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Wednesday, September 30: The Jerseys Of Redskins Wives

Posted by Matt Terl on September 30, 2009 – 10:02 am

The wives of Redskins players and coaches were all pretty uniformly thrilled to be able to participate in yesterday’s All Star Survivors Luncheon.

Christy Cooley, wife of Chris: “It’s amazing. It’s really cool. Its great to see all the different players wives and coaches wives come out too and help out.”

Majanique Alexander, wife of Lorenzo: “Both of my grandmothers passed away from cancer. One ovarian and one breast cancer, but … the women we were put with today, there was some divine reason because they’ve all been sharing their stories and it’s been really special.”

Brian Orakpo’s fiancee Tura: “It’s been really neat. It’s been really great, we’ve met some wonderful people, some really great women. And to hear their stories, some of the things they’re going through from the beginning of treatment to towards the end of treatment from these women who survived it … it’s been really awesome.”

Joy Zorn, wife of head coach Jim: “I have almost cried about three times just hearing these ladies’ stories. They are just incredibly courageous. It helps to put life in perspective when you hear what some of these women have dealt with and what a difference it makes to them to be able to look like themselves again.”

Emma Dockery, wife of Derrick and one of the driving forces behind growing Chris Cooley’s event from last year into the larger spectacle of yesterday: “On a personal side, yesterday marked the third year of my mother passing from breast cancer. I feel like if life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. So this is pretty much my lemonade.

“I got involved with breast cancer things when we were in Buffalo,” Dockery continued, “And I think that October is a wonderful month, but it doesn’t just stop at October. 365 days a year these women are dealing with this and they’re fighting and they’re winning. And that’s what makes it important to me to come out and really be a voice, if you will, for just that. Just to continue for people to fight, continue for people to win, continue for people to live life because it’s so precious. You look at the scheme of things, life is so short, so you might as well live every day the best you can.”

Dockery made another major contribution to the event: all of the wives and girlfriends were wearing Redskins jerseys with their husband’s numbers on them, but the numbers and names were all in the distinctive pink of breast cancer awareness.

“It’s actually one of those things I thought was cute in Buffalo,” Dockery said. “We did the same thing in Buffalo, so I said I think it would be almost cuter if we did it with the burgundy here. So here we go.”

Christy Cooley approved of the decision. “I like them,” she said. “They’re great for this month, especially. I’ll be wearing this at the game this week.” And — like most everyone else — Cooley preferred these to the all-pink jerseys that are sold in stores. “Because you still have the Redskin colors going on,” she explained. “The pink ones you don’t even know what team it is if you don’t know anything about football.”

“The pink is going good with the burgundy,” Manjanique Alexander said, “so I’ll be sporting it on Sunday.”

Joy Zorn was wearing a Redskins jersey with Jim Zorn’s number 10 on it in pink. “Well,” she told me, “I volunteered to just wear a pink shirt, but they offered me a jersey with pink numbers. They asked what number my husband wore and they got if for me.”

Which brought me to another question: do wives generally wear their husbands’ jerseys to the games?

“Some people do, some people don’t,” Alexander told me. “I think the ones who don’t think it’s kind of corny. And I one time thought that myself, but I do want to support Lorenzo. Usually I’ll have the baby with me and she’ll be in the little cheerleader thing, so it’s a whole family thing going on.”

Christy Cooley is emphatically in the “do wear jerseys” category. “Every game,” she said. “A lot of wives dress up, heels and stuff, but I’m in my jersey every game.”

(Cooley wasn’t the only wife in a pink-numbered 47 jersey; Sherman Smith’s wife was wearing his old number as well. I asked Cooley if she was prepared to fight for the 47, and she laughed. “Absolutely! I think I should win this battle too. It’s cool though. She’s awesome. I like her.”)

Joy Zorn has been on both sides of the jersey divide. “Maybe I did when he was playing, I can’t remember for sure,” she said. “But I got one all sparkled up when he was coaching. So I did have one when he started coaching.”

Sparkled up? Emma Dockery explained. “I’m not one that does,” she said, “but it’s kinda one of those things that if it’s what you like to do then wear them. They get them all decorated, some of them get them tailored to fit them.”

Leslie Daniels [wife of Phillip] has the best one that I have seen,” Zorn added. “Hers is something else. You have to go see her on game day, hers is very sparkly.”

Failing that, I at least went over to ask her about it. “I only wear them to certain games,” she explained, “but this year I got one that’s really, like, pimped up. I thought I’d try something different. Well, it’s bedazzled. Not actually bedazzled, but it’s got Washington crystals with the numbers all filled in, and on the sleeves. And it says Mrs. Daniels on the back, and ‘I Love’ over the 93.”

Daniels has her jerseys designed by the wife of the quarterbacks coach from Phillip’s days in Chicago. “We’re still close friends and she designs clothes,” Daniels explained, “and she hooked me up. She did one for Clinton Portis‘ mom, and one for Renaldo Wynn’s wife, and all three of the them had them on last week at the game. But mine was more pimped out than theirs.”

Anyhow, given that the players will be wearing pink gloves and cleats and other gear this week, I wondered out loud how long it would be until the league allowed them to use the pink numbered jerseys on one October gameday. Derrick Dockery gave a slightly uncertain shrug. “I mean if that’s what they want us to do, then yeah, we definitely would. I mean it’s not a manly thing, but you know. It’s a great cause, so I’m sure the guys would do it, and that’s what it’s about. Serving a great cause.”

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