DC (2013)

A day after the government shutdown, four Chicagoans drove to D.C. in search of a Bears victory, instead they defaced ESPN 1000 property and got robbed by hobbits.

Dan “Bill Swerski” Hyland, Anthony “Tony O Chicago” Oral, Parker Cleveland and Jerry “Geraldo” Castro set out for D.C. around 9 P.M.,  immediately something went wrong. Tony O forgot the tickets at his girlfriend’s house, adding an hour onto our 11 hour drive. However, Tony O did not forget the traveling Tom Waddle jersey that is given to a fan to wear at Bears games, which ESPN 1000 entrusted him with. Bad call.

After a pretty uneventful drive with a stop in Virginia, the crew arrived in D.C. at 2 P.M. on Saturday.

The first stop was at the Marine Corps War Memorial, where there were a dozen other visiting Bears fans. At that point we knew there was going to be a heavy Bears presence. Walking around the capital, people were saying “Go Bears” to us almost everywhere we went. After going to a couple bars, the night ended early with anticipation for tomorrow’s Bears game.

Waking up at 9:30 A.M., the crew took a $60 cab ride to a Bears tailgate by FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The stadium is 12 miles from D.C., which isn’t horrible, but traffic and public transportation are horrible. We finally arrived at our tailgate at 10:45 with two Mexicans, a hillbilly and Bill Swerski, Super Fan.

Tony O and Geraldo brought an RGIII jersey proclaiming that they would burn it in front of Redskin fans. Instead they gave it to a little Redskins fan, making the kid’s day, the opposite reaction they intended.

The majority of Redskins jerseys worn were RGIII or murdered safety Sean Taylor, maybe because Taylor’s accused killer’s trial started last week nearly six years after his death. The fan ratio was weird, 60 percent Redskin fans, 30 percent Bears fans and 10 percent random NFL fans.

The game itself was exciting, depressing and frustrating. Chicago only gained 46 yards in the first half, and Jay Cutler was seriously injured but the Bears were only down a TD. The one thing that can always lift a Bears fan’s spirits, a Devin Hester touchdown.

Hester tied Deion Sanders’ NFL record with 19 career touchdown returns.

After the Bears TD to put Chicago up 41-38 with less than four minutes to play, I went to the bathroom and one Redskins fan started talking some trash. So I responded with “your team is racist,” he did not take it very well. The Redskins fan instantly starts defending his team’s name and calling me a “liberal piece of shit.” I replied “It’s racist, say goodbye to your team. And Chicago gets to keep the name Blackhawks.”

It wasn’t like the guy was going to fight, until we leave the bathroom, and the Redskins fan says “nice shoes, faggot” to Tony O, who was wearing Earl Bennett neon orange shoes. Tony O replies “what you gonna do about it? Let’s go, bro!” Then the Redskins fan and Tony O bump chests like sumo wrestlers, but they both weighed maybe 140 lbs and neither looked like fighters.

Myself and a random girl break up the dust up. I tell the Redskins fan we were just messing around, he replied “yeah, my bad. The name is kind of racist.” We both wished each other luck and moved on. It shows what fans will do to defend their team although its politically incorrect (Penn St., Redskins). And it shows how far Tony O will go to defend his shoes.

Back to the game, everyone in the stadium was on the edge of their seat. Bears fans knew RGIII could drive the Redskins down the field in four minutes. And Redskins fans knew the Bears can create turnovers.

RGIII lived up to his reputation and took Washington down the field for a game-winning touchdown to put the Redskins ahead 41-45. It was a great game, it was the most points scored in a Bears game since 2008 but it was the most points (41) Chicago ever scored in a loss.

It was a devastating loss and FedEx Field was nothing meriting a visit, besides holding 90,000 and housing a Hooters. But we were still in the nation’s capital and needed to release some tension after a roller coaster of emotions. We took a 30 minute walk to the train back downtown. At that point the crew split up, and their nights went in completely different directions.

Tony O and Geraldo went out on the town with the Waddle jersey, Hyland and Cleveland got dinner and toured the National Mall.

Hyland and Cleveland got dinner and watched Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis, then rented a couple bikes. We saw the Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Finally, a stop at the deserted Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The only other people there were two college students dressed in hobbit cloaks.

As we walked up to the memorial, they were climbing the Jefferson statue and immediately got down and ran down the stairs. They stole one of our rental bikes but were nice enough to return it, so I wasn’t charged $1,000 for the stolen bike. Hobbits are respectful people.

On the other side of town, Tony O and Geraldo decided the Waddle jersey needed to celebrated at the Cloak Room, a local gentleman’s club. First, they let the dancers take the jersey on stage, which was met with boos from the D.C. crowd. Then the dancer used the jersey in her act on stage. Last, Tony O and Geraldo encouraged seven dancers to sign the traveling Waddle jersey.

Waddle and Silvy weren’t too happy about it and listeners weren’t either. But it might have started a new tradition.