All seemed to go well for the 79,411 fans who visited FedEx Field yesterday to watch the Washington Redskins take on the Detroit Lions in the Redskins' first home playoff game in eight seasons.
Some ticket mix-ups over the past week and an expected huge turnout at the stadium could have complicated matters for police and Redskins officials, but most fans were in place by the 4:05 p.m. kickoff.
Prince George's County Police said that there were no complaints, and that everything went smoothly except for an incident on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
Virginia State Police said traffic was slowed on the Wilson Bridge when a man threatened to jump from the bridge. The man was later taken into custody and all traffic lanes reopened, police said. However, a couple of thousand seats remained empty at kickoff, perhaps because of the bridge incident.
Karl Swanson, a spokesman for Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder, said that the stadium's parking lots were nearly half full by 1:30 p.m.
"Fans obviously had taken our advice to come early and make a day of it," Swanson said. "It's unfortunate many of our fans were delayed by the Wilson Bridge problems. But once that cleared, they were able to get to the stadium and in their seats."
There were some other slowdowns in traffic, particularly on New York Avenue, where construction reduced three lanes to one in some spots, causing jams and adding 30 minutes to that route to the stadium.
"It was horrendous," said Vincent Llewellyn, who left work in the District and was stuck on New York Avenue for about 45 minutes.
But most fans were just happy to be watching their team in a playoff game after the drought that lasted most of the 1990s.
John Kolbe and his son, Ron, both of Elkridge, Md., were among the first to arrive at the stadium, pulling into the parking lot at 8 a.m., eight hours before kickoff.
"I love them when they win. I love them when they lose," the elder Kolbe said. "I am a die-hard fan."
B. Johnson's New Image
Quarterback Brad Johnson's wrangling with defensive end Robert Porcher scored him big points with some of his teammates who were watching from the sideline.
"That's the best thing I've seen all year," Redskins defensive end Ndukwe Kalu said. "When I saw him get that body-slam on whoever that was, that got me so hyper I wanted to go out there and body slam someone else. I've always respected Brad; he's always been my favorite quarterback. But after he did that . . . that was awesome. He has a defensive lineman's mentality."
The melee that followed, as several players joined in the third-quarter fracas, did not impress veteran Redskins cornerback Darrell Green, however.
"I was disappointed in our mental breakdowns in terms of the skirmishes we got into," Green said. "When you're trying to win a Super Bowl, you've got to be sharp mentally. Other than that, I was very proud of this team."
Staff writer Liz Clarke contributed to this report.