On Saturday, Redskins fans showed up in full force at One Loudoun to show support for the team at the "Redskins Rally Season Kickoff."
With each second that passes before the Washington Redskins' season opener with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the excitement and anticipation surrounding that game grows bigger.
The heat and humidity didn't stop the Burgundy and Gold faithful from coming out to One Loudoun in Ashburn, Va., on Saturday to party with the Redskins at the "Redskins Rally Season Kickoff."
The rally included live entertainment, family-friendly activities and special guest appearances from Redskins President Bruce Allen and the emcee of the event, Larry Michael, Voice of the Redskins. Redskins alumni Gary Clark, Rick "Doc" Walker, Chris Cooley, Santana Moss and Clinton Portis were also on hand to sign autographs and interact with the fans.
Damon Cabanillas was one of the many Redskins fans that were jammed inside the official after party spot, the Hail & Hog Kitchen and Tap. Cabanillas – a 40-year Redskins fan – came to the event and brought his six-year-old son, Colton. Damon's father grew up a Redskins fan, and got him to fall in love with the team, and now he has Colton following the team's every move at his young age.
Damon says the time he spent with Colton at the rally, and getting to meet Redskins greats like Walker, is what life is all about.
"Having him [Colton] grow up a Redskins fan is special," Damon said. "It's great. That's why I brought him here. I wanted him to meet some of the players, and see some of the other team sponsors, and well as [seeing] some other fans, and really get to know the experience."
Damon and Colton are on pins and needles for Monday night's game with Pittsburgh. Damon says it's a pretty big deal for the Redskins to be one of four teams to be showcased on a primetime stage like Monday Night Football in a few days.
"I think it says the brand and legacy of the Redskins is solid," Damon said. "People still love this team. We're back atop the NFC East, so we're excited about it. We want to compete. We want a team we can root for, [and a team] that cares and puts it all on the line. That's what we want."
Before Moss sat down under a tent, and signed what must have felt like a million autographs, he got a chance to join Michael on-stage and get the large throng pumped up for what's to come against the Steelers in 48 hours.
Standing in front of a large group of fans that absolutely adored him was an experience Moss wouldn't have missed for the world.
"It means everything," Moss said. "Honestly, being amongst a tradition, [and] an organization like this, it's top-of-the-line. I never anticipated [having] this kind of love, even after the game. It's like I can't go anywhere in the DMV area without memories, and without fans telling me how much they appreciate it, so it's just a pleasure. Just knowing what this season is going to be about, and just seeing where they're trying to go, this is something that I was hoping to be a part of. It's a privilege to be a part of it this way, to show them the support, and love and just to be out here amongst the fans that love us so much. I'm enjoying the experience."
Moss says he's extremely excited to see what the Redskins can do starting on Monday night at FedExField against the Steelers.
"This is where they need to be at," Moss says of the Redskins' primetime opportunity. "When you have a top-of-the-line owner like [Redskins owner] Dan Snyder, when you have [a] top-of-the-line GM [Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan], and then we've had Bruce [Allen] for all the while, with Bruce's background with his father [the-late George Allen] being a coach here, I just feel like we do top class stuff here."
"Mr. Snyder's been doing it for so many years, and we never could really show it on the field, because we were missing somebody; missing [somebody] here, missing [somebody] there," Moss said. "I think now they have all the guys in place to really put in place what they're doing behind the scenes. If all that can come together, then the Redskins can be recognized like the team they should be recognized as. I feel like it's only right for them to be the team that's starting off this season on Monday night."
The Washington Redskins on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, hosted a Redskins Rally Season Kickoff for fans, presented by One Loudoun.