New York Giants
vs. Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins Stadium
December 21, 2009
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Capacity: 91,665 seats
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Draft Beer: $8.00
Hot Dog: $4.00
Stadium Parking: $30.00
1600 FedEx Way
Landover, MD 20785
Stadium Review - Hail to the Redskins
The Quest for Stadium #30, FedEx Field in Landover, MD which is the home to the Washington Redskins, began on a leisurely Monday morning two days after the snowstorm that rocked the east coast dropping nearly twenty-four inches of snow on Washington DC. Typical snowfall in this area is generally about an inch or less, so when a couple of feet drop in the region, you're looking at a crippling blow to the area. Braving winter snow warnings, road closings, and some really horrible drivers, I drove to the DC area two days prior, heading into the storm front in an attempt to squeeze in an NFL doubleheader with the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. Fortunately for me I decided to drive instead of fly to the east coast or i never would have made it into town. Throughout the weekend flights to the area were cancelled or delayed as even the Chicago Bears who were playing in the Ravens on Sunday didn't get in until Sunday morning.
In any case, at about two o'clock on game day, Jamin, Tim, and I headed directly for FedEx Field which happened to be just around the corner from where we were staying. As we pulled up Arena Drive passing the line of cars that were waiting for the parking lot to open I was accosted by a guy on a megaphone.
"Quest for 31 ... Yeah I know who you are! 31 Stadiums ... new jersey for each one, immersive study on the home team experience. You think we're all sitting in line here for no reason? Pull around, I'll get you a spot, you're hanging with DTC today!"
DTC, the Dead Tree Crew, these guys were prominently featured on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumble when they did an expose on excessive fan drinking. They're a rowdy bunch of good natured Redskins diehards that have been a fixture in the Green lot outside FedEx Field for nearly a decade. Led by The President, and The Mayor of FedEx Field, (the man on the megaphone), and the Coach, the Dead Tree Crew hosts one of the most debaucherous tailgates in the country. It was loud, it was raucous, it was intense ... I fit right in.
As I circled the Quest Machine around, one word from the Mayor unleashed a coordinated movement of several vehicles in front of me, allowing my H31 to slide right in next to them. That's Power. That's DTC. Go Hard or Go Home.
Waiting for the lot to open, which was still two hours away, we talked a little Redskins football, had a few brews and a shot of Crown Royal, and I watched as the Mayor did his thing on the megaphone, chastising Giants fans and providing plenty of pregame entertainment. He's a pretty colorful guy, "Do I look like a nice guy to you?" Any organization that funnels beer out of a construction site road cone has got to be hard core.
When we finally entered the parking lot it was like a Baja free for all, cars and trucks zoomed across the lot looking to claim their traditional spots as horns blared and tires squealed. Settling into a spot next to the DTC, we began tailgate preparations. But by the time I hoisted the Quest for 31 flag and got a couple of photos, those guys were up and running. Pop up tents went up, the DJ, the grill, and a full DTC base of operations was ready for active duty. The Mayor and President introduced us around, we had a couple more ice cold beverages of choice, some great tailgate food, and hit the lot to see what the others had cooking. Great bunch of guys as long as you're wearing burgundy and gold.
Stopping by the tailgate sponsored by ExtremeSkins.com, I met up with Hall of Fame legend Chief Zee. Chief Zee has been a Redskins fan for decades, a highly recognizable super fan that always seems to find his way onto the scoreboard in time to inspire the crowd. I was also hoping I might link up with a couple of the Hogettes while in town, but they were called in by the Redskins Marketing Department earlier in the day for promotional reasons, so Danoette, we'll try again next year. In any case, the ExtremeSkins Tailgate was impressive. Several popup tents housed grills, adult beverages, propane heaters, and some exceptional food, but my personal favorite was Andy and Mike's Maryland Crab Soup. When you're staring at a bowl that's chock full of fresh Maryland Blue crab on a cold night, nothing compares. We were introduced around by Pez, the organizer of the Extreme Event, and his lovely wife Christie. They even welcomed a couple of my friends from Stadium #24, Giants Stadium, as Greg Scharfstein was in town with Reby Sky the NYGiantsGirl.
Sticking to my policy of immersion in local culture, I knew I needed to be able to sing the Washington Redskins Fight Song by the time I entered FedEx Field. The Redskins easily have the best fight song in the national football league. "Hail to the Redskins" was actually first performed on August 17, 1938, so it's over seventy years old and is actually the second oldest fight song for a professional American football team (second only to "Go! You Packers! Go!" composed in 1931). So with a fanbase that's steeped in tradition, I knew it would be easy to find some volunteers that would help me learn the song. I spent the rest of the evening approaching folks, just out of the blue, to sing the Redskins Fight song with me on camera. It was truly an incredible experience, as I wasn't turned down once. Younger fans, more seasoned veterans, die hard tailgaters, even the DTC .... everyone loves singing "Hail to the Resdkins". I'm actually humming the fight song right now ... it's kind of infectious.
The game itself featured an abysmal performance by the Washington Redskins. Now I realize the Skins have had a tough year, but I seriously believed with the New York Football Giants in town that these guys would exact a little revenge, dashing their playoff hopes, or at least keep things competitive. But it wasn't until the third quarter that I finally got to sing the fight song. These guys couldn't run the ball, they couldn't pass the ball, they couldn't defend the run, they couldn't defend the pass. It was tough to watch. The Giants were firing on all cylinders and pummeling the home team in every facet of the game as they moved the ball at will. The final score was 45-12 as the New York Football Giants posted a resonating win over their division rivals. So I guess to summarize Stadium #30, there was some great tailgating and exceptional fans, but the team needs to catch up to the fanbase. However, with rising stars like Fred Davis, Devin Thomas and Brian Orakpo (he should have been a Buffalo Bill, stupid Aaron Maybin!) these guys will quickly climb back into contention, restoring the luster to a proud franchise that continues to be supported by some of the best fans in the National Football League. I look forward to my return.
For more information on the city of Washington, D.C. check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
NFL: April 21, 2009 - FedExField Stadium Tour
NFL: February 21, 2007 - FedExField Recon visit
|City of Washington, D.C. Local Information|
Top Tourist Attractions:
Mall Area (Capitol Building, The White House, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson
Memorial, Smithsonian Museums)
Ford Theatre/Peterson House, Great Falls Park
National Archives, Bureau of Engraving & Printing
Blue Crab, Raw Bluepoint Oysters
What They're Drinkin':
ExtremeSkins Tailgate E43
Dead Tree Crew F51
Local Sports Media:
The Washington Post
The Washington Times
ESPN 980 Washington, D.C. - Listen LIVE!
SportsRadio 106.7FM The Fan - Listen LIVE!
Where To Stay:
The entire belt way area around Washington, DC is blanketed by a very easy to use subway system. You can stay anywhere in DC and just take the subway to the game. I recommend the Donovan House which is located close to Capitol Hill and the Mall Area, offering easy access to the most popular tourist POI's.
Georgetown (Clyde's, Chadwicks, The Tombs, Third Edition)
Adams Morgan (Millie & Al's, Dans' Cafe, Nolan's, Jumbo Slice,
Heaven & Hell)
Georgetown (Filomena Ristorante, Garrett's Bar, Blues Alley Jazz and
Supper Club, J Paul's)
Adams Morgan (Station 9, Madam's Organ)
Chinatown-Near Arena (Clyde's, District Chophouse, Zengo, Nando's Peri-
Peri, Tony Cheng's Seafood)
Pocket Map of Washington, D.C.
Washington Metro Area Transit Map
Stadium Parking Map
Getting to the Stadium:
Although there's plenty of parking around FedExField, visitors to this stadium might consider taking the subway system instead of driving to the stadium on game day. Just take the Blue Line to the Morgan Boulevard Metro Station. Exit onto the sidewalk, which will be on your right side after exiting the Metro gates, opposite the parking lot exit. Follow the sidewalk for less than a mile to FedExField.
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|President of DTC and the Mayor of FedExField||Brian, Issac and Myself||Flying the Quest Flag|
|Trying to stay warm by the fire||Carving out an campsite on the periphery||Vintage Party Bus|
|Giants Fans in Town||Reby Sky, NYGiantsGirl and Greg from BBQ||Christie from ES and Greg from BigBlueBBQ|
|To Sabina!||Tasting Andy & Mike's Maryland Crab Soup||Singing Hail to the Redskins|
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have for my journey to
FedExField, including the following:
- Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
- Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
- Tailgating Traditions
- Your Experiences or Helpful Hints
- If you saw me let me know!
All commentary will be moderated. Your e-mail address will not be published.
|Shane Shamblin from DC Area||
everywhere man. I am getting prepped for Skins Giants in Owners West at
Fedex and found you here. Hope all is good with you!
Zach Parks from Chestertown, MD
What a cool project. Skins
were in the tank by the time you saw them with Zorn and Campbell on
their way out. Things are headed in the right direction now. One cool
new thing happening this year is that giant video boards are set up on
trucks in the lots for prime-time games(3 of them this year at home- how
do you get that after a 4 win season!) so fans can watch Redzone channel
while tailgating. Our owner had a steep learning curve but we love him
and his deep pockets! HTTR
Mickey Sith from London, UK
Hello sir, I have never
been to an official NFL football match, although I used to go to the
London Monarchs games at Wembley & I have always watched th NFL on tv. I
loved your Quest For 31, it was fantastic to watch & I dream of going to
Washington to see the Redskins. I don't know much about them even though
I have been a fan for years. I swear, before I die, I will come to
Washington to watch the Redskins play. Here in the UK, I hardly get to
see any American Football on tv, most Brits can't handle it but I so
love it man. Thanks for giving me a taste of a tailgate party, & a look
at the FedExField. I feel like I just tapped into something real
special. Thank you so much. I'd love to see many more of your clips
please man. Thanks again Mickey Sith
Mickey, be sure to check out my other videos and YouTube, and page through the site. I've got some interesting trips planned to 2010 as well.
Nye from Dulles
I have never been to FedEx
field before. I recently purchased tickets to a game as a gift for my
boyfriend. Being a FedEx "rookie", I purchased tickets in a section with
an obstructed view (the seller didn't reveal at time of purchase).
Is there any way to
visit the stadium prior to my game to see for myself just how
"obstructed" the view is from my seats? I debating whether I should try
to sell these tickets and purchase new ones in a better section or just
suck it up and take it as a lesson learned. Thanks for your comments,
fooled by "obstruction"