I put my name on the waiting list to get season tickets for the Washington Redskins in 1996. I got a long-awaited phone call from a team representative in December telling me my number was up, and if I wanted them, six season tickets were mine.

Of course, coming off last season, when Washington wound up 5-11 and missed the playoffs once again, not everyone would have jumped at the chance, but being a die-hard Redskins fan since I was 3, I was elated. Some of my closest friends and I put our deposit down for all six seats. Then came the fun part of saving up the money -- I'm a second-year teacher; need I say more? I was told I would get an invoice in early April.

Imagine my excitement in January when Joe Gibbs was named head coach again. I e-mailed the representative to make sure we still had the tickets. He said, "Yes, not to worry."

April rolled around, and I called to find out where my invoice was. Don't worry, I was told, it would be sent around the first of May. May rolled around. No invoice. Same story.

Finally in June, I received my invoice -- for two tickets. The letter said, "With Joe Gibbs's return, there's been a surge of fan loyalty across the country. Due to unprecedented ticket demand, the Redskins, unfortunately, cannot immediately fulfill your total request."

Then I was given three options:

* Take what you got, and you will be guaranteed tickets next season.

* Pay more for premium seats.

* Request your deposit back.

Any fan can understand the disappointment that comes with being willing to pay to see a team that has done little except lose for 10 years, hearing that our wonderful coach is coming back and then being told, "Sorry, we can't fill your request."

Is this Dan Snyder's work at its finest?

MEGAN WEST

Arlington