The Washington Redskins may not have won their conference championship yet and they may not bring home the winner's Super Bowl trophy, but the District of Columbia is set to celebrate the team's anticipated successes with a Feb. 2 parade on Constitution Avenue to the Capitol.
Del. Walter E. Fauntroy (D-D.C.), taking the lead on an issue few politicians could resist, called a press conference yesterday to announce plans for the parade and in the process declare his undying love for his favorite professional football team.
Fauntroy, announcing the parade on behalf of D.C. Mayor Marion Barry and City Council Chairman David A. Clarke, said the team, its coaches and owners would be honored at a District Building ceremony at noon Feb. 2 and later be in a parade heading south on 14th Street NW and onto Constitution Avenue toward the Capitol. He said there also would be a Capitol Hill reception for the team.
"In the event that some trickery or tomfoolery snatches victory from us on Saturday," Fauntroy said, "then we will move our celebration to next Tuesday," again at noon.
Fauntroy, a regular RFK Stadium habitue on Redskin home dates, pronounced Saturday's grudge battle against the Dallas Cowboys for the National Football League's National Conference title to be a "rematch of revenge and respect. We will get revenge and they will leave with respect."
But Fauntroy said he is hoping for more than Redskins revenge for the Cowboys' 24-10 victory last month, the only blemish on the 'Skins otherwise perfect record.
The congressman said he expects to get a ride onto the House floor next Tuesday on the shoulders of House Majority Leader James C. Wright Jr. of Texas, an ardent Cowboy fan, if the Redskins win and advance to the Jan. 30 Super Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Fauntroy said in the unlikely event the Cowboys defeat the Redskins he would carry Wright on his shoulders.
It seems the only problem with Fauntroy's bet with Wright is that Wright's office said it hadn't heard anything about it.
"We don't know anything about this," Wright's spokeswoman said.
Fauntroy has his office doorway adorned with a Redskins pennant and a "Love Them Hogs" towel, referring to the nickname some of the 'Skins offensive linemen gave themselves. As for Dallas Coach and American Express Card spokesman Tom Landry, Fauntroy had a personal word:
"On Sunday, January 30th, use your American Express Card in some Dallas restaurant. I will be together with the Redskins fans using my Diner's Club card in Pasadena."