Thursday was the kick-off of the Redskins' 80th Anniversary bus tour, devoted to thanking fans for their loyalty to the team over the last eight decades.
On the first two days of the tour, general manager Bruce Allen and company visited eight stops in Virginia, and spoke to nearly 10,000 Redskins fans.
"This is a thank you tour, and we want to express our appreciation for each of you being Redskins fans," Allen told fans at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds. "With the Redskins, it's a special fraternity. There is a special bond between this organization and its fans, and it's thanks to the great coaches and players, as well as the fans that came before us."
While Allen--joined by greats Sam Huff, Dexter Manley and Mark Moseley--talked about the history of the franchise, he also focused on the bright future.
"It's our duty today as Redskins and Redskins' fans, to make sure that the future is there for all of these young kids, to understand our special fraternity," he said. "I just want to thank everybody."
While there were multiple generations of Redskins fans in attendance, there were also many generations of Redskins players, spanning from the 1950s to today.
Current players Ryan Kerrigan, Tim Hightower, Chris Wilson and Terrence Austin took time away from their offseason preparation to spend time with fans, offering advice and appreciation.
"The passion of the Redskins fans surprised me when I first got into the league," Austin admitted. "I had never been around so much fanfare, and the fans being so into the game.
"I love it, and it just makes me feel at home."
Redskins executives will be joined with current and former players in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area, as the tour continues over the coming weeks.
Upcoming tour stops include:
- June 2: Virginia Beach, Va., and Williamsburg, Va.
- June 7: Portsmouth, Va. (Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Reception)
- June 8: Norfolk, Va., and Chantilly, Va. (VHSL Group AAA Spring Jubilee)
- June 9: Richmond, Va.; - June 16: Falls Church, Va. (State Elks Convention)
- June 21: Harrisonburg, Va. (State Eagles Convention)
- July 4: Washington, D.C.
- July 20: Roanoke, Va. (Subway Commonwealth Games)
For more information, visit the Redskins Official 80th Anniversary website and vote for the next 10 Redskins players to be added to the Greatest Redskins List.