The love of young high schoolers can’t be topped — that is, until you consider one’s love for their NFL team. “Josh was my first love, but Josh’s first love was the Washington Football Team,” says Erikka Resendiz, Fan of the Year nominee. “Over time I found joy from the team that brought him so much joy, and I started feeling connected to the team.” Years later and new family additions later, Resendiz still credits her now-husband for her fandom. “I could never thank my husband enough for bringing this team into my life, or to the organization and fan base for accepting me as one of their own.”
The NFL launched the Fan of the Year contest presented by Captain Morgan to celebrate extraordinary fans who inspire others through their love of football and bring an “original spice” to what it means to be a fan. In collaboration with the 32 teams, the NFL collected nearly 35,000 submissions from fans vying for the chance to represent their team as a nominee. The contest will identify one winner among the final 32 nominees to be named the ultimate NFL Fan of the Year at NFL Honors in February 2022.
Here’s what makes Erikka one of the candidates for NFL Fan of the Year presented by Captain Morgan.
Why do you love being a fan of the Washington Football team?
Erikka Resendiz: I have a lot of love for the players who leave it all on the field every Sunday. There’s also the heightened emotions every year during the draft because it feels like I’m adding members to my family. I also love the coaches who are leading the team towards meaningful change and growth, as well as the rich history and the team alumni who are staying involved with the organization. And last but not least there’s the fanbase but who are honest and faithful. There’s no better color combo than burgundy and gold.
What is your “Original Spice” that you bring to each gameday?
ER: I am an unapologetic, faithful, and hopeful Washington Football Team fan! I bring my spice to every game by sticking with the team through it all. It doesn’t matter what their record is, I will support the players and coaches every single game, and will always look for and support the team leaders who are putting good things into the world.
How did you become a fan of the Washington Football Team?
ER: I became a fan of the Washington Football Team when I started dating Josh, my now husband, back when we were kids in high school. I grew up right outside of Philadelphia in a family of Eagles fans, but never understood or connected with football. Josh was my first love, but Josh’s first love was the Washington Football Team. Over time I found joy from the team that brought him so much joy, and I started feeling connected to the team in a way I never had with the Eagles. It’s been over 10 years now and I am certain that I was born to be a Washington Football fan.
How do you like to watch the game?
ER: At home or in person, but never at a bar or someone else’s home because I need to feel comfortable enough to be able to cheer, or yell, without judgment. My husband and I don’t want to sit and socialize during a game because we are so into it. We want to be able to see everything happening on the field without the distractions.
What makes Washington Football Team fans like you the best fans in the NFL?
ER: To be honest, I think Washington Football Team fans have been through a lot of changes and difficult times in the past few years. It isn’t always “easy” being a Washington Football Team fan, and I think it speaks to the quality of our fanbase when you see how many of us have stood by the team. I am truly honored to be the Washington Football Team Fan of the Year because I know how many other people were deserving of this. You could make a great case for every single one of the Washington Football Team fans to be Fan of the Year, so I am truly grateful to have been selected.
What are your game day rituals?
ER: Game day rituals in our house change from week to week depending on the outcome of the game! If we watch the game at home, I always make a big Sunday dinner. If we win, we follow the exact same routine the next Sunday, down to our outfits and menu for the day. If we lose, we change the schedule, including our meals. Some seasons that means we eat the same meal almost every week, other seasons it means I need to get creative with new recipes.
Why is giving back to the community so important to you?
ER: Giving back to this community is important to me because this is the same community that helped me out of dark and difficult times in my life. When I had the opportunity to become a FAN Ambassador for the team, I jumped on it. I saw it not only as a chance to be involved with the team, but as a way to give back to the team and the fan base that helped me grieve.