Redskins Football Games
2003: By the time 2003 had rolled around, my military family had been up-rooted from Virginia and re-located to Maine. Gone were the days of being able to watch most of the Redskins games at home. In Maine, the Patriots and Giants were the two teams that were on our TV listings nearly every week. The only time I was able to watch the Redskins play was if they played the Giants or if they were on Monday Night Football.
2013: I haven't missed one snap of a Redskins game in probably 4 years. With the development of the internet, if the Redskin's game isn't found on our local listings, there are a host of sites that stream games that I have at my disposal. I've missed weddings, funerals, dates, wrestling bookings, my own semi-pro games, and a bunch of other things I should probably put before football but can't seem to do.
2003: I knew most of the big names on the Washington Redskins from newspapers, the few games I was able to watch, and the jerseys my dad would buy me for Christmas. I received the rest of my roster knowledge from the NFL Madden video game series. Once Madden was purchased, I would memorize the names of the players on the final 53-man roster and their positions but not really fully understanding their actual abilities.
2013: With ProFootballTalk, Rotoworld, and Twitter, it's hard NOT to know who is on the 90 man off-season roster if you want to. Not only do I know the names of each player on the 90 man off-season roster, I know what numbers they are wearing and I know their strengths and weaknesses. Not only from reading about them, but being able to observe each of them myself.
The NFL Draft
2003: What is a draft? Military? Are we going to war? In all seriousness, I was aware that NFL teams would acquire college players somehow but didn't understand the concept, nor did I really care. My family was slow in joining the information age, we had dial-up internet and my mom was mostly on that to meet dudes in AOL Chatrooms. I thought off-season meant off-season.
2013: This is probably where I grew most as a Redskins fan. When I got my copy of NFL Madden 2005, and I was sending people on IR with hits from Sean Taylor, I was determined to find out just how we got such a remarkable player (even on video games). I researched it and read about the NFL Draft. It was a few more years before we had any respectable internet, but in 2007, I was ready to take in the NFL draft. I used YouTube to look up players as they were picked and I was EXTREMELY excited when the Redskins selected SS LaRon Landry. Guess I wasn't the eye for talent I thought I was. The 2008 NFL Draft was the final straw though. After "YouTube"-ing players BEFORE the draft this time, I fell in love with two prospects: WR Devin Thomas and WR Malcolm Kelly. I'm a perfectionist, so obviously being THIS wrong didn't sit well with me. Since then, I watch college games completely differently now. I've always been a fan of both Florida State and Virginia Tech but I don't get to see all of their games live due to now tuning into games with players that could help the Redskins. I have, at times, two TVs and two computers going at the same time, DVR-ing and capturing as many games as I can so I can go back and watch any draftable players in any given game. This past season was definitely my most thorough in draft research, and I look forward to continue getting better at it.
2003: Living in Maine, it was easy to walk around saying that I was the biggest Redskins fan there was simply because there weren't many other Redskins fans around. I owned and wore jerseys, I always picked them on Madden, I would always name my team Redskins in backyard football. Life was good.
2013: With the Internet, it's easy to find that I am not the only one who is as passionate as I am about the Redskins. The history, the tradition, the players, the games, and the moments are all something I can share with all of you with the push of a button. I've turned my twitter account (@P_Hazard)(Please Follow) into a Redskins Forum. I was able to be a GM and an assistant GM for the Redskins on several popular mock draft sites. After years of reading the site, and then a year after getting an actual account, I was given an opportunity to write here at Hogs Haven. An opportunity that I gladly took and haven't regretted.
How have you changed as a Redskins fan in the past 10 years?