- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Super Bowl Sunday is but days away. While the region’s beloved Washington Redskins won’t be stepping on the turf in New Orleans, another local team will. It’s probably likely that many area ’Skins fans will be cheering on the other home team, the Baltimore Ravens. Why not? Let’s show some allegiance for the great state of Maryland.
One Washington fan and his family will put aside their loyalties Sunday and root for the Ravens. Hunter Paulin of Indian Head will be at the game with his mom, dad and brother. Hunter will have the honor of handing off the game ball to an official at the start of the game. Keep an eye out for him.
The fourth-grader at Indian Head Elementary School was the grand prize winner of the NFL Play 60 Super Bowl Contest. A winner from each NFL franchise was selected, and Hunter was chosen as the big winner. What a great honor for the 10-year-old. The NFL Play 60 program promotes kids getting exercise for at least 60 minutes a day. Hunter wrote an essay for the contest about the importance of exercise and healthy eating. For his efforts, he’s enjoying several days in New Orleans with some of his family members.
Keep your eyes on the TV set, and you’ll probably see someone else you recognize. Waldorf resident Larry “Wes” Henson, aka Captain Dee Fense, surely will be spotted amid the festivities. Henson, a U.S. Navy veteran, has been a fan since the Ravens came to Baltimore in 1996, he told an Independent reporter a few years ago. He said he made it a habit of attending every home game and was often seen and heard chanting, “Defense. Defense.” He said a woman approached him and asked if he was captain of the defense. At the next game, he wore a shirt that had “Capt. Defense” emblazoned on the back. And now his uniform consists of a Ravens jersey with patches displaying the four branches of the military; links of fence chain wrapped around his shoulders; purple, black and gray camouflage pants; combat boots and a purple captain’s hat. His loyalties to the team and countless hours of charity work earned him a spot in ESPN’s Hall of Fans last year. Henson said last month that he learned a lot from the Hogettes — the cross-dressing, snout-wearing, cigar-chomping turbo-fans of Washington’s football team, who announced recently that they are disbanding — about how to encourage others to give back to their communities.
Washington fans will just have to sit back and watch the game Sunday from their armchairs. They must now 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. In the meantime, here’s hoping that football fans, regardless of which team they cheer for, are treated to fine display on the gridiron … and some equally entertaining television commercials. Whether you watch the game at home, at a friend’s house or at a local sports bar, party responsibly. You don’t want to miss the talk around the watercooler Monday morning.