Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Redskins Colors Decorate Stands Washington Fans out in Force; Some Torn between Teams

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Redskins Colors Decorate Stands Washington Fans out in Force; Some Torn between Teams

Article excerpt

Judging from the thousands of maroon jerseys and T-shirts at Alltel Stadium, the Jaguars' 35-16 loss yesterday to the visiting Redskins easily could have been mistaken for a game at Washington's Fed Ex Field.

There appeared to be a Redskins fan for every three Jaguars fan among the crowd of 69,061 yesterday afternoon. Longtime Washington cornerback Darrell Green's No. 28 competed with Jacksonville tailback Fred Taylor's replica jersey. Many fans also wore replica jerseys of former Florida State Seminoles and current Redskins Deion Sanders and Brad Johnson.

Washington fan James Walker said that's because the Jaguars are only 6 years old, whereas the Redskins have been around since the 1940s. Walker was among 200 Redskins fans who rode from Washington, D.C. to Jacksonville on four charter buses.

Charlie Watkins, 55, was born and reared in Jacksonville. But he attended his first Jaguars game yesterday to see the Redskins play. He has been a Washington fan since 1946.

"That's the only game on TV back in the '50s and early '40s," said Watkins, who now lives in Savannah, Ga., with his wife Mary Ann and daughter Jamie.

Many fans were torn between cheering for the Jaguars or the Redskins. Ruth and John Turville each wore T-shirts that hailed both teams and had "I can't lose" painted on the back.

Nease High student Trey Butler, who was born in a Washington suburb, normally cheers for the Jaguars, but he was wearing a Redskins T-shirt and cap while sitting in the club seats with his mother Liz McCarthy.

FAIR GAME

Before the game, the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair got some competition from the carnival-like NFL Experience outside the stadium.

Clowns painted children's faces. A local band entertained the crowd. Fans stood in line for sausage dogs and hot dogs. And kids waited in long lines for interactive games.

Landon Middle School student Tyler Schnabel, who wore a Taylor jersey, dove over an inflatable goal line -- something he does before every Jacksonville home game.

MAD ABOUT MADDEN

Two hours before kickoff, about 50 people hung around John Madden's $750,000 bus at the stadium's Gate 1 to get a glimpse of the NFL commentator and former Oakland Raiders coach. …

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