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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

By Mark Solway | May 20th, 2006

I wore my Skins cap to work today. It’s casual Friday in the corporate world. So, it’s off to work with an old Army t-shirt and the same jeans I’ll wear all weekend. I’m not bothering to brush my hair, so it’s baseball cap time. Of course, my day doesn’t just take me to the office. While walking a few blocks to get to the Square in Canton, I pass a few Baltimoreans on the road. Most folks don’t pay any attention until I pass the other business stiffs (Yes, I count myself amongst that group) enjoying their martini lunches. I get a few stares but no one says anything to me…..not to me anyway. After work I stop to get gas and a soda for the long ride home. A group of workers are standing by the donut rack as I walk into the store. One of them says, \x93Redskins!?!\x94 under his breath as I walk by. I smile back at him… It’s strange being a Redskins fan in Baltimore. When you live in or around D.C. people could care less about the Ravens. But here there is serious contempt for the Redskins. Locals remember all too clearly when Jack Kent Cooke tried to keep Baltimore from getting a pro football team. Of course, they ignore the fact that Peter Angelos has tried to do the same thing with the Nats. Until this last year I was the only Redskins fan that I ever saw north of the Harbor Tunnel. The first time I noticed someone in my area who was a Redskins fan was around late November of last year while running out to the grocery store. I saw this tall guy wearing a Skins cap. I had on a Skins jacket, and we both kind of looked at each other with a look of appreciation. Not just for being fellow Skins fans but for being skins fans in enemy territory. Since then I’ve had strangers come up to me and say, \x93Hey, Go Skins!\x94 Of course, I also had a little girl walk up to me the other day and say, \x93The Redskins stink!\x94 Being a fan of a team that’s in a slump is a tough way to go about life. That’s why I respect hardcore Orioles fans. It doesn’t take a whole lot to root for a team that’s made it too the playoffs, but try rooting for a team that has perennially underachieved. Skins fans have endured NFL wide ridicule since 2000. When you go through such a long drought of success you don’t need to win a Superbowl to be happy. You just want respect. I don’t need to win three of the next four championships to be happy as a Skins fan. I just don’t want to be the underdogs when the Cardinals come to town. No more 4-12 predictions is all I…

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