It's still not clear whether the Redskins are going to play a full football season in 1987. But if they do, they are going to play it without Lisa Creamer of Springfield.
"I have just returned from my first time at a Redskins game at RFK Stadium," Lisa writes. "I was thoroughly disgusted with the Redskins. During the singing of the National Anthem, they fidgeted, talked and Dexter Manley even paced the sidelines.
"I don't think it is too much to ask that they show a little respect while our anthem is sung. Shame on them. In what other country could they make the kind of money they do playing a game that they love? The Redskins could take a lesson from the Philadelphia Eagles' show of respect."
I immediately gave Lisa's letter a loud "Amen." I've been a sports fan since I can remember drawing a breath. I must have seen professional athletes talking and giggling and writhing and stretching during the National Anthem about a million times. It is, as Lisa suggests, a disgrace.
Asked to comment, Redskins public relations director Donnie Tuck said he "wasn't aware" of disrespectful behavior on the Redskins' sideline when the anthem was played prior to the Redskins-Philadelphia game.
"Our policy is that players line up and stand at attention during the anthem," Donnie said. "But some of our players are so hyper that they can't stand at attention."
Interesting justification. Imagine using it in your own job. Imagine how far you'd get.
I can just hear myself telling the managing editor, "Gosh, boss, I'm awful sorry I screamed at those 100 advertisers in the lobby this morning. But I had a column to write, and I was just so hyper, I couldn't remember my manners."
One final point: Lisa says the Redskins should pay proper respect to the National Anthem because they make bundles of money. I don't think their salaries have anything to do with it. The anthem is everybody's. You can honor it if you make $3.50 an hour, too. Can, and should.
Yes, alas, that's plural. I gave unfair shakes to a husband and to a restaurant within the last few days. Let's reshake today, and try to square things up.
THE HUSBAND: On Sept. 8, I reported on a license plate that a reader saw aboard a Chevrolet in Silver Spring. The plate read: "MARYLAND HOUSE OF DELEGATES 48-A." That plate had been issued to Pauline H. Menes, a Democrat from Prince George's County.
What was the big deal? This:
Tag 48-A did not bear a current registration sticker. To these eyes, it appeared that Pauline Menes might have been an elected official who was abusing her power. I suggested as much.
In fact, plate 48-A did not bear a current sticker because the sticker hadn't been issued yet, according to Melvin Menes, husband of Pauline and owner of the car that bears the plate. As soon as the sticker was issued, it was affixed, Melvin Menes says.
Brother Menes also says I was way off base in suggesting that his wife was hankypankying by placing a state tag on a car that belongs to him.
"All legislators in the state of Maryland are issued two tags, one for the legislator and one for the family," Melvin Menes says. He adds that the "family tag" is the one with the "A" on the end of it. I've just checked with Annapolis, and Menes speaks with unforked tongue.
My sincere apologies to both Meneses.
THE RESTAURANT: More sincere apologies to Partners, an eatery in Bethesda. I chided that establishment on the basis of half the facts.
On Sept. 15, I chuckled in print over an apparent anomaly at Partners. Happily, the restaurant provides rest room facilities for the handicapped, I noted. But unhappily, to get to those facilities, the handicapped have to go down a flight of stairs -- no mean feat in a wheelchair.
What I neglected to report was that there is an elevator about 15 feet away from the rest rooms. I neglected to report it because I didn't know it, and Partners management didn't tell me about it.
In any case, the elevator is there. So it was out of line to suggest that handicapped people need to bounce down the stairs to use the facilities. They can ride to (and from) them in level comfort.
David Johnson of Gaithersburg says his heart was stirring as he watched the bicentennial celebration of the Constitution on TV.
Then his eyes started stirring.
There, live and in color from Philadelphia, was a close-up of a young drummer dressed up like one of George Washington's guys. The drummer was pounding away for all his patriotic soul was worth.
But what did his drum say on its face?