Welcome to the refreshed HogsHaven.com! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card [see contest rules here]. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
Now that the cookie cutter text is out of the way you can check out the link to the site refresh article here. As a lot of you know this whole SB Nation site rebrand thing has been in the works for a while with the changes for the team pages finally here.
I really do encourage you guys to write about why you are a fan of the skins. One, because I will always encourage fan posts. It's how I got started here with the draft profiles a couple years ago. It adds rich content to the site plus you get a chance to win a sweet prize. Be sure to check out the contest rules if you are interested. Happy writing!
Note from Ken Meringolo (managing editor):
Like many of you, I didn’t “become” a fan of the Washington Redskins. I was born one. I have tremendous respect for those that eventually arrived at the decision to root for the burgundy and gold. I compare that to folks who choose to convert to a new religion late or later in their lives.
For me, I was born into a Redskins family. I was baptized a member of Redskins Nation by a father who taught me from as early as I can remember that the team in town is the only team you root for—and of course, don’t forget to hate Dallas. In fact, two generations of my family ahead of me took the lead on this matter. My grandfather was and is also a hardcore fan, and he has never missed an opportunity to remind me that the team’s greatness goes “all the way back.” He tells me stories about taking his kids as well as the neighborhood kids over to Griffith Stadium to take in a game in the bleachers. He tells me about the day that they started summoning generals and Pentagon personnel to their stations during the game on the loudspeakers...because the Japanese had just attacked Pearl Harbor.
And you know what? I didn’t know any “fans of other teams.” Everyone that lived where I grew up was a Redskins fan. Sunday was Redskins Day. My entire neighborhood in southern Maryland would gather for games on Sunday when I was a kid (granted, we lived in the boonies, and the “neighborhood” might have been two or three streets’ worth of houses). We sang the song, screamed at the television and celebrated wins like every single game was the Super Bowl. In short, there was never a possibility I was going to ever root for another team in the NFL...never.
There was never any kind of pushback on this issue either, and perhaps one of the greatest reasons for that was...well, rooting for the Redskins was fun. I may have only been five and six when the Redskins went to back-to-back Super Bowls in ‘82-’83, but I remember images vividly from both. I’ll never forget the way my dad and I went crazy when John Riggins took it to the house against the Dolphins. I’ll never forget learning that you don’t win then all after the Oakland Raiders pummeled us behind a legendary performance from Marcus Allen.
As a father of three now, I can say that similar to my own upbringing, my children have all only known one team in their lives. It has been a decidedly different experience for them than it was for me, but I might argue that they have gained a much deeper understanding of loyalty at an earlier age than I did, because these days it is easy to be a fan of any team from any city. My kids are being taught the true meaning of “unconditional love.” I get to teach them the lesson of sticking with your team through ups and downs through a lot of downs. One thing hasn’t changed though—every win is met with exuberance and celebration!
From watching my dad and grandfather closely each week as a young boy to learn how to be a fan; to getting a job at RFK Stadium in high school vending soft pretzels just so I could be close to the game; to embarking down this Hogs Haven journey I have been on since 2009—my love of the Redskins has only grown over time.
My story isn’t so special or different from many of yours, and I hope you take the time to share them all.
Hail To the Redskins!
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