A 14-hour drive to be first into Redskins Park: Priceless

After a 14-hour drive from Tampa, Craig Holmers relaxed in a grey folding chair outside the entrance of Redskins Park Thursday morning.

For the second straight year, he said, he was first in line for the opening of Redskins training camp. But the wait wasn’t quite finished yet. The gates wouldn’t open for another four hours.

“We just want to be first,” said Holmers. “I always want to be the first one here.”

Thursday was the first day of a three-city training camp tour for Holmers and his friend, Brian Jensen. Holmers said he will spend two days with the Redskins, two with the Pittsburgh Steelers and two with the Carolina Panthers.

Holmers, a retail manager, plans to hit the camps of all 32 NFL teams in his lifetime. He says he’s been to nearly half already.

“Last year we did Patriots, Jets, the Giants and here,” said Holmers. “It’s a little expensive, but you know what? It’s worth it.”

To ensure they would be first into the park, Holmers arrived in Ashburn Wednesday afternoon and sat on the lawn outside the complex’s entrance. He hoped to track down autographs as the players drove by, but was told by a Redskins’ official to move to the other side of the road.

“We were just waving at the players,” said Holmers. “They were honking and waving back at us.”

The pair spent a night in a hotel, then returned before 10 a.m. to take up their postions at the head of the line. Gates open at 1 p.m.

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