On any other day, the lawyer would have been happy to talk to a reporter, get his name in the paper, maybe enhance his public image a little and pick up a few new clients. Any other day, that is, but Super Bowl Sunday when he was unmasked as a nonbeliever.
"I don't follow football," said the lawyer, who was discovered yesterday swimming at the Washington Marriott Hotel pool while Washington battled to victory over Miami.
He refused to give his name for fear he would lose clients if they heard he didn't care about the Redskins.
"I thought this would be a good time to come over and do some swimming," he said, surveying the empty pool.
All over Washington, while Redskin fever raged, a few hardy souls refused to succumb. They pontificated on the evils of professional sports while watching a rerun of "Agronsky and Company." They ventured out to almost empty movie theaters and shopping centers. They went to the library.
Mostly, they felt smug.
"It seems a little ridiculous the way people are all excited over it like it's a holiday, like the Fourth of July or Christmas or something," said George Sui, a bagger at the Georgetown Safeway store who volunteered to work last night so he could avoid all the football frenzy.
"I guess it's good to see a spirit in the city, but I'm just not interested," he said. "I prefer racquetball."
Shopper Elmer Mihalyi was equally blase. 'I'll listen to the radio tomorrow to see who won," said Mihalyi, piloting his shopping cart through almost deserted aisles. "I don't know anything about football. What's all this hog business about, anyway?"
For some, the decision to pass up the gridiron spectacle was not a voluntary one. Greg Nemrow, a Georgetown University junior, said he was reading a Faulkner novel at the school library because of "an incredibly guilty conscience."
"I had too much work due tomorrow and the next day," said Nemrow, a disconsolate Redskins fan who was hoping to go home and catch the last few minutes of the game.
Audrey Robinson, a 19-year-old premed student at Howard University, was in the medical school library last night and couldn't have cared less about football.
"I don't have any particular interest in the game, and I have a lot of studying to do," she said.
And then there was the British businessman who was hurrying down M Street in search of his dinner. For him, the mention of dolphins, redskins, hogs and other strange creatures was just so much American gibberish.
"Super Bowl?" asked aviation executive James Garner. "What's the Super Bowl?"