Today the Redskins released veteran defensive lineman Phillip Daniels.
I don’t want to have an intellectual conversation about how the team is doing this, or the team is doing that – I will say only that I am very happy with the moves that the organization has made in the last few days.
Most of them.
Phillip Daniels has been a Redskin for the last seven years of his storied NFL career. In that time, myself, along with many in Redskins Nation, have grown to know him a little bit. We here at theHogs.net were fortunate enough to be the exclusive home of Phillip Daniels’ Blog. A blog that I enjoyed reading each and every week. A blog that allowed me to feel like I knew something more about the man than just what went on his football life.
Phil is a man of God.
Phil is a man of family.
Phil has served as a mentor to countless young Washington Redskins in his tenure here.
The popularity and integration of Twitter into our collective lives has allowed us even more of a glimpse into the lives of our favorite NFL players. Gone are the days of standing behind a pad of paper and a pencil in hopes of autographs from athletes we revere – we live in an age where we can actually have some level of discord with whomever we choose through this great social phenomenon called Twitter.
Some athletes and celebrities use their Twitter account solely to market themselves, or to boost their ego, or to merely have a voice of their own in a sports world of sensationalistic journalism; but some athletes embrace the opportunity to reach out to their adoring fans and interact with them on a much more intimate level. Phil was the latter.
Anyone followingon Twitter has probably had some sort of personal interaction with him – he is very giving of his time, and moreover, appreciative of OUR time and adulation. We get to see him actually play a role to younger players, and we get to hear about elements of his personal life like his workout warrior mentality, and even his diet (still have a massive T-Bone set aside for you when you come back to the dark side Phil). Sometimes, we even got to see him decked out in some pimpin’ threads.
It’s really a fantastic age to be a sports fan, and to be a Redskins fan, when there are players like Phillip Daniels helping us all plug in to their world. There is however, one unfortunate side effect.
Our ability to deal with these players, these people, on a much more human level, changes the way that we look at some of these athletes. It changes the RELATIONSHIPS that we have with these players.
I live in Canada, and have not been down to D.C. for the last couple of years like I normally do, so I have not had occasion to be formally introduced, and shake hands, with Big Phil. I fear now that I will never have the opportunity. I sheepishly choose a blog to at least express gratitude to a man that I feel like I know personally, and that has been very kind, and very giving to both this website, and to Redskin nation.
For some strange reason, it feels like that awkward moment when you were a kid and had to watch one of your friends drive away, because their dad got a new job on the other side of the country.
I don’t really have any sage words of wisdom, or poignant blog finales to close with, but I do want to add a few things, that I hope Phil has occasion to read himself:
1) Thank you for all of your time and energy, and for bleeding burgundy and gold with us all
2) Good luck in whatever the next, and all chapters of your life, hold for you, and
3) You will be missed.
So long Phil.