Redskins fever. The disease continues.
In the courts: A federal judge refused yesterday to allow what he called the spectacle of "paid thugs" from the National Football League "roaming the streets of Washington" confiscating T-shirts, hats and Super Bowl pennants that are not licensed by the league from sidewalk vendors.
In Congress: D.C. Del. Walter E. Fauntroy announced plans for a win-or-lose parade next Wednesday in honor of the "spirit of community and togetherness that the Redskins have engendered."
In the matter of the Redskins band: The musicians still will not have seats on Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke's Pasadena-bound chartered DC10, but nearly 40 marching band members have decided to pay their own way. "We're taking our instruments, we'll be sitting together, and if we stay sober enough, you're gonna hear us," trumpeted Stuart Eisen of the brass section.
With just two days left before the final crescendo of hype, hope and hucksterism at Super Bowl XVII, the grip of Redskins fever seems to be squeezing at the city's sanity.
At the Market Inn on E Street SW they have been serving dolphin all week long. Cafeterias in Montgomery County office buildings offered Art Monk's Stewed Tomatoes and the (Dave) Butz Blitz Special (baked turkey with mushrooms).
"Hail to the Redskins, Adams-Birch Restaurant Supply"--that's the way the secretaries were answering the phone yesterday at Washington's oldest and largest restaurant supply company. "Big John," a locally made record about John Riggins ("some used to say he was all washed up but everybody knows he is built like a truck") became this week the most requested record ever on WPKX-FM. Belle View Elementary School in Fairfax is freeing children from their studies at 2:30 p.m. today to come together and scream for the 'Skins.
U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Richey used strong language in denying an NFL request for an order that would have stopped the sale of bootleg Super Bowl paraphernalia and allowed U.S. marshals and NFL security agents--whom Richey called "paid thugs"--to seize contraband merchandise. He said vendors had to be given time to respond to the NFL's complaint--meaning, probably, that nothing will be done until after the game.
At a press conference on Capitol Hill, Fauntroy said Wednesday's parade, scheduled to begin at noon, will form on E Street NW near the Ellipse and move up Constitution Avenue to the Capitol. The parade will consist of the Redskins, assorted politicians, marching units, high school bands, horses and a truckload of hogs.
It remains unclear whether President Reagan will join in the parade. "We didn't think to contact the White House," Fauntroy said yesterday. A White House spokesman said the president is "not aware that an invitation has been extended" and that, "as of right now, we have no plans to attend."
Fauntroy said he has asked the federal government and local schools to allow employes and students to attend the parade. No final word was available yesterday on what provisions would be made. However, D.C. Superintendent Floretta D. McKenzie rained on the parade yesterday.
"I absolutely adore the Redskins," she said. "However, our primary concern is maintaining the focus on school work and therefore we are not encouraging the release of students to attend the parade."
McKenzie said students would be allowed to attend the parade if they had "a valid note from a parent."
Meanwhile, Rep. Claude Pepper (D-Fla.) rejected Fauntroy's offer of a bet that would have Pepper speak to the Florida legislature in support of full voting rights in Congress for the District if the Redskins beat Miami. Instead, Pepper offered to bet a "big bag of delicious Florida oranges" on the game.