We will call her Sally because her real name is something else. She is an upstanding business executive in Washington and she's afraid if this story gets out. She'll seem a wacko airhead, or a bubblebrain even. Some people, she says, just don't understand the need to sing "Hail to the Redskins" and then do chin-ups on an awning at 2:30 in the morning.You know how some people are.
Readers long have massed at the corner of 15th and L Street NW, demanding that the Washington Post send a sportswriter on one of those tour-group flights to Dallas for the Cowboys-Redskins game. What happens when 200 people pay $247 each for that trip? Sally was with the East Coast Parlor Car Tour group last week, and an intrepid sportswriter pieced together this account of how an upstanding business executive spent the wee hours the night before the Thanksgiving game . . .
Because it is an unwavering rule of humna behavior that the distance from home is directly proportional to the quantity of liquor thrown down, we must report that Dallas is a long way from Washington. Sally and five friends caused $100 worth of margaritas to disappear before they decided the Dallas Playboy Club needed live entertainment.
"Quarters, everybody," said Gladys, another pseudonymous tourist. She had her hat off and was passing among the customers, asking for donations to bribe the club's disc jockey for a respite from discomania.
"Heah ya go, hon," said a Texan.
He tossed a $50 bill into the hat.
Impressed with the collection, the disc jockey gave the air reprieve from another disco assault and bade Sally, Gladys and friends onto the stage, where they sang . .
Hail to the Redskins
Hell to the Cowboys
To hell with those we see!
Ou something like that. Memory clouds. Next thing anyone knew, the fog was rolling in on Dallas and it was 2:30 in the morning and Sally and Gladys were walking outside the famous restaurant, Elan. Well, what is an upstanding business executive going to do in this case? It is perfectly obvious that the only thing to do is go for the chin-up record.
So Sally leaped up and took hold of an awning support.
"Three chin-ups I did," she said later.
Gladys sort of confirmed it, saying, "We think it was three, but the fog and the margaritas made it hard to keep count."
Bubblebrainedness is not limited to upstanding business executives and intrepid sportswriters. The $247-per-person tour group included a computer scientist, a mother with three children, a psychologist and a lawyer from Animal House, Va. (more about him in a minute).
The tour guides were George Izo and jim Steffen, a quarterback and defensive back, respectively, for the Redskins in the early 1960s. In real life. Izo is a frozen-food broker. he does the tour guiding for a good reason. "You don't have to do much, you go to all the games and they pay you," he said.
The trip for the 200 people began with flights from National Airport on Wednesday afternoon. For an extra $30, they got Izo and Steffen as hosts to a champagne breakfast Thanksgiving, a brunch featuring a pregame pep talk by the old players ("I hate those) Cowboy bastards," Steffen said, nearly spilling his champagne), a Thanksgiving dinner after the game and then a "victory" party.
As the plane rolled onto the runway at National, a man wearing a Dallas Cowboys button on his jacket stood at his seat and announced. "I should have worn my black suit. That's who you wear on a funeral coach, ain't it? And the Redskins are going to be dead."
This was one very brave man, a Cowboy fan who put down his $247 to travel with 200 Redskin airheads. Clay Sanford, manager of an automotive parts warehouse in Bladensburg, has made seven Dallas trips, he said, even the year he had his broken knee in a cast.
In response to Sanford's funeral coach oration, the lawyer from Animal House, Va., said "Whooooaappp!" We'll call the lawyer Bluto and say he's on vacation from Animal House. No need for a whole town to know a silly football game moves a lawyer to empty every bottle he sees.
The game also affected Bluto's vocabulary. Like a hound dog yelping as a rabbit in his dream, the lawyer every 10 minutes or so would snap out of his semicomatose state long enough to shout,, "Whooooaappp!" He said nothing else in three days that could be interpreted as intelligent speech.
Lest anyone think that all 200 people on this tour criminally abused their livers, we should quickly introduce Kathryn Magill, 61, a teetotaler who says she has been a Redskin fan since Sammy Baugh was slinging 'em.
Kathryn's the one in the Indian wig.
With the red feather coming up from behind her head.
And the war paint on her face.
Here we are at the game Thanksgiving while millions of Americans celebrate the feast shared by pilgrims and Indians 3 1/2 centuries ago. And here in Section 115 of Texas Stadium, high in the upper deck, we see this woman in an Indian wig, feather and war paint.
Explain yourself, lady.
"I'm Cochise's grandmother," she said, smacking her gums.
At RFK Staduim, Katyryn dresses civilized, befitting her status as the mother of eight. For road games, she puts on her Indian stuff. Sometimes it causes trouble.
"See this?" she said. She pulled at one of her neo Indian pigtails. "It's a mess. It's these damned Cowboy fans. They see me and they grab my wig. That's why it's so torn up."
Kathryn, at halftime, didn't like the way the game was going. Dallas led, 20-0. "I'm going to be a sad Indian tonight," she said. "It's terrible." Then, brightening, she said, "But I'll have a good time, anyway. These Dallas people are nicer to us than they are in New York."
Only a few of the 200 tourist's really believed the Redskins could win. They had their individual grievarces: line-backer Chris Hanburger can't play anymore; only George Allen can fire up his team; let Billy Kilmer play and call his own game. But like Kathryn Magill they enjoyed the beautiful Texas Stadium, the eye-filling scene of shirling colors. They had a good time.
Lance Bergeron, 20, wore his Brad Dusek No. 59 jersey. Terry Tulley, 60, a computer scientist who's been in Iran the last five years, wore his turgundy slacks. Sonny Kerns, Skip Selden, Pat Dibble and Paul Andrews spent eight hours making a banner to catch the TV camera's eye. Airie Roulette, who with her psychologist husband Thomas learned football from a computer game while working in Saudi Arabia five years ago, came to cheer the Cowboys.
"About 40 or 50 of us is Saudi Arabia formed a computer football league," Mrs. Roulette said. "We were the Cowboys. I must say, though, we used to have trouble with the Redskins."
Clay Sanford's idea of fun was a little action. In Section 115, he waited until it was 20-0 and said, "A shutout! Here's $20 says the Cowboys shut out the bums. Who wants it?"
Eager Redskin fans took the action, and Doris O'Connor, a restaurant manager from Falls Church, said she would hold all bets. She raised the bottom of her blouse and tucked the $20 bills into her bra.
"I'm going to put $10 in the bank," a man said, and Doris said, "Not where this goes, baby."
Soon enough, Washington scored, making it 20-3, and Dorris retrieved the greenbacks, whereupon Sanford drummed up a new wager.
"I'm giving the Redskins and 16 points," he said.
In about two minutes, $300 had found its way next to Doris O'Connor's heart.
Sanford won those bets and later explained the "shutout" talk was "to sucker in these Redskins suckers." His special revenge came at the "victory" party back at the tour group's motel. When the Redskins won at Dallas two years ago, the tourists staged a ceremony in which they burned a cowboy hat.
Sanford's cowboy hat.
With him holding it.
So on this night, smiling kindly, Sanford moved to the balcony in the group's suite and with all the Redskin fans watching, set fire to a Redskin banner.
"Whooooaaap!" said Bluto.