GEORGETOWN – Dan Hines’ black, pink-flowered dress, white party hat and pig’s snout have been stashed away for several years.
They may come out of retirement if his beloved Washington Redskins make it to the Super Bowl.
“I haven’t put the dress on in like six years. I might put it on for that one!” says Mr. Hines.
Following a 20-year United States Air Force career and more than a decade hogging the spotlight at Redskin games dressed as one of the legendary Hogettes, Mr. Hines has been helping to shape young lives through football with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Bucks.
He is head coach of the FCA Bucks, which provides high school-level football opportunities for home-school students and those from private schools that do not offer football.
“It’s kind of a neat deal. We are actually a high school football team, a legitimate high school football team. We play by the high school rules,” said Mr. Hines, a 56-year-old Washington, D.C. native who resides in Magnolia. “We are specifically for home-schooled students and students who attend a private school without football. We give them an opportunity to have a high school football career.
The FCA Bucks are one of five teams in the Eastern Christian Conference. Two other ECC members are from Virginia and two are from Maryland.
“We don’t get to play any teams in Delaware because we are not part of DIAA,” said Mr. Hines. “We are the only home-school team in the state of Delaware.”
The Bucks roster includes players from Delaware and Maryland, spanning from Willow Grove and Easton, MD to Dover and Smyrna.
“Most of them are from in and around Sussex County,” Mr. Hines said.
Team colors are black and gold.
The FCA Bucks were 2015 ECC champions.
Bucks home games are played at Delmarva Christian High School in Georgetown.
“Delmarva has been great. We wouldn’t have a program without Delmarva Christian. They actually built us a field back there behind the school. There is a full football field back there. We’ve got goalposts out there,” said Mr. Hines. “We were able to raise some money last year for a scoreboard. We did it up in their colors. So, they are able to have a soccer game out there with a scoreboard. It’s a beautiful field. Their facilities there are really nice. Teams are always surprised when they come out.”
The Bucks’ “homecoming” game is Sept. 29 is Saturday, Sept. 29 against St. Michaels from Virginia.
Mr. Hines has diverse coaching experience.
“I’ve coached all levels up to high school from Pop Warner. I got involved In Pop Warner when I got here back in the late 1990s, in flag and Pop Warner. I moved onto the high school. I’ve coached with Polytech. I have coached with Lake Forest as well,” Mr. Hines said. “I kind of stepped out of coaching when my son was playing because I just wanted to be a father to him. I came back when I realized about this program … I never heard of it.”
“Dan Young was the one who started this program six years ago,” said Mr. Hines. “I had done some coaches ministry and coaches mentoring through the FCA here in Delaware. That is something that is a passion of mine, helping other coaches that want to learn how to coach a certain way. There is a philosophy that we teach. He knew me from that. I had mentored him a little bit. When he and his wife moved to Atlanta, he said, ‘You’re my first choice to take over this program.’ I agreed to take it over. And it has just been such a blessing. It’s so much fun to help provide that place for these young men to play that otherwise don’t have a place to play because of the educational choices that they choose.”
Mr. Hines currently is employed with Armed Forces Medical Examiner office at Dover Air Force Base.
“The events of 9/11 kind of changed things for me when I got out,” Mr. Hines said. “We’re responsible for doing all of the identifications in the military. That’s a fulltime job. My spare time I spend coaching the Bucks. That is a big passion of mine.”
So is rooting for Redskins – which for about a decade and a half was as a member of the Hogettes, a group of male Washington Redskins fans who wore women’s dresses, garden party hats and pig snouts at Redskins games.
Founded in 1983 by “Boss Hogette” Michael Torbert as a twist to The Hogs – the nickname given to Redskins offensive line in the 1980s – the Hogettes’ double-barreled mission was to cheer on the Redskins and raise money for charity.
The Hogettes were a regular fixture at Washington games for nearly 30 years. They “retired” in 2012.
“Michael decided shut it down. A lot of guys were getting older,” said Mr. Hines. “I’m not one of the originals. But I did about half of the 30 years they were active. My trademark was I always wore blonde pigtails. I thought pigtails were appropriate for a Hogette. And we were immortalized in bobbleheads a few years ago, so that was fun.”
His ticket to Hogette fame began while on active duty with the Air Force when he returned from Japan.
“I’m from D.C. originally and always wanted to go to Redskins’ games and stuff. I bought some tickets off the open market because ‘Skins tickets are extremely hard to get. I put my name on the list. Around 1999 or so I got tickets,” said Mr. Hines. “I was really just looking for people to tailgate with. I was doing some blogging and we ended up meeting the Hogettes. And they were looking for somebody to kind of help them out with their website and things like that. I met one of them. We didn’t really have a place to tailgate so he said, ‘Hey, you’re more than welcome to tailgate with us.’ So, I kind of started hanging out tailgating by them. We got to talking and we did things.”
Then came the invite from the “Boss Hogette” himself, Mr. Torbert, to join the Hogettes on a road trip to Dallas for a Monday Night Football clash with the archrival Cowboys. There was a Friday night appearance at the Burgundy & Gold Club, check presentations at two hospitals and visits with kids in oncology ward.
“From there I started doing a few things here and there. About six months later Mike called and said, ‘Hey man, we want you to be in the group,” Mr. Hines said. “The piece for me was not so much the games and dressing up and all of that, it was the fundraising piece. I didn’t know how much fundraising and appearances that they did. And that is something that is near and dear to my heart – raising money for the kids.”
He put into words his Dallas trip in a blog coined the Pig Pen. “I did a little bit of blogging with Pig Pen. I blogged about my experience as a Hogette,” Mr. Hines said. “It was funny because coming back I got singled out for one of those airport security checks. The guy goes through my bag and he sees a wig and a dress. It was so embarrassing. But it was what it was. He was kind of looking at me, and I said, ‘Are you a football fan?’ and he’s like, ‘No, not really.” So, I said, ‘Never mind, I’m just a cross-dresser; never mind.’”
While no longer hogging the spotlight at Redskin games, the Hogettes remain united and active. At present they are campaigning to usher offensive tackle standout Joe Jacoby, an original Hog who won three Super bowls with the Redskins, into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Like many fans and analysts, Mr. Hines said the Hogettes consider Jacoby the greatest Redskins player not inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“We’re still a little bit active in trying to help Joe Jacoby get into the Hall of Fame. But we have formally retired,” said Mr. Hines. “I kind of came along in the era of social media. I was the social media director for the Hogettes, and I still am. There is a Hogettes Facebook page that we keep active just because we are trying to help Joe get into the Hall of Fame. He is good friend of ours; one of the Hogs. We just feel strongly about him being in. The year we got involved he was named a finalist. He has been named a finalist the three years that we’ve gotten involved. We just didn’t get him over the hump. He is eligible as a senior candidate this year. It’s going to take a little bit of extra effort. He is extremely humble guy.”
Mr. Hines did get to celebrate offensive tackle Russ Grimm’s Hall of Fame induction in 2010.
“One of the neatest things I really did get to enjoy was Russ Grimm’s Hall of Fame induction. We were guests of his, and got to go to the after party,” Mr. Hines said. “We’re going to do the same thing; Joe (Jacoby) has already told us when he gets into the Hall of Fame. So, it will be another big party up there in Canton (Ohio) when he gets in.”
Mr. Hines has been enshrined. “They actually have an organization called the Pro Football Ultimate Fan Association, that every year they induct members into that. I am a member. I was inducted in 2009,” he said.
Mr. Hines and his wife Renee are empty-nesters. Their daughter Danielle lives in Daytona Beach, Fla., and son Brandon is in the Delaware Air Guard and currently deployed.
As coach of the Bucks, Mr. Hines wants the team and program to hog the spotlight. The team welcomes interested, eligible candidates and continues to take signups for this year into next year.
“The biggest thing is the team,” said Mr. Hines. “The reason I like to do this is to get the word out. We have such a hard time getting the word out to our home-school community because they are really not organized in the state of Delaware. There aren’t any co-ops or anything. We want them to know there is a place for home-schoolers to play football. That’s a big deal for us.”
For information and team contacts, visit the FCA Bucks Athletics Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/EasternShoreBucks/
Dan Hines’ Facebook page is” https://www.facebook.com/danoette.hogette.