From head to toe and bumper to bumper Rodney Johnson makes it clear his favorite football team and his preference for their name. Pointing to his burgundy and gold rolling shrine to the Washington NFL team he says, "I just spent over $700 probably less than a month ago redoing all this."
Monday when he heard the team name was changing he drove hours from his home in Virginia Beach to FedEx Field just to be seen and heard. He isn't happy. "My first love for the Redskins was watching Sonny Jurgenson playing," he explains, "Throwing those long bombs, the Hogs. Right now, the feeling I'm having right now is it's a sad day."
Outside the team store at the stadium, his opinion is in the minority. Fans and stadium workers Octavian Barnes and Oscar Enriquez came to take pictures before the names come down. They understand what is happening and why. "I knew a change was gonna come," says Barnes, "so I welcome it as long as we get to winning it really don't matter." Enriquez says, "They're still my team no matter what name they have."
Ultimately it was the sponsors whose brands loom large on FedEx Field that demanded and got the change. It is something the local Prince George's County chapter of the NAACP long sought. The chapter president, Bob Ross, calls it a victory, "Lets move on we're happy, it's a good day for the NFL, it's a good day for the players and it's a good day for the fans."
Even Johnson though unhappy understands why. For him and his pickup truck its back to the drawing board. He admits, "Yes I'm still going to support the team, matter of fact I already talked to my designer."