We’ve managed to do it again. The miracle that is social networking has led us to an in-depth interview with ESPN’s Bram Weinstein. Some of you may remember Bram from his days at ESPN Radio, others from ESPN News or Sportscenter. Mr. Weinstein is a Maryland native, having grown up in Silver Spring and attended Springbrook High School in Montgomery County. Bram is of course now an anchor for ESPN. Through a few persistent tweets, a little curiosity and a few “#Redskins”, I was able to lock up what turned into about a two hour interview. If you’re familiar with the blog, you may recall my interview a few months ago with ESPN’s Jemele Hill. Well, Bram is a true Redskins fan and boy did he have a lot of knowledge to share. This is part one of our chat. Enjoy!
RR – First we gotta do a background check. How’d you become a Skins fan? Was it by birth, or did you choose?
BW – Birth and choice. I grew up in Silver Spring and was fortunate to have my formative years be during the Joe Gibbs era. It also helped that my best friend down the street had grandparents with season tickets and his parents never wanted to go so I went with him and his grandparents who were the craziest Skins fans you would have ever met.
BW – The grandmother used to put a hex on the other team, and I swear it worked like 86% of the time.
RR – The best kind of fan.
RR – So the tickets, I’m assuming this was RFK. How was RFK? Does FedEx even compare?
BW – Yes RFK, hallowed ground, never to be replicated or duplicated. I feel for those who never saw a game there, it’s not the same. The stadium shook, seriously.
BW – As for Fed Ex, I covered the team for eight years and have had season tickets for longer so I’ve been countless times and no they do not compare.
RR – What was your most memorable moment as a Skins fan?
BW – Well, I went to the 1987 Skins-Vikings NFC title game. I’ll never forget after we won driving through the city and seeing everyone outside cheering. DC was a different place then and RFK was located in an area that unless you were at a Redskins game, you didn’t go to. But everyone and I mean everyone was outside cheering in Redskins clothes coming up to the cars and shaking hands and just being one. It’s crazy what a winning Redskins team can do for the area.
BW – I feel so bad for the younger generation. They just don’t know. The Redskins changed the mood of the city. I saw some articles last week wondering if Redskins fans would root for the Ravens now that the playoffs are here and were out again. [Fudge] no. Back in the golden years, you wouldn’t even ask something as asinine as that.
BW – I actually think that we as a fanbase are part of the problem now. We’ve become too negative.
RR- The Redskins fans have grown to literally expect nothing. I know me personally, I just lessen my expectations, because when they got too high, Rex threw four interceptions or Stephen Davis went down with a knee or Rod Gardner dropped another pass. The list goes on forever.
BW – We’re becoming hopeless too and deluded. How many people were on the John Beck bandwagon this past summer? Wake up people. We’re grasping for straws.
RR – “Back in the day”, as us youngsters would put it, were there as many Cowboys fans as there are now? Was there this huge base of support? and do you think it’s because of the Redskins failures the last 20 years or because of the seeds laid way back with segregation and the monopoly the Redskins held in the south?
BW – The Cowboys fans always existed in the area. They were the ones who just got sick of hearing about the Redskins and you have to understand, back then, you could watch three football games a week, that’s it and the Cowboys were on just about every week. So they had a huge national fan base.
BW – I don’t think there is any race issue with the team now. There was in the 1960’s, but that was America.
RR – Which leads me to my next question. The name “Redskins” and the logo. Do you find it offensive? You think Danny will ever give it up?
BW – I do not think he will give it up mainly because of economics. It’s a huge risk to change the name of a valuable franchise with huge licensing revenue.
BW – Do I find it offensive? Yes. It’s a slur.
RR – I always wondered why not Warriors? Maybe even take it back to the 30’s and become the Braves again. I know money is the motive though.
BW – You can’t change from Redskins to Braves, the American Indian association would remain. If they are going to change it, it would have to be a huge departure from the imagery. Ain’t happening.
RR – Who is your favorite Redskin of all time? Favorite to watch play?
BW – That’s tough. I love Riggo, his style-the way he played-he was larger then life. I’ve gotten to know Sonny and Sam-worked with them. That was surreal. Love Darrell Green and Dexter Manley too.
RR – But if you had to chose one person to go see with 50 yard-line seat. First row…or “dream seats” as Danny calls them now. Who are you paying top dollar to watch?
BW – Riggins on offense. Dexter on D.
Even Bram Weinstein can’t deny Riggo’s swag. Part II of our talk including the current state of the Redskins and how the future looks for Washington will be up soon. For now, head on over to twitter and follow Bram (@BramWeinstein) and myself (@KMawyer2). I promise you won’t regret it.