An Old Fan Says So Long, Clinton Portis

Here’s a special contribution from Mr. Irrelevant Writer at Large JP Finlay.

Though the release of Clinton Portis comes as no surprise, it doesn’t make the news any easier. Southeast Romey Rome is gone.

For the past few years people called for Clinton Portis’ head, questioning his work ethic, his practice habits, his personal life and often his fashion choices. But I loved Portis. (Ed. note: So did we!)

Somehow, through a combination of dumb luck and credit card debt, a buddy and I made the trip to Tampa in 2006 for the Skins first playoff game in the Gibbs 2.0 era. Our seats were right behind CP’s mom, in the nosebleeds. She was passionate and flamboyant, wearing a 26 jersey complete with personalized gold rhinestones, just what you would expect from the woman who gave birth to this guy. I was also wearing a Portis jersey, sans rhinestones, and she hugged us and told us to cheer for her boy. She also gave the surrounding Tampa fans A LOT of shit when the Skins pulled out the win.

I bought the Portis jersey in 2004 when the Skins traded for him. I’ve worn it to 90 percent of the games I’ve been to since, including at the Linc, the Meadowlands, Tampa and whatever the stadium in Seattle is called.

Another session of dumb luck and credit card debt got me to that playoff game in 2008, a loss, and it was emotional. Seattle fans were loud and aggressive, and on the heels of Sean Taylor’s death earlier that season, some pretty vulgar stuff was said.

What was never said, at any of the away games where I wore #26, were questions of Portis’ effort on the field. CP is the best blocking RB I’ve ever seen, and I would make the claim he is in the conversation of best backfield blocker ever. This is a guy who injured himself in the PRESEASON making a hard hit on a Brunell duck/interception. Between the lines, the guy always went hard, and his hard was better than almost anyone else’s.

Anyone reading this far remembers his first run in his first game as a Redskin. The 65-yard TD. There was so much promise that day. So much excitement. Don’t forget that CP was a game-changing, dynamic RB in his Denver days. The swagger was deserved.

In the end, maybe his career with the Skins never lived up to the promise of that first run. And there were some ugly moments in between. But CP gave it his all every time he stepped on the field, playing through injury, inept coaching, inept ownership and many awful offensive linemen.

I’m glad to have experienced the CP era. I know he sacrificed explosiveness to fit the system. I never got mad at him; he was just a young man livin’.

And don’t worry about CP, his pockets straight.

11 thoughts on “An Old Fan Says So Long, Clinton Portis”

  1. Damn, good piece.. I’m gonna miss CP..Jerome from SE..Dolla Bill.. The Ghost of Jerome.. Sheriff Gonna Getcha.. etc. He looked so much faster in the above clip than the last couple years.. Wonder where he’ll end up.

  2. “What was never said, at any of the away games where I wore #26, were questions of Portis’ effort on the field.”

    Did you skip all the games where he was sucking wind on the sideline? No tread on those tires anymore. Faretheewell.

  3. CP provided a lot of the happier moments during Snyder’s Reign of Terror. Yeah, his act off the field wore thin, but I won’t be a 2-faced fan and dog him on his way out.

    His name should be in the ring of fame with Battles & Brown one day…

  4. My favorite redskins RB of all time. He Didnt care who liked him or what anyone thought about him. And one thing that used to piss me off and still does was all these half ass fans who jumped all over him anytime he spoke the truth. Fuck them and fuck all the haters.

  5. In his first interview as a Redskin, Clinton pretty openly mocked the golden toilet seat on Danny’s plane and said he told all his NFL friends to come get paid by the Redskins. I knew then that it would not go well for Portis with the ‘skins. But, to be fair, Portis was never dealt a good hand in DC and the loudest crack I’ve ever heard at a game was Clinton hitting a defensive lineman while pass blocking.

  6. Well said, Jamie. I have been floored by the number of Portis haters that have come out of the woodwork since yesterday. I guess they would’ve rather hung onto that Trung Canidate fella.

  7. I can’t see any reasons why someone would hate Portis, but I don’t know if there’s much to exalt either. I think it’s telling that most people indicate they will remember him most for his personality.

    SuperSkin, if you’re comparing Portis to anyone, why don’t you compare him to Stephen Davis? Their number aren’t too different.

  8. I ran into Portis in Vegas one time about 3 years ago. It was 2am in the Venetian and I saw him walking by himself through the slot machines. I walked up to him, said hello, and asked him what he was doing in Vegas and he replied “Country Music Awards”. I laughed, mumbled a few more Redskins things and wished him good luck next season and walked away. Only when i got home and read in the Post that he actually was there for the CMAs.
    He may have had some low moments but he’s a huge net positive for the me as a Skins fan.

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