Readers have asked why there are so many references to sports and specifically to the Washington Redskins football team in my book, Despicable Lies?
I was born in 1943 and as a young girl, grew up in the Washington D.C. suburbs of Bethesda and Chevy Chase Maryland. My parents, and many of their friends, had fifty-yard line seats in JFK stadium, the home of the Washington Redskins at the time. In the 1950s and through the 1990s, tickets to the games were virtually impossible to purchase and had been handed down from generation to generation. There was no NFL Sunday ticket and no NFL Network. There were no cell phones or internet on which to watch the games. The only way for a non-season-ticket holder to see a Redskin game was on Washington’s local channel 20 the next day.
Rain or shine, my father attended every home game, but my Mother was not as enthusiastic about the sport and often persuaded my father to take me in her place. Those Sunday afternoons were magic. Watching the team and their cheerleaders, the Redskinettes, march up and down the field in their colorful uniforms was like watching a Broadway play, full of excitement and wonder. When the marching band played “Hail to The Redskins” I literally got chills (and still do today). I memorized every player’s name and jersey number and could carry on a knowledgeable conversation with almost anyone about my team.
My passion and support for the Redskins was and still is, immensely important to me. It gave me a special identity. In the glory years of the 1980’s, (the era of Joe Gibbs, Sonny Jurgenson, Billy Kilmer, John Riggins, Art Monk, etc. and two Super Bowl wins in 1983 & 1988), I was fortunate enough to meet and became friendly with many of the Redskin players, coaches and several local sports broadcasters. With their help, I was able to locally publish a few interviews (Redskin Profiles) and made some videos with the players. I dreamed of becoming a national sports broadcaster and following in the footsteps of Phyliss George and Leslie Visser. That never happened, so I reverted back to being a Super Fan.
I wanted to share my passion for sports with one of my characters, so Darcy inherited her love of Redskin football from me. For those of you who root for other teams like the Giants, the Steelers, the Cowboys, the Patriots, etc. you will understand the unparalleled joy one feels when your team wins. Darcy thrived on that joy and made an interesting career choice based in great part on her love for her home team. I hope you enjoy reading about her journey.
Until my next inspiration…ciao.