(Jim Cole/AP)

“I don’t really know,” Junior said with a laugh. “It’s probably a dead heat right now. I might have an edge on ‘em. I mean, I had a pretty good year this year. I think we were definitely rebounding. But I don’t want to...you’re making me pull against my Redskins here. I’m not feeling comfortable with that.”

“The Redskins don’t have a chance, Junior,” Patrick said gently.

“They do have a chance,” Earnhardt replied. “Every year they have a chance. Every year we start anew man, of course we do.”

“No no no,” Patrick interrupted. “You’ve got Rex Grossman as your quarterback.”

[Note to John Beck — national disrespect!]

“He played pretty well the last few games,” Earnhardt insisted. “You put a decent offensive line in front of him, I think he’d be as good as any quarterback. You’ve got to believe that. I know it sounds completely ridiculous, but if you’re a fan, that’s just what you tell yourself every offseason. No matter what’s on the table, you tell yourself it’s gonna be good to eat.”

Earnhardt also said his favorite players growing up were Art Monk and Darrell Green, and that he hasn’t found it difficult to maintain his fandom, even through two decades of tough times.

“It’s not that hard,” Earnhardt said. “I mean, it’s not been fun because we’ve been losing a lot of games, but I don’t know if after all these years....I’ve been a Redskins fan since I can remember, at least since I was old enough to pay attention. I remember when I was a little kid and the Redskins played the Raiders in the Super Bowl, my dad pulled for the Raiders just because, and of course [the Skins] get their tails stomped. I must have been 6, 7 years old, and I was just crying like a baby on the floor. It was a rough night. I think I was ok until Theisman threw the pick for a [5]-yard touchdown.”

Patrick then brought up Marcus Allen’s 74-yard touchdown run.

“That was a dagger, too,” Junior said. “Those were all very painful.”