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A Tradition Like No Other : The Religion of Football

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Sundays in the off-season are always boring, but they make me appreciate exactly what the game of football means to me, as nothing beats Sunday’s during football season. Growing up, I was brought up on the religion that Sunday went hand in hand with church, family, and Redskins football. 

Being as my dad was an avid Cowpuke fan, we often had heated discussions on things at a very young age, but the religion itself came from my grandparents who hardly realized there were other teams to be a fan of. Growing up in Richmond Virginia, a town without a pro sports team, in a state without one as well, we were privileged to receive nothing but the Redskins (which was lovely) on the television when it came to sports so it makes sense that they were my ONLY choice of teams as well. All during the rest of the week I did not see the family, but Sundays were a day for the family to see each other and after church we would head to my grandmother’s house ASAP, because lunch was to be eaten before kickoff time and not one minute after. 


My uncles and grandfather would always talk about who we were playing during lunch and by the end of the meal, you knew everything there was to know about that day’s matchup, that was my sportscenter for that time frame in life. At first my head used to spin, watching as they talked about how the O-line was playing and if Riggo would get 100 yards today, but it did not take long to catch on. You have to understand that being seven years old and knowing the entire lineup for a team and their fight song was not normal in the area I grew up in, most of my friends were into bandwagoning their fan-hood to whoever was winning at the time and the Redskins had never won a Superbowl at that point.

I cannot describe the times we had as a family behind the Redskins and our love for them, but I can tell you that everybody (exception of my Cowpuke cheering for father) in that house watched every minute of every game and sang Hail to the Redskins after EVERY touchdown. My grandfather would tell stories of Sammy Baugh and the other stars of his childhood, passing that information on like scripture to all of us. This religion, which I learned at a very young age, is the exact one that I instill in my child’s life to this day, as I can guarantee she is the only person in her North Carolina elementary school who knows the words to the greatest fight song there is.

Hail to the Redskins!


HTTR4LIFE has been contributing to Hogs Haven since May, 2011. He can also be found at HTTR4LIFE.COM where he covers the Hokies and the Redskins.