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An Ode to Chief Zee - Redskins Boldest Fan

Chief Zee was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for fans in 2000.
Chief Zee was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for fans in 2000.

When it comes to boldest Redskins fans, the debate really ends at Chief Zee. I just spent the last half-hour watching all his 1-1 interviews about the glory days, and there were several stories I hadn't heard yet, which make me love even more. 

He talked about the first game he attended in person:

I started in 1978. The fans just went to the game and there was nothing to cheer about. Family friends of mine had season tickets and he let me go to the Monday Night Game, September 5th, 1978. He was a Cowboys fan. Booo! I rented me a head dress and got me a tomahawk and I just chopped on him the whole night. The fans loved it. With the television, Crazy Ray, mascot for Dallas, saw me on TV and he wanted to know who the Indian Chief was for the Redskins. When NBC wanted to do a show with him, he invited me to Texas because he thought I was as big as he was. We played them in Thanksgiving that year. We kept talking. I refused to go down there. I don't know you or trust you and I'm going to go to Dallas dressed as an Indian?!?! NO WAY!!!

It got to the point they'd cover expenses and bring my family down. It's been on...Cowboys and Indians since then. At that time, we became brotherhood of friends talking 3 times a week. We did a lot of fundraising together.

Chief Zee then told the story about speaking at Crazy Ray's Memorial Service:

I spoke at his memorial service. I started to tear up and I thought it'd be fitting to take a Cowboys hat from someone and my headdress off in the audience and yell "COWBOYS!!" Pat Summerall was sitting by the speakers and asked why I was crying and I said, "Because I had to put that Cowboys hat on It made me cry!" Crazy Ray is going to be missed.

Since that first game in 1978, Chief Zee has only missed FOUR home games (including the deaths of his Mother and Father). That is incredible.  

At the 5:45 mark, Chief Zee tells the story of getting jumped twice at the Eagles game where his left fibula (broken), teeth (knocked out), and eye (lost 30% vision) got busted up. He didn't miss next week's home game.

Hail to the Chief! 

First 5 secs of this video is Chief Zee's most famous expression. He was at the Super Bowl in Pasadena in '83 standing next to the Dolphins mascot, Dolphin Denny, when the 4th and 1 play to Riggo was called. When Riggo broke free, Chief Zee started screaming, "CRANK UP THAT DIESEL!!!" So. Great. 

And here's my beyond awkward attempt to sing the Eastern Motors jingle with the man himeself in Canton three years ago.....