As part of the Redskins Read initiative — the same program that brought Leigh Torrence, Fred Davis, and Lorenzo Alexander to an elementary school a few weeks back — the Redskins are holding a children’s book drive this weekend at FedExField. The team is asking fans coming to the game to bring a new children’s book to be redistributed to D.C. area kids who can’t otherwise afford to purchase books.
Not everyone in the football-going demographic is necessarily wired in to the latest in children’s literature, though, and I thought that people might need a few suggestions for what to bring. So I asked around the locker room to see what some of the players might suggest. The results? Mainly a lot of Dr. Seuss, at least to start.
“Green Eggs and Ham,” said Santana Moss, without hesitation. “For a project in kindergarten, my mama had to cook me green eggs and ham.” Really? “Yeah, it wasn’t bad – you just mix in some blue food coloring. My daughter had to do the same project, which was pretty cool.”
Also on the Green Eggs and Ham train were Philip Daniels, Jason Campbell, and Rock Cartwright. None of them had actually partaken of the titular food, though. “I’d probably be scared to eat that,” Cartwright said.
“I never ate them, but that was my favorite book back then,” said Daniels. “Actually, I still like it.”
Another popular choice was Where The Wild Things Are, suggested by Reed Doughty, Chris Cooley, and Todd Yoder. “It’s just a good book,” Yoder said. Neither of them seemed no one seemed particularly optimistic about the forthcoming movie, though.
Instead of suggesting one of his own favorites, Jon Jansen recommended one that his kids like. “It’s … Llama Llama something? Llama Llama something Mama?” He stopped for a second, then got it. “Llama Llama Mad at Mama, that’s it. They LOVE it.”
And Fred Smoot recommended a series of books which barely even seems to exist. He answered the question immediately, emphatically: “Buffy and Mack!”
Was that the title? “Man, nobody remembers Buffy and Mack! If you don’t remember Buffy and Mack, then you don’t remember Mr. Fig, either?”
“Mr. Fig and the flying car?” The flying car sounds a little familiar, but … no, not really. Were Buffy and Mack people, or little animals, or what?
“They were … what kind of bears were they? One of them was a panda bear, I think….”
At this point, he started asking random people walking by, and no one had any idea what he was talking about. “Maybe it was just a southern thing. Chris Samuels remembers it, so maybe it was a Mississippi and Alabama kind of thing.”
Googling wasn’t much help either, initially only revealing other people who couldn’t quite remember the book, but eventually I came across enough mentions to confirm that Buffy was a panda, as Smoot suggested. Mack was apparently a rabbit, Mr. Fig was a bald guy, and the first book in the series was called Sun Up. The books are out of print, apparently, and so not very useful for the book drive, but it’s nice to know that Smoot wasn’t just making up imaginary children’s books out of whole cloth.
So there are the team’s suggestions. Bring one of those books or one of your personal favorites to this weekend’s game; collections bins will be stationed all around the stadium.