A decent number of Washington sports fans have suggested that — despite its relatively minor stakes — last Monday night’s Redskins win was something of a seminal D.C. sports moment.
Sure, this season could still fall apart. But that game ended Washington’s streak of primetime struggles, made the playoffs a very real proposition, attracted celebrities, and turned the Robert Griffin III phenomenon into a national narrative.
For Redskins fans, that was exciting. How exciting? Dale Earnhardt Jr. attempted to explain, with a first-person piece on ESPN.com that he apparently commissioned himself. One excerpt:
The 2012 season has been a resurrection year for the Skins. Robert Griffin III has brought hope and promise of brighter days. The fans’ excitement reflects these emotions very well. So we watched, we cheered, we prayed, and in the end we jumped for pure joy over a closely fought victory. Then it hit me.
I was feeling that feeling. That one I can’t describe. “How does it feel to drive at 200 mph?” “How does it feel to go four wide at Talladega?” “How does it feel to win the big race?”
I never thought I would replicate that kind of excitement outside a race car. But there it was: that feeling. And it felt amazing. Everyone has their top-of-the-mountain moment. Outside of racing, this was mine.
I mean, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for even more elation following, say, a playoff win. And just imagine if the Redskins ever advance to the Super Bowl; Junior would feel like he was painted in Diet Mountain Dew and rubbed with Fun Dip while sky-diving from the back of a golden unicorn.
But still, glad to hear he had a good time. Hope traffic was okay leaving the stadium.