Joe Theismann: The Candy Machine

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

My Fondest Memory as a Redskins Fan was dressing up as Joe Theismann for Halloween as a kid...crutches and all.

The Washington Redskins are a storied franchise. A team since 1932, the Redskins (then known as the Braves) have been compiling great moments and memories for their fans for over 80 years. Whether it be the League Championships they won in ‘37 and ‘42, or the Super Bowls they captured in '83, '88, and '92, the Redskins have provided enough spectacular moments to fill every seat in FedEx Field. When asked specifically, most fans elude to moments like Santana Moss catching two touchdowns in the 4th quarter on Monday Night Football in Dallas, the 1982 "We Want Dallas" chant that rocked RFK Stadium after defeating the Vikings, and most famously, the John Riggins 43 yard touchdown run in Super Bowl XVII on 4th and one. Any of these (and more) could go down as the number one moment in Redskins history but not for me. My fondest Redskins memory is much more personal.

I was born a Redskins fan. I was part of a military family. My dad, raised in Maine, was stationed in Virginia shortly before I was born. He was a Redskins fan since the age of five and he would be damned if I would be anything else. I didn't get to see my dad much because he was out to sea most of the time but when he was around, one thing would dominate all else; Redskins' football. At the age of two, to me, the Redskins' emblem became synonymous with my father. My mother said every time I saw the Redskins' symbol I would point and say, "daddy." I would do the same for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Florida State Seminoles because of their similar resemblance. It let me feel close to him even when he wasn't around.

My fondest Redskins' memory is the day my dad returned home from sea, earlier than expected, to take me out on Halloween. I had never gone out on Halloween before because I was young and my mother was afraid to take me out alone (I don't know why because she was raised on the streets of Baltimore). My dad had bought me a Joe Theismann costume and added his own little flair to it. He handed me a small pair of crutches and carried my bag while I hobbled up to every door in the neighborhood. The people who answered their doors were almost unanimously overjoyed with the creativity of the costume to the point that most emptied their bowls into my bag. By the time I got home, I had enough candy to make up for the three Halloweens I had missed. At that point, I felt as close to my dad as I ever had.

Joe Theismann, the man whose leg snapped on Monday Night Football, had brought my dad and I closer together. He did it in a Redskins jersey. We actually watched that game together and from what I am told, the commentators said they wouldn't speculate to the severity of the injury while I apparently labeled it as a "boo-boo." I obviously didn't know it at the time, but that unfortunate event and the events following fueled not only a strong bond with my dad, but a never ending passion for the Washington Redskins.

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