Date: A random Sunday in the fall...
6am: Sunglasses and Advil. Last night was mad real. *hits snooze button seven times*
7am: Time to actually begin the process of waking up. It's gameday. I quickly scour Twitter for any overnight developments or Adam Schefter bombs. Double check my fantasy lineups (all seven), see if any betting lines moved and dive into my text threads. While following the rules of engagement, I stumble across an interesting note from one of my boys: "got an extra tick for today. $100. There good seats." After responding with a snarky "they're" text, I decide, "you know what? I haven't been to a Skins game in a while. Sure, last time was miserable, but maybe Snyder has stepped the experience up." I'm in.
8am: The search for a designated driver begins. Qualifications: must be alive. Must have a car. Must have an aux cord.
9am: My friend's girlfriend's oldest nephew's neighbor, Nate, is found. We have a designated driver. A tailgate to crash has been negotiated, the meeting place for travel is set, my excitement is palpable. Kickoff is at 1:05pm. We're in Northern Virginia. Shit. We're already running late.
10am: Stuck...in...traf...fic. We should've taken the Metro. Wait, the stop is over a mile from the stadium? Then we have to wait in line for a bus? And we can't have "road sodas?" Nevermind.
11am: After laughing at Nate haggle with six different scalpers for an "orange lot" parking pass, we quickly discover that the tailgate we're supposed to join is in "purple lot." No matter, the succulent smell of grilled meats is in the air, we've taken our first round of shots from a handle of Jameson's and the Hunger Games: Tailgate Edition, has begun. We actively dodge the continuing stream of incoming cars, completely unorganized and unsupervised in their arrivals. Meanwhile, bros are crushing cans of Bud Light on their heads while engaging in Olympic-level Cornhole tournaments. Out-of-place children scream and run roughshod through tent setups, accompanied by a cacophony of country, trap and go-go music blaring from assorted pick-up trucks and SUVs. This is just as the Lord intended his day to be spent...I think.
12pm: I observe driver Nate taking his fourth pull from the Jameson's handle and I become somewhat concerned. We pull up to the tailgate just in time for all of the good food to be devoured. Still nursing my hangover, but now re-energized with a new buzz, I morph into a carnivorous monster, angering all those who have ever watched What The Health. My appetite now fully satiated, I re-focus on the task of consuming as much alcohol as possible before being subjected to $15 beers inside the stadium.
1pm: We get into the security line to enter the stadium at 12:30pm. Half an hour later, we've moved 50 feet. With no queue system in place or adequate staff to direct traffic, the lines to enter the main gates are essentially lemmings following the person in front of them, unsure if they're headed to the venue or off a cliff. Annoyed, I take a quick inventory of those entering the facility and notice that nearly half of them are donning apparel of the opposing team. I wonder aloud whether anyone is actually inside for kickoff, since so many of us are stuck in the logjam of humanity. A friend from inside sends me a pic and I shake my head in disgust.
2pm: We are finally in our seats, double-fisting beers, the band is playing "Hail To The Redskins" after a Doctson fade route touchdown and all is right in the world. That is, until driver Nate begins chirping with some opposing fans in front of us. I told him at the tailgate about my personal guidelines for heckling at a sporting event, but the Jameson's shots appear to be exerting their will. As halftime approaches, I begin standing in line for the bathroom. Then I stand in line for some chicken fingers, you know, because heaven forbid there are some legit food options. Then I stand in line for the bar. I have now been in more lines than a Department of Transportation worker on cocaine.
3pm: Driver Nate has been removed from the facilities. Apparently calling opposing fans "pirate hookers" and open-hand slapping them is frowned upon in Landover, Maryland. Cousins has just thrown his second pick-6 and the smattering of "boos" from Skins fans are drowned out by ovations of the opposing team's fans, which account for roughly half of those in attendance. Last call has come and gone, while Washington supporters now resort to bickering with each other over whose fault it is the home team is faltering.
4pm: The march out of the stadium begins. A demolition derby of bodies careen into each other in aisles, walkways and stairwells. The stench of disappointment and intoxication floats over the attendees like a cloud above the Peanutscharacter, Pigpen.
5pm: I ordered the Lyft almost an hour ago. I can see their vehicle pinging on my phone screen, stuck in complete gridlock...two miles away. The sun is nearly set and a crisp, biting wind has kicked up. Despite a buzzed blanket, I am not dressed properly. I assumed I would be in our designated driver's vehicle right now. Damn you, Nate. A good friend sends me a text message. He's at home, on his couch, warm, enjoying a glorious late afternoon Red Zone Channel session on his big-screen, HDTV. His order of pizza and wings just arrived and he wanted to know how my game experience went. e knows the answer to this question. My friend is a jerk.
6pm: Good news: my Lyft has arrived and I'm inside. Bad news: we still haven't left the parking lot.
7pm: There was an accident on the Beltway. Crazy, I know. I'm not home yet. My twitter mentions are in shambles after I cockily exclaimed following the Doctson touchdown "This is a wrap!" The only "wrap" present, is the battery life on my iPhone. I ask my (presumably) sober Lyft driver for a charger. He's an Android guy. He's also wearing a Cowboys jersey. He's from Prince George's county and has never been to Dallas. Shocking, I know.
8pm: I have arrived home. My girlfriend laughs to the point of tearing up at my tale of failure. It ain't funny. It's sad. It's just another reason why FedEx Field almost always fails to deliver. It takes a special kind of masochist to inflict that upon themselves every week. So...anyone got tickets for the next home game?