Tailgate Tips: Portrait of a Redskins Family

You won’t find any high definition televisions at their tailgate.  No fancy portable grillmasters or technological wonders.  I doubt their setup has changed much in the last few decades, but why change when everything’s already perfect?

Glen and Pat Petty have been tailgating at Redskins games since 1955.  I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them every home game this year, and last week I had the honor of meeting them.  Their presence lends a certain dignity and class to the tailgating arena, and they give us all something to aspire to.  Watching them quietly sip wine and dine elegantly reminds us that there’s more to this wonderful pastime than drinking lots of beer, making noise, and talking trash.  Watching them pack up and walk arm in arm to the game gives me hope that perhaps someday thirty years from now I’ll be at the game with my wife, patiently listening to some journalist ask me rambling questions about what it was like to attend games back at that old Fed Ex Field.  

My wife had the pleasure of interviewing them for this week’s episode of Tailgate Tips. This is what she wrote:

I have rarely encountered anything in life like the Redskin Nation.  The instant comaraderie and brotherhood is something that has to be experienced to fully appreciate.  In the middle of this all sit an elderly but spry couple that have come here since 1955.  Since before Fed-Ex Field.  Since before RFK.  They were at Griffith Stadium! Fifty three years of tailgating.  Can you imagine?

Glen and Pat Petty have the most exquisite setup.  Redskins wineglasses with burgundy wine charms.  Redskins table runnerRedskins lunchboxes.  Fine wine, good food, and the Redskins; this is the good life. 

They say that this is their get away time.  This is their time to forget their problems and to be together. Life hasn’t always been easy, but they’re happy as long as they can have their Redskins football every Sunday in the fall.  In the end, isn’t this what it’s all about? Football, America’s sport, brings people together.  Football brings joy and allows friends and loved ones to share that joy. 

Hail Redskins.  Hail Glen and Pat Petty.

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