Some of you see me around here now and then, but I’m sure none know anything about me. My wife and I were married a year ago and moved to Florida for a career opportunity and, probably more importantly, to get out of living life in NYC. I forced her into Redskins fandom after taking her to a once NYC Redskins bar called, "Red Sky" where I made my own epic HTTR video, see here. We were completely physically and emotionally drained after every game, but that bar became our home for a few years. She’s been hooked on the Washington Redskins ever since and one of us begged the other to take her on a two hour trek to Tampa for this past weeks Buccaneers vs. Redskins game.
Game day was sunny, 90 degrees, and only about 10 degrees warmer than most days this past winter in Florida. As soon as we arrived to the parking lot, my wife mentioned we are wearing the wrong colors. I quickly pointed out that guy is wearing a red Robert Griffin III, that girl is wearing a Chris Cooley, and that guy is, unfortunately, wearing a Jason Campbell jersey. One percent of those in attendance sported authentic button up shirts with cutoff sleeves, neatly tucked into jean shorts. Although, I’ve worked about 50 NFL games, I’ve never been a spectator and I can completely understand the tailgate and game day experience now. It kind of reminded me of a couple Deadhead tailgates without the Harry Krishna, hemp, and nitrous oxide balloons. Many of the people I spoke to actually traveled from the D.C. area. We spent an hour checking out babes and barbeques while I joyfully slammed a couple of beers and then proceeded into the stadium.
I give Raymond James Stadium a solid grade A for it's uniqueness, location, and easy travel. Compared to my work at MetLife Stadium in NJ, Raymond James Stadium was clean and accessible, but I couldn't find any real signature concessions. Thankfully, it lacked the raging bloody fights I regularly observed in the NY games. Moreover, Tampa has a friggin’ pirate ship with some seriously loud cannons which you can walk up and take pictures by. There is a sarcastic parrot on the stern of the ship that likes to heckle visiting fans too. By my account, the visitor side was at least 50% Redskins fans and I couldn’t help but to remember the conversations in Hogs Haven about how awful it is to have heckling visitors in your own stadium. I kind of felt sorry for them, until the second half and the cannons started firing up. The Bucs fan next to me couldn’t stop going on about how awful Josh Freeman is and how they have suffered for a few years with him. Watching the wide receiver screen Freeman threw for -8 yards that made the Bucs punt on their last drive, I can relate more than he realized. Although, it was the coaches’ decision for that play, it was nice to compare how Griffin handled himself in his fourth game while closing out a game without sideline input.
I figured for our first game, we'd land some good seats. They were well worth the cost.
Thank you Bob!