Before the Big Choke

The best time to be at Redskins Stadium yesterday was before the game against the Dallas Cowboys. Before all the fans choked on their popcorn, before the team--well, there's no polite way to say this--pathetically, horribly choked.

But the pregame was lovely for the elite who joined Dan Snyder in the glass-enclosed, wood-paneled owner's suite: America Online CEO Steve Case, who topped the list of young high-tech moguls; publisher Mort Zuckerman; Arthur Andersen head John Schwieters; Washington lawyer Lloyd Cutler; and vice presidential adviser Leon Fuerth. Waiters served food prepared by an on-site chef to guests ensconced in plush gold and burgundy chairs.

"Oh, it is fun," said Lynn Fuerth. "You look out and it's almost not real. It's like the biggest television I've ever seen."

And there were hundreds of parties outside, where veteran Skins fans tailgated like crazy. Dressed crazy, too. Like Louise McDonald, one of three Coughlin sisters--real sisters from Hillcrest Heights--who were dressed in burgundy-and-gold nun's habits. They were praying for the new owner, she said: "He's bought the best fans in the NFL." Michael "Boss Hogette" Torbert and the rest of his cross-dressing hams snorted at Pam "The Fan" Thomas for supporting the Cowboys. Thomas and all the other Cowboys fans just smirked.

The best party was the barbecue in the parking lot near marker H20, where 200 die-hard Skins fans ate more than 100 pounds of grilled meats and drank and danced until kickoff. "I think we probably have the biggest tailgate party," said Arlington real estate broker George Cranwell. "We all know each other from the old stadium."

"I have more fun here than at the game," said co-host Bart Harris. "By the time the game starts, I'm so exhausted that sometimes I sit in my car and listen to it on the radio."

And it's less painful than, say, actually watching it.

Dixon's Hot Property

A "Welcome Back" banner was draped on the Georgetown home of real estate doyenne Pat Dixon, who greeted hundreds of old and new friends at her annual end-of-summer bash. "This is what we call the Old Guard, and they're all here," said Dixon (above right, with pal Baba Groom). Mandy and Mary Ourisman, left, were among the partygoers who elevated air-kissing to an art form.

Wrestling With The Issues

Bill Regardie is back, and this time he's got lady wrestlers. The flamboyant publisher unveiled his latest business magazine, Regardie's Power, Wednesday night at Sam & Harry's restaurant in Vienna. Right, from top, investors like Albert D'Alesandro got a big smooch from Regardie, while designers Raleigh Schein and Dean Nettles danced under the magazine's first cover--a picture that included two female wrestlers in zebra-stripe string bikinis. It's a business story. Honest.