But I wanted to pull out three answers from three different parts of the chat, about what the team meant and still means to this area. Now, Justice has spent most of the last decade out of the area, and you could claim he’s not in touch with the Washington of 2011, but he’s still a fairly prominent national voice with a pretty broad sporting perspective.
The Redskins will always be relevant in the city. I’ve never been in a city that cared more about a team than Washington and the Redskins. It was a love/hate thing. At my church, a guy from the DOD routinely offered a prayer for the special teams. In the early days of Gibbs, there’d be people waiting at Redskin Park after a road win.....
There was nothing else to cheer for. The Nationals were terrible and then left town. The Bullets moved to the suburbs. The Redskins had, first, a Hall of Fame QB to cheer for, and then when EBW hired George Allen, that was that. This was a football city first, second and third....
If they win, they’ll be popular. Fans are hungry for a winner. I still think Washington sports fans care more about the Redskins than all the other teams combined. When I lived there between 1986 and 2000, it always seemed the Maryland hoops was second. But there was no baseball then.
Nor was there a wildly popular hockey team. Still, that’s at least the conventional wisdom that created the media climate so many of you still complain about, where the Redskins suck up vast amounts of attention despite their record, and where 11.5 months of the year are dedicated to pro football.
Also, when asked which Washington team was closest to winning a title, Justice identified the Nats.
(Photo taken from The Post’s awesome Super Bowl photo gallery.)