When I first read this prompt, I immediately had a whole collection of memories burst into my mind. RGIII’s touchdown run against the Vikings, Santana Moss deep (twice) late against the Cowgirls, the pulsating playoff game in 2005 against the Buccaneers. I was initially worried about choosing one above the rest, but that only lasted briefly as I remembered the amazing, season ending, playoff clinching, Cowboy-whooping day that was December 30, 2007.
As we all remember, 2007 was an extremely tumultuous year. We started out the season promisingly, led by a solid run game and two incredibly safeties. Area 51 was the duo of Laron Landry and Sean Taylor. Sean was my favorite player; a player that people would turn on the Skins just to see. He meant a great deal to me as a fan, his teammates, and all of Redskins nation. Tragically, wrongfully, and unfairly, his life was taken for him, and I, along with many of you, I’m sure, will never forget the moment I heard that he had passed. The subsequent Bills game was probably my low as a Redskins fan. But as good ol’ Riggo claimed, the Phoenix rose from the ashes, and we turned our season around. In the face of unbelievable tragedy, we had won three games and needed a win against the Cowboys in the regular season finale to clinch our spot in the playoffs. That was truly a magical day.
I’m actually getting the goose bumps just thinking about it right now. Never have I been so confident in our team, and it wasn’t because we had a better match up at this position or their star player was hurt; it was because we were meant to win that game. There was simply no way any team was going to stand in our way, much less the Dallas Cowboys. Sure enough, our Skins did not disappoint, absolutely destroying the Cowboys en route to a 27-6 victory. I can still remember that game as if it was yesterday. Overcast, rainy, cold, and an almost tangible electricity in the air that I don’t think I have felt before or since that day. The Cowboys finished the day with exactly 1 rushing yard, and Clinton Portis scored two touchdowns, one of which was followed up by probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard on Redskins Radio courtesy of Dexter Manley (for those of you who don’t know what I am referring to, simply say the words “I LOVE IT” as loud, as fast, and as high pitched as you possibly can).
It was Clinton’s first touchdown run that was really special to me. I’ll never forget the image of him running into the endzone, lifting up his jersey to reveal a collage of pictures of Sean Taylor, and him making angel wings to the sky. That was a moment that I’m sure many Redskins fans hold dearly to their hearts. For me, it really showed what a family we all are. When Sean passed, we all cried, we all prayed, we all grieved, many of us together. Seeing Clinton holding up those angel wings, you could almost feel Sean’s presence there on the field with our Skins, not only willing our team to a fantastic victory (by 21 points nonetheless), but really pushing Redskins Nation as a whole closer together as a family. It was a truly magical experience that I’ve honestly had a difficult time putting into words. I’ve enjoyed reminiscing about that day, which is easily my fondest Redskins memory.