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Posted at 2:19 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Washington on the Pacific

By Jason Woodmansee

I am an expatriate Washingtonian living on the west coast, always complaining how I can't get The Washington Post home delivery or C-SPAN 3. This means I plan my annual budget starting with NFL Sunday Ticket ("eh, the kids can squeeze into those clothes for another year"). The positive thing about Sunday Ticket is that I don't have to take my kids to bars anymore, but the downside is that I don't get to experience the games with other Redskins fans. So, this year, I promised myself I would take in a game at one of the San Diego bars that caters to Washington fans. When a friend of mine told me about a dive bar that was exclusively Redskins fans on Sundays, I decided to give it a shot.

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The bar I was told about is called Winston's Beach Club. It is in an unpretentious San Diego neighborhood called Ocean Beach - one of the few SoCal beach towns that hasn't been "redeveloped" with trendy restaurants and chain stores. It's the kind of neighborhood that you could call blue collar, if your definition of blue collar is ex-hippies and the unemployed. Winston's is not a sports bar, it's a nightclub that is known for its live music. A friend who used to be in a band told me that he had never been in the Winston's bathroom when there wasn't someone puking in it. However, on Sunday mornings when the Redskins are playing, it transforms into a small version of the DMV. It is exactly 2,674 miles from FedEx field.

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I parked right in front of the place and didn't even see the entrance. Maybe it was because the giant Redskins flag was blocking the way, or because there were no windows. The bar manager, Jesse, is originally from Arlington, and decided to turn the place into a home away from home on game days. He DJs during the games, playing music during the commercials - either Redskins-related tunes like "I Hate Dallas" (to the tune of 50 Cent's "I Get Money"), or just D.C. go-go music. He also raffles off Redskins related items like license plate holders, posters, and even scarves that one of the patrons knits.

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Unsurprisingly, there were a lot of Redskins jerseys. Also unsurprising was the fact that Cooley/Portis/Sean Taylor were the most popular ones. There were some outliers, such as a LaVar Arrington jersey and even a Jason Taylor jersey (yes, Jason Taylor). The winner had to be "DUI James," a DUI lawyer and number .08 in your program. For the raffle, DUI James was donating pitchers of beer to be given away. Seriously.

Winston's is not a large place, but the crowd grew to about 50 people as the game went on. There was also one solitary Cowboys fan wearing a Miles Austin jersey, who must have been somebody's girlfriend - not sure how else she survived.

While early on the crowd audibly gasped every time Sexy Rexy threw the ball, by the time the second half comeback got going, everyone was whipped into a frenzy. The bar gives out free shots after every touchdown (they're called red-headed sluts, which I joked was my nickname for Jason Garrett) and plays "Hail to the Redskins" over the sound system. By the time the Redskins tied the game, we were all ready to call Rex Grossman the best quarterback in Redskins history.

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Alas, this was the scene about 30 seconds after Grossman threw that game ending pick. While it was a fun crowd, no one was in the mood to hang around. I stayed for a few more minutes, watched the crazy/stupid DeSean Jackson punt return to end the Giants-Eagles game, and headed out myself.

This week I'll again be watching the Redskins from the comforts of my own home, where the crowd is much younger, more sober, and slightly more likely to have someone mess his pants. I wonder if DUI James wants to come over?

By Jason Woodmansee  | December 21, 2010; 2:19 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Woodmansee, Redskins  | Tags:  Jason Woodmansee, Redskins  
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