Aloha Redskin fans and Riggo’s Rag followers. Being a current resident of Oahu, Sunday I was fortunate enough to attend my first and only NFL game this season . . . . meaningless yes, but still a game, and fun to see live. A few notes and comments from Sunday’s action at the Pro Bowl in Honolulu:
First off, I’d like to give a big shout out, and praise for a moment, one Mr. London Levi Fletcher for not only representing the Redskins in the Pro Bowl this year, but representing in Fletch-like fashion, leading all NFC players with 7 tackles in the game. Interesting that with all the top 10 draft picks the Redskin’s have had in the last 10 years, the only player to represent the team in the Pro Bowl each of the last 3 seasons is a 36 year old undrafted FA out of John freaking’ Carroll! It is truly remarkable when you stop and think about the career he has had, and obstacles he has overcome in his life. A class act, a leader, and a player I’d really like to see finish his career in Washington. Do the right thing Bruce Allen, reward the man this offseason!
I was wearing my burgundy #59 jersey with pride all day yesterday, and not surprisingly I saw a few more scattered throughout the stadium. The Pro Bowl crowd had fans of all 32 teams represented. There were numerous Pittsburgh Steeler fans and a whole lot of Cheese heads from Wisconsin. Many Dallas fans there as well. Redskin fans were represented, but not in large numbers. I’d say the most popular jersey I saw throughout the day was either a #12 Tom Brady jersey or a #43 Troy Polamalu jersey. I don’t believe I saw a single Tampa Bay Bucaneers fan the entire day. Fans of rival franchises were jawing and joking with each other all day long, it was a unique atmosphere and interesting to be at a football game in which 50, 60, 90%? of the fans were not clearly behind a home team.
Not too much to say about the game itself. If you watched on TV you know what I’m talking about. There were many “big plays” to see which was nice. Brandon Marshall had a pretty sick touchdown that may have been the play of the year if it had taken place in an actual regular season game. But for the most part, it was what you would expect from an All-Star game . . . little to no tackling, zero intensity, “gimmicky” play calls, and little defense. One thing I did take from the game . . . Larry Fitzgerald is a beast! (in case you didn’t already know) This guy is completely lost out there in Arizona and I am fully on board with the Redskins doing whatever it takes to pluck him out of Cardinal obscurity and get him in a Burgandy & Gold uniform A.S.A.P! (we’ll worry about the whole acquiring a QB to throw him the ball part later).
One last note that I thought Redskin fans mite be interested in . . . I have finally found a football stadium NOT named FedEx Field with even more traffic headaches, overall ineptitude, and idiocy when it comes to game-day parking, planning, and experience: Aloha Stadium. Trying to park at FedEx Field 20 minutes before a Redskin’s kickoff with 4 flat tires and no parking pass would be a more favorable scenario than what I experienced yesterday. Very poor planning on behalf of the host city and stadium this year, it was quite absurd. I won’t rant about all the specifics, but in summary . . . Showed up 2.5 hours before the game, signs for $10 parking lots took you all around the stadium in circles, only to be directed back out to the freeway. The lots “were all full” unless you had a special parking pass that nobody was informed about in advance . . . then they funneled hundreds of cars across a long bridge to park in a field at a military base about a mile away from the stadium, (where large signs inform you that tailgating is prohibited) and load you onto a school bus that takes you to the main intersection outside the stadium and drops you off. After the game, we waited in a line for about an hour to simply get back on a school bus to take us to our parked car, to which we then got in our car, and waited another 75-90 minutes in a long, one-lane road amidst a sea of red tail lights, simply to exit the base . . . with plenty of hot, un-opened beer left in the car all day staring back at you, taunting you the entire time. Denied at stadium lots 2.5 hours before kickoff, no tailgating, long lines that don’t move, school bus rides? It was ridiculous. Game ended around 5:20 PM . . . saw the stadium in my rear view mirror at 8:oo PM, no joke. All in all, I enjoyed attending the game despite the commuting headaches. This year is the last year on the contract between the NFL and the city of Honolulu to host the Pro Bowl festivities. I am curious to see what the league does in the near future in regards to changes to the game itself, location, etc.