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The showering of votes represents another coup for Redskins owner Dan Snyder, whose marketing ploys have been far more successful than his football moves. In the spirit of the national presidential campaign, the team launched "Vote the Redskins Ticket" in October, featuring Hall of Fame legends Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff. They were the first two faces greeting anyone who visited the team's Web site, and they graced the cover of the program at a recent home game.
"We encouraged our fans to vote for the Pro Bowl, and they responded in record numbers," team spokesman Zack Bolno said. "Our fans are always enthusiastic and supportive of the Redskins and they demonstrated their passion by voting for their favorite players."
The general concept was hardly a new one. Teams from all the major sports have been encouraging their fans to stuff all-star ballot boxes for decades, resulting in some absurd selections.
While flattered by the support from their fans, many Redskins agreed the votes from the coaches and players carry more credence. Ryan Plackemeier, the leading vote-getter among punters despite ranking 18th in average yards per kick, knows there's a good chance he's not going to stay at the top.
"I think having a big marketing thing can make a big difference if you're second or third and they (the fans) get you into first," Plackemeier said. "I don't know if you're in the middle-of-the-pack kind of thing they can bump you all the way up to first, but we'll see."
Besides, now that word is out the Redskins are dominating the voting, jealous fans across the country will take notice.
"Once other teams catch on," Plackemeier said, "they'll get some more votes for their guys."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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