Washington Redskins fans at Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland

The Washington Redskins play in one of the largest markets in the National Football League and therefore, get plenty of media attention. If you spend any time on social media during football season, you’ve likely seen the hashtag “HTTR” in reference to the Washington Redskins. But what does it mean?

H.T.T.R. stands for “Hail to the Redskins” and is the name of the team’s fight song. “Hail to the Redskins” was written during the 1930’s by Barnee Breeskin, leader of the Redskins band and Corinne Griffin, wife of Washington Redskins owner George Preston Marshall. The song was first performed on August 17th, 1938. When George Preston Marshall relocated the team to Washington, DC from Boston, he wanted to bring the festiveness and atmosphere of college football to professional football. He was also hoping to attract more female fans to the games, which were played at the old Griffith Stadium. He thus, formed a band with more than 100 members that would march and perform during Washington Redskins home games.

 

 

Aside from the Green Bay Packers’ fight song, “Hail to the Redskins” is the second oldest fight song in the National Football League. The lyrics to “Hail to the Redskins” are as follows and have been amended from their original version since they were first written.

 

Hail to the Redskins!

Hail Victory!

Braves on the Warpath!

Fight for old D.C.!

Run or pass and score—We want a lot more!

Beat 'em, Swamp 'em,

Touchdown! -- Let the points soar!

Fight on, fight on 'Til you have won

Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!

Hail to the Redskins!

Hail Victory!

Braves on the Warpath!

Fight for old D.C.!

 

The Washington Redskins band does not perform the fight song after every Redskins touchdown like the old days. Instead, the band members play outside the stadium before the game and then a few songs right before kickoff. The band members then relocate to the club level during the game where each band member is given two free tickets as payment for playing in the band.

Washington Redskins Band

The fate of the fight song took a strange detour during the late 1950’s when owner George Preston Marshall and band leader Barnee Breeskin ended their friendship. At the same time, a successful businessman in the Texas oil industry (Clint Murchison, Jr.) was trying to bring a professional football team to Dallas. However, a football team in Dallas would mean the Washington Redskins would lose some of the market share in the southern United States; an area the team had a monopoly on for many years. It was unlikely that Washington Redskins owner George Preston Marshall would vote for the expansion of a new team in Dallas, Texas when the time came. As a result, Clint Murchison, Jr. purchased the rights to “Hail to the Redskins” from a disgruntled Barnee Breeskin and his attorneys. Murchison would then attempt to resell the rights to “Hail to the Redskins” back to George Preston Marshall in exchange for a vote to approve the expansion team in Dallas. Murchison’s plan worked and the Dallas Cowboys were born in January of 1960 following the approval of league owners. That exchange solidified what has become one of the most intense and storied rivalries in the National Football League today.

 

Today, you can hear a recorded version of “Hail to the Redskins” played over the loud speakers following every Washington Redskins touchdown at Fedex Field. The marching band may no longer strike up their instruments when the team scores but the passion for the song still lives inside Washington Redskins fans everywhere.

 

Reference:

TheHogs.Net

WashingtonPost.com

  

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