Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Redskins Photo Shoot

I was invited to accompany patients from Children’s National Medical Center to the Redskins game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last December 12. It was cold and rainy, but fortunately when you are in the elements with cancer patients, the hospital staff tends to bring extra ponchos, gloves, blankets, and sneaked-in water and snacks.

The Skins dominated the first half with Ryan Torain rushing for 158 yards, though Gano missed two field goals of 34 and 24 yards. But, they’re the Redskins, and allowed Tampa to take the lead with under four minutes left.

We left our seats in the fourth quarter and caught the end of the game on a TV inside the stadium. In a bizarre event, the scoreboard showed the incorrect down. Our group huddled together wondering if the game was over, confused, when McNabb threw possibly his only non-bounce pass of the game to Santana Moss for a touchdown with seconds left. The Redskins were down by one point.

“They should try a two-point conversion because Gano may miss the extra point," I said.

Coach Shanahan did not hear me. The snap sailed over the holder’s head and they lost by one point.

Fortunately when you are in the presence of cancer patients, you get to meet the players: all of them bar Santana and McNabb. After one of the worst losses of their careers on a dreary late fall evening. But only pediatric cancer patients could meet the angry players.

I’m only slightly embarrassed with my pretension to be a decade younger with a life-threatening disease. I'm not at all embarrassed that I snagged the end seat, making this my own personal Redskins photo shoot.

Washington Redskins' Kedric Golston signing autographs at FedEx Field
Kedric Golston is beatable in a cagefight
Washington Redskins' London Fletcher signing autographs at FedEx Field
London Fletcher wears a scarf?
Washington Redskins' Graham Gano signing autographs at FedEx Field
"How's it going?" I said to Gano. "I've been better," he said. My  feelings toward him went from hatred to pity.
Washington Redskins' Chris Cooley signing autographs at FedEx Field
Chris Cooley was thrilled to meet us Cancer People
Washington Redskins' DeAngelo Hall signing autographs at FedEx Field
"Your former college Virginia Tech will get crushed by Stanford in the Orange Bowl," I should have told DeAngelo Hall
Washington Redskins signed football
Adding this to my Wall of Fame