Heard this morning from one of Redskin Nation’s real heroes: Stephette Hogette.
He sent along photos of him and fellow Redskins fans at the Meadowlands during last week’s exhibition win over the Jets. (He’s the guy in the ridiculous get-up all the way to the right.)
Fabulous to see Stephette is still wearing a rubber snout and women’s clothes in public, given what he was put through last season by a mob of touchholes.
First, Stephette was derided as a bogus Hogette by the guys who call themselves the real Hogettes. In fact, in October the corporate Hogettes put out an irony-free APB on Dan Snyder’s web site warning folks to steer clear of Stephette, and accusing him of watering down their trademark. Like, literally watering down their trademark.
“It has come to our attention that an individual is representing himself to be a Hogette. Please be aware that ‘HOGETTES’ is a Registered Trademark and the Hogette likeness is COPYWRITED. He is currently in violation of both federal and state statutes. We have requested that he immediately remove any likeness of himself as a ‘Hogette’ from any public or private forum. Likewise, we have requested that he remove any reference to himself as a ‘Hogette’, representing himself as a ‘Hogette’ or in any manner alluding to himself as a ‘Hogette’ or representing the ‘Hogettes’.
We have a very stringent set of rules and guidelines on who can become a Hogette and we monitor all of our members to insure that inappropriate action does not occur. We are very disturbed that someone would portray us in a negative manner and try to insure that this does not happen. However, from time to time we find it necessary to protect our Trademark and Copyright.
If you feel that you have been approached by an impostor or become aware of a potential impostor, please contact us immediately at:
hogettes.org or hogettes.net
Hail to the Redskins
As part of the smear campaign Stephette endured, Redskins blogger Rich Tandler posted (on a website that calls itself a “blog for sophisticated Redskins fans”) that the imposter Hogette was seen tailgating at FedExField before the Rams game and that he “obviously had been drinking and he made inappropriate comments to some of the ladies.” Tandler was dead serious. Things got ugliest when a poster going by Huly, who organizes welcome home gatherings for the team at Redskins Park, went on Snyder’s ExtremeSkins to warn that Stephette’s comportment at the tailgates shows he is not only unfit to call himself a Hogette, but he “is dangerous to women and possibly children.” Stephette Hogette, Huly said, “tries to inappropriately touch women and makes sexual advances and inappropriate comments.” Again, none of these people were joking, though Tandler and Huly (who at the time was helping the corporate Hogettes market licensed Hogettes merchandise) admitted that all their nefarious accusations were based on second- and third-hand info. Fans vowed to form a vigilante posse to bring Stephette to justice, with one fan going by Capt. Kaos pledging to “to keep an eye out for the scumbag” and another named Sideshow24 saying he’d “drop this fat clown” if he encounters Stephette at a tailgate.
(I can’t make this stuff up!)
Amid the uproar, I found Stephette, whose real name is Steve and he lives in Brooklyn, and I learned that he was indeed a Redskins superfan (he answers the phone “Hail!” out of habit) who had been putting on that silly get-up for nearly 20 years. Turns out he was written up in the New York Times after showing up in that exact costume at the 1992 NFL Draft in New York. Steve/Stephette was peeved about all the slandering.
“This is war now,” Steve told me.
Stephette said that he was once friendly with the self-described authentic Hogettes, before they got snooty. “I sat with them in the Pigpen at games,” he said. “They accepted me. But then they started hanging out with Bird Man [an Eagles mascot]. This shows how corporate those guys have gotten. They don’t like that Stephette Hogette is getting attention. I’m going to tailgates, they’re nowhere to be found. Stephette is a Hogette for the people, like Jesus. I’m not going to let these guys scare me off.”
And, as the photos from the Meadowlands show, he hasn’t run scared. I also heard Stephette made appearances all over Canton during Russ Grimm’s Hall of Fame induction weekend.
All the Stephette sightings come as inspiring news. As Kris Kristofferson said to Sinead O’Connor during the tearing-up-the-Pope’s-photo scandal: “Don’t let the bastards get you down!”