Redskins fan travels from Jerusalem for playoff game

January 10, 2013
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Sometime before Sunday’s Redskins experience turned sour, Reader Yair Rozmaryn wrote and told me he had flown in from Jerusalem for the Seahawks game, asking whether I thought his was the longest commute. I guessed it probably was. Then I asked Yair for an explanation. Here’s his story, which he typed up the morning after the game.

I’m a Jewish 30-year old married guy, and I love the Skins more than anything in the world besides my wife. I live in New York City, where I have a full-time job in Manhattan. I’ve had season tickets to the Redskins for six years. Since moving to New York, I have traveled on buses early Sunday mornings to D.C. (as an observant Jew, travel is not permitted from sundown Friday till Saturday night). I tailgate and go to the game, and return to Manhattan, exhausted, Sunday night.

Often, my lasting image upon leaving FedEx was Jim Zorn’s puzzled face after the 25th straight pass call under five yards or second straight fake punt, leaving me with a lot of life questions on a five-plus-hour bus ride through traffic back to NYC.

My wife and I planned a holiday vacation across the Atlantic a few months back, as I had assumed my beloved Skins would be couch-bound (like me) for the playoffs. During this trip, I missed being at the Cowboys game in person — which was gut-wrenching — but at least I got to watch it live at 4 a.m. with my cousin Ami in Jerusalem. (Mind you, he spends all day and night breaking down Skins games from Israel.)

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It was while celebrating the Dallas win that I decided I needed to be at the playoff game the next Sunday. My original return flight was to land in New York on Sunday afternoon. I spent the next day plotting all my moves to return stateside Saturday night (following the Sabbath — remember, no traveling from Friday evening to Saturday night). American Airlines wanted to charge me $2,200 to make this change. The only flight I could find otherwise was a one-way flight for $1,750 that went through JFK to D.C.

Once I secured arrangements to D.C. (I ended up using 100,000 points in miles and $506 cash), I needed to then find a way back to New York after the game, and found a train that would get me back in time for work Monday morning. Before clicking “buy,” I emailed a few big sports fans to make sure I was not crazy to attempt this (turns out I am).

I should add that while I was booking this travel, I was sitting in my wife’s grandparents’ apartment in Jerusalem while her family was sitting shiva for her grandfather, who had just sadly passed away. There may have been an inappropriate moment when I went fist-bumping people around the room with excitement and telling them “I’m headed to FedEx!!” after booking the flight, as my wife’s incredible family sat there mourning the loss of a truly great man. In hindsight, I’m actually a terrible person.

Anyway, as the story goes, I slept about 8 out of the 12 hours on this $1,700 flight, landed at JFK for a layover, spent forever getting through customs and getting my luggage, hopped on a connecting flight to BWI (where a guy on the flight actually got arrested when we landed!), convinced my dad to pick me up and drive to FedEx, met up with friends and family for tailgate, watched Shanny end RGIII’s career, and now I sit on a train back to New York with work in the morning. I am so tired. But I would do it all again without hesitation…’til my wife tells me otherwise.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Sarah Kogod · January 10, 2013