Redskins superfan Zema Williams, better known as Chief Zee, has been wearing one version or another of his trademark headdress since 1978 The headdresses were made for him in Oklahoma by a company that’s since gone out of business, and, Chief Zee says, “I was on my last him.”
Enter Redskins superfans Huly and Pez from Extremeskins. They came to know Dewey McMahon through his Kitchen Wizard business and realized that he might be able to help solve the problem. It took 62 hours, McMahon says, but he succeeded.
Huly and Pez provided McMahon with one of Zee’s crumbling old headdresses, and McMahon took it from there. The beaded headpiece, McMahon says, “is the only thing I saved off the other one. Everything else is from my lifetime and stuff like that. The inside, that’s a football I played with when I was 16 years old.”
“That way,” Chief Zee says, “it won’t tear when it gets wet, ’cause … well, it’s a football.”
Another piece of the souvenir ball is on the outside of the headdress, and the other side features a 21 in memory of the late Sean Taylor. “I put my own original twist on some of it,” McMahon says. “The front three feathers symbolize the three Super Bowl wins.”
McMahon is a Bills fan, coincidentally enough, but his girlfriend Penni Walker is a lifelong Redskins fan, and she was thrilled for McMahon and for Chief Zee, even writing about the assignment on their blog.
“He wouldn’t let me in the garage when he was working on that,” she said, “and I prayed that it wouldn’t come out with red and blue feathers.”
It didn’t, mainly because McMahon believes in a brotherhood of football fans that transcends petty team rivalries. “I consider us all a family, man. It means something to me if I tear apart one of my personal footballs to make a hat for somebody else. And this is the first day I ever met him.”
Which, in the end, is why he did it. “Something like this isn’t work for him,” Walker says. “That’s just something cool that he can do for somebody that’s meaningful. “
But even brotherhood and meaningfulness only go so far.
“Hey, sweetheart,” McMahon yells over to Walker, “he just asked me if I left room for a fourth feather in the front!”
Walker laughs. “Of course you did!
McMahon smiles. “No I didn’t,” he says, flatly.
Despite that minor hiccup and a few adjustments that need to be made, Chief Zee seems pleased. “This one will last me until my retirement,” he says.
Tags: chief zee, extremeskins
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