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The Moss Man Birthday Party Part I



Got to the Santana Moss Birthday Extravaganza around 9:30 on Saturday night. It was at the Gaylord National hotel at the National Harbor. Hank Stuever's excellent profile of the hotel described it thus: "It is glorious and mesmerizing and bright white, a specific heaven meant to attract a specific and spendy market: The People of the Atrium."

Maybe. But on this night, it was meant to attract primarily women in dresses tauter than a Daniel Snyder soundbite, and guys in suits who swore that they were supposed to be on some sort of list and that they would explain everything if they could just speak with Miles, or J.B., or one of the other People in Charge, who displayed their in-Chargeness by walking in and out of doors and hugging each other.

We were told the red carpet arrivals would go from 10 to 11. When we arrived, the party press corps consisted of me, the Reliable Source and two interns from the Examiner. Soon, party person Liz Glover of Wonkette fame arrived, announcing that she was working for ESPNTheMag.com on this night. I became intimidated.

Soon, the People in Charge told us that the football players likely wouldn't be arriving until after midnight (making it Santana's actual birthday), and that Santana himself was expected around 1 am. That was good news. It meant we could wait around for another few hours watching people stand in lines. It also meant that the kids waiting out front for autographs would need to stay up WAY past their bedtimes. They began drinking coffee. Seriously.

The first VIP arrival? Jason Campbell, around 11 pm, accompanied by, of course, Eastern Motors CEO Robert Bassam. I told them that they were the first VIPs, and that 'Tana wasn't expected until 1 am.

"See, I don't even stay out that long," Campbell said. "1 or 2 am, I'm gone."

He moved on to speak with Liz Glover of Wonkette fame. I only heard fragments of their conversation. Then I heard this.

"I'm the quarterback of the Washington Redskins," he told her. He looked around. "She's interviewing me, she didn't even know who I am," he said.

Liz, who is incredibly entertaining, snapped into action upon learning who he was, scrolling through her notes and asking him "so what offseason adjustments are you making?"

The next VIP arrival was Redskins cornerback Leigh Torrence. I once wrote a profile of Leigh, focusing on his Congressional internships. Now, it turns out, he's interning for the National Education Association's downtown D.C. office.

The penultimate pre-Moss VIP was Ladell Betts. He was stopped by the Examiner interns, who asked him some of their standard questions, including what the craziest birthday gift he had ever given might have been.

"One of the most gratifying gifts I ever gave was a house for my mom," he said. "I felt pretty good about that."

The final pre-Moss VIP was Byron Westbrook. He told me the guests would have fun, drink a little and clown Santana. I was completely losing hope in this party.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 2, 2008; 11:44 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: The Moss Man Birthday Party Part II

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