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All over region, true Redskins fans found ways to get chores out of the way before Sunday's big game

 In the basement of his King George County home, Redskins fan Jesse Smith and his John Riggins-autographed jersey are reflected in a glass case holding a Joe Jacoby jersey. Smith requires his game-day guests to don a Redskins jersey.
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Date published: 1/7/2013


Legions of Redskins faithful spent the hours before game time taking care of their personal business--before getting in front of a TV to watch their team take care of business at FedEx Field.

For some, it meant getting in workouts or work hours ahead of the 4:30 p.m. start.

For others, it meant preparing for viewing parties or arriving early enough to snag seats at a favorite sports bar or restaurant.

For fans like Jesse Smith of King George County, it was a time to celebrate the end of the Redskins' playoff drought.

"I'm so excited our 'Skins are finally back in the playoffs," said Smith, who hosts friends in his specially decorated and outfitted Redskins room when the team is playing.

He and wife Courtney spent the hours before the big game preparing burgers, dips, drinks and other goodies for the handful of friends who are regulars in the basement room where everything's painted burgundy or gold, even the steps.

"One thing we do that's a little different is getting game jerseys out and ready for everyone who comes to watch the game," said Smith, a lifelong fan who works for Spotsylvania County. "If they don't put on the jersey, they don't get to stay."

Redskins lovers feel at home in his basement room, where the walls are filled with signed jerseys, helmets, cards and even a cleat Chris Cooley wore in a big win over the Dallas Cowboys.

An especially meaningful jersey is the one with "Wilumaryme" on the back.

"Of course, that's the most important one in here," he said with a smile, recalling that he used it to propose to his wife in 2005.

Even daughters Kayla, 3, and Sydney, 16 months, suit up for games, though their jerseys are more pink and small than burgundy and big.

"We're just glad to be in playoff conversations again," said Smith.

Thomas Lewis agreed Sunday at midday as he finished up his workout at Gold's Gym in Fredericksburg and headed home.

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