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The National Football League will have to find shots of “regular” Redskins’ fans during home games at Fed Ex Field next year.
For 30 years, the Hogettes — the cross-dressing, snout-wearing, cigar-chomping turbo-fans of Washington’s football team — have been featured at some point during a televised game, whether the cameras are looking for rowdy fans fired up prior to the game getting under way, or for a shot of distraught fans facing a devastating loss. And, it’s obvious why: instead of painting their faces and bare chests in burgundy and gold, these handful of fans donned loud old lady dresses, wigs and rubber pig snouts, and were usually cheering the team on from prominent seats. They are among the most recognizable fans in all sports. They were founded in 1983 as a tribute to the “Hogs,” the Redskins’ legendary dominate offensive line in the 1980s and early ’90s, which was a huge factor in leading the team to three Super Bowl wins during that era.
But a casual NFL fan may just think those men just dressed that way at games to stand out or were simply … odd. What most fans outside the Redskins’ organization might not know is those “odd” fans have dedicated countless hours and raised millions of dollars for charities in the Washington, D.C., area. Locally, Dave “Spiggy” Spigler, Southern Maryland’s most notable Hogette, formed a charity group of about 35 other people, dubbed “Spiggy and Friends,” and has dedicated years of his life to not only cheering on his beloved team as a Hogette, but raising millions for various charities in Southern Maryland and in the D.C.-metro area. “Spiggy” was even honored by the Knights of Columbus last year for his charity work. And, even though he will no longer be sporting the recognizable outfit of a gender- and species-confused Redskins fan, he has vowed to continue his charitable endeavors.
While Washington Redskins fans wait in the off season to see if their sent-from-above franchise quarterback, Robert Griffin III, will rehab his injured leg and be back to full health for the 2013-14 season, some fans might also take a moment to reflect on a staple of the franchise: The Hogettes will go down in NFL history as some of the best fans — and best human beings — the sport has ever encountered. These men saw a way to not only cheer on their team in a unique and flashy way, but to also support the community surrounding the team they love so dearly. We commend them for their 30 years of charity, and cheer on those who look to continue the charity work they love as much as their team.