|Charles Stephenson and I|
In the meantime, he has started pilgrimages as he classifies them to see every hockey and basketball arena in the NHL and NBA.
Hans also arranges themed NFL weddings on the side. He's a perfect example because he and his lovely wife Krystal got married at Ford Field since they live in the Michigan area. He happens to be a Buffalo Bills fan.
Furthermore, he has a special links section on his football website where he lists his favorite websites that he likes to visit. He has my blog on that exclusive list. In addition, he has Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell from Buffalo aka USRT.
Moreover, I noticed he had a site called Field Goal which is run by a guy named Charles Stephenson on his list. I clicked on the site and I got familiar with who and what Charles was all about. Once I finished searching his site thoroughly, I decided to get in contact with him since he had a guest list.
I liked the desire and determination he possessed in his goal to see all the different football gridirons on the professional as well as the college level. It was intriguing to say the least given his background. This man was a few years older than me but he's married and he has three young children too.
With that being said, I told him when I wrote and introduced myself to him, I'm here to help speed up the process.
After a short period of time, he responded to my e-mail and we've been in touch every so often since.
He was originally from Houston, Texas where he grew up. After that, he moved to Louisiana for nine years. He did go to college at Tulane. He has since moved on again and he now resides in Northern Virginia which is located right outside our Nation's Capitol, Washington DC. He's lived there with his family since the mid to late '90's he said. In 1999, he became a Washington Redskin season ticket holder. Despite their disappointing play year after year he still has remained loyal to the 'Skins, his favorite team. He will continue to "Hail to the Redskins" despite these tough times. That's what a true fan does. I commend him for that. He takes a licking but he keeps on ticking.
Charles and I did try to meet up during baseball season at a Nationals game but due to family commitments he was unable to join the King and I.
Once the doors were unlocked and we knew there was finally going to be a football season, I made sure I contacted Charles since I always try my best to go to FedEx Field, which happens to be one of my favorite NFL Stadiums, at least once a year. Originally I was targeting the December 4th game against the Jets but once I found out the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team was moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada I needed to find a way to go back there to see the new arena, the MTS Centre, they were going to call home. The King and I did get there in 1996 when the old "Jets" called Winnipeg their home before they relocated to Phoenix, Arizona and became the Coyotes.
With that being said, I thoroughly analyzed the NHL schedule and I saw the most logical and worthwhile time to go to Winnipeg was ironically when another team called the Jets were playing the Washington Redskins. So I decided to figure out a way to alter my game plan so I could have my cake and eat it too.
On November 6th, the Jets and Giants were playing on the road. So that meant I had to travel elsewhere if I wanted to see a live NFL game that day. The Jets were playing in Buffalo and the San Francisco 49ers were going to be in Washington.
Once Charles contacted me and asked me if I would like to come to Washington so we could finally meet up, without hesitating I told him you got a deal. I asked him how much the ticket cost, he replied for you it's free. Needless to say, I was left speechless. As the game day was approaching, Charles followed up a few times to make sure I was still coming. I said absolutely. He doesn't know me from a hole in the wall so it's understandable that he was somewhat concerned that I might bail out on him. The King decided to pass up the opportunity. Once I told him I was coming, my word is as good as gold.
As promised Charles not only gave me a ticket to the game, he also invited me to his tailgate party beforehand. He told me he would cook up some brats for me. Upon hearing that, I was in heaven.
I planned accordingly as I skipped breakfast so I could indulge in his generous hospitality. He gave me directions as to where he would be parked so I could come over and join the party. He had some company. Since he has five season tickets for the Redskins, he decided to bring his son Charlie, his daughter Grace and her friend Katie to the game.
As for the tailgate party, he had a few other people there. They were his friend Tom Goodman and his son John who ironically is going to college at Columbia University here in NYC. It was truly a pleasure to meet and greet all of these wonderful people. Tom brought some ribs so I was able to enjoy them as well.
I was having a blast and that was just the beginning. We still had to head into the stadium for the main event, the game itself as the Redskins were hosting the surprising San Francisco 49ers who were off to a flying start at 6-1 in the first half of the season. The Redskins who got off to a fast start at 3-1 had dropped three in a row mainly because they have been hit by injuries. Their players are dropping like flies.
The downward spiral continued for the hometown Redskins as they lost to the 49ers on this day, 19-11.
Regardless of the outcome, I had a memorable day thanks to Charles and company.
I want to personally thank Charles for giving me a taste of my own medicine in the form of royal treatment. He treated me like a King and he made me feel like I was really something special. In my eyes, I'm just a fellow human being who works hard to achieve my goals.
We plan to stay in touch and hook up again down the road.
Thank you for reading and following along.