Beverly King, 9 of Waldorf, has her sneakers signed by Chris Cooley. Her father said she bought the sneakers in team colors just for the occasion.

Waldorf, MD – First of all, Cooley is cool.

Former Washington Redskin Chris Cooley was in Waldorf, Thursday, June 23 for the grand opening of the Waldorf Dash-In at the intersection of Smallwood Drive and Route 301.

The ESPN 980 radio personality was both gracious and accommodating as he signed autographs and talked with fans.

“He was definitely really nice,” said Angie Kalnasy, marketing coordinator for The Wills Group in La Plata, owners of the three Charles County Dash-Ins. “He went up to the WPGC booth set up in the parking lot and said, ‘Yeah, you guys can come and talk to me now,’ and they said, ‘Oh, we’re not ready.’ So he just went over and started talking to everybody else.”

Everybody else would be some of the approximately 500 people who showed up to see Cooley, who along with Kevin Sheehan broadcast locally every morning from 7-11 a.m. on  ESPN 980, which is heard locally in Southern Maryland on 92.7 FM.

Kalnasy said their crowd estimates were based on the amount of food the staff of 20 Dash-In employees handed out for free.

“We actually only had him scheduled for an hour and he stayed for an hour-and-a-half and signed autographs and let fans take their picture with him,” she said. “The people who showed up late he handed out autographed picture cards, so everyone got a little something.”

The Dash-In on Crain Highway actually opened last November, said manager Debra Harris, who runs the store along with husband Will.

The couple manage the store along with their other business, Food Scooter, initiated two years ago. They will deliver everything from Famous Dave’s Barbeque to hard crabs right to your door for a $4.99 fee.

Thursday, however, it was all about their Dash-In business which is not your average Dash-In. In addition to gas and car wash services, they offer Craveable Sandwiches, quarter-pound hot dogs and all the normal amenities, and for the record, their sandwiches, made fresh while you wait, are out of the ball park.

“It’s not your normal Dash-In,” Debra said, adding that everything is made fresh and produce was delivered directly to the store.

Will started with The Wills Group in 1988. He was Debra’s supervisor, which was how they met.

“Twenty years ago,” Will said.

The new Dash-In is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They take no holidays.

The fact that such a well-known member of the Washington Redskins was drawing more than 500 people to her store, Debra admitted she was oblivious.

“I hate sports,” she said. “But someone told me Cooley was announcing our Dash-In on the radio all week, so for the past week I’ve been listening to sports radio trying to catch the ad.”

Thursday’s event offered free food and drinks, free car washes and discounts on gas.

“I was a big Chris Cooley fan when he was with the Redskins,” said Daniel Deavers of Cobb Island. “I don’t know why they won’t sign him back. He went to the Giants, but they took a look at him and said no. I didn’t mind that really. I wouldn’t want Cooley playing for the New York Giants anyway. That would just be wrong.”

Yes, Chris Cooley was and remains a Washington Redskin in our hearts. And Southern Maryland showed up just to let him know how much they appreciate that fact.

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