Getting under your ‘Skins?
Listen up fans of the NFL’s NFC East Division - save your tears.
This week’s cover story about Washington Redskins fans living along the Grand Strand is certain to raise your ire.
And that’s OK.
But let me explain why we gave this certain fan-base the cover treatment.
First off, did you look at this week’s cover model?
Anyhow, here’s how it all started.
Last season, during the NFL playoffs, I posted a note on Facebook asking folks for a good, festive spot to shoot Party Pix during the games.
But one of the responses was sort of off-topic, pleading for us to do a story on local Redskins fans, because he felt the strong contingent of D.C. pigskin backers were getting overshadowed by the likes of the Steelers, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, etc.
I filed that into the back of my brain...
And in the interim, little bits and pieces of Redskins-related information trickled by my cerebral cortex.
I was listening to WAVE 104.1’s “T&A Morning Show” and heard co-host Tommy Collins go on a rant defending the Redskins’ controversial mascot and logo which has been deemed offensive by many Native Americans, and surmised that he was a fairly avid fan.
Meanwhile, I began seeing Redskins flags, stickers and RG3 jerseys everywhere I went around town - flags flying from neighbors’ eaves, decals adorning vehicles at my son’s daycare, Redskins logos appearing as many friends and acquaintances’ Facebook profiles.
I also remembered there were some Redskins-friendly watering holes along the Strand, too, including Bumstead’s Pub in Myrtle Beach, Dagwood’s Deli & Sports Bar in Surfside Beach, Greg’s Cabana in Garden City Beach and Chelsea Jo’s also in Garden City Beach.
And I remembered getting press releases from Five Guys Burgers and Fries when the chain expanded here, touting its Director of Franchising, former Redskins placekicker Mark Moseley.
But perhaps the piece de resistance was when we did a Working 4 a Living profile of local artist Michelle Raabe in June, who had recently been to Costa Rica to bodypaint the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders for their annual calender shoot (that’s Raabe’s handiwork displayed on this week’s cover, by the way).
As you can see, that Facebook suggestion was gaining more momentum.
In the seven years we’ve survived as a publication, we’ve taken various approaches to covering the rebirth of football as autumn arrives, from looking at Coastal Carolina University’s program to a story about the preponderance of Pittsburgh Steelers fans here, so I thought that highlighting local Redskins fans would be a good entryway into the 2013-14 NFL season which kicks off tonight, especially since the D.C. squad is coming off of its first division title in 13 years and optimism is high.
Are you ready for some football?
Kent Kimes, Editor