USA TODAY Sports
Dedicated to anyone who's ever had a bad experience in Landover.
8:42 a.m.: I'm running late for work (at least pretend you're surprised) because I'm trying to decide what I should wear/bring to the Giants game. Cooley jersey? Check. "Dallas Sucks" sweatshirt? Check. Thermals? Check. Winter coat? Check. Overdressing for what will turn out to be 70-degree weather? On it.
11:08 a.m.: My work group wants to leave at 3:30, but I can't get out of the office 'til around 5:00. I'm beginning to suspect that people are weary of seeing my hostile sweatshirt for the nine-zillionth time. But does Dallas still suck? My point exactly.
5:31 p.m.: Waiting to get on the orange line to Landover because I'm an idiot. In 15 minutes I'll realize we're on the wrong train and have to backtrack to Stadium Armory, and wait another fortnight for a blue line train to squeeze on like a can of burgundy and gold sardines. Also, I'm already sweating.
6:49 p.m.: I've joined the herd on our march from the metro to FedEx, which is a lot like the Great Migration of wildebeests across the African savanna, except drunker.
7:22 p.m.: My work friends read Hogs Haven and really want to go meet the guys at the tailgate, despite my insistence that Brian Mitchell and John Riggins will not be in attendance. Sure enough, it's just Ken wearing his Senior Week '94 t-shirt and Kevin in a pair of slippers spray-painted gold. I meet MacKenzie, who is younger than me, so I am jealous. Oh, and still sweating. Is anyone going to eat that last slice of pizza?
8:14 p.m.: Finally meet up with my ex-boyfriend, who is wearing the James Thrash jersey I gave him two Christmases ago and who is forgiving enough to still be my friend. It's his birthday and our group of 17 people has 16 standing-room tickets on the club level. One for everyo... shit. To solve the problem, we all chime in with questions and suggestions until the conversation devolves into an episode of The View. Luckily, a scalper offers to gouge us for a 100-level ticket so no one misses the game. Also, the new girlfriend is here and doing a convincing impression of a barnacle affixed to XBF's back. Must be my sexy sweatshirt.
8:37 p.m.: Security guards at the foot of the club level escalator are writing big X's on each ticket that passes through. Just as we settle into our standing-room "seats" and I'm starting to doubt that our 17th member will find a way to join us, XBF stuffs my checked ticket into his jacket pocket. A few minutes later, he returns with the last man, each with a ticket in hand. The barnacle rushes to reattach herself.
8:56 p.m.: HOLY SHIT DID YOU SEE THAT? A few days from now, Mike Shanahan and others on the team will swear that Robert Griffin III practiced that "pass" to Josh Morgan and everything went as planned, but as far as the officials and everyone with eyes are concerned, that's a fumble recovery for a touchdown. I only see the play because a 30-something hot dad wearing a Manning jersey let me stand in front of him. Maybe politer girls wouldn't cheer so loudly in his face, but I don't have time for manners right now!
10:03 p.m.: Some beer-gutted yokel in a Moss jersey has just picked a fight with Manning The Hot Dad, and is trying to trample me to get at him. Hot Dad's friends form a wall, and lots of bumping and slurring and stumbling goes on until security intervenes and removes hillbilly Moss. He will return at the start of the third quarter.
10:40 p.m.: I'm trying to surpress my urge to strangle this profane Giants fanlady, who is cursing like a sailor, which is only unacceptable for ladies who are not me. Her decibel level steadily rises, whereas her attractiveness level remains a constant hideous. Imagine that Jon Lovitz dressed up as a witch and became a Giants fan. This sow is his ugly cousin. Her shrieks become especially grating when New York takes a 16-10 lead going into half time. I can't take this any more, I'm getting a soft pretzel. As I walk by XBF, I notice the barnacle has draped herself over him like a quilt with trust issues.
11:09 p.m.: Back in my section, my feet are starting to throb and the soft pretzel is no more, but at least I spent nearly $100 on a child-sized RG3 jersey to cheer myself up. At this point, I'm wearing six layers of clothing and feeling more than slightly warm. The imbecile in the Moss jersey has had four too many Coors Lights to focus on fighting, and instead resorts to making angry faces while leaning slightly to the left. I really hope we win this game.
11:17 p.m.: RG3 TO PEPE GARCON, TOUCHDOWN REDSKINS!!! And the crowd goes wild. I might as well take sandpaper directly to my vocal chords, but there ain't no shame in my game. I even high-five Moss, who promptly loses his balance and tips over into a discarded tray of nachos. This is definitely the best moment of my life.
11:18 p.m.: I go from celebrating to panicking faster than Nic Cage steals cars in that one movie. The Giants get the ball back with more than 11 minutes to play. My first two layers of clothing are sickeningly damp.
11:38 p.m.: You know those shows about near-death experiences and how your life flashes before your eyes? I feel like I'm rising out of my body, looking down on myself as I shout and wince and perspire. Not my most flattering angle, actually. I nearly bite through my lip when Griffin connects with Garcon on a 17-yard strike for the game-clinching third first down. Three plays later and RG3 kneels to run out the clock and beat the division-leading Giants by one point. The whole stadium goes berserk. I won't even remember leaving the building through my happy delirium.
12:50 a.m.: Delirium over. I decided to metro home alone rather than ask for a ride with XBF and the woman who might as well be his conjoined twin. My cheek is mashed up against the glass of a packed metro train that has been stalled at Potomac Avenue for the past 20 minutes. A stranger's hot breath on my ear has pushed me to the very fringes of sanity. I'm convinced that, if not for all the layers, my skin would literally spew in all directions. My bra, tank top, Cooley jersey, "Dallas Sucks" sweatshirt, RG3 jersey, winter coat, and scarf have conspired to suffocate me. Just when I'm about to strip naked, a voice over the intercom says the train has broken down. Eff me.
1:15 a.m.: After standing for eight hours, I can feel my pulse in my feet. Thank Jesus, Mary, and Joseph that a replacement train has arrived.
1:48 a.m.: The replacement train goes one stop before getting stuck behind a second broken train. We have been sitting for 30 minutes and everyone realizes we are no longer "holding momentarily." My phone is dead and I'm considering violence when I overhear three guys talking about cabbing back to Adam's Morgan. They are my only chance of getting off this train before the Mayan apocalypse, and they look harmless enough in a yuppy-consultant way, so I ask if I can join them. Sure, they could turn out to be a band of Patrick Batemans, but serial killers usually operate alone. I kid you not, these are my thoughts.
2:01 a.m.: We are somewhere in SE getting on a bus headed for Friendship Heights. I regret not having been more religious, because only the Lord in Heaven can save me now. Besides a few wayward fans, the bus is filled with the people you'd expect to see on a bus at 2 in the morning. Somehow, this is of little comfort.
2:15 a.m.: The guys I'm following decide to get off at the stop nearest to Chinatown and walk six blocks north until they find a cab. My feet are dead to me. We make small talk that I don't remember. And we won't make it into a cab for at least another 30 minutes.
2:55 a.m.: Praise RG3-sus I've made it! There are no sheets on my bed, but LONG HAIR DON'T CARE. In the few nanoseconds before I pass out, I feel grateful not to end up a lampshade in some deranged predator's basement because that would mean I couldn't wear my RG3 jersey to work tomorrow. And that's all that really matters, anyway.