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Like Father, Like Son: Choosing Redskins Over Cowboys

Posted by Ross Leonhart on August 6, 2011 – 9:57 am

I’ll always remember how I became a Redskins fan, despite growing up around a heavy Baltimore Ravens influence. My grandfather told the best stories about the Redskins, and my next-door-neighbor sat me down to sing ‘Hail to the Redskins’ and cheer on the ‘Skins.

But, some people take a much more difficult route to find their inner Burgundy and Gold.

Kevin Smith Sr. was a Redskins fan in a Cowboys family, and he remembers destroying his mother’s living room décor in a scrum with his father over the Redskins-Cowboys VHS that yielded a victory for the good guys; something his dad didn’t want to watch again.

Now, Kevin Sr. has passed on his Washington loyalties to the next generation by introducing his son, Kevin Jr., to a little something we call Redskins football.

The two haven’t missed a day of training camp yet, and are just as fired up as players like Santana Moss and Brian Orakpo.

“It’s a blast,” said Kevin Sr. in his seventh season coming out to camp, second with Kevin Jr. “Just getting pictures of him with the players, watching him play catch with the players, it’s all just a blast.”

“That’s what I live for,” Kevin Sr. said about seeing the joy the Redskins bring 6-year-old Jr.

The two travel in from Nokesville, Va. every day for the Redskins practice, and Kevin Jr. gets a practice of his own.

I’ve glanced across the field to see him playing catch with players like John Beck, Anthony Armstrong and his favorite: Santana Moss.

A quarterback himself, Kevin Jr. has even drawn the eye of some of the coaches with his impressive arm his dad said.

Even when I try to get off the premises of Redskins Park for lunch, the two are waiting by the gate with another friend trying to catch autographs to add to their memorabilia that fill their house.

Kevin Jr. shows off his three footballs littered with players signatures. Meanwhile, his Redskins shirt is nicely inked from front-to-back and even his hat has a few John Hancock’s.

“I always wondered what I was going to do with all my stuff if something ever happened to me,” Kevin Sr. said. “Now I know where it’s going, to my boys.”

One thing I can count on every day is seeing a father and his son sharing the early days of the football season, together.

Kevin Jr. flirted with following the Smith family tradition as a Cowboys fan, but his father pulled him back to the Redskins.  Now he knows nothing else. I asked him a few questions that ended with cries for the smoothy truck to stop by again and a plea for me to go deep for a pass, but he knows who has the best fans in sports.

“The Redskins!” he yelled.

Always good to see another generation of fans bleeding Burgundy and Gold.

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2 Responses to “Like Father, Like Son: Choosing Redskins Over Cowboys”

  1. By Barbara Bowden on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    This is a great story…. Ross, I am David McDonald’s sister and he can tell you that no one comes in my house that is a fan of any other team…. at least not during a game… I am a hostile FAN…LOL “HTTR” B&G4LYFE!!!!!!

  2. By Ross Leonhart on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for the comment Barbara! Redskins fans are truly great. I love the passion.

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