Ever since Clinton Portis showed up for a Redskins Park open locker-room session wearing a Phillies hat, just a few days before the Redskins played the Eagles, I’ve been on a relentless pursuit of athletic purity from D.C. athletes.
I’ve come to realize, though, that I was being stupid. If you were born in St. Louis, and a new job took you to Washington, you shouldn’t be vilified for continuing to root for the St. Louis baseball team, no matter if you’re employed by a Washington basketball team. So the backlash against Bradley Beal for supporting the Cardinals earlier this month struck me as dumb.
And all that being said, I think most people would find it odd to learn that an athlete continues to root for another team, in the same sport, in the same division. And yet here was Virginia native and current Eagles defensive lineman Darryl Tapp on Philly’s 93.3 WMMR, talking about his bye week. (Audio here.)
“I definitely watch football as a fan,” Tapp said. “I mean, I’m a Redskins fan, so I definitely watched that game.”
Still a Redskins fan, he was asked?
“Except when I play ’em, yeah,” he said. “I was definitely a fan. I definitely enjoyed being able to sit back and watch the game, even though I can’t fully sit back and watch the game as a fan, I’m still breaking down film.”
Then the hosts asked Tapp if it was easier for him to watch college football as a fan.
“I don’t really want to talk about college football right now because my school’s not doing that great,” he said of the Hokies.
Turns out Tapp has never been shy about his Skins fandom. Shortly after landing with the Eagles, he told Tom Robinson of the Virginian-Pilot that the Skins were “who I watched when I was young. I’m a Redskins fan to this day, ’till we play them.”
I don’t know, that’s weird. I mean, I loathe the Washington Times. Would spit in Rich Campbell’s drink any chance I get. And don’t even get me started about Loverro and the Examiner.
Anyhow, Tapp was also asked about Philly fans.
“I respect Philadelphia fans, because they’re passionate about what they see and what they want the team to be — the same thing that we’re about, too,” he said. “So it goes hand in hand. But you definitely have to have a tough skin.”