For exactly as long as Sid Brannon has been alive, so has the Redskins’ franchise.
Sid turned 80 years young on Saturday, and his daughter, Lisa, and granddaughter, Kristen, drove up from Petersburg, Va. to Sid’s home in Manassas, to take him to his first ever training camp practice.
“We’re all Redskins fans, and always have been,” Sid said. “You see where my hat came from?”
Sid was wearing a snapback Redskins hat from several decades past. It had an old-school Redskins Indian-head emblem on it, and pinned to the side of the hat was a Redskins’ 1987 Super Bowl Championship pin.
A retro Redskins’ hat was just the proverbial tip of Sid’s fanhood iceberg. It turns out that Sid was a Metro employee for 36 years in Washington, and drove the charter buses to the Redskins’ games at DC/Griffith/RFK Stadium.
“I worked everything in my time at metro, every route, every line. I worked back in the DC Transit days too,” he said with a proud smile. “And I made it to every home Redskins game.”
But Saturday, on his 80th birthday, Sid got to relax in the passenger seat while his family drove him to Redskins Park.
“We drove up for his birthday,” Lisa (daughter) said. “Kristen found out that [Fan Appreciation Day] was going on, so we decided to bring him.”
The three sat along the back sideline of the far practice field, watching the Redskins conduct full-team drills for the first time in person. As practice ended on Fan Appreciation Day, head coach Mike Shanahan took the microphone and announced that each of the 90 players had a game ball to give to a random fan in attendance.
Players spread out in every direction, and budding receiver Leonard Hankerson walked in the Brannons’ direction. As he got close, Kristen and Lisa hollered out to Hankerson that it was Sid’s birthday today.
“[Hankerson] was looking for who to give it to, and I was like, ‘It’s his 80th birthday!'” Kristen re-enacted for me. “He walked right over and said, ‘Well here you go then, happy birthday.'”
Sid held the autographed football like a proud father for the duration of our interview, and I’m sure it’s proudly displayed at his home in Manassas. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty swell day for the lifelong Redskins fan.
“Well, I can’t complain,” Sid said with an innocent smile. “I got my picture taken with three of the Redskins Cheerleaders, so I guess that was nice too.”
I guess so, Sid. Happy 80th birthday to you and your favorite football team.
**Also of note: Kristen is indeed wearing a No. 4 Graham Gano jersey and is said to be his loudest fan. So, there you go, Graham.