It takes an inexact combination of cool, aloofness, and physical stature to pull off a flat top, a look very few men can rock. One who can, and I had the pleasure of meeting, is the new head coach of the Washington Redskins, Mr. Jim Zorn.
Through my favorite trade association the Redskins invited my buddy plus guest to an intimate wine and cheese gathering with Coach Zorn. The event was catered to high rollers the Redskin organization likes to show the red carpet to; I stuck out like a frat guy at a Shins concert. Arriving at Redskin Park was exciting; I pulled into Clinton Portis parking spot with no delay. After a moment I realized security would probably realize CP wasn’t driving that hot Accord and have me towed so I moved. I have been to Redskin Park before, but never inside, and the gleaming silver of the three Lombardi trophies grabs your eye as soon as you enter the building. There are old team photos lining the halls and another trophy case showing some of the teams Halas trophies and other memorabilia.
The staff we dealt with was very nice and accommodating, we got a private tour which took us through the training room, weight room and players lounge. While the excitement of seeing the enormous whirlpool Randy Thomas soaks in was palpable, I was surprised both by the size and modernity of the weight room. I expected a cavernous contemporary facility, instead the gym was smaller than your average health club, lacking in aesthetic pleasure.
Ultimately weight rooms do not make the team, the coach does. Unsure of my thoughts on Zorn prior to meeting him, I am a big fan now. Approachable and down to earth, Zorn seemed like a genuinely good guy, the type that will win the hearts of both fans and players in the coming months and years. Zorn was actually interested in our connection with the event, asking us what we do. My buddy explained the advocacy work he does, then Zorn turned to me and I explained I really had no reason to be there and was just a big fan tagging along. Curious and a little nervous what Zorn’s reaction would be, he paused a beat, let out an electrifying smile, reared back and gave me a big high five. I don’t know that I have ever enjoyed a high five more. Our conversation continued covering a range of topics including DC weather and kayaking, Zorn can connect with anybody.
Zorn’s only request was that we give him a chance, be fair as he begins his coaching career. “No tomatoes, ok?” was his exact request. Coach Zorn you have my word there will be no tomatoes, and if one brief meeting is any indication, this charismatic flat top will have the folks of DC singing Hail to the Skins in no time.