It’s that time of year again. Professional football is in full swing and that means the Washington Redskins are back in action.
It doesn’t matter how good (or bad) the Skins are, and, honestly, it doesn’t matter if you root for another team altogether, a trip to FedEx Field in nearby Landover, Maryland (yes, there is a Metro stop) belongs on any sports fan’s DC fall bucket list.
Don’t believe us? Here are five reasons why you should plan a Sunday Funday down at FedEx (regardless if you root for the Skins or not):
Second to None Tailgating
The Washington Redskins have one of the most passionate fan bases in the country and it really shows in the parking lots of FedEx Field before kickoff. The tailgating atmosphere is electric and there is no shortage of diehard fans to get pumped up with. No matter how the team is performing, you can count on a fun tailgate in the FedEx parking lot.
The largest home-team tailgate at FedEx Field is “The HailBBQ Tailgate,” which can be located by the border of the Purple and Orange lots at the G20 sign. Tailgate Ted, Executive Chef of the HailBBQ Tailgate, is a longtime Redskins fan and infamous throughout the Redskins community. If you’re looking for the full Redskins tailgating experience, bring your appetite, favorite beverage, and go say hello to Tailgate Ted. Don’t worry, opposing fans are welcome as well; just make sure to email Ted in advance.
Wondering where all the most passionate fans are tailgating before the game? Look no further than the Red Zone Lot. The Extremeskins can be found at RZ30 Red Zone. This potluck style tailgate relies on its participants to bring all the supplies necessary for a tailgate to thrive, and thrive it does. Not only does this prestigious pregame tailgate know how to put on a party, but they also raise donations for an “Official Extremeskins Charity” that is selected annually. The Extremeskins Tailgate has established itself as a cornerstone in the FedEx Field parking lot.
FedEx Field Stadium Attractions
There is no shortage of activities once inside FedEx Field. If you’re looking to continue your tailgate inside the stadium, head to the Bud Light Party Pavilion. The Pavilion is one of the prime spots in the stadium and offers entertainment, music provided by a DJ, and a place where you can watch the Team 980 Redskins radio broadcast live. Redskin alums John Riggins and Chris Cooley are regulars and cornhole, giant yard pong, and Jenga are among the games available for play. Feel what it’s like to be in the game with Virtual Reality simulators under the Bud Light Party Pavilion tent. The Bud Light Party Pavilion is by far the best in stadium tailgate spot.
The newest attraction at FedEx Field is the freshly built fan pavilion in the west end zone. The fan pavilion will offer a fresh scene for Redskins nation to come together to get ready for the action. This new venue will feature breakfast sandwiches, a Bloody Mary bar, and thirty TVs showing every NFL game. Now you can walk around the stadium, check on other games, and get a view of what’s happening on the field without being in your seat. The pavilion opens up the stadium a bit, which brings a modern feel to FedEx.
New Faces of the Franchise
Although we are all saddened to see Kirk Cousins go, we have a new impressive, veteran quarterback in Alex Smith, who is cool under pressure and has shown chemistry with the potentially scary Redskins offense. Smith will lead a passing attack with a solid three-headed monster. Jordan Reed is the best route running tight end in the game when healthy, Jamison Crowder can be a nightmare in the slot, and Chris Thompson makes linebackers look silly in the flat.
Now if this isn’t enough for you, the Redskins signed future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson. AP has shown that he has plenty of gas left in the tank. This may be the last season you get to see an absolute legend run over the opposing defense in the nation’s capital. Players with something to prove burn on a peak level of motivation and AP is no exception to this.
This year’s defense will be led by quarterback sack extraordinaire, Ryan Kerrigan, and D.J. “Jungle Boi” Swearinger, who reminds fans of Redskins legend Sean Taylor. Kerrigan is a fangirl favorite whose motor and passion is second to none. D.J. wears Sean Taylor’s rookie number thirty-six and brings a similar heavy-hitting playing style to his game. Safe to say, DJ is a fun player to a watch, especially in person.
Finally, the Redskins bolstered their defensive line by drafting Da’Ron Payne, a stud defensive tackle from the University of Alabama. Payne joins former Alabama teammate Jonathan Allen. Vernon Davis, Redskins tight end and former Maryland Terrapin, recently gave them the very fitting nickname of “the Alabama wall.”
Ale to the Redskins!
Contrary to popular belief, FedEx Field has vastly increased their variety in beer options the past few years. This expansion started in 2015, and continues to up the ante each year. Devils Backbone has released two Redskins-styled beers this season. The two flavors are burgundy and gold to match the main colors of the Redskins. Tri-state craft beers from Port City, DC Brau, and RAR Brewing are also available. There has never been a better time for craft beer lovers to visit FedEx.
Football Sized Grub
There is no shortage of food options this year. Along with the traditional options of wings, chicken tenders, fries, and pretzels come some new delicious options. If you are a true carnivore like myself, there is a new Pit Bull foot-long beef hot dog with horseradish, mustard sauce, and giardiniera. Tired of the same old BLT? Try the new “PBLT” sandwich with crispy pork belly, lettuce, tomato jam and black pepper aioli on sourdough bread. Don’t forget the huge new DMV Super Burrito, which consists of three pounds of chicken and half-smoke sausage with two pounds of Spanish rice, shredded lettuce, tomato, avocado, and black bean salsa. Planning to ball out on the club-level? The Maryland crab grilled cheese with Old Bay lemon aioli is a must. Finally, cure that sweet tooth and check out the new cotton candy stand, which features cookie dough and Fireball flavored concoctions.
Now, let’s recap on this Redskins game day guide. A trip to FedEx Field offers top-notch tailgating, some amazing stadium attractions, new franchise players including one of the best running backs to play the game, new local craft beers, and larger than life grub. Need I say more? Go check out a Redskins game this year, follow this guideline, and I guarantee that you will have a Sunday to remember.
View More Articles By Colin MacCarthy