Ahead of Independence Day, I figured I would try and tie family, country and Redskins together into a Sixpack the best I can.
1. I thought I would share a bit of family news in this season of "almost-football." The oldest Redskins fans in my family turned 90 and 85 this year, but even more importantly, these grandparents of mine just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
2. I have plenty of stories I could share, but the one that always stands out in my mind is hearing my grandfather talk about December 7, 1941 and the Redskins game at Griffith Stadium. Sitting in the stands that day, he recalls hearing the P.A. announcer summon generals, admirals and other military and Pentagon staff to their stations. The Redskins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles that day, but the game itself is considered "The Forgotten Game." The team had gotten a telegraph about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but decided not to make that general announcement, hoping to avoid a panic inside a crowded space. All of the news photographers and reporters were cleared out by the time the game ended, and the stadium emptied itself in a kind of hushed silence.
3. Imagine if that happened today. We spend hours and hours in the parking lot before a game preparing for the NFL experience. Setting aside for a moment the fact that this kind of event would be known by everyone in the venue within minutes of it happening thanks to smartphones, just try and imagine the feeling of America going from peacetime to war while sitting in a football stadium.
4. I didn't think I was going to carry this theme this far, but I was watching a show about Franklin Roosevelt and it discussed his decision concerning the Japanese internment camps. It painted the move as something that a truly great man would regret doing, but the sentiment at the time had momentum. Without adding any kind of commentary to the actual decision, this makes me think of another note from the story above that I got from Mike Richman (a Redskins historian that has contributed here in the past). He said that Redskins players gathered after the game that night and marched over to the Japanese embassy. It was clear they were looking for a fight.
5. What do you know, I have yet another Independence Day/family/Redskins story today. This Saturday, I will be at RFK Stadium welcoming the Foo Fighters home (Dave Grohl is from the area). We will be tailgating all day in the lot, and if anyone reading this plans on attending, make sure to let us know so you can stop by what we consider to be an old-fashioned RFK Redskins tailgate. It is not often when we get to set up shop on the hallowed grounds of RFK and pay our respects to the ghosts of the Redskins glory days. It should be an amazing day, and we will gladly share it with all of you.
6. Closing out on a family-style theme, I feel compelled to share with you all the passing of a fellow SB Nation site manager. Bronco Mike was an extremely regular and respected voice in the Denver Broncos community. At 31 years old, his passing is as untimely as it is sad. Anyone here that is also a member of the Mile High Report community, there is a thread there for folks interested in adding their condolences. Our thoughts are with Mike's family and all of the readers who had come to depend on his perspective about his favorite team. Rest In Peace, Mike.