“No Joy in Landover”: The deleted scene!

Not everything I write makes it into the final version, so every so often I dump the leftovers here, like some online garbage disposal. Wait, no, that’s not the right metaphor. Like an online recycling bin. Or a DVD extras collection. Whatever. Anyway, I wrote an article about the desolate state of the Redskins, and you can read the original right here. Below is a deleted scene, focusing on the stadium at large. Enjoy.

If you’ve never been to FedExField – and, yes, you’re supposed to cram it all together into one Frankenstein’s monster of a word – your first thought is that it’s much smaller than you’d expect an 85,000-seat stadium to be. Maybe it’s the angle of the upper decks. Maybe it’s the fact that the stadium, like Walt Disney World, is completely enclosed with no view of the outside world beyond its confines.

Regardless, it’s a curiously compacted view, and the flat facing around the luxury boxes gives it the look of a stern old Midwestern state-school stadium. From an aesthetic perspective, the burgundy-and-gold of the Redskins runs headlong into the brilliant purple-orange-green branding of FedEx, and it meshes about as well as you’d expect.

On this snowy Sunday the stadium is, at best, one-fifth full. The waiting list for Redskins season tickets is legendarily long, but anyone wanting a ticket for today’s game could have one for less than ten bucks on StubHub.

That’s where we picked up our seats, club-level beauties that offer access into one of the many stratified levels of FedExField. Before we go to our seats, we’re able to sit in plush chairs and drink craft beer and mixed drinks, our stacked gloves and hats making the entire scene resemble lunch at a ski lodge. What are the poor saps in the cheaper seats above and below us doing? No clue, but they’ve probably got a lot more discretionary income left over after buying their tickets.

Segmentation exists everywhere at FedExField. That’s a hallmark of Washington, D.C., of course, the lines between haves and have-nots, but it’s intensely obvious here. The highest of high-end bars have glass walls so the masses riding past on escalators can see Washington’s power elite sipping drinks that cost more than a good steak.

The club level itself has a curious scattering of both burgundy and yellow seats; this is yet another demarcation. Some fans have chosen to pay extra for seat cushions and engraved plaques, others have not, hence the asymmetrical pattern. We’re sitting in the seats of THE BRADLEY FAMILY (name changed to avoid retribution from the Redskins), and I’m certainly glad they sprung for the cushions … though it would have been no trouble for us to move up or down half a dozen rows.

Aaaand … scene.


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