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Stories from the stands: NFC East

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Dallas Cowboys
Carolyn Price

When baby boomer Carolyn Price's children wanted to send her on a cruise, she had one rule: not during Cowboys training camp.

"Do you think I'd go on a cruise and not to training camp?" Price said. "And don't even think of scheduling your weddings when the Cowboys play. I wouldn't come."

Such is the way of life for Price, a director of operations at an elderly homecare facility in Dallas who prefers to be called Ms. Price, "at all times."

The Dallas native began following pro football as a young girl in the 1960s when the city had two teams: the Texans (who would eventually relocate to Kansas City and become the Chiefs) and the Cowboys.

Since then, Ms. Price has attended Cowboys games, practices and pretty much anything relating to "America's Team."

At some point the Cowboys players and personnel started to recognize her as one of their most-devoted followers, calling out the season-ticket holder in the stands after practices and before games.

That still holds true: During training camp the Cowboys ran a video on their Web site of T.O. talking about Ms. Price, who says that no matter what she'll never leave her 'Boys.

"In the sports world you may have your Lakers, Red Sox, but there's nothing like the Dallas Cowboys," she said.

They'd say the same of Ms. Price.

— Anna Katherine Clemmons

New York Giants
Sister Carol Ann Nawracaj

This is a Hail Mary of a different variety.

Oh, Sister Carol Ann Nawracaj loves her Giants, all right; her passion for Big Blue has run 34 years.

She first encountered the Giants while studying for her master's degree in education at Fairfield University (where the Giants held training camp) in the mid-1970s.

After sharing lunch with the players she slowly became "first a friend, and then a fan."

The sister would later attend games and send the team notes after each tilt, either to congratulate or encourage. Talk about a habit.

She baked cookies for the coaches and players and even made Christmas stockings for their kids, according to an article by The New York Times.

It didn't take long before then head coach Ray Perkins realized that since he'd been hired the Giants were undefeated when Sister Carol Ann was in the stands.

In 1981 Perkins made her an honorary assistant coach; she even gave motivational speeches to the squad.

She apparently was a motivator for the crowd, too.

During an overtime against the Cowboys in the last game of that '81 campaign, with the playoffs on the line, the Giants were lining up for a field goal. A previous attempt in OT had hit the right upright.

Just then a fiery Giants fan, as he had done earlier in the game, rushed down and shouted to Sister Carol Ann and her fellow nuns, "Sisters, please pray!"

This time, the kick was good from 35 yards out.

"He said to me, 'Sister, if that is what prayer can do, I am going to do a lot more praying,'" said Sister Carol Ann, now executive director of Villa Maria Education Center in Stamford, Conn., a school for learning-disabled children.

With more help the following day, this time in the form of a loss by the Packers, the Giants would taste the postseason for the first time since 1963.

No question, the Giants are lucky they've got her on their side.

— Kristian Dyer

Philadelphia Eagles
Sean Holden

Not only does he plan to keep showing up at Lincoln Financial Field in his "Super Eagle" getup, Sean Holden of Glenside, Pa., hopes it will eventually bring him enough luck to follow his team as it flies right to another Super Bowl appearance.

Holden also figures a Super Bowl title would be a nice celebration for his twin brother, Adam, a Marine stationed in Okinawa.

"We try to keep in contact as much as possible and talk about the Eagles," said Holden, 23, who is a deli clerk. "He's also a huge fan."

In fact, Holden says he's been an Eagles stalwart ever since he can remember.

"I've always liked green and the Eagle," he said. "My Dad and brother were big Eagles fans, too, and that fueled my interest in the team."

His game-day garb includes a 1949 team helmet with a funky silver eagle up on top, a green-tinted visor, customized eagle heads on his shoulders and a Super Eagle medallion chained to his chest.

Holden does not have season tickets, but gets to as many games as he can.

Look for Super Eagle in the lower bowl when he does make it in the house. It's tradition.

"My first game I sat low and have been sitting in the lower section ever since," Holden said.

Fly high, sit low. Sounds like a new motto, Sean.

— Tony Guadagnoli

Washington Redskins
Tim Mummert

So what do you get for the Redskins fan who has everything?

Tim Mummert has autograph photos of Joe Theismann, Sonny Jurgensen and several other Washington greats. He has the Redskins vending machine and the team logo tattooed to his right arm. He writes poems before games. He once sold on eBay a 1970 VW bug disguised as a rolling Redskins helmet. And his license plate reads "CWBYKLR." Need we say more?

So for Mummert's birthday, his wife, Carrie, did what any upstanding spouse of a 'Skins stalwart would do: She painted a giant, Washington "R" on the ceiling and walls leading into their basement -- aka the Redskins Room.

Mummert, a season-ticket holder for eight years, was surprised as can be. But maybe he should have been expecting it.

After all, it was he who dropped the ultimate bombshell during halftime of the 2005 Redskins tilt against the Raiders, when he proposed to Carrie.

"I was nervous as hell," said Mummert, 38, a service writer for a car dealership from Chambersburg, Pa. "The people I sit with in that section, we're all family. They all knew what I was going to do."

Carrie came back from the break, Tim produced a ring and he popped the question right there at their seats. Surprise!

"Everybody in the section knew but me," Carrie said.

The Redskins, however, didn't keep to the script.

"They lost by a field goal," Tim Mummert said, "but I was a winner in the end."

Right now, in late August, Mummert's wife, son, Ethan, 14, and daughter, Catherine, 7, know all too well he is nearing the pinnacle of his seasonal roller coaster of emotions.

"I love my 'Skins," he said. "I'm happy as hell when football season starts, and when football season ends I'm miserable for a couple months."

— Brett Pauly

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