Ask around and the majority of Washington Redskins fans have few memories of the team’s brief training camp stint at Frostburg State University.
Well Redskins fans, fellow diehard Ron Whitley isn’t one who forgot about those days. In fact, his greatest training camp memory comes from the late 1990’s site.
In what is normally used as either a fashion statement or protector of the eyes, Whitley has turned one ordinary hat into a memento of life lasting training camp memories.
Whitley was just one of many who got to Richmond in the wee hours of the morning and patiently waited for the gates to open before the morning practice session.
As has been the case for every single person that has entered the Bon Secours Training Center over the last three days, Whitley was in awe of the beauty of the downtown facility. Having never been to training camp at Redskins Park, his only comparison to Richmond is Frostburg.
“This is an outstanding facility,” Whitley said. “This is a hundred times better than the facility they had at Frostburg. It’s just great.”
While Richmond trumps Frostburg in terms of aesthetic beauty, Virginia’s state capital has some catching up to do in the memorable moments category.
“I stayed in the same hotel that all the players were staying at,” Whitley said with a grin. “I was in the swimming pool with Monte Coleman, too.”
Before getting to camp, he decided to purchase a hat that was just going to be added to his collection. What happened next was an extraordinary series of events for him and hat.
“It was just a regular hat. It wasn’t an autograph hat. My first autograph was Darrell Green. Very first one,” Whitley said. “I found out on the Internet how to do this. What they did, was when the first players left they’d block it off. I got there right before they blocked it off.”
Darrell got there and he signed it, then Brad Johnson he was the next one to sign it. Norv Turner came and he signed the bottom of the bill. When I went back to the hotel, I got everybody else to sign it.”
With 22 practices left, Whitley has plenty of time to decided where he wants each of the current team’s signatures to go. After all, its the only time the hat will see the light of day.
“It stays in my closet and only comes out during training camp.”
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