John Mann (Meet the D.C.’s Greatest Sports Fan contest finalists)
John Mann is one of 10 finalists in The Washington Post’s D.C’s Greatest Sports Fan contest
About me: Born in D.C., raised in Bethesda, live in Silver Spring. Work as a contractor at DHHS. Married with two kids. Attended Gonzaga H.S. and NYU. Current Redskins season ticket holder. Former Wizards, Nats and D.C. United season ticket holder
Defining moment as a D.C. sports fan: During Super Bowl XVII, I was 8 years old and obsessed with the Redskins. I recorded the entire radio broadcast of the game onto cassette tapes and for months after, I would fall asleep listening to the tapes over and over again. I memorized the call of the Riggins run and can remember it fondly to this day. “He's gone. He's gone. Touchdown Washington Redskins!”
Unheralded local athlete:In the last 30 years, which is my sports window, there have been many players who were underappreciated for the contributions they made. Dave Butz and Monte Coleman from the Redskins, Michael Addams from the Wizards, Ben Olsen from DC United, Livan Hernandez from the Nats. But the most forgotten locally is Rod Langway. I remember him as the helmetless hero of the great but unlucky Capitals teams from the 1980's. He was one of the reasons why the Capitals didn't move away from D.C., won two Norris trophies, and the Caps who had never before made the playoffs, were in the playoffs each of Langways 11 years. He was a class act on and off the ice whose teams introduced me to hockey. A true hero from my childhood who is largely forgotten.
Why I should win: I live and breathe Washington, D.C. sports. I became aware of sports during maybe the best time possible. I was four when the Bullets won the NBA, eight when the Redskins won the Super Bowl, nine when the Orioles won the World Series, 10 when Georgetown won the NCAAs. The Capitals were good then, too. I was hooked on all things Washington. As I grew up, I stayed local and started attending games. I bought season tickets to a bunch and have had tickets to the Skins since 2006. In short, I'm not only a huge fan of the Redskins, Nats or Caps. I'm a huge fan of every local team. Skins, Nats, Caps, Wiz, Hoyas, Terps, and United. I've been to the games, I watch on TV, listen on the radio, and read as much as I can find.
What the judges had to say:
Tracee Hamilton: When he recorded the Riggins call on a cassette tape, “You couldn’t go onto YouTube to see it. That took some foresight to record it. That was a great story.”