The first thing I did when I got out of bed this morning was read every single word of coverage in the Washington Post about the Redskins' impressive 26 - 24 win over those no-account Dallas Cowboys. If you are neither a Washingtonian nor a football fan, there is just no decent way of describing what it feels like to see your team go on the road as an 11-point underdog and beat not only their most hated rival, but the COWBOYS!
Under normal circumstances, I would have been glued to the television to watch such an important event, with the rest of the family banished to far corners of the house. But in my current state of underemployment, I felt obligated when ABC News beckoned me to work on Sunday. Having no fear, I set the trusty TiVo, and went off to DeSales Street. The only thing I needed to worry about was getting through the day without seeing or hearing how the Redskins were doing - that was easier said than done!
Thankfully, no one at ABC had any apparent interest in football, so I was not subjected to having to avoid any TV screens... However, because I was editing audio feeds from Capitol Hill, I did face one interesting challenge to keep my Redskins "cloak of silence" intact. One of my jobs yesterday was waiting for Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to appear before the microphones at a stakeout on Capitol Hill. I had to make sure I did not miss the feed, so I was forced to listen to the "room noise" as the reporters awaited Rangel. Unfortunately for me, one of the cameramen at the feed site had the Redskins game on - so I found myself dipping in and out of the room noise in order to maintain my ignorance. Fortunately, ignorance prevailed!
Finally, 6:30 pm arrived, and I was able to leave, after ducking the security guard at the front desk, who was, of course, watching the game, which by that point was in the 4th quarter. I hopped into the car, and played my Hendricks Chapel Choir tape all the way home, lest I listen to a music station and hear a DJ announce the game's final score!
As I was driving up Connecticut Avenue, I was trying to figure out how things were going based on the road traffic. Whenever the roads were clear, I imagined it was because everyone was home watching the game. When I ran into heavier traffic, I suspected that fans were out and about because the Skins were being blown out. There was a time when you really COULD have gauged how the Skins were doing based on game-time traffic, but pragmatically, it's too early in the season for that.
To make a long story short, I made it home in a state of blissful ignorance. After a nice dinner with the family, I finally sat down in front of the TiVo, and was just settling in, when 10-year-old Spencer walked in and said, "The Skins did great, didn't they, Dad?"
The funeral is tomorrow.