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What's Your Favorite Personal Redskins Story?


The Commissioner
Aug 1, 2009
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Florida State
It's the Off-season What's Your Favorite Personal Redskins Story?

Edit: 01/15/13 I am bumping this for those new members who have not had the chance to read my experience in Seattle. This is why my 2nd least favorite team is the Seattle Seahawks!

OK, I figured since it is the off-season and there is not much more than speculation going around, I would create a thread for amusing personal Redskins' stories. I have already shared one of my absolute favorites with my anecdote in the Introductions thread, but here's another to get this started.

For those of you who knew me over at ES under the pseudonym bschurm, you may recall this story so please bear with me, hopefully you will enjoy reading this again. For those of you who don't, here goes:

As I sat in my seat at Raymond James Stadium for about 30 minutes after the victory that sent us to Seattle in 2006, savoring the delightful aroma of sweet revenge after a controversial loss to the Bucs earlier in the season (a game I had attended as well), I contemplated my options for a possible trip to the Northwest. I was in a financial position to go, so I made plans to fly to Seattle to support the troops as they battled on in their playoff journey.

Well, the stars were all aligned for me to go. I had barely managed to get a flight into Seattle with just enough time to get to the Stadium, find parking and get to my seats. I had not taken into consideration the time change, assuming the game started in Seattle at 4:30, well that was 4:30 Eastern Standard Time, 1:30 Pacific Time. Yeah, I know, bonehead!

Like I said the stars were aligned because I was able to deal with no delays making the flight from West Palm to Houston to Seattle, getting to the rental car counter, finding my car, driving to the stadium with 30 minutes to spare before the game started.

Now mind you, I had just spent nearly $800 for airfare and tickets to the game. When I get to the stadium, I see they are charging $45 for parking. Of course I am too cheap for that, there is no way I am paying $45 to park! So I make the next possible right hand turn and drive about 7 or 8 blocks, where I realized I was a little too far away from the stadium and would probably have to pay the 45 bucks! I made a U-turn under the I-5 overpass at the next light and as I am heading back in the direction from which I came with the stadium in full view, a truck comes flying off the Interstate and plows right into me sending me into the opposing lane of traffic. After I gathered my senses, I realized I had just been in a serious accident. That piece of junk Dodge Stratus was shredded! Totaled! I looked around to find the other vehicle only to see it was gone later to discover it was reported stolen about a half an hour after the accident.

So, within minutes the paramedics and police were on scene. My head was spinning! Not only had I just been in a serious accident, but all I could think about was the game! The police were questioning me about the accident, the paramedics were concerned about the powder burn on my forehead from the airbag being deployed and the whole time I could think of nothing else but being inside the stadium for kickoff!

I had to call to make arrangements for a tow truck to come for the piece of junk that was totaled, I had to find a spot for my overnight bag because I had planned to leave it in the car and check into my hotel after the game, and I could hear the teams being introduced! Thank God the ambulance driver was from DC and was a Skins' fan, he told me he would hold onto my bag at the station 'til after the game, the tow truck was taking the car away and the paramedic offered me a ride to the stadium so I didn't have to walk because the game was about to start.

Now, as all this was going on, my adrenaline began to slow and I began to feel some significant pain in my arm. I was hiding it from the paramedics because my focus was on the game, but I did ask them to give me a sling as they dropped me off in front of Qwest Field behind the pyramid section at the north end zone.

They dropped me off at the stadium, but I had missed some of the 1st quarter. It did not matter how urgent I expressed my desire to get to the game and how accommodating the authorities were, I was unable to make the kick-off, but alas, I was in the stadium headed to my seat. It was thrilling being there! They have one beautiful stadium in Seattle and it made for a good football atmosphere!

My seat was smack dab in the middle of season ticket holders so I was once again immersed in a sea of opposing fans for a Redkins' playoff game in consecutive weeks. It was not as friendly as Tampa, but after the drunk idiots in my section spewed a little venom, threatening an opposing fan whose arm was in a sling, the older, more respectable fans just told me to ignore them that they were harmless.

I watched as Sean Alexander was knocked out of the game by a sweet hit by Lavar! I watched Carlos Rogers drop a game changing interception and probable TD return. But by the end of the 3rd quarter the pain in my arm had become unbearable. With some shifting going on inside my arm, I knew I needed to get to the hospital. I walked over to the Fire Station where the paramedics were holding my bag. I asked them to call me a cab so I could get over to the hospital. Dude was cool! He told me he would drive me over, free of charge.

So, after checking into the emergency room, getting some X-rays, and waiting a while, I saw as they placed the images of my arm on the light to review them. I could see the problem from approximately 25ft away. The ulna had been snapped like a twig. The shifting I had been feeling in my arm was the 2 pieces of a broken bone moving around in my arm

I went to the 2006 Redskins playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks with a broken arm that had occurred 30 minutes before kickoff.

Needless to say, I went straight to the airport to catch the next possible flight since there was not gonna be any pleasure sticking around Seattle for another day as a Redskins' fan after they lost a playoff game having a freshly broken arm. LOL!

It was absolutely the worst flight of my life! That accident cost me quite a bit! But as I look back, it was an experience for the ages!

Hail to the Redskins!

Now let's hear some of your favorites!
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Sir, you are a true fan. :)

Good idea for at thread. My story is easy to post because I've already written it. This was originally posted on ES back in 2006 when I was on staff, but for various technical difficulty issues I can't link it. I also covered the Titans game that year (also a loss) but this one is the one I remember more vividly:

This week I have the unenviable task of writing a fan-view column opposite Mark Steven. I feel like the guy in Major League who sat next to Bob Ucher and hyperventilated into a paper bag during games, occasionally stopping just long enough to offer a 'yeah' in response to another brilliant, yet witty piece of analysis. In any event, let me remove the proverbial paper bag for a moment and say my piece:

Mark and I got to the stadium fairly easily, which stood in stark contrast to the traffic a few months ago when we faced the Titans. Of course, back then we were only 2-3 and still had a shot at doing something this year. Now we're just spoilers. The light traffic getting to the game really drove that point home (no pun intended.)

Anyway, we got to the stadium, jumped through the media hoops and found our seats in the press box fairly easily as well (Ok, we ran into one small glitch when we got to the press box. The names on the seating chart said Art Mills and Brian Murphy. Quickly I told Mark I got to be Brian. I know he was a little ticked about that, but seeing as I called it first there was nothing he could do, so he put on a good face like a trooper.) And since things were going so smoothly we thought we'd stop by the Extremeskins tailgate for a bit before hitting the pre-game sidelines. Besides, Huly told us in no uncertain terms that if we didn't show up, we'd be shunned and thought of badly for many, many weeks. So, as duly appointed representative of Extremeskins, we set out to drop down from on high to the unwashed ES masses and grace them with our presence and unfailing wisdom.

Predictably, we got lost.

I think we wandered by the place twice before we recognized Blondie, having a lively discussion with none other than Chief Z. Huly's Sexy Friend intercepted us and started introducing us around. HOF44, Mr. S, Pez, Halter and a host of others were there, doing Redskin tailgaters everywhere justice. I have to give special mention to Sweet Sassy Molassy, who did a fine job destroying the Eagle Helmet pinata. I gotta say guy, that looked like it really hurt. Further I will not say (as Mark says, what happens in tailgate stays in tailgate) but I can say that I got to meet Cheif Z. Now, over the course of this bizarre journey with Extremeskins I've sat in on three Joe Gibbs press conferences. I've talked to numerous players, sat in the box with all manner of really smart and savvy media types. But meeting the Chief has been the biggest thrill for me yet. (Warning: I'm gonna go Zen here for a moment) Owners, coaches, players ... Washington Post beat reporters ... they come and go. But we fans remain. And Chief Z is the Redskin fans. He's all of us, really. I've watched the man do battle with Cowboys and Giants and Eagles for twenty years now. And to shake the man's hand, well, it was pretty awesome. Pretty funny guy too.

After tailgating a bit we headed back to the stadium, and then to the sidelines. Now, this is the third game I've covered, but I still haven't quite gotten used to saying to my compadre "let's just go head to the sidelines and hang out" like we, you know, CAN or something. Once you have those press/field passes, you just saunter on out there like you're going to your backyard to check the coals or something. No biggie. Just heading to the field. No one even blinks at you. And that guy walking in front of you, oh, that's Philip Daniels. Oh, and there's Chris Cooley. ("Have a good game, Cooley!" "Sure thing")

And Daniels ... man that guy is big. After he turned off into the locker room I looked at Mark and said "I can't imagine trying to stop that man from doing anything he wants to do." And that's how it is down there, on the sidelines. The players are just so huge ... such perfect physical specimens. The cheerleaders are just so fabulously hot. It really is a display of human perfection, and I'm standing there amongst it. It's like I'm some sort of alien visitor, allowed for a brief moment to dwell amongst these amazing creatures, if only to get a small glimpse into their world.

And let me tell you, I wouldn't survive long in that world. The size and speed of these guys is hard to describe. Mark commented during pre-game warm-ups just how unbelievable it was that a guy like Santana Moss could make it through a game without breaking about five bones. I'd be running a 4.2 if those guys were chasing me too.

At this point I'm going to have to apologize for the photos. Seeing as Mark and I are rank amateurs, the only camera we had between us was ... well ...

... my mom's two-year old digital.

So the pictures, what pictures there are, just aren't that great. We hung out on the sidelines for the pre-game festivities (those flash-pots are LOUD) but then went up to the press box and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the game. It was a little embarrassing, the two of us walking around, and Mark going "take a shot of that" and then me lifting my little Kodak Mega-Digi 400 (or whatever it's called) like a tourist. Anyway, the pics will be up in a bit.

The game was, well, a loss, which is never all that fun. I could go over the obligatory analysis (Rogers had a bad day, Campbell rallied admirably, penalties) but Mark did that, and better than I could, and you all actually did see the game. So I'll keep this part brief.

I think our offense could be really good next year. Seriously. Campbell, as Mark said, is real close. (Ok, I will talk about him for a moment. Bear with me) In a game of inches, he's inches off. But even during the game, you could see him getting better. You could see him stop staring down his primary receiver. You could see him start putting the ball where only the receiver could make a play on it. You could see him, even over the course of this one game, develop a better and better sense of pressure in the pocket. He's not a great quarterback right now, but what I'm seeing from him makes me hopeful for the future.

Suisham. Is that how you spell it? I know this is a small thing, but when was the last time we had a kicker go 4 for 4? And his kicks weren't the Novak-esque variety, just barely sailing inside the right upright. They were all right down the middle. In fact, special teams across the board was a real bright spot. Reminds me of the Turner days, when our rallying cry was "at least we have good special teams!"

Betts. Oh my. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness gracious. I know Saunders has taken a ton of flak this season, and he's deserved a lot of it. But isn't it just a little bit interesting that Preist Holmes, an unspectacular journeyman veteran, suddenly looks all-world in Saunders' scheme, and Larry Johnson, mired in backup duty for two years and change, suddenly looks all-world, and now Betts, a career backup, suddenly looks all-world. Coincidence? I hope not. It's been said that Saunders need a year to get his offense fully into place, and now, at the end of that year we are seeing signs that it's starting to take off. Is it all that outrageous to think that will keep going into next year?

Sorry. That's too positive. I know. A loss is a loss is a loss.

I'm just saying.

Sitting next to us in the press box were a pair of philly beat writers for some paper or another. Rather humourless fellows (my attempt at snappy patter is documented in Mark's thread) but despite their attempts to remain professionally stoic, they couldn't help but ***** about their team. They couldn't stop the run. They don't run the ball enough. All the stuff we talk about. They notice it, make no mistake.

Bottom line is that the Eagles just aren't a very good team at this point. And competitive teams don't lose to struggling 6-6 teams at home, under any circumstances. We dropped another one. Style points don't matter. I gotta give Gibbs this much, in his press conference this week, he didn't say any different. He was as dissappointed with this loss as any others, even though were done as done and only playing for pride. It's clear pride is something worth playing for to Gibbs. Someone asked him if he was hoping to get to .500 and I was expecting some sort of genero-answer along the lines of "I think about this week and don't worry about the numbers" or something. He didn't say that. He said "Yeah I was. Getting to .500 mattered to me." (ok that was me paraphrasing.) That seemed to me like an unusual answer. Fact is, Gibbs does worry about this stuff. He does worry about this team's pride. This city's pride. Our pride. I'm not sure why that surprised me, but the man still cares about this thing a whole hell of a lot.

Hopefully that will count for something as we go forward.

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Great thread idea.

I'm going to cheat too, I'm afraid, because my best Redskins day is already in writing too. End of the day, there's really no time like Being There the first time.

ExtremeSkins Fan View: Being There
By Mark Steven
December 1, 2005

A couple of boys in men's bodies lived a dream last Sunday. What follows is an attempt by one of them, sincere but surely naive, to adequately convey some small part of the experience.


Late November, Washington, D.C. Mid-morning.

It's a postcard autumn Sunday in the nation's capital. The air is crisp and dry, with a hint of a chill breeze confirming we were smart to wear layers.

Properly attired and laden with consumables, we've left our vehicle and are weaving through a jumble of parking barriers, smoking grills, flying footballs and burgundy and gold-clad revelers toward a tailgate meeting place in the far reaches of Lot F.

The lots are quickly filling, the air alive with olfactory wonder; buffalo wings, burgers, brats and beer all meld together deliciously, sending my Pavlovian pre-game butterflies to flight, and my mouth to watering.

Mega-woofers in a dozen SUV's thump out distinct rhythms; a feel-it-in-your-chest sonic jumble that melds occasionally into temporary synchronicity, only to disengage again. Like turn signals and windshield wipers sometimes do...only way cooler.

Arriving at the tailgate, we find the festivities already well under way. We're treated to warm smiles, food and drink, hail-fellow-well-met handshakes, the long-overdue matching of faces to names, and even a special hug or two (though not from Art Mills, who reminds all he doesn't do hugs). And hovering over it all, just this side of awareness, is the tangible, utterly unique promise that is Redskins football.

It really doesn't get any better than this.

Except for today, that is, when it actually does.

I've been a fan of the Washington Redskins since moving to the Virginia suburbs in 1970 as a 10-year-old. I have long-since ceded part of my life to my love of this team, and know as well as anyone, in my bones, what George Allen meant when he said you die a little with every loss. Well today, as it happens, alongside my dear friend and partner Tony, I'll be attending the game with press box and sideline access...and, beyond even that incredible circumstance, will also be granted a sterling soapbox of a platform to write about it.

Someone asks me if I'm excited.

How do you answer a question like that?


We working types (ahem) enter FedExField via the press/player tunnel.

Our names are briskly checked against a list, and we're handed our passes. Security types check our bags for inadmissables--there will be no crossbows, contraband or Cowboy gear sneaking by today. Happily, we've left all of that stuff either home or smoking in a dumpster, so they pat us down without incident, nod and wave us through.

And suddenly we're walking down into the bowels of the stadium, not quite succeeding in wiping the silly grins from our mugs, and quite literally staring at the light at the end of a tunnel, which today just happens to be the realization of a lifelong dream.

After negotiating labyrinthine corridors, stairs and gangways, and having been looked up and down numerous times by professionals both uniformed and not ("Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges. YOU need stinkin' badges"), we find ourselves in the lobby of the Press Box. TV monitors galore, cafe-style tables and chairs. Here the caterers are doing their thing, and here we'll later find ourselves noshing self-consciously on such fare as brats and kraut, barbecue, burgers, and all manner of energy-boosting sweets.

We climb a small set of steps up to the top level of the actual Press Box area. We're met with a glassed-in, panoramic view of the stadium. Four rows of curving, smooth-topped beige counters and swivel chairs. Monitors everywhere. Probably a couple hundred stations all told, about a quarter filled at this point.

Our digs are in the second row, about ten in from far left, near the corner of the end zone to the left of the Redskins bench. Typed placards with our names on them, phones with "Extremeskins.com" labels affixed. Heady stuff.

Seeking to get my internet connection activated, I'm allowed briefly backstage into a tech room. The professional buzz of 21st century technology and attendant staff is in the air, as a tech heads into a glassed-off room of floor-to-ceiling machinery (think renegade War Games computer WOPER on steroids) and makes it so.

Back in my seat, I log on and start tapping out a quick stage-setting thread...and quickly realize that despite all my best intentions, I'm seriously going to struggle to convey what I'm seeing and feeling. That sobering thought accompanies me as we retrace our steps, and head back downstairs.

Time to breath it all in.

We come around the final bend and walk out into sensory overload.



360 degrees of constant motion. Pounding music--bass and drums. Natural and stadium light fusing to lend everything a surreal, animated look.

Grass, ale, pretzels, sweat. French fries, cigars and perfume.

The yellow line we're to stay behind runs maybe ten feet from the sideline, maybe half that from the ends of the Redskins bench. We will be, almost literally, rubbing elbows with the Redskins today. The sidelines are heavily lined with stargazers; eyes wide, sporting tiny, unaware smiles...gazing at larger-than-life actors in full battle gear not 50 feet away stretching, sprinting, drilling, finding their zones.

There's an overwhelming sense of potential energy, laced with just a hint of danger.

After warm-ups, the teams retire to the locker room briefly...then re-take the field to a swell of pulsing music, exploding fireworks, and a roar from the crowd that I feel deep in my chest. As the pall of smoke drifts slowly across my field of vision, and the band plays Hail to the Redskins, and 85,000-plus fiercely partisan voices thunder down from the stands, I finally abandon the futile effort of trying to "keep track"...and simply let it wash over me.


I've seen enough pro football to know that people on the sidelines get wiped out from time to time. I've often chuckled, after realizing they weren't seriously hurt, and thought, "How silly it must be to be caught so unaware." After a few plays, I'm not so smug.

You know those NASCAR shots from right down alongside the track, where you see the cars coming from a distance, slowly at first, then incrementally faster until they just explode by in a visceral blur? Well, when Chargers quarterback Drew Brees fires a ball in our general direction, and his receiver catches it, turns upfield and heads toward the sideline readying to take on converging linebackers and safeties, they all look mostly human. But as they near the sideline, things speed up very, very fast indeed, and they grow in a few seconds from semi-remote actors on a stage to hurtling mountains of kinetic energy...and I'm doing rapid mental calculations about which direction to bail.

Happily, the play ends at my feet, and I remain upright, neither in traction nor posterized. I'm deeply thankful for that, and silently vow to keep my eyes on the field.

A large, lean Charger defender makes a play behind the line of scrimmage not 20 feet away, and comes up woofing. He pounds his chest with a fist, glares at us mortals and yells something unintelligible through his mouthpiece. As he turns, triumphantly, and heads back to the huddle, there's a ripple of laughter among the unarmored on the sideline. A polite ripple.

Redskins linebacker Marcus Washington sacks Brees to end a drive, and all along the sidelines, as well as in the stands, I swear I catch a sense relief intermingled with the primitive roar. Pass rush, baby. Pass rush.

I spend some time watching the body language of the players coming and going from the bench, and trying to overhear snippets of conversation. At one point, Gregg Williams addresses a cornerback during a time out, "Hey, you've got to challenge those receivers..."

The stadium erupts as Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell finds Santana Moss at the goal line. Moss bounces off a defender and spins into the end zone, capping a great drive and giving the Redskins a 10-7 lead. I cannot hear myself shout, "Yes!" through clenched teeth. For a few seconds, the sound level exceeds my ability to process, and seemingly folds back on itself.

Let there be no doubt: it is loud at FedExField when Redskins fans are at full throat. There are louder things--jet engines, some rock concerts--but those things don't carry the same magic. They are artificial. A football crowd's collective voice is a living thing. It's an organism that is born, lives and dies all in the course of a fall afternoon. It has depth, timbre, emotion, nuance. It has a soul.

And clearly, with prolonged exposure, it can affect the minds of some of those swimming in it. Almost unbelievably, the half is over, and the Redskins are streaming all around us toward the tunnel; upbeat, strong and determined.


We head up to the Press Box for the 3rd quarter, thinking to fully absorb that experience as well. I will try again to convey a taste of it all to my internet brethren.

Fact is though, with the sideline experience still echoing, the mental gear-shift to the hushed, professional detachment of the box causes an acute case of psychic whiplash. One minute we're front row for Aerosmith, the next we're at Kennedy Center, and the National Symphony Orchestra is favoring us with Tchaikovsky. Both wonderful experiences, to be sure...just not often enjoyed within the same 10-minute span.

The half starts as we get back to our seats with some hot food and cold soda, and I suspect we both already know we'll be heading back downstairs sooner than later. Moths to a flame.

The box, of course, and does have its moments. When Charger Coach Marty Schottenheimer's toss of the challenge flag evokes footsie over football, grins and good-natured snickers ripple the length of the room. And more than a few hearty laughs are heard when Santana Moss stands apart from his teammates, askance, arms crossed and staring at the Funky Four doing their Funky Chicken end zone dance, and someone calls out, "Look at Santana, he can't believe what he's seeing!"

Good thing they have a sense of perspective, and humor, about the whole press box decorum thing.

Hustling to the facilities between drives, I spy a certain very accomplished local celebrity journalist seated in the lobby area, watching the Bears game on television. I can't help but think how cool it would be to someday get to a place where I, too, could earn a fine living covering events I could actually watch at my leisure. No, I don't stick around to see how long he actually stays there...but hey. Why let details get in the way of a juicy vignette?

I smile inwardly at my cattiness, and shuffle back to my seat in humbled silence.

Rock Cartwright puts an exclamation point on another good drive, bursting through a huge hole and scoring from 13 yards. It puts the Redskins up 17-7, and it's all we can do to stay quiet and seated. To our credit, we manage to do both, but look at one another knowingly. Moments later, we're quietly setting down our notes, closing the laptop, and scurrying like school kids back down a deserted stairwell.


Something doesn't feel right.

With eight minutes to go in the game, the Redskins are up by 7 and have the ball. I turn to my partner and tell him we either score again soon--even a field goal--and win this thing...or we don't, and San Diego will eventually tie it and we'll lose. I despise the negativity even as I utter the words, but as the Redskins struggle and fail to convert a couple of key 3rd downs over the next few minutes, I find myself more convinced by the moment I know what's coming.

I find myself studying the body language on the bench again, and it just feels wrong. I don't see the chatter and ebullience from the first half. Instead, I see pockets of silence and a few 1,000-yard stares. When the defense takes the field yet again, they no longer look quite as hungry to dictate, but perhaps just tiniest bit resigned. I can't quantify that, obviously, and I'm quite certain the players and coaches would bitterly deny it...but the impression of dread I felt, and thought I saw, was strong.

San Diego scores to tie, and the air is sucked out of the stadium.

There is one last eruption when Shawn Springs intercepts a deflected pass, and the Redskins take over within field goal range with a minute left in regulation. Two plays later, however, after Washington has set itself up at the 25 and what everyone in the stadium is sure will be a game-winning 42-yard field goal, the impossible happens.

I happen to be watching center Casey Rabach in the instant he realizes he's been flagged for holding. Even in the heat of the moment, and as naturally outraged and up-in-arms as the fan in me is, based on Casey's reaction and body language in the aftermath, I can't help but feel for the man. Trust me, he knows.

The Hall field goal attempt from 52 hangs tantalizingly in the air, but I can tell at the top of its arc that it isn't going to get there. The Crowd Noise Creature gives a mighty groan that heads straight for my gut. I cannot shake the Groundhog Day feeling--I'm Phil Connors, and I've seen this all before.

Moments later, Ladanian Tomlinson beats Ryan Clark with a textbook stiff-arm, sprints by with Carlos Rogers in futile pursuit, and it's over.

I turn to my right to find the entire Redskins team streaming around me toward the locker room. The facemasks hide neither the hurt nor the anger. They know, as do the 85,000 fans that showed up today, and as do my partner and I as we head in silence toward the locker room, that they let a crushing one get away today.


We hang with the press in the concrete tunnel outside the locker room, seemingly forever, waiting for the doors to open. Mostly football talk, and a few re-acquaintances, in subdued but not stricken tones. Unlike us, these are seasoned pros, long inured to this stuff, about to earn their pay in tough circumstances.

Coach Gibbs walks by, and everyone falls silent. His head is up, but his eyes are down. He glides softly in the pervading silence past the crowd, toward the press briefing room.

The doors open, and we're ushered into a mausoleum. Inside there's an almost oppressive silence. Many players have already left. Most that remain sit half-dressed, staring at the floor. Some hold their heads in their hands. I also catch a palpable undercurrent of anger. Ryan Clark, to his credit, stands tall and quietly fields questions in a tight crowd with lights and cameras in his face.

We take our cue from the professionals, most of whom don't seem any more anxious than we to approach anyone. Employing discretion over valor, we exchange perfunctory handshakes with a team official, give a respectful nod to a couple of players who look up long enough to make eye contact, and take our leave.

Don't let anyone tell you again that pro athletes do not feel this game.


We spend about 20 minutes back upstairs in a mostly empty Press Box, where I try to put the game into some kind of context for the board. What comes out is straight from the gut. Tempting as it is now, in hindsight, to explore and expand upon it, I opt instead to let it stand:

"Know what occurs to me? The Redskins are simply not ready for prime time yet. For all the angst I know we're all going to feel this week, and all the ruing of missed opportunities and bemoaning of mistakes, the fact is that this team, for the past several weeks, has come up short in crunch time.

Never was that more apparent than today. With the game on the line in the fourth quarter, San Diego was simply better in all phases, and forced the issue, and we had no answers.

Break it down as you will...for my money, this team is good enough to play with anyone, but not yet quite good enough to close the deal.

Signing off until later, from a very quiet FedExField."


Gear stowed, we make the long trek back toward the outside world and reality. Heading up the ramp, we walk the last 100 feet or so next to defensive tackle Joe Salave'a, who has been playing for weeks with a painful foot injury. Today, we will learn later, he has worsened it considerably.

This mountain of a man is alone, gear bag over one shoulder, staring straight ahead as he limps, slowly, up the ramp. A row of fans waits for autographs. I'm pleased when no one is loud or pushy about it, but even still, every instinct I have calls out to pat big Joe on the back, ask if maybe I can help him with his bag, and give him a hand onto the bus. He's earned that right and then some.

I watch instead as Mr. Salave'a redirects slowly over to the fans, and begins patiently signing autographs.

As we walk out into the night, I look inward. I'm at once beaten down by the loss and what it means for the season, awed by the spectacle and the men who give it life, and positively drunk with the whole of a truly magical ride.

The disappointment of the loss, I know, I will get over soon enough.

The awe, however, and the sweet drunkenness, I know even in that moment to be permanent and precious markers in a deeply humbled Redskin fans' life...ones I will revisit in my heart and mind, in private moments, for a lifetime.


PS. Henry, any chance you have a link to my thread from that day vs the Eagles? Love to go back and compare notes ... but for some reason the ES search thingy isn't working.
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Om, I was able to dig it up a few months ago, but since then their 2006 archives have all but disappeared and I can't find it any more. Not to mention the search function over there is ... well ... not great. Fortunately I had saved my piece onto my hard drive. But I suspect that (sadly) the actual thread is now gone. :(
I have had the privilege to get into the dream seats to take some photos during the game and thoroughly enjoyed the proximity, feeling much of the feelings you two expressed about being that close to the action. I must admit though, I cannot wait until the day comes that I can meander along the sidelines to get some great shots.

You two made it sound tremendously fun!
Om, I was able to dig it up a few months ago, but since then their 2006 archives have all but disappeared and I can't find it any more. Not to mention the search function over there is ... well ... not great. Fortunately I had saved my piece onto my hard drive. But I suspect that (sadly) the actual thread is now gone. :(
We shall never surrender! :pirate:

ES Game Coverage - Eagles: Blogging from the Fed
Oh man, there are so many. I would say the 2006 Cowboys game is right up there. Not so much a great story, but I was in the stands, sitting with CalSkinsFan. We had these two Cowboys fans talking S to us the ENTIRE game, even though it was a pretty even, back and forth game. LaMar Marshall got a safety for the first points of the game, which was awesome.

Anyway, we all know the story, tied at 19 with 6 seconds left, Mike Vanderjagt lines up to kick the game-winning 35 yard field goal. The two Cowboys fans to our left (and the rest of them in FedEx) really start laying it on now, the Cowboys are going to win this hard fought, epic back and forth battle. But, these Cowboy fans did not take into account the magic of recently signed veteran safety Troy Vincent. Vincent lined up on the field goal block team, timed his jump perfectly, and blocked Vandy's attempt. The crowd goes ape ****, because the ball finds it's way to, as Joe Gibbs put it, "the exact person you want with the ball in that situation," the late, great Sean Taylor.

Crowd is going absolutely bananas, because ST has the ball and some open field to run with. He's weaving his way through traffic, but gets taken down at about the 45 yard line. Time expired, we're gonna need overtime.

But wait...a yellow hanky is on the field, and everyone in FedEx knows what is coming. A penalty against the Redskins - the Cowboys are gonna get another shot, even closer to win this thing. The entire stadium lets out a groan, because that's just how things have gone for the Skins for 10+ years...bad luck on top of bad luck. The ref stepped up, turned on his mic to make the call.

"During the return, personal foul, facemask on number 67 of the defense." (pointing the Cowboys direction.

Crowd ERUPTS! You could barely hear the rest of what the ref said:

"15 yards from the spot of the foul, first down, Washington."

First down Washington, at the 30 yard-line, with quad zeros on the scoreboard. Novak had just missed a 40 yarder earlier, which added to the drama. One last play. Rookie kicker, local boy Nick Novak, also recently acquired, trots out with the rest of the field goal unit. Snap is good, hold is good, kick is true. Skins win 22-19. Novak is running around the field, fist pumping like crazy. Personally, I have never been in a stadium that was that loud before. Best walk down the ramps from the upper levels in my life, my hand almost fell off from all the high-fives. And seeing all those dejected fans in silver and blue just made the day. AMAZING.

Not quite watching a playoff game with a broken arm, but pretty cool nonetheless.
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Not quite watching a playoff game with a broken arm, but pretty cool nonetheless.

Lanky, I got a chill up my spine as I read that great memory! I kick myself in the rear for not making it to that game. I was in town and I could have made it.
Lanky, I got a chill up my spine as I read that great memory! I kick myself in the rear for not making it to that game. I was in town and I could have made it.

Yeah, its an even more special memory since Sean's passing.

Conversely, the worst Redskins memory I have would probably have to be the Buffalo game after Sean's death. The way that game ended felt like a swift kick to the testicles.
OK, OK...this isn't exactly a Redskin story, but it's a football fan story. Besides, if I started a "Packer Stories" thread, nobody would read it and I'd feel like (more of) an idiot. So bear with me...

Back in 2007, Uncle Sugar was kind enough to allow me the opportunity to expand upon my life experiences by sending me to the Great Western desert of Iraq for 15 months of fun in the sun. We deployed in early August and, soon thereafter, Christmas was creeping up upon us.

My wife, being the ever supportive woman that she is, knows well what gifts mean the most to her die hard football husband - especially when he's far away during a dream season!

Speaking of that 2007 season, why is it I have to go someplace far, far away for the Packers to have one of those magical seasons? Why couldn't they have had that season when I lived in the heart of Texas? Nooooooo, they save it for when I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere at a remote site in the middle of a desert with a bunch of video game junkies who couldn't care less about football. Ever try talking smack to a Persian about your hometown football team? It just isn't the same. All I got was a blank stare and some unintelligible blather about what sounded like a goat relationship. Actually, it was a lot like talking to a Viking fan...but I digress.

Anyway, she got on the Packer homepage and decided upon my future gift, only she couldn't figure out the order page. For one reason or another it wouldn't take her to her "cart" to place the order. She finally got so frustrated that she clicked on the little "Contact Us" icon at the bottom of the page and explained in an email that the troublesome gift was for her far away Soldier husband and if they could help.

She received a short reply email that afternoon from the online Pro Shop manager. He apologized for the website error and assured her that it was in working order, but he didn't want her to return to the site. He asked that she simply send him my APO mailing address. She sent the gentleman my mailing address and waited, never saying a word to me.

Some weeks later, just days before Christmas 2007 as a matter of fact, I received a package with a return address of 1265 Lombardi Avenue, Green Bay, WI. That, friends, is the address of the very building that every Packer fan worth his weight knows - Lambeau Field. Inside the sizable box was the sweatshirt, along with a whole lot more. There was a Packer flag, a miniature Lombardi statue mimicking the statue that stands outside the main atrium gate, several posters of current and past Packer players, a player calendar, tie pins, mugs, pencils, notepads and an assortment of other Packer pieces that made me think the manager just went through the aisles of the Pro Shop and grabbed a little bit of everything.

I was able to place a call home to my wife on Christmas day and she was anxious to hear if I had received anything special in the mail. I told her what I had received, suspicious of it's origination's, but even she was taken aback by the generosity of the Pro Shop manager. He never said a word to her; he simply asked for a mailing address.

That, friends, is what I call building a fan base. Not taking anything away from the Redskin organization, just wanted to share the story.
Glad you shared APB! Welcome aboard! And thank you for your service to this great nation!
Mine is also one I previously posted at ES. I'll try to link it since it's pretty long but it's a look back at the 1982 season and the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl XVII

*EDIT* For some weird reason the link doesn't seem to work for me so here it is in full:

Twenty Five Years Later: Jimbo recalls 1982 and Super Bowl XVII

I’d be lying if I said I remembered it like it was yesterday. The older I get, the harder certain things are to remember. Still, 1982 was one of the most memorable years of my life, even if I did have to look up certain statistical aspects of this story. It was the year the Hogs came to life. I even wore my “Love Them Hogs” T-shirt to the Super Bowl. It was the birth of the “Fun Bunch” and the Smurfs. Just push the button on the WAYBACK machine and away we go.

The Redskins had finished up the 1981 season with an 8-8 record but had won eight out of their last eleven following a 0-5 start. I wasn’t sure what to expect under second-year coach Joe Gibbs but I was optimistic. I was 24 years old so I was full of optimism, among other things, back then. The only negative was that the Skins were starting off the season with two games on the road and talk of a strike was looming large. You see, my Dad was a season ticket holder. We had been in those same seats in RFK in section 211, row 11, seats 3, 4 and 5 since 1966 when it was still known as D.C. Stadium. This would be the first year I paid for the tickets out of my own pocket. I had been saving up for months and I wasn’t sure if I would even get to see a home game or not.

After the first two games of the season, a hard fought 37-34 victory in Philadelphia against the Eagles, and a 21-13 win against Tampa Bay in the Big Sombrero, talk became reality. The players went on strike. It would be two months before we saw another NFL game but we were happy the season was going to be saved, albeit shortened.

Play resumed with the Skins on the road, yet again, against the Giants in New York. A 27-17 victory sent to Redskins to 3-0 and the following week I would finally get to see a game at home, on November 28 against the Eagles. The Skins were lethargic, suffering three turnovers, but the Eagles were worse, turning the ball over five times in a 13-9 Redskins victory.

Fans were buzzing about the 4-0 start and the prospect of playing Dallas at home the following week. Unfortunately, three turnovers, lack of a running game and too much Tony Dorsett doomed the Skins to their first defeat of the season, 24-10.

A hard fought 12-7 victory over the Cardinals, in St. Louis, the following week meant the Skins were actually close to clinching a playoff spot. I was not comfortable, however, since the team looked less than stellar after the strike. Sure, we were 5-1 heading into a showdown with the Giants but we weren’t really kicking anybody’s butt. Little did I realize at the time that every team we had faced thus far, with the exception of the Bucs, was a member of the NFC East and we would only be facing Dallas once during the regular season.

Dateline Sunday Dec. 19, 1982: Snow was in the forecast for RFK and the Skins were playing yet another NFC East Team, the “New York Football Giants” as John Facenda used to say. This game was huge. A Redskins victory would clinch a playoff spot. Mark Moseley hadn’t missed a FG all season and was closing in on the consecutive FG record. We just knew if we got into the red zone we would come away with points.

I don’t remember a whole lot about that game other than the snow in the second half and, of course, the ending. I do remember it being a sloppy game even though our defense played well. I also remember Joe Washington’s field-reversing TD run behind a great block by Joe Thiesmann. I remember it because it happened right in front of us. It says here the Skins turned the ball over five times, including 4 INT’S by Theismann and a fumble deep in Giant territory by Art Monk. It also says the defense, playing possibly it’s best game of the season, gave up only 139 yards of offense to the Giants. They sacked QB Scott Brunner four times, three in the second half. Still, I couldn't actually recall all of that. I mainly remember the ending. The Skins were down 14-12 and had driven down to the Giants’ 25 yard line, calling time out with nine seconds left in the game. Out came Moseley into the falling snow. The snap by Jeff Bostic and the hold by Theismann were both perfect. The ball went up and sailed through the goal posts. How big was that kick? It not only won the game, it clinched a playoff spot and set the record for consecutive field goals. THAT kick was the definition of clutch. See the link for more info about that historic game.


Now, all that remained were games against the woeful New Orleans Saints in the Big Easy and the first ever regular season game the Skins would play in the month of January, against the Cardinals at home. Both the offense and defense clicked during the final two games and the Skins easily dispatched the Saints 27-10 and shut out the Cardinals 28-0 behind five takeaways by the D.


The following week, January 8, 1983, the Skins would host former Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims and the Detroit Lions. Due to the extended playoff format, there was a chance the Skins could host three playoff games prior to Super Bowl XVII. Imagine the dollar signs in Dan Snyder’s eyes nowadays at such a proposal. One of the more interesting facts about this strange 1982 season was that the Lions, who finished the season with a 4-5 record, even made the playoffs. In any event, they quickly showed they didn’t belong. Alvin Garrett, replacing an injured Art Monk, had only caught one pass during the regular season but hauled in three Joe Theismann scoring passes and cornerback Jeris White returned an interception 77 yards as the Skins demolished Detroit 31-7.

Next up were the Minnesota Vikings. This was another game I don’t remember much of, thanks mostly to beer, except that John Riggins ran up, over, around and through the Viking defense 37 times for 185 yards and, for good measure, took a well-deserved bow to the fans near the end of a 21-7 victory. After seeing that, what else was there to say except: WE WANT DALLAS!!! Yes, the famous cry had already begun by the end of the Vikings game. We knew who the following week’s opponent was and we were more than ready.

Championship Week

"Dallas Week" is well known to those Redskins fans of my generation. I remember listening to Chris Hanburger’s Redskins Report on WMAL radio back in the early 1970’s and that was where I first heard the term. It had been a big deal for more than a decade but the “Dallas Week” prior to the NFC Championship Game on January 22, 1983 took on a new meaning. While many of us remembered the 1972 NFC Championship Game victory over the hated Cowboys, the D.C. area was abuzz that January like never before. All we talked about at work, at home and with friends was “The Game”. It consumed me and kept me awake at night. I could hardly concentrate at work. I was going to attend an NFC Championship Game! Attending three straight playoff games in three weeks is dizzying enough but the prospect of four in a row, including Super Bowl XVII if we beat Dallas, was beyond my wildest dreams.

I had already secured Super Bowl tickets and my mother, also an avid fan who deeply regretted not attending Super VII, saw an ad in the Washington Post by a travel agency offering Super Bowl airfare and hotel accommodations for two for $838. The tickets were $40 a piece so $918 was a big chunk of money for a 24 year old in 1983. Thank God for Visa. Now all the Skins had to do was hold up their end of the deal and beat Dallas.

Any fan alive at that time will tell you how excited, yet nervous, they were at the prospect of playing Dallas at home for the right to go to the Super Bowl. I was no exception. I was as nervous before the game as any player. I remember it being an overcast day as we arrived in LOT 10, on the far side of the D.C. Armory, and began tailgating. Besides myself, “WE” included my nephew Eddie, who graduated with our own Boone from Edison High School in 1980, and my long time friend and niece’s husband, Rodney. Tailgating back then at RFK was much different than it is now. Very few people set up grills and, back then, buffalo wings were still in Buffalo. My 1978 Chevy Van (yep, one of THOSE vans) kept out the January cold as we munched on Kentucky Fried Chicken and sucked down a case of Budweiser and an occasional shot of Jack Black. Working off some nervous energy, we threw the football around for a while as we listened to the pre-game show and observations by Sonny, Sam and Frank. Well fortified with alcohol, it was finally time to head into the stadium. I’m not sure how to describe my mood but “excited” is a gross understatement. Jack Kent Cooke’s “complete euphoria” is probably a lot closer. On the way in, I purchased a burgundy Cowboy hat with the Redskins logo on the front from a vendor. It seemed pricey at $35 but it was appropriate considering who we were playing.

Inside, RFK Stadium was electric. There was a buzz and an excitement I had never seen before. The previous two playoff games couldn’t hold a candle to this. Brent Musberger and the CBS Pre-Game crew, including our old friend Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, who had the dubious distinction of picking the Cowboys as I recall, were set up on the field directly in front of us, near where the Redskins came out of the “tunnel”. I call it a tunnel but it was actually the entrance to the walkway that led from what used to be the first base dugout to the locker room back when baseball was still played in RFK.

All of a sudden, the chant began….and quickly grew. “We Want Dallas!!…….We Want Dallas!!…..We Want Dallas!!” You couldn’t help but join in and then stop for a bit to listen and marvel at what was taking place. Not only was it loud but I’d swear you could have lit up Washington, D.C. for a year with all the energy that was being produced by the fans. Even Musberger and company marveled at the site. There was simply no way this was just 55,045 people screaming. It was every Redskins fan who ever lived coming together inside that stadium as one voice. I haven’t seen the tape of the game for a long time so if someone has it, please give me Brent’s and the announcer’s reaction. I always wonder what really went through the minds of Tom Landry and the Cowboys as they came out of the locker room to that deafening chant. Not that any of them will admit it but I have to think a few of them were a little intimidated.

From a Washington Post article by Richard Justice:

Russ Grimm remembers the first time he realized RFK Stadium was special. It was just before the 1982 NFC championship game, and the Washington Redskins had gathered inside their locker room for last-minute instructions from Coach Joe Gibbs.
Whatever Gibbs said that afternoon has long since been forgotten. What Grimm and his teammates experienced hasn’t.
At first, it resembled the roar of a jet engine parked outside their door. Then it was accompanied by the rocking of an earthquake.
"It sounded like the place was going to come apart," Grimm recalled 15 years later. "It was like nothing you’d ever heard."
Finally, the roar became decipherable and players nodded and smiled in awe as they understood that what they were hearing was a long, loud chant.
We want Dallas!
We want Dallas!
We want Dallas!
In the hearts and minds of Redskins fans, that afternoon—and others like it—was one of the reasons that RFK Stadium was the best place on earth to watch an NFL game. It had the loudest fans, the most intimidating atmosphere, and for 35 seasons, no NFL team had a better home-field advantage

For another excellent article, check out http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...rt/dw1982b.htm

Where was I? Ah yes. There was no sitting down after the opening kickoff. In fact, we did something unheard of in today’s whiny, pampered, “down in front” fandom. We STOOD the entire game. With the exception of a brief rest at half-time, we never sat down. And you know what? NOBODY complained.

Back to the game. Dallas took the early lead 3-0 but the Skins roared back. A 19 yard Theismann-to-Charlie Brown TD pass and a one yard TD run by John Riggins sandwiched a missed FG by Mark Moseley and the Skins were up 14-3 near the end of the first half. Our offense, and Riggins in particular, seemed to be on a mission and would not be stopped. With 32 seconds left in the second quarter, Dallas was in Redskins territory threatening to score when Dexter Manley came up the middle on an inside stunt and crunched Cowboy QB Danny White to the turf. White was able to walk off the field with help but would never return to the game.

In came Gary Hogeboom. Who? None of us had ever heard of him either and it says here he had only thrown eight NFL passes prior to this appearance. I think Defensive Coordinator Richie Petitbon must have been licking his chops at the prospect but, unfortunately, Mike Nelms fumbled the 2nd half kickoff. That led to a six-yard TD pass from Hogeboom to Drew Pearson to cut the lead to 14-10. In the back of my mind I was starting to think about Clint Longley.

One of the key plays in the game came moments later when Mike Nelms took the kickoff right in front of us and rambled down the right sideline 76 yards to the Dallas 21. The Skins were able to go up 21-10 on a Riggins TD run but Longley, er uh, Hogeboom wasn’t finished. A TD pass to Butch Johnson brought Dallas to within striking distance, 21-17.

Early in the fourth quarter, Hogeboom had the Boys deep in Skins territory again and I was getting a little nervous and starting to lose my voice. Rafael Septien then missed a 42 yard FG and I began to breathe a little easier. After Mel Kaufman intercepted a Hogeboom pass in Dallas territory, the Skins drove down to the Dallas 21 where Mark Moseley, after four consecutive missed FG attempts, finally converted to put the Skins up 24-17. It was only a 7 point lead but I knew the best Dallas could do was tie it up.

We yelled and screamed for the Defense to hold. ”Defense….Defense…..Defense”. On first down at the Dallas 20, Hogeboom faded back to pass. I could see the screen pass to Dorsett being set up as Manley again came clean. Dexter leaped as Hogeboom let go of the ball and tipped it up into the air. My first thought was, “Whew, Dorsett had a LOT of room to run with that screen”. Then I look back to see the ball fall into the hands of Darryl Grant. A feeble tackle attempt by Dorsett saw Grant high-stepping into the endzone. Ballgame. We knew it. Dallas knew it. Fans, some complete strangers and others only Sunday seatmate acquaintances, embraced or high-fived or grabbed each other and jumped up and down. Eddie, Rodney and I gathered together in a group hug and jumped up and down screaming “We’re going to the Super Bowl”.

We then looked across the stadium to the stands next to the band and saw a sight I will never forget. The stands were bouncing up and down! They were actually bouncing a foot or more and we stared in amazement hoping they wouldn't collapse. I still don't know how they held up but thank God they did. After that, the Skins went into the “Riggo drill”. Gibbs gave the ball to Riggins so the Skins could run out the clock. To this day, I don’t recall referee Jerry Seeman calling Dallas back onto the field to run the final play where Drew Pearson played QB and kneeled down to end the game. Heck, I may have already left at that point. I don’t recall. I also don’t recall seeing any Dallas fans. They may have been in attendance but we never acknowledged them. It was like they didn’t exist. I don’t even remember seeing one. All I remember is joyous fans exiting the stadium, still giddy over what had just taken place. I also remember going the wrong way down a one way street after leaving the stadium. As many times as I had left that stadium and always went home the same way, I flubbed it up this time and turned left one street too soon. Fortunately, there were no cars coming the other way. I can still see the people walking along yelling that I was going the wrong way and I thought they were just celebrating the victory. Yes, it was the Budweiser but it didn’t make this Bud wiser. Then again, what did I care? I was going to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XVII

Four playoff games in four weeks, the fourth being Super Bowl XVII. Counting the game against the Cardinals, I attended a Redskins game every weekend during the month of January. How many of you out there can say you were that lucky? I know there are a few of my brothers out there who WERE that lucky and all I can say is, “It was GOOD to be us.”

Super Bowl week went by quickly. Due to the strike there was only one week between the Championship games and the Super Bowl. I was scheduled to leave Friday, January 28 and I contacted the travel agency to confirm everything they had sent me. Everything seemed to be in order so Friday afternoon my Dad drove Eddie and I to Dulles airport. I remember it being cold in DC and I thought about how nice and warm and fun it would be in the City of Angels. Unfortunately, the “fun” was just beginning.

Eddie and I went to the American Airlines counter and were told our flight was overbooked and they were working hard to get us on another flight. “What? This is supposed to be a charter flight. How can it be overbooked?”

“Charter flight you say, well not exactly.” Strike one against TravelAir.

The American ticket agent was then able to quickly set us up with a flight on Continental where we would switch planes in Denver. Our lucky bags would still be flying American.

“What? Stopover in Denver. Switch planes? I paid for a non-stop flight”

“Well, we do have another non-stop flight to LA in three hours.”

“Stopover in Denver it is. One hour layover? UGH!”

The bad part about flying Continental to Denver was that the only Redskins fans on that flight were those of us who were bumped off the American flight. No singing HTTR, no partying with other fans, no reminiscing about the Dallas game, no trash talking about the Dolphins. NUTS!

We bumped fans tried to make the best of it but we were spread out over the plane so we couldn’t even talk to each other. The only bright spot to switching planes at Stapleton Airport in Denver was that I finally got the chance to try Coors on tap. It wasn’t readily available in Northern Virginia in 1983. Beer quaffed, we boarded a bumpy flight to LA where I managed to talk the stewardess (what we still called them back then) into a free drink for all the trouble I’d been through. Nice lady….great legs.

We finally arrived in LA and went to track down our bags. LAX is one BIG airport and it seemed we had to walk forever to get to the American terminal to claim our bags. And there they were, sitting right out in the middle of the floor next to the baggage carousel. We were ALL surprised they weren’t locked up or secured and even more surprised they were still there. As one lady put it, “There IS a God”.

Our next task was to find the shuttle to our hotel. Thirty minutes later, we arrived at the TravelLodge but when we tried to check in, they had no record of us being there. Strike two against TravelAir.

This was NOT going according to plan. It was only my third time on a plane and only my second time on a long distance trip away from home. I was a little upset to say the least. As Eddie and I sat in the lobby contemplating our next move and cursing TravelAir, a couple of guys in suits, carrying a six pack of beer, came by, saw our bags and asked if we were here for the Super Bowl and what my last name was. I told them and they said, “We’ve been waiting for you guys”. I told him about our predicament and they told us the lodging got switched up and we were supposed to be at the Holiday Inn. Turns out the two suits were the President and Vice President of TravelAir. They apologized, gave us a beer and a cigar, grabbed our bags and personally drove us to the Holiday Inn. They gave us a couple more beers when we got there and showed us to our room and even tipped the bellhop. Maybe these guys weren’t such arseholes after all.

Woke up to funny LA disc jockey Saturday morning who barely said a word about the game. "Sure, it was being played in Pasadena but it’s only 30 miles away", I thought. Super Bowls have come a LONG way in the past 25 years. These days it’s a week long event with parties and fan events everywhere. In 1983 there was one rally on Saturday night that we were aware of. One.

Decided to take the advice of the concierge and take the short tour of Hollywood and then hit Universal Studios. Our bus driver was a Raiders fan. Funny guy, probably an out of work actor, but still a Raiders fan.

Universal Studios is obviously another attraction that has changed for the better although we did cruise past the “Psycho” house and have Bruce, the mechanical shark from “Jaws”, come by the Amity Island set to give us a scare. Totally lame for 2008 but slightly entertaining by 1983 standards. Also got to see the stuntman show which was pretty cool. Didn’t get to see any movie stars though. The only one around that day was Roxie Roker, who played the goofy, white neighbor’s wife in “The Jefferson’s”. Not enough star power for me so we split and went back to the hotel for dinner. Our waiter was an older guy with an awful toupee and reminded me of a gay Joe E. Brown (see Car 54, Where Are You?). The guy just HAD to be an out of work actor. He was hilarious but for the wrong reasons, proving California really is the land of fruits and nuts. Unfortunately, there was no shuttle going from the hotel to the Redskins rally and I didn’t feel like paying for a taxi so we skipped it. A decision I’ve always regretted.

Sunday finally arrived. Eddie and I were up early for breakfast and went out to wait for the bus that would take us to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Everyone was dressed in their Redskins gear except for one guy in a Santa Claus suit. He looked a lot like Christopher Connelly, the actor. Yep, showing my age again. I brought along my Redskins Cowboy hat that had served me so well during the NFC Championship game the week before. Sports superstitions are still a way of life for me to this very day. Anyway, we got stuck riding on the bus to the Rose Bowl with a handful of middle-aged Dolphins fans. One woman kept bringing up 1972 and talking about how Andra Franklin was going to run all over the Skins and the Killer B’s would shut down John Riggins. We just laughed at her. When she tried to sing some silly Dolphins song to us, we gave her a rather loud chorus of “Hail To The Redskins”. From then on, everything she tried to say was drowned out by HTTR. Boy was she pissed. She kept telling us how rude we were.

We reached Pasadena, filed out of the bus and away from the Oldfins, as we called them, and head for the stadium. On the way, I hear a voice behind me. “Are those your tickets?” Stupid me had dropped my Super Bowl tickets and the guy behind me was nice enough to spot them, pick them up and hand them to me. WHEW! A bullet dodged. Another 50 yards ahead, we had to cross a footbridge over a storm drain. It had rained for a few days before we got there and the water was rushing beneath the bridge. Not sure what happened next but somehow the wind blew the tickets out of my hand. I watched in horror as they blew towards the edge of the footbridge and the running water below. Suddenly they stopped. It was as if the hand, or foot, of God had pinned them down. I ran over and stepped on them and waited for my heart to stop pounding. I slowly bent down and pulled them out from under my feet and carefully put them in my pocket while Eddie kept saying “Holy s***, you almost lost our tickets”. Like I needed to be reminded. All I could do was shake my head. God obviously wanted me to see this game.

I finally get to put my ticket to use and head inside the stadium. I gotta tell you, the Rose Bowl is ONE BIG MUTHA! It holds over 100,000 fans and I believe the official attendance for Super Bowl XVII was in excess of 103K and if I had to guess I’d say Skins fans outnumber Dolfans 2-1. After the two near death experiences of my tickets, I head for the nearest concession stand in search of a beer. Happily, it’s served in a commemorative Super Bowl XVII cup, which I still have to this day. Eddie and I then headed to our seats located on the Redskins sideline near the left goal line. Down below us, the Chief is holding court. I had seen and spoken to the Chief many times over the years at RFK so we went down to say hi. As I went to shake his hand he said, “You’re the boys from Section 211”. That was SO cool that he remembered us. We had a nice little chat with him before heading back and waiting for the game to start.

Miami didn’t waste any time with David Woodley hitting Jimmy Cefalo on a sideline pattern that turned into a 76-yard TD pass less than halfway into the first quarter. Mark Moseley got the Skins on the board early in the 2nd quarter with a 31 yard FG to cut the lead to 7-3. Miami matched with a 20 yard FG nine minutes in after a goal line stand by the Skins defense. Fins up 10-3. The Skins struck again four minutes later on a 4-yard strike from Joe Theismann to Alvin Garrett to tie the score up at 10-10. What happened next is burned into my memory to this very day, mainly because it was the only TD scored at my end of the field. Every other TD happened at the opposite end of the field.

Miami’s Fulton Walker took the ensuing kickoff at the two yard line and started up the middle and then cut left into the open field. At about midfield, everything got quiet and slowed down. Not quite slow motion but not full speed either. It was almost surreal, like a scene from a movie. At the Skins 35, it became apparent he wasn’t going to be caught yet Special Teams standout Greg Williams and others continued to give chase. I couldn’t hear a sound except the huffing and puffing of Walker and a couple of Skins in pursuit. Once Walker crossed the goal line, sound returned to the stadium and everything went back to normal speed. It was the strangest encounter I had ever had at a football game. Suddenly, I was aware of Miami fans cheering and the fact that we were behind once again and that it was the first kickoff return for a TD in Super Bowl history. Even at that point, I wasn’t too worried. I was just mad that the offense would have to get out there and do it again.

The Skins impressively drove down the field and looked as if they would get a FG try before halftime. With 14 seconds and no time outs left, Theismann hit Garrett in the left flat but the Smurf failed to get out of bounds at the 9-yard line and the half ended.

During halftime, we all got to take part in a world record. We had these placards with different colors on them. When our section was announced, we would hold up a certain color. It was billed as “KaleidoSUPERscope”. Getting 100,000 people in synch was no mean feat and it was really awesome to watch the color changing going on around the stadium. Never before had that many people taken part in a synchronized event. I don’t know if we ever made it into the Guinness Book or not but I guess I had my 15 seconds of fame.

In the third quarter, the Redskins defense stiffened and Miami could do nothing. At the halfway point, Gibbs tried a little trickery to keep the Miami defense honest. A reverse to Alvin Garrett caught the Killer B’s offguard and little Alvin scampered 44 yards deep into Miami territory, setting up a 20 yard mark Moseley FG making the score 17-13 Dolphins. As I later watched the video of that drive, and specifically the incomplete 3rd down pass in the corner of the endzone prior to the kick, I caught a glimpse of the back of my head in the stands. I’d recognize that burgundy Redskins Cowboy hat anywhere. WOOHOO, I was on TV.

Late in the third period, safety mark Murphy intercepted a Woodley pass at the Redskins 5 yard line. After a first down, Theismann had a pass batted up into the air by Kim Bokamper. Bokamper stuck out his hands, waiting for the ball to fall gently into his arms for what could have been a game-clinching TD for Miami. Joe Theismann, however, had other ideas. He dove for the ball and put his hand between Bokamper’s and knocked the ball harmlessly to the turf. There is simply no understating how big a play that was by Joey T. The drive would eventually end in an interception but it would be at the Miami 1 yard line, following a failed flea flicker, instead of deep in Redskins territory.

David Woodley and the Miami offense still could not solve the Redskins’ defensive schemes and in the 4th quarter Gibbs decided it was time for Riggins and the Hogs to wear out the Dolphin defense once and for all. At their own 48 after a Miami punt, the Skins drove down to the Miami 43 yard line. It was 4th-and-one and Joe Gibbs had a decision to make. All of us in the Rose Bowl and everyone at home knew this was the time to go for it and we knew who was going to get the ball. We also knew “The Diesel” couldn’t be stopped.

You know the call. It was the play forever emblazoned in Redskins lore as “70-chip”. We're all on our feet. I zero in with my binoculars. I could see Clint Didier go in motion and then stop and go back the other way. “What is that?” I thought to myself. I wasn’t sure if I remembered seeing Didier ever do that before but I had a little bit different vantage point this time so it was very noticeable. When Didier did the about face, I saw #28 for the Dolphins slip trying to keep up. Next thing I know, the ball is snapped and sure enough, Theismann hands the ball to Riggins going left. “First down” I yell, looking into my binoculars, as I see where Riggins is when #28 hits him. “Wait, what’s this?” Riggins runs through the tackle. He’s still going! “GO…..GO….GO….GO” I yell. And Riggins goes. He doesn’t stop until he crosses the goalline. Eddie and I hold off our celebration until we're sure there are no yellow flags. After making sure, Eddie and I jump up and down and both realize "We're going to win this game." We were now up 20-17 and we would not be denied.

David Woodley did not complete a pass in the 2nd half. He was 0 for 8 so Miami turned to veteran Don Strock. He did no better going 0 for 3. Miami QB’s were a combined 4 of 17 on the day and could only muster two first downs in the 2nd half.

Late in the 4th quarter, with Riggins leading the charge, the Skins closed out the scoring on a 6-yard pass from Theismann to “Downtown” Charlie Brown. Moseley’s extra point puts the icing on the cake and we know it's over.
As the game ended, Eddie and I both let out a yell and, at the same time, took a good look at the scoreboard. Washington - 27, Miami – 17. We had scored our first Lombardi trophy and were World Champions. On the bus ride back to LA, we wondered what the celebration was like in Washington. While seeing the game live was an incredible experience, we sure missed celebrating with everyone back home. At least the Oldfins were nice and quiet on the way back.

The following morning we got to the airport nice and early but not early enough. We were once again bumped off of our American Airlines flight but this time, our luggage was going with us. Strike Three for TravelAir but at this point, we didn’t care. Our team had just won Super Bowl XVII and TravelAir would never get another dime from me. The beautiful young ticket agent put us on a PSA (Pacific Southwest Airways) flight to San Francisco where we would finally board a non-stop American Airlines flight to Dulles. It was actually a decent flight. I spent the last of the cash I had on several drinks as Eddie and I toasted the Skins all the way home.

At that time, Eddie was a journalism major at JMU and also a stringer with the Alexandria Gazette. A couple weeks later, he wrote an article that appeared in the Gazette, detailing our Super Bowl trip. I promise you it was MUCH shorter than this one. Today, he's the Sports desk chief for Stars & Stripes.
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Lanky, LOVE your recap. What a great game and it's one I'd have LOVED to have seen in person. Being a home game makes it even more special. I'll always remember Troy Vincent's cup of coffee with the Skins for that play alone.
Mine are a little more simple. My aunt worked for JKC for years, I could not tell you how long. I know at one point she was a treasurer and they were very close.

1) Anyhow, I went to her house one day and she had told me about an errand that JKC sent her on. She had to go to a bunch of stores and buy every brand of toilet paper. Next, she had to test them and bring him the softest roll. She told me this when I was a kid and I thought it was hilarious. Now, I know that if I had his money, I would be sending someone out to test tp for me. Because I love some soft toilet paper.

2) One year JKC sent me an official Redskins helmet and a signed note saying "To
my Redskins partner! Very best wishes and keep rooting for our team. Jack Kent Cooke" I was about 8 years old and the helmet was huge on me. Never wore it after that. One of my favorite possessions.

3) In 1991, my aunt was handing out checks to the players. They had to go to her office. She told them they could not have their checks until they signed a football. She gave me a football signed by the whole 1991 Super Bowl team. Everyone signed it in black, with the exception of Art Monk. She told him that he was my favorite player and he signed it larger than anyone else in the color of green right at the tip, so it stood out. Unfotunately, no Gibbs signature.
Lanky, LOVE your recap. What a great game and it's one I'd have LOVED to have seen in person. Being a home game makes it even more special. I'll always remember Troy Vincent's cup of coffee with the Skins for that play alone.

Jimbo, I quoted this one because the other was so long. Great read! I wish I had been old enough to appreciate those victories a little more than a 14 year old boy could.
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Here's another that involves the mortification of Cowpukes' fans everywhere!

I must preface this story with a little background on the relationship between my friend Bobby and I. We have known each other since elementary school and throughout the years he and I have battled back and forth about the Redskins/Cowgirls rivalry. Good times throughout the 80's for me backed by never ending **** talk! And the same for him during the 90's and the run the Girls had against us in the late 90's and early part of the 2000's.

So on Monday September 19, 2005 sometime in the mid-afternoon, I get a call from Bobby to hear him talking **** before the game. Mind you, I had been dealing with his phone calls for years now since the Skins had performed horribly in the rivalry the previous years, but never before the game. Of course I can say nothing at this time nor would I. I never like to talk **** before the game in fear I would jinx the game and because I do not like the taste of crow!

I must interject a side story here. My next door neighbor of the time is a huge Cowgirls fan as well, so I had been hearing it from him all week before the game.

Fast forward to the game. Well, we all know how the first 56 minutes of that game went. Every time there was a big play by the girls, my next door neighbor would come to his door and scream, how bout them Cowboys!?!?!?! I was sick to my stomach! Well all that was about to change!

With my girlfriend and dog hiding in the bedroom because the tension in the Florida room where I was watching the game was so thick, I watched Mark Brunnell throw that 1st TD to Sanatana Moss. I was excited and wanted to scream to all the world, but there was still a 6 point deficit to overcome. The Cowgirls were driving and had just put the game away with a long completion, but wait! There was a yellow flag thrown for a hold negating that play! We had some life. As I watched Mark Brunnell make that second TD pass to Moss burning Roy Williams (Greatest Safety in the World) for a second time, I still refrained from screaming to the world! There was time left on the clock and the taste of crow was ever present in my thoughts.

As the clock wound down to 0:00, I walked to my door and screamed as loud as I could, HOW BOUT THEM REDSKINS!!! I am certain my next door neighbor was in shock! He didn't say a word to me for days!

So, of course prepared to gloat, I call my friend Bobby. To no avail, he won't take my call. LOL!!!

As the season progresses, the only way for us to make it to the playoffs is a 5 game win streak to end the season with 3 NFC East games in a row, a highly unlikely scenario. Even the pundits never gave us a chance, Sean Salisbury and Chris Carter still never having lived up to their word!

Well, just before the Cowgirls rematch in DC, I received another call from my friend Bobby to make the proclamation that the first win was a fluke and that the Girls were gonna spank us this time. Of course, my reply was ok. I would allow him this statement because, again, I hate the taste of crow! Well he must enjoy it. I remind you, after nearly 30 years of the back and forth between the 2 of us, until the first game between the Girls and Skins, Bobby nor I had ever made the call before the game! Here it is the second game between us in the 2005 season and he made the call again.

As I watched Chris Cooley make his 3 TD catch of the game ending the first half with a 28-0 lead, I knew the game was in hand. I was not about to jinx us by talking ****. I waited until the game was over and made the call to Bobby who would not answer. The message I left was simple, I said, "Please, Bobby, please call me before every game from here on out!"

It was almost as sweet as watching the Hogs guide John Riggins down the field to cement the NFC Championship years before. We had just experienced one of the most lopsided runs in the rivalry having lost 14 out of the previous 15, we were making a strong playoff push and to top it all off we were watching Coach Gibbs bring this franchise back to experience some glory.

Needless to say, Bobby has not called me to talk smack before a game since!

It has been a very long off-season so I figured I would attempt some levity.

It was the beginning of the Shanahan era, a humid September evening in Landover, MD and what better way to begin his tenure with the Washington Redskins than with a prime time face-off with a heated rival, the Dallas Cowgirls. It was the first chance I had to see many of the regulars over at the ES Tailgate in months. With camera in tow, I catch a few images of the burning of the Cowboys' effigy and finally get there early enough to enjoy TLC's crack on a stick and Pez's wings.

As I entered the stadium, I could not help but feel the electricity I had yet to feel at FedEx Field. It reminded me of RFK a little with how alive the stands were. It was a far cry from the previous season when Dallas spanked us and where it appeared the Cowgirls' fans outnumbered Redskins' fans, perhaps my worst memory as a Redskins' fan.

Game time baby! I am sitting about 10 rows back endzone. Off to my right I see Pez and Huly getting the crowd going from their seats about 5 rows back at about the 5 yard line 2 sections away.

The first half saw exactly what I had hoped not to see, a tight game. I wanted us to blow the doors off them! I don't care for close games when it comes to Dallas. I want us to blow them out every time! Not this game. McNabb looks like a rookie QB struggling to grasp the new offense, Romo...well, he just looks like Romo, inconsistent when he's off. He was off in the 1st half. Carrying a 3-0 lead into half time wouldn't be so bad, I guess.

But Wait!

Wade Phillips or Jason Garrett decided to try to get something going at the end of the first half in their own end of the field? Gotta watch this happen! OK, that amounted to nothing as D. Hall stops Choice on the dump off by Romo...half over...no it's not! Hall stripped him? From my vantage point, I got a few decent images of the stop, but I figured the play was dead and began to review my images of the play. As I heard the roar of the crowd I looked up to see Hall dancing down the sidelines for a TD! Turns out, I got a decent image of Hall stripping the ball out of Choice's grasp.

That is what this rivalry is all about! Even though I wanted a blow out, this game had the makings to be another game for the ages as it turned out to be.

The second half was fairly uneventful. McNabb looked average at best and the glimpse of Dez Bryant in that game gave me concern for the future in this rivalry. Head case that he is, this kid has talent. Our defense looked good but it seemed like the same ole' thing, give up many yards but not the points. With a chance to cement the game late in the 4th, our rookie 1st round pick who had an outstanding game to that point made a rookie mistake. 3rd and 2 on the Dallas 26 with little time left in the game..."false start number 71!"... pushing us back to 3rd and long. McNabb cannot complete the 3rd down conversion to cement the game. We settle for a field goal and set Dallas up for one thrilling series that could have won the game for them at the end.

Their rookie stepped up again on this drive, Dez Bryant caught 2 important passes to get them just short of midfield. With the game about in hand on 4th and 10 Romo pulls one out of his arse with a 30 yard 1st down completion to Miles Austin to put Dallas on our 13 yard line with 12 seconds left and 2 TO's.

Ugh! I can see it now. The Cowturds' fans are going to laugh at us after the game and I will end up in a fight because I get too damned emotional at these games!

So here we are...3rd and 10 from our 13 yard line with 8 seconds left, Romo is under center and the stadium is frenetic! Roy Williams is split out wide on the right. I know they are going to him. Romo drops back, lays it up there for Williams perfectly, Williams pulls it down for a TD to end the game. Dallas wins the game. Of course we all know that Brian Orakpo was nearly strangled to death on the play and the refs got it right!

Holding! This time on their #71. 10 second run off. Game over!

Redskins win!

With camera in hand, I was unable to snap off any pictures, being paralyzed by the moment on the edge of my seat! But who cares? I just witnessed a Redskins' win over Dallas!

I usually attend games by myself. I enjoy having the freedom to attempt to get closer to the action to take images. On this occasion, I was saddened a little that I didn't have a chum to celebrate with. Of course there were many fans surrounding me and we all rejoiced, but not a true comrade to look in the eyes and say, "That was ****ing awesome!" I began to walk out of my section and of the over 90k in attendence, there was Lanky! We gave each other a big bear hug and savored the victory like two warriors who had just gone into battle. :laugh: OK, like two spectators enjoying the sweet smell of victory after watching our team battle.

It was a stark contrast from the previous season when Dallas came to town and put a whoopin' on us in our back yard with nearly as many Girls' fans in attendance as there were Redskins' fans. This was one of those games that will not stand out as the best, but a great example of the best rivalry in pro football!

God I love the Redskins!
Sept. 7. 1968.

It was a pre-season game against the Steelers - Redskins won the contest, 24-17. I was nine at the time, soon to be ten by the end of the year. The game was played at Foreman Field in Norfolk. The weather was perfect and the atmosphere was great for a pre-season affair. The family and I had a blast.

The stars played the first couple of series and the backups/hopefuls played the rest of the way. Still it was nice to see guys like Bobby Mitchell, Brig Owens, Charley Taylor, Jerry Smith, Sonny Jurgensen, Mike Bragg, Charlie Gogolak, Pat Fischer, and Chris Hanburger on the field.
I don't have any great stories. all I know is the few times I have been able to go to games I was able to see what I thought was one of the greatest plays in Skins' history - Ken Houston's tackle on Walt Garrison!!!!

oh yea...and as a very young kid I attended one of those day long DC area football camps sponsored by the Skins back in the 60s at RFK. Got coached up by Charlie Taylor, ran around on hallowed ground......a kid's dream!
Great thread....

Unlike the others here who were at one time staff at ES, I'm the least well known. That being said, thanks to 4 of the guys here, I have these memories to share. I can never thank them enough.

I was in a dream like state for about two weeks prior to November 19th, 2006, Redskins @ Tampa. Hey, I was the newest member of the staff at the time, and didn't expect to get to cover a game so soon. I would be covering the game with the esteemed Mr. Mills, a guy I had never met, but had known long before ES was even in existence. Strolling into the lobby of the team hotel, the place was a zoo with fans, and finally getting my room key, I head for the elevator and begin the odyssey. The door opens, and I find myself riding up with Coach Bugle, Washington, Moss, and Rogers. Now it may be hard to understand for many, but close contact with players was something I never had, so I was dam near giddy, but able to somehow keep my composure. I can only imagine what the look on my face was like, because Moss looked like he was about to burst out laughing.

Sunday morning brings a hell of a hangover from the nights festivities with Art, Larry, and the field film crew from the team. I was up with the sun, and in the lobby ready to go. Larry asked me to join him for breakfast, but I declined knowing if I had more than coffee at that point, I might just lose it. I stopped by his table on the way back to my room, and kicked myself in the ass all the way. I could have had breakfast with Kilmer, and Warren. Back in the lobby, Art finally shows up, and we’re off to the stadium to begin my adventure. We quickly clear all the security crap, get a photographers vest, and head up to the box. We had fairly good seats all things considered. Once we settled in, Art took me on the tour, and went over our plan of attack. He mentioned splitting time on the field if I wanted, but lets get real, on my best day, I’m not the guy to be bringing you the live feed. Between all he went over, and some tips from Boone, I was as ready as I would ever be. As we made it back to the box, the chefs were up to speed, and it was time to eat. Man, Tampa puts out a killer spread. After two very nice omelets, a bagel, and dam near everything else I could shovel down my face, I headed down for a smoke. By the time I made it back up to the box, it was getting more active. Art and I chatted for a bit as the regular media strolled in. Larry stopped by for a few before heading to the broadcast booth, and some players were starting to hit the field to do their own thing prior to team warm ups. I was way too excited at this point to hang out up there, and figured on heading down soon. Figuring I should get myself squared away, I head to the can.

Heading back to grab my gear, I see somebody sitting next to Art, in my seat…. How dare they. LOL Not wanting to be rude, I walked up and said something to Art hoping to get the persons attention, and it worked. I find myself face to face with Jurgy. It’s moments like this that you can learn a lot about yourself. Here’s a legend of the game, a man I watched in my earliest days as a Skins fan, and my brain was going at 200 MPH. Again, I don’t know how I didn’t lose it, but just said how are ya today Mr. Jurgensen. Fine, he replied, and call me Sonny…. Within a minute, we were taklin about Campbell’s first start, and what the first play should be, and how he didn’t like his footwork. Deep shot down field was the general consensus. Then he started tellin stories about how he and Billy would drive coach Allen crazy, and blackmail him from time to time. It was just unreal, just shootin the **** with Jurgy and Tom someone I can’t remember, but he had been the Skins equipment manager for a long time, and a few other people. Thirty five minutes of pure Redskins Heaven. As he headed off to the booth, I shook his hand, said it was a pleasure. I didn’t know what to do with myself at that point I was so fired up, so I found a secluded corner, and called my cousin John. I was like a 4 year old on Christmas morning while telling him where I was, and who I had been hangin with. When I gained my composure, I got my gear, and headed down to the field. I was using Art’s camera, and to this day, never got to see a single pic I took. You all know the rest of the story, Jason threw deep on his first play, just missed, and we lost in the end. Even in the loss, it was a dream day for me. I also swore right there and then, I would never depend on anybody for a digital camera again, as I was still shooting film.

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