Monday, November 30, 2009

City of Brotherly Love

Well, I had something exciting happen this weekend. We were in Jersey for Thanksgiving and Chrissy's Aunt Fran's 90th (!) birthday party. The original plan had been to head home late Saturday night, hopefully after the traffic had eased. However, at the party, we were talking to Chrissy's cousin Joe, who lives in Winchester, VA. Joe shares Eagles season tickets with a friend of his, and had been planning on taking his brother Mike, who was at the party too, to the Eagles/Skins game on Sunday. Unfortunately (for him), Mike had a flight leaving out early in the morning. Joe's wife, much like mine, would go with him and enjoy the game, but would rather him go with another real fan who will enjoy the game. After a little discussion, he asked if I wanted to go to the game! I'm sure he would rather have gone with an Eagles fan, but at least this way, he didn't have to find a sitter for the kids.

Fortunately for me, we had brought laundry to do, so I had one of my Redskins jersey's. And, of course, I had my Skins hat. So, steeling myself for plenty of ribbing, I met up with Joe and we headed to the Linc. I wasn't overly fearing for my safety for two reasons: 1) I'm not the type to come back at drunken idiots yelling at me. I'll just let it lie. 2) What were they going to say that I didn't already know? "Redskins suck"? I'd just shrug and say, "And?..." While I certainly think we have potential to play much better than we have, we are currently 3-8.

So we head to the park and look around for a parking spot. On our 3rd side street, we finally find a spot and pull in. There are two guys sitting in lawn chairs enjoying some pre-game beverages. Of all the possible spots on all the streets and all the fans milling about, guess what? One Eagles fan and one Skins fan! So we chatted with them as we ate the Wawa hoagies we picked up on the way in. Once we were done eating and pontificating, we headed to the stadium. As many people as we passed, I was surprised not to hear any comments until I was about a block from the stadium, when a police officer directing traffic shook his head ruefully, sighed and said, "I know you can't help it." This brought me to attention of another fan who called out, "Here's an asshole!" After that, I made it the rest of the way to the stadium relatively unscathed. A few times, I hears "Redskins... mumble mumble..." muttered under someone's breath behind me.

Before the game, Joe showed me around the stadium a bit. A little mini-tour. It is a very nice stadium. A lot more character to it than FedEx Field. There was HeadHouse Plaza, an area where various vendors hocked their wares while a band played on stage. In addition, there was an Interactive Zone with activities for kids, including Play 60 activities. I even saw a few Skins fans milling about, though not nearly as many as there were Eagles fans at FedEx four weeks ago. Inside, next to the pro shop, there was a hall of fame area that had names on the walls of past players, glass towers showing notable past players, photo collages showing key moments from each decade. In the South corner of the field was the Miller Lite Phlite Deck, where a band played at halftime.

After the tour, we headed toward our seats. Upper level, row 5. However, in our section, there is what I believe was an area for handicap seating, which took up the first four rows, and was lower than where our seats were. So, for all intents and purposes, we were in the front row of the upper level! Naturally, on the way there, I heard "asshole!" a couple more times, as well as "Redskins suck!" Once we made it to our seats, the people around us were very nice. The one exception being a Redskins fan two rows behind us. He was so annoying, I wanted to smack him, and we were rooting for the same team! He was much louder than I was, and repeatedly called for Philly players to get injured or killed. I'm all for healthy competition, and good-natured "insults" between fans, but he crossed the line. I don't want anyone (even Cowboys players or fans!) to get hurt or killed. I just want a good game, hopefully that the Redskins win. I did get a good game. Unfortunately, we lost 27-24. Not a huge surprise, but disappointing. On the way out, one Eagles fan in the row behind us even tapped me on the shoulder and said admiringly, "You guys played a tough game!" Guess that's about the most we're going to be able to hope for this season...

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