is rivaled by only a few organizations in all of sports. That is one of the biggest points of pride for me as a fan. It's the type of thing that keeps me going through the hard times and makes me stubbornly optimistic even in the midst of a season like this one.

Sundays are my religious day and Redskins ball is my religion. I live for that 3 hour span when I can escape and spend some time watching my beloved (ahem you guys better step it up Im not so in love with the current team) Redskins. If they win I'm on cloud 9 for wa week because no matter what might go wrong my Skins still kicked butt. If they lose I'm depressed until the next time they win. My wife thinks I'm crazy and my neighbors have their doubts about me too when they hear me yelling and screaming at my TV. I always forget about those darn open windows! I've lived in Ohio and Oklahoma and dealt with some very different approaches to football, but they all hate the Skins and love to razz me. So what ya know? Because I wouldn't switch teams if I could, and like I said before that's not a choice for a true fanatic. This hasn't really been a very good post about why I'm a fan I guess more of a narrative on what it's like for me so I'll leave you guys with 2 things I do when I'm down and feelin low after a stretch like lately.

The first thing I do is pop in a tape of the 83 or 91 Championship years and the bad feelings usually go away fast. Hmmm Maybe Marty should try that If that doesn't do the trick, then I take a trip down memory lane to my college days in '91. I was in a fraternity with a bunch of Gaints and Puke fans with the odd Dolphin or Steeler fans thrown in. The rest of us were Redskins fans(a minority at a VA school!!!) and bar none, the non Skins fans all despised the Redskins. So of course there were bets flying and lots of trash talk before every game and season. Well before the 91 season it was no secret how talented and dominant the Redskins were so I was one of the Skins fans talking smack and predicting a SB victory coupled with a record setting season. Boy if I only knew how right I was I would have done a LOT of betting with my peers. I did make a bet with a buddy who had and I assume still has a particular hatred for the Redskins. College students are desperate for good food so I gave him the choice of any meal he could select cooked by me if I lost. If he lost he had to get on stage at our planned Band Party and sing Hail to the Redkins. Well we all know what happened, and my buddy was forced on stage midset at the party. The thing he wasn't planning on was there being over 400 people there. I was well prepared and got the whole thing on video so I can cheer myself up whenever the times are dreary. Ok sorry for the novel and cheers fellas. We all could use a few I think!

Come on Redskins turn it around, because I'm not going anywhere whether you, me or anyone else likes it. It would be nice if the agony would end...8 years is enough already!

Posted late by OM
Fact is, I can't tell you why I'm a fan. It doesn't make sense.

I'm educated ... yet yell at my television when a 2-dimensional image of some guy I've never met calls a panic time-out with 3 minutes gone in the first quarter.

I'm sane ... yet bark at my kids when they ask me (for the 13th time in 8 minutes, mind you) if they can have a couple of marshmallows with their lunch, while some yahoo taking head on my television is pontificating between plays as to why my team can't stop the run. I KNOW why they can't stop the blessed run, and the talking yahoo is a MORON, and we're losing 53 - 2, but DON'T INTERRUPT ME WHILE I'M WATCHING THE GAME! (I love my kids.)

I'm loyal ... yet at least 6 times per season, whether we're up 20 or down 20, I say "I swear if we ever call a pass on 4th and 1 again, while Stephen Davis is averaging 5 yards a carry, I will never, ever watch another Redskins game again. Never!" By Tuesday, I will disavow ever having uttered such a thing. Blasphemy.

I'm gentle ... yet woe to the Nerf ball that finds itself with arms' reach when some anonymous running back, wearing someone else's colors, plows up the gut of the team wearing MY colors for 8 yards on second and 7. My freaking toes curl up when that happens. I grind my teeth. I make faces best reserved for the throes of kidney stone-passing.

Hey, I seek balance in all aspects of my life ... yet I am a fan. I turn off my higher brain functions once a week, and let a million years of evolution slip away.

It doesn't make sense.

But, next to my family, I would trade my inexplicable, irrational, intensely personal fandom for nothing.

It's easy to be a fan when your team is up ... the view from the top of the mountain is sweet. You find out if you're a fan when you stand at the base of Everest, looking up at the monster, and the raging storm that seems to be lingering there. If you turn away and head back for base camp ... you're a sensible, thinking human being. If, on the other hand, you steel your guts, tighten your pitons, take a deep breath and press up the hill ... you're a fan.

It hurts sometimes. It shouldn't ... because it's a game. But it does.

Like Robin Williams in Moscow on the Hudson, though, you cling to it. Why? Because it may be misery, but "it's my misery."

Anyway ... that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a mountain to climb.

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