It was supposed to be a march. It was designed to be a display of dissent. The goal was simple – to keep Washington Redskins General Manager Scot McCloughan in his job.
But Thursday evening, word surfaced that the team’s front office fired McCloughan. The move shook a multitude of fans, after McCloughan managed to deliver two relatively respectable, and most importantly, winning seasons.
The temperatures tumbled into Friday morning, and cold, steady rain turned into snow showers. The protest march morphed into about a dozen die-hard fans assembled in Ashburn, with one man bringing four iron pitchforks for the miniscule mob.
“It's perfect symbolism, the weather, the turnout, everything,” said Redskin fan Josh Eversburg in an interview Friday. “I just turned 28 years old. So I don't have a lot of good times under my belt. I was four years old the last time we won the Super Bowl.”
Wearing a Sean Taylor beanie as the rain began to freeze, Eversburg took a pitchfork, laughing as the group made its statement. The purveyor of pitchforks, Dave Kopecky, was far from frightened by the frigid conditions. Instead, fury won out over frost.
“We've had drama for 20 years, ever since Snyder took over,” Kopecky said, discussing Redskins owner Dan Snyder and team president Bruce Allen. “The drama's not going to be over until he and Bruce are gone.”
The event known as the “March on Ashburn” transformed into a huddle on the grass. With nearly 1,000 people expressing interest in the Facebook event, only the most devoted fans decided to make the journey at 8 a.m.
“Peacefully protesting at Redskins Park to let Snyder and Allen know that the fans are fed up with them running our beloved franchise into the ground,” the event description reads. “To let them know that they aren't going to succeed in selling fans false hope anymore. Fire Bruce Allen. Let Scot do his job.”
After about 40 minutes, the protest petered out.
Protesters took selfies, tweeted, and talked to reporters, hoping their message would spread.
“Get it together, put the egos aside,” Eversburg said. “Focus on football. Winning cures all, guys. Winning cures all.”