I will start with the past Sunday, December 12th. Myself, The President and both of our girlfriends arrived at FedEx Field at 7:45 AM, and parked on Arena Drive, our usual resting spot outside the stadium, waiting to enter the parking lot, to set up the DTC Tailgate. We usually arrive earlier, but due to the weather, we decided that the later arrival time would keep us slightly drier. After all, the forecast for Sunday was cold and rainy.
We parked the Expedition in line, got out, and greeted the familiar faces on Arena Drive. After saying hello to our friends, I let a few people know, that i had extra tickets and extra parking passes that I had purchased for a friend that was not able to make the game now.
I had a orange pass and a 4 tickets,. 2 lowers, 2 uppers. I have been going to Redskins games for 13 years now. I know the market. I know that I will be lucky to get even half of what I paid for these tickets. It's going to be an even harder task, as there are the usual scalpers patrolling Arena drive looking to buy tickets as cheap as possible, and sell them for a modest profit.
I start asking anybody if they need tickets, and to no surprise, they not only don't need tickets, they have extra tickets themselves.
I see a US Marine driving through, and while he is slowly driving to the front gate, I ask him if he is going to the game. He said he was, and told me he was "sitting in the upper deck". I said not anymore, and gave him my 2 lower level tickets for free. A gesture he greatly appreciated.
I still had 2 uppers and an orange pass. I start walking down Arena Drive, holding the pass in the air, asking of anyone needs it. An older gentleman asks how much, I say $20 (I paid $35 for this pass), he then informed me that he was a Vietnam Vet, and I said $10. He accepted, and I made the transaction.
As I was walking away, I was stopped by a PG County Police officer, and told in a stern voice, to get on the ground. At this point, there were a few scalpers and a guy selling ponchos, I figured he was talking to them, and I kept walking. GET ON THE FUCKING GROUND said the officer in a louder, angrier tone. Yes. He was talking to me. I told the officer the ground was wet, and I didn't do anything wrong. I was told if I didn't get on the ground, and I didn't "shut my fucking mouth" that I would be taken to jail. While the PG County Jail was probably warmer than Arena drive, and protected from the elements, I still felt like wet ground was a better option for me, so I complied.
I was then handcuffed, and searched. Still not being told of my offense. After he searched me, he removed the handcuffs, and forced me to the curb, where I sat on the wet pavement, trying to figure out what I did wrong, while Redskins Nation was watching me.
Another officer showed up, holding the parking pass I just sold. At this point, I come to the realization that the police think I am a ticket scalper. I inform them both, that I am just a regular fan, trying to not take a total loss on unused tickets and parking passes. I was told to shut up.
After about an hour, my drivers license was returned, and I was given a ticket. The ticket was for $200, and read. "For selling NFL related merchandise within a 2 mile radius of the 50 yard line at FedEx Field. The Police officer told me and the other detainees that this order came from Dan Snyder directly, and in fact their sole purpose at the stadium was to prevent ticket scalping and merchandise peddling, and that they were paid by Dan Snyder directly.
As you can only imagine, The Mayor of FedEx Field felt betrayed. How the hell could this happen to me, a loyal Redskin fan, one who hasn't missed a home game in 12 years. Rain. Sleet. Snow. Poor performances year after year by the team I love, and I still give them 100% support.
I was very upset and was telling my story to the Redskin fans that witnessed this unbelievable sequence of events.
I should be mad. I was harassed, embarrassed, threatened, and mistreated. And for what? Taking a $25 loss on a parking pass?
On Monday, still upset from what happened on Sunday, I decided to inform Redskins nation about this, and I took my story to Extremeskins. Met with the usual DTC Hatred that we have come to expect from the losers at Extremeskins, the thread turned into a anti-DTC and anti-Mayor conversation. After being removed from the site, and me, being banned from the site until March 14, 2011, I felt even more slighted by the organization.
Those feelings ended today, after Tony Wyllie of the Washington Redskins called my cellphone to not only apologize for the incident, but to assure me that not only was the police department acting on their own, but that Dan Snyder NEVER made such commands to the PG County Police, and that Dan Snyder knows and likes the DTC.
Two days ago I was considering turning in my "fan card", today, I renewed it for life.
This meant a lot to me. That a high ranking member of the Washington Redskins would call me and apologize on behalf of the PG County Police. To call me and reassure me that every Redskin fan was important to the organization, including myself.
I have been a fan of this team since I can remember. I remember watching the 1987 Super Bowl with my dad, I was 7 years old at the time. I remember my first game at FedEx Field in 1997 when Gus Frerotte threw a fade pass to Michale Westbrook in overtime to beat the Arizona Cardinals in the first game at the new stadium
I remember when the Redskin were 0-5 in 2001, and Lavar Arrington intercepted a pass from Chris Weinke and took it to the house, reversing that streak and winning the next 5 games.
But those memories have taken a back seat, as I will always remember today. Today is when the Redskins proved to me that they do care about their fans more than anything. Today is the day the Redskin organization justified my lifelong support of the team. Today is the day that I NEVER question the owner of this team, Dan Snyder again.
Today is the day I am proudest to be a Redskins fan.
I just put on my Heath Shuler jersey, my 1999 Division Champions hat, and my 1993 Starter jacket.
Today is a good day to be a Redskins fan.
HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!
HAIL DAN SNYDER!
HAIL THE DEAD TREE CREW!