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To fans of the Baltimore Ravens, he’s ubiquitous. To others, his fanaticism might seem to border on overbearing.
But for Ravens superfan Wes Henson, more commonly known as “Captain Dee Fense,” supporting the team he loves is a way of life, one that has now garnered him national recognition for the second time.
In 2002, Henson, a Waldorf resident and Baltimore native, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fans in Canton, Ohio. Now, 10 years later, Henson is one of three superfans to make it into ESPN’s Hall of Fans that includes all sports, not just football.
Henson applied in July, and was officially notified earlier this month that he’d been named to the Hall of Fans.
“I’ve always been a Baltimore Ravens fan since they came to the city in 1996,” Henson said. “Even when I moved down here, I never made the switch to being a [Washington] Redskins fan. That was never an option for me. I’m hardcore Baltimore.”
Henson, a retired veteran of the U.S. Navy and cancer survivor, said he feels he is distinguished from other fans and mascots through his philanthropic spirit.
“When I was told I received this honor, I was very humbled and excited,” Henson said. “I think I’m distinguished by my community service. A lot of people talk about what they have, but I focus on giving back. I use my notoriety to give back, and not so much for myself.”
Since beginning as Captain Dee Fense, Henson said he’s attended more than 300 events, done some public speaking, and gone out around the community as a figurehead. Even the team itself has recognized him: he was invited to its 10-year anniversary celebration in 2006.
In his pitch on the Hall of Fans website, Henson, who has seen every game the Ravens have ever played, noted that fandom is full-time for him.
“Being a superfan is more than about just on Sunday,” Henson said. “It’s a 24/7 job, and giving back to the community is the most important thing. Winning this award would be more than about me but for the fans and the community at large.”
Henson is well-known to the Washington Redskins “Hogettes” fan group. Dave Spigler, known in the group as Spiggy Hogette, the self-described “pretty hog in the blue dress,” said he’s known Henson for years and was not the least bit surprised that he’d received this recognition.
“We’re both members of the Pro Football Ultimate Fan Association, so I got to know him that way,” Calvert County resident Spigler said. “I’m not the least bit surprised ... he’s a good representative for the Ravens, he wears a great uniform, and he’s a great guy.”
As both men are vetereans of the Navy and voracious fans of their respective teams, Spigler said there’s a sort of camaraderie between the two. “He’s a really neat guy,” Spigler said. “We’re all glad to see him get it.”