Rest easy (or fret), Skins fans: The Funky 4 apparently isn’t dead yet.
For the unenlightened: The Funky 4 is a love-’em-or-hate-’em quartet of Redskins band members who years ago started coming down to the field during time outs at home games to dance to Wild Cherry’s party anthem “Play That Funky Music.” The Funkies didn’t show up for any preseason games this season or for the opener against Miami, so fans began wondering if, and some hoping that, this meant team management had put the kabosh on the routine.
Not so, says founding 4-father Thomas Clarke.
“They told us we’re doing the Giants, Philadelphia and Dallas this year,” says Clarke, a Temple Hills resident who is also a member of the Redskins’ band’s percussion section.
Clarke is aware that some folks have grown tired of the act in recent seasons, as the routine has been watered down by the Redskins’ decision to run a commercial for FedEx before each performance that takes up most of the troupe’s allotted time.
“Sometimes we don’t even get 35 seconds, and it’s hard to plan a routine if we don’t know how much time we’ll get,” he says. “It makes us look like we don’t know what we’re doing.”
Despite the commercial sponsorship, Clarke says, the dancers “don’t get a dime.”