It was to be Joe Gibbs’ first game back, pacing the sidelines at FedEx field as the Redskins played their 2nd preseason game, Gibbs’ first game at home in his 2nd tenure as the Redskins head coach. No one can doubt the importance of this game (or lack thereof). It was, after all, a preseason game. The weather? Well, let’s just say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the Redskins took the field on Saturday night, August 14th against the NFC Champion and Super Bowl runner-up, Carolina Panthers.
Did that deter TheHogs.net from throwing their first tailgate of the 2004-05 season? Absolutely not! DEHog (and DEHog Jr.) and Justice Hog (and Christine) braved the elements and set up shop at the Blue Lot #8, both arriving at the same time about 20 minutes before the lot even opened up. A canopy (albeit a defective one that will surely be replaced by the next game) kept us fairly dry as we cooked cheeseburgers, sausages, and brats nicely washed down by soda, water and, of course, lots of beer. From one direction, we pulled in a group of young fans that brought just a canopy and beer. From another direction, seeing that they were having no luck firing up a hibachi in the rain, we pulled in another group….offering food cooked on our “dry” grills. We talked about Redskins football. We ate. We talked about Joe Gibbs. We drank. We talked about TheHogs.net.
These were true fans. Fans that came out to a fairly meaningless game in the pouring rain. Fans that can now go home to their families and say, “I was there to see Joe Gibbs’ first game back.” As one of those fans and as a new season ticket holder this year, I arrived to my seats in the stadium and sat in them for the first time. After wiping the blood from my nose…obviously the result of being so high, I noticed that the stadium welcomed only about ¼ of the fans. Although the remaining ¾ didn’t show up for this game, I had no doubt in my mind that this stadium will be packed to capacity when the Skins take on the Bucs on September 12th.
No. This game wasn’t about the rain. It wasn’t about TheHogs.net inaugural tailgate. This game was about “the man” returning home to his family and finally taking his team out on the home soil to play a boy’s game. The 2004-05 Redskins are back in town. Joe Gibbs is back in town….and we will be there every step of the way to cheer him, and the team, on!
If you are planning on attending one (or more) of the games this year, please join TheHogs.net official tailgate club and meet your brothers and sisters of the site, along with other fans that happen to stop by. Come by for food, drink…and excellent conversation.
Although we were in the Blue lot for the Carolina game, we will be tailgating in the RED LOT #4 for the remaining home games of the 2004-05 season. We will try to set up shop at the corner of the lot just off of Arena drive. Look for TheHogs.net banner!
Editor's note: The Pig Pen is a new feature at theHogs.net. We will be tailgating before every game at Fed Ex field this season, and this column will highlight some of the people that we meet. So come down for some slop and hang out in the Pig Pen.