City Paper is not for tourists
Author’s note: The Redskins lost. The rest of today’s Cheap Seats Daily will be devoted to what is at once the bizarrest and the most pathetic episode to come out of this sorry season.
Be scared, people: A fake Hogette is on the loose.
As if things weren’t bad enough in Redskins Land, a dire APB went out to hardcore fans over the weekend: The man calling himself “Stephette Hogette” is not a real Hogette.
Sure, the guy’s rubber snout and his ladies garb, to the untrained eye, make Stephette Hogette look exactly like the authentic Hogettes, who’ve been dressing in drag since 1983 but won’t give up their gimmick all these years after it outlived its cuteness. But don’t be fooled: Not just anybody can align themselves with these douchebags.
(AFTER THE JUMP: The bogus Hogette is “dangerous to women and possibly children”? Cheap Seats Daily tracks down the fugitive Hogette? The fugitive Hogette says “This means war!”? The fugitive Hogette also raps? We need Hogettes, bogus or not, now more than ever?)
“It has come to our attention that an individual is representing himself to be a Hogette,” read the warning, which was posted late last week on Skins message boards and fan sites, including Dan Snyder’s ExtremeSkins.com. “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 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.”
Fans can spot the fake Hogette because Stephette Hogette usually travels alone, said the warnings. Real Hogettes only roam in packs.
As if being called a bogus Hogette isn’t a scary enough charge, the Hogette police also claimed Stephette Hogette is a menace to society.
Redskins blogger Rich Tandler posted on his own blog that “a friend” had spotted the imposter Hogette at a FedEx tailgate before the Rams game and that he had “obviously had been drinking and he made inappropriate comments to some of the ladies.”
When some folks on Snyder’s board questioned why there’s so much interest in taking down a guy for wearing a hog nose, the poster known as Huly, a superfan who organizes welcome home gatherings for the team at Redskins Park, upped the ante: “It is not that he is just dressing like them, claiming to be one of them etc,” Huly wrote, “but that he is harming fans under their name. He is dangerous to women and possibly children.”
Stephette Hogette, Huly said, “tries to give young women tickets to attend a game with him and [what] I have heard from other fans is he tries to inappropriately touch women and makes sexual advances and inappropriate comments.”
Dan Hines, calling himself a real Hogette, came on ExtremeSkins.com to plead for fans’ help in un-snouting the bogus Hogette. Stephette’s reign of terror, Hines said, jeopardizes the authentic Hogettes’ “charity work with children’s charities.”
Redskins fans are angry these days. So even though the charges against poor Stephette were as vague as they were actionable, some folks were ready to form a posse and go the vigilante route to get him. Fans posted photos of the wanted man (Stephette’s the one wearing the snout in the photo up top) to help with the search.
On ExtremeSkins, Capt Kaos promised “to keep an eye out for the scumbag.” Sideshow24 said he’d “drop this fat clown” if Stephette brings his fake Hogette routine to a tailgate.
(Huly announced later in the ExtremeSkins thread that a store to sell licensed Hogettes merchandise is currently being set up. Guess somebody doesn’t want to cut Stephette Hogette in.)
Nowhere in these warnings or postings do they give any information about the real man charged with being a fake Hogette. Cheap Seats Daily has discovered that the fugitive in the dress and hog nose is actually a guy from Brooklyn named Steve Rasnikov.
Rasnikov, contacted last night in New York—-he answers his phone “Hail,” as in “Hail to the Redskins!”—-says he’s aware of the hub-bub about him, but vows to keep wearing his snout.
“This is war now,” Rasnikov says. “I used to respect those guys. I sat with them in the Pigpen at games. 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’ve been dressing up for about 20 years. I’m not going to let these guys scare me off.”
Though some might quibble with the Stephette Hogette/Jesus comparisons, Rasnikov’s length-of-service claim rings true: The New York Times archives has a story from the 1992 NFL draft, held in NYC, featuring a trio of crazy Redskins fans in silly clothing, including “Steve Rasnikov.” The Times story has him in the role of “Stephanie Hogette,” and he’s described as “wearing a cowboy hat, blazer, skirt and pumps.” The story indicates that the Skins backers, including Stephanie Hogette/Steve Rasnikov, were taking heat from the fans of the NY teams for showing such loyalty to the then-defending Super Bowl champs from D.C.
From the Times story:
“We take necessary precautions,” [Stephanie Hogette] said when asked about dealing with Giant and Jet fans. “They know we are secure in our beliefs. They know we are people not to be trifled.”
Asked about all the accusations of bad behavior that the Hogette police are now leveling, Rasnikov, who would not give his age, allows that he does “have fun” at Redskins tailgates, including the Dead Tree Crew‘s regular debaucherrific get-togethers at FedExField. Rasnikov says Stephette Hogette always “brings a bottle” along on the drive to Raljon from Brooklyn. He’s no threat to women and children, Rasnikov says. But he concedes that his standard pickup line, delivered at the tailgates by another of his alter egos, the rapper Snow Rap G, might put off some targeted females.
I ask him to let me hear his line. Rasnikov, with too much gusto and no irony, raps it for me.
Yo yo yo My tag is Snow Rap G I’m an OG That be Lewis and Clarkin’ for the right shorty You can ride for free I don’t charge a fee All you got to do is rsvp
“They say that’s inappropriate?” Rasnikov/Stephette Hogette/Snow Rap G huffs when he’s/they’re done. “Come on!”
But, again, Rasnikov says, he’s not giving up any part of his gameday routine. Anybody who wants his snout will have to take it from his cold dead nose. Rasnikov swears he’ll be in full drag as he walks from tailgate to tailgate before the upcoming Kansas City game.
And, bogus or not, perhaps he’ll be OK. By the end of the weekend, the campaign to apprehend the fugitive Hogette had lost most of its steam. After the Carolina debacle, Fuse, a poster on ExtremeSkins.com, explained why Stephette Hogette is both anachronistic and viable: “Cross dressing pigs are kind of embarassing now,” he wrote on Dan Snyder’s message board. “But then again, so is the entire organization.”
The thread was then closed by moderators.