And at Velocity5 in Centreville, a popular gathering spot for Redskins fans, the scene went from standing room only at kickoff to “a madhouse,” according to bartender Dan Lee, 29.
“I hadn’t seen a scene like that since George Mason made it to the Final Four in 2006,” said Lee, a GMU graduate. “The Redskins haven’t been good for a while. So for them to beat the Cowboys and get in the playoffs, it was a shock.”
Six time zones to the east, in Nice, France, longtime Redskins fan Jonathan Scriven had set his alarm for 2:15 a.m. to rouse his 14-year-old son for kickoff. They watched ESPN America together, wrapped in blankets, next to their drooping Christmas tree.
“Throughout the game I kept trying to explain to Patrick that when I was his age, these kinds of games seemed to happen every year — sometimes with the Cowboys, sometimes with the Giants, sometimes with the Eagles,” Scriven wrote in an e-mail. “I’m not sure he understood.”
Back at FedEx Field, when the Redskins put the game away
on Dallas quarterback Tony Romo’s third interception, ushers high-fived ticket-holders, rotund men gyrated in sync with Redskins cheerleaders and the deafening noise got even louder.
“I’ve been waiting for this my whole life,” shrieked Samantha Gordin, 23, who had yelled the entire game with her cousin, Dana, from seats that had been in her family for three generations. “RGIII has brought what the Redskins needed. And he has brought Redskins fans back to where we deserve.”
Peering down from Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s box was former coach Joe Gibbs, architect of the team’s three Super Bowl titles, who was thrilled by both the team’s performance and the fun his own son, J.D., and four of his grandsons and their buddies were having as spectators, cheering from their seats in the stands below.
“Those little guys were high-fiving a bunch of fans around them, singing and doing the wave. I got the biggest kick out of it,” Gibbs said in a telephone interview Monday.
“I think that’s the greatest sports franchise in the world, with the greatest fans. Right now everybody is on a high. The coaching staff has done a great job with the offense. I think they’ve got a good chance to beat anybody right now.”