Where can a guy or gal go to sing “Hail to the Redskins” along with a room full of jersey-wearing, burgundy-and-gold maniacs around here? The answer isn’t as simple as you might think.
We always hear that D.C. is a Redskins town, and there’s really no argument to the contrary when it comes to water-cooler conversation, TV ratings, column inches and pixels devoted to the team. But when it comes to finding a bona fide Redskins bar in this area, the search is as fruitful as a Rex Grossman bootleg.
You know the kind of place I’m talking about: framed jerseys, photos of the glory days, team memorabilia, that kind of thing. Somewhere the faithful can gather week in, week out, home or away, without pretension or boisterous fans of other teams, to ride the peaks and valleys and dream of the Super Bowl parade that is surely just one player away?
I get it: In this day and age of the Red Zone Channel, home theater setups and the team’s generally infurating on-field performances over the past 20 years, many once-boisterous fans of the once-proud franchise prefer to watch from their own couches; it’s easier to curse at the TV, they figure — and plus, the beer’s cheaper.
But for big games, nothing short of being at the stadium (and since the end of the RFK Stadium era, even this is debateable) tops being in a packed room with other fans — friends and strangers united by this often infuriating franchise we can’t help but love. One of the most essential components of such fandom is having a forum for sharing the ups and downs, raising glasses to the past and future, muttering about the present and, above all else, singing the best fight song in the world.
These places exist, but for fans of other teams: Have you ever been to Duffy’s when the Packers are playing? You might as well be in Green Bay. Same thing’s true for Buffalo Bills fans at Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern and the Laughing Man; Oakland Raiders fans at Kelly’s Irish Times; New England Patriots fans at Murphy’s of Alexandria; Pittsburgh Steelers fans at the Pour House. The list goes on.
There have to be at least a few havens of true Redskins fandom around here for D.C. fans to take ownership of, and not a sports megabar like Public Bar or Buffalo Billiards that shows the Redskins alongside every other game on a Sunday. A place where the TVs are all tuned to one game and one game only, where anyone who dares wear enemy colors is ridiculed from before kickoff until after the final whistle, where faded images of Sonny Jurgensen, Sammy Baugh, Mark Rypien and Sean Taylor line the walls, where it doesn’t matter whether the team is 4-12 or 12-4, fans will gather. Surely, places like this must exist somewhere in the metropolitan area. But where?
So we put this call out to you, faithful fans: Where are the area’s truest, burgundiest and goldest Redskins bars? Let us know if you have found something matching the platonic ideal described above. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet to us at @goingoutguide using #BestSkinsBars.