Ever since the Hogettes put snout to nose, Redskins fans have been coming to games in costume. (And maybe for longer than that — the historical archives are short on items about costumed fans, but then, blogs weren’t big in the ‘40s.)
Even with the Hogettes retired, there are spandexed fans like SuperSkin and RG3 Woman; religiously themed fans like the Monks and Rev Redskin; the patriotic-themed Our Uncle Skins, and of course Chief Zee.
This season, Mic Fields threw his own hat in the ring. It was a fedora.
Fields — a musician, artist, actor, educator and lifelong Redskins fan from Catlett in Fauquier County – used to come to games wearing civilian clothes. Last season, amid the excitement of RGIII and a division title, he trotted out his first character, Unkle Faxy, a Clinton Portis-esque goofball featuring big glasses, big teeth and a big personality. The reaction was positive, but Fields wanted something different for 2013, something less silly and more distinguished.
Thus was born Dr. Burgundy N Gold, an ageless gent in the above-mentioned fedora, along with a pipe, spectacles, white shoes, a gold Redskins belt, suspenders, a bowtie and a single glove. (And burgundy drawers, if you must know.) Fields – as the Professor – attended every home game. He posed for dozens or hundreds of photos, he showed up on Comcast SportsNet cameras, he was invited to tailgates with strangers, and he also watched one of the worst seasons in Redskins history.
Which, he insisted, has not ruined the experience.
“If anything, it’s increased the experience, being able to cheer and celebrate who we are as a team, as a franchise, to still live out the excitement of being a fan from childhood,” he said. “During that Chiefs game in the snow, we were sitting in the stands, freezing our butts off, but still cheering. This is all stuff I know when I’m old and gray, I’ll be able to tell my kids and grandkids. And I have hope for the greater times that are coming.”
Fields has been imitating television characters and creating his own from a young age; as a kid, he told people he wanted to be an entertainer, a politician, a comedian or a Redskin. He had fun as Faxy last season, attending virtually every game in costume, but said the retirement of the Hogettes in January affected his outlook, leading to “series of self-examinations/assessments of who I am as a person and lifelong Skins fan, and what I want to project into the world as a professional and lifelong Skins fan.”
That led to the Professor, meant to be ageless, spirited and respectful, promoting goodwill and good causes, and emphasizing education and high character, even within the context of rabid fandom.
Which is why you won’t hear the Professor bemoaning the sad state of affairs Sunday afternoon at FedEx field.
“Trust me, things could be a lot worse,” he said. “We could be the Detroit Lions, 0-16. We could have tragic things happen. We’ve had bad times, but it could be a lot worse. The coaching drama, the leaks and all that, I’m aware of what’s being talked about in the media, but it doesn’t keep me from my goal, which is ultimately to unify Redskins nation even more so and help us celebrate who we are. Not so much this season, not the drama we’ve had, but just to celebrate who we are. And if we lose who we are, then we’re really lost.”
Indeed, one of the Professor’s tenets involves “conducting yourself properly, especially when all else around you is chaotic.” So yes, the Professor will be there on Sunday, in costume and good spirits, rooting on the home team in his own peculiar way.
“I’m not putting all this money and time in just to go there and sulk,” he said. “You’ve got to enjoy every moment. You’ve got to have fun. You’ve got to make that happen.”