I attended the Washington versus Buffalo tilt in Landover, Maryland last Saturday, and I promised to write a Fanpost about it. Well, I didn't feel like there was much fun stuff to write about involving the game, but I said I'd do it so I'm gonna give it a whirl. Readers should take heed that this will article will contain non-football observations, but I will attempt as best I can to keep half-assed political baiting and middle-school level debate skills out of the writing if not out of the comments. That should ensure that this gets buried quickly with next to no one reading it. Also, it's really frigging long, for a Fanpost.
In honor of HST, I will be covering the decadent (Pictures with a semi-famous old African American, dressed as a Native American, riding on a Rascal scooter! Drinking bourbon in the early afternoon! Dan Snyder's concession prices!) and the depraved (Poor seating for extremely tall people! Washington fans! The state of Maryland! Dan Snyder's concession prices!) alike. Thanks in advance for reading, or at least making the attempt.
Fear & Loathing in the NFL Preseason - Washington vs. Buffalo - 8/24/13 - Landover, MD
Travelling From God's Country To Satan's Butthole
Early Saturday morning, with the trusty Silverado packed full of hearty food and drink (read - five pounds of burger with various trimmings, homemade potato salad, a handle of Beam, and two cases of PBR) I bid farewell to my infant son and his caretaker, and drove my wife, my best friend, and his significant other the four hours from Moonshine, VA to the swampy netherlands of southern Maryland. Our goal was to attend the preseason game between the Bills and that oh-so-hateable (for a Virginian, anyways) team from Washington, and hopefully get a chance to see some of our young talent shine amidst the hot, stinking trash heap that is FedEx Field. While we did not get very much satisfaction from the game, I can say with certainty that a good time was had by (almost) all, and also that "Kai Forbath" sounds more like an exotic type of sushi than a human being.
The drive was uneventful other than Maryland drivers being just a shade worse than some hellish amalgamation of women from New Jersey and elderly Pennsylvanians. Special shout out to the burgundy Suburban with no less than 9 (!) flags proudly proclaiming the occupants as Washington fans that cut off about six different cars on 495 before rear-ending a Fiat. There's a special place in hell reserved for people like that, though in fairness it's hard not to want to give a Fiat a helpful push when driving faster than 60 MPH on the Beltway.
A Few Words About FedEx Field
It's in Maryland, on swampland, and it's full of Washington fans.
Despite these natural disadvantages, one nice perk of Washington having absolutely terrible fans is that they are more than willing to sell their tickets to out-of-towners and supporters of opposing teams, so I saw plenty of Bills jerseys dotting the parking lot and later, in the stadium itself.
Tailgating With Friends And Enemies, And The Cost of Photographic Evidence Of Casual Racism
I met up with a few friends from my college days, and was proud to see that two of my fellow Bills fans had made the trek. Including myself and my wife, that made four total Bills fans drinking, playing cornhole, grilling and eating burgers and crab cakes, and having a good time with about 12 Washington fans. We were fortunate to have a pretty good crew in our little corner of Lot E, as well as a beautiful day considering the location, which is a swamp.
Most of the Washington fans we met were of the reasonable persuasion, in that they thought that RGIII simply had the potential to be the greatest athlete in the history of the earth, rather than having already taken the title from Jim Thorpe or Bo Jackson and all but guaranteeing 8 straight Super Bowl titles. All seemed well, and my wife's promise to DD gave me the rare opportunity to enjoy my bourbon in my preferred way, which is to drink a whole goddamn lot of it.
While engaged in this noble pursuit, I noticed that a small crowd had formed about two sections over and was heading our way. At the heart of this herd was a Rascal scooter carrying an elderly black man dressed in seeming parody of a Native American chief. Curious, I asked a fellow tailgate patron what the fuss was about.
"That's Chief Wahoo!" he exclaimed, looking at me askance. "He's one of our most famous fans. You can get your picture taken with him." His voice dropped into a conspiratorial tone as he shook his head wistfully. "I hear he gets blown all the time. Girls love him."
Hearing that such an icon was in the vicinity was enough to spur my buddy (and massive D.C. homer) Alex into action, and he trotted over to the small hurricane with Chief Wahoo at its eye. Exchanging a few words and a quick handshake with the man, Alex took out his phone and had a girl in a Ryan Kerrigan jersey (Washington jerseys mostly come in two flavors - RGIII and Kerrigan) snap a quick shot. Immediately after, a gentleman behind the scooter came and exchanged a few words with Alex. The conversation was pretty animated. This seemed odd.
"Hey, why do those fat guys dress up as pig women every game?" asked my wife, distracting me from the Chief Wahoo scene.
"Because they're child molesters, babe." I answered absently. Glancing back at the crowd, I saw that Alex was already walking back and he didn't look too pleased. When he got back to us, I asked him why.
"So I get a shot of me and the Chief, and that dude behind him asked me for 20 bucks!" he fumed. "Said he was collecting for the Chief. I'm like, you've gotta be fucking kidding me."
"Did you pay him?" I asked.
"He was being a real dick about it, and the Chief sort of waved at us both, so I gave him ten."
I shook my head. I'll be damned if I had to pay to get my picture taken with Pinto Ron.
♫ Blinded By The Light - It Wasn't Even A Deuce, And The Price Wasn't Close To Right ♫
Feeling pleasantly buzzed but not yet drunk, I had taken it pretty easy on my Beam consumption in anticipation of knocking out some brews during the game. Walking into the stadium, my crew passed several kiosks selling beer on the way to our seat, but for some reason all of these refreshment stands were hawking their 16 oz Budweiser products at $9.50 a bottle. Since this was a preseason game and they were not serving flutes of some prestige cuvée, I assumed that either these were typos or that there would be cheaper options elsewhere. But we all know what happens when you assume - you end up paying 60 fucking dollars for a six pack of swill just to numb the pain of having to watch Sex Cannon Grossman carve up your starting defense while the entire roster gets injured.
Making our way to the seats in the northeast corner of the visitor's end zone, we marveled at the view of the field that would have been tremendous had the sun not been burning out our retinas for half the game. Fortunately, we brought sunglasses. I would later wish that Stephon Gilmore had brought his own, when he dropped a sure pick-6 with the sun directly in his eyes. I would also later wish that he didn't fracture his goddamn wrist, since he's our only competent frigging corner.
Jesus Christ, Get On With The Game Already
Right, the game. Here are recorded some thoughts and observations that I had while my knees were jammed into the back of the seat in front of me. Kudos to the kindly old man in that seat for holding out for all of one half of one quarter before waving the white flag and relocating to less confined pastures. Sorry, bro. Your stadium's seats are built for lil' Jacks, and I'm a giant. Anyway -
- Marquise Goodwin is very easy to root for. He's tiny, he's really fast, and he is not frightened of running into people twice his size. I am now officially a Flash Goodwin fan, and he's already better than T.J. Graham. There, I said it.
- I am a grown man. But I peed a little in my pants when CJ grabbed his knee in the end zone.
- Also, I had to be physically restrained from going down on the field and smacking Doug Marrone upside the head for putting him back in the game afterwards.
- Both myself and the Washington faithful in my section were very impressed with Shawn Powell for most of the game. He was really booming some kicks - it sounded totally different than when Sav Rocca was punting.
- Nigel Bradham played poorly and whiffed on several tackles, but Kiko Alonso looks like a good pick.
- David Amerson, who was a tremendous playmaker at NC State, was godawful for Washington. Watching Spiller break his ankles was one of the (very few) highlights on the day for me.
- The long pass to Davis to set up the first touchdown was the result of a blown assignment. Aaron Williams and Gilmore were jawing at each other after the play. I'm inclined to believe that Aaron was to blame because he played EXTREMELY poorly on Saturday. All in all, the safeties for Buffalo were just atrocious, other than Duke Williams. Jairus Byrd cannot get back in the lineup fast enough.
- It's tough to win when you commit a penalty on all the plays. Literally all of them. I'm serious, I counted. Marrone, thus far, has not shown us a very disciplined team this preseason.
- Marcell Dareus had his best game in awhile. We'll need him at full go for what is looking like another long season.
- We'd probably have been better off just waiting for Washington to cut Pat White rather than trading for Thaddeus Lewis, though I guess Chris White wasn't going to make the roster anyways. White can't throw but he can run and he's a high-effort dude.
- What the hell Kolb was thinking on that sack, only he and baby Jesus know. If I hadn't watched the game myself I would have assumed that play came after the concussion. Still, get well soon Kevin!
- Jeff Tuel can make the occasional throw. Jeff Tuel was (smartly) being protected by the coaching staff. Jeff Tuel has a 0% chance to beat the Patriots if he plays. Jeff Tuel has a very average arm with plus accuracy. Jeff Tuel winds up like he's pitching women's softball. Jeff Tuel has no business starting an NFL game for any team, up to and including the Jets. Jeff Tuel is still better than I imagined.
Heading For the Exits - Keep Your Junk Covered At All Times
After a thoroughly disappointing (and unusually sober) game, myself, my wife, and my friends all got up to leave. Since we stayed to the end of the game, we were more attentive than, say, 70% of the Washington fans. Totally disgusted by our play, I did not pay enough attention to my surroundings, and was run into by a man who said "So sorry! So sorry! Please do not tackle me!" in an indeterminate, non-American accent. While apologizing to this gentleman, a cute blonde kid of perhaps 10 ran up to me, smiling, and slapped me right on the nuts. As I doubled over, he shouted "Bills SUCK!" to the laughter of my buddies and several other passers-by, and ran back to his guardian. Even if I had been in any shape to protest, this was a woman who I'd have hated to fight, as she outweighed me by a solid 40 pounds.
I stared daggers at my assailant, but in my heart I answered him, "I know, you little shit. I know."