I have always known London Fletcher came from another team. I have always known that he wasn't ours...originally. I still was unprepared for the emotions I felt when I saw London Fletcher last night on Monday Night Football...wearing his #59 Rams jersey. Here were those emotions (I looked for a picture I had rights to use for inclusion here, but I had to go instead with one that made me feel better about being a Redskins fan--we really did appreciate London while he was here, and for that I can rest easy):
Heartbreak: Seeing one of the best players that has worn a Redskins jersey over the last decade in another team's colors hurts. It is a guttural reaction. You know what? Feeling that way about a player was a real escape from the way I felt after watching the game on Sunday. I honestly appreciated the reminder that I love these guys and thoroughly enjoyed having that moment of realization.
Happiness: One thing London never got while he was in D.C. was a legitimate shot at a ring. At times, it became easy to forget that he was a member of a team that hoisted a Lombardi Trophy. Some players in this league become so beloved to the fans that seeing them happy--regardless of where it is (except Dallas)--is a reward in and of itself.
Envy: It was also a reminder that the Rams--the freaking RAMS--have won a Super Bowl (been to two) since the last time the Redskins played in a championship game. When you think of championship franchises, the Rams aren't among the first teams to come to mind.
Awareness: As I watched London Fletcher--himself just one year removed from his active playing days--celebrate being reunited with his former teammates, I became aware that if we were to hold a reunion of our last championship team, it would be full of very old-looking dudes. I am pretty sure that Darrell Green was the last active player from that game for the Redskins. (I am fairly certain that is true, unless I am wrong.)
Nostalgic: When I looked at that group of former players passing the Lombardi Trophy back and forth, I definitely thought of all those teams that wore the burgundy and gold that contended year in and year out for championships. I can honestly say I forcefully stopped my mind from wandering to the present iteration of the Washington Redskins franchise. It was the least I could for London. After all, I genuinely appreciate what he did for us on the field. I was genuinely happy to see him so happy. He deserves it.