Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a big Redskins fan, and the Redskins are a big part of the Dale Jr. origin story. As told by Dale Jr.:
But to get you to Monday night, I have to take you somewhere else first: my grandfather Robert Gee's back porch in Concord, N.C. The year was 1983, and it was my 9th birthday party. The gift from my mother was a Washington Redskins uniform. I had asked for just the helmet, but she took it to another level. The pants, the jersey, the helmet, she gave me the whole smash, pads and all.
That was when I officially proclaimed my devotion solely to the Redskins. I had watched games before, particularly the 1983 Super Bowl, when John Riggins ran “I-Right 70 Chip” on fourth-and-1. He went 43 yards for a touchdown to put the Skins ahead 20-17. They won 27-17. To say I was intrigued would be understating it a bit. But when momma got me the jersey, from that moment forward, I might as well have been lining up alongside Riggins himself.
For years, the Earnhardt-Riggins combo, nobody could stop it, especially the half-chair cushion that I used as a tackling dummy in my living room in Dooley, N.C. I lined up across from that cushion year after year and mimicked the aggression broadcast over our television every Sunday. Valiant efforts that cushion gave, but Earnhardt in full Redskins gear was too much.
Smash cut to 31 years later. Dale Jr. is all grown up, but still just a kid at heart. Full gear is on. The Browns are the couch cushion. And all parties are ready.
Is there any doubt that tonight, when all eyes are on Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III will lead the Redskins to first-half victory with a little ol' play run countless times by a starry eyed boy against his couch cushion in Concord, North Carolina, known as "I-Right 70 Chip?"
Draw it up, offensive coordinator Sean McVay, draw it up.