Morning Look: Best Skins Stander
Sometimes the every-day crush of NFL allows the truly important tales to slip to the side. So it was with Brian Kimmer, the winner of the Standing Up For Skins Tix contest I wrote about earlier this month. You remember this: five Redskins fans, pledged to stand up and keep at least one hand on a giant jersey outside Union Station for 24 hours, with season tickets as the prize and a Redskins trivia quiz as the tiebreaker. Brian, a 42-year old construction worker from Burke, was the senior member of the quintet; he was the guy with the high-top Redskins sneakers and the Redskins socks. Like the other four, he promised he would last 24 hours--Skins fans were too diehard to quit, they all told me--and Brian said he would do so without food or water to make sure he didn't have to go to the bathroom.
A couple people e-mailed me the next morning and reported that there were no Skins fans and no giant jersey. I figured initially that meant Skins fans weren't quite as diehard as had been suggested, but I was wrong. They were just smart.
What happened was this: at some point in the middle of the night, the contest began to take its toll. "I think everyone was pretty much hurting," Brian told me. "But being the senior member of the quintet, as you put it, I might have been hurting a little bit more."
So the Skins fans began discussing a compromise, around 2 a.m. Each contestant was getting tickets to one game merely for showing up; combined with eight more regular-season games, that meant they had 12 sets of tickets to play around with. Why not back away from the ledge, imitate the lawmakers in whose neighborhood they stood and craft some sort of deal, in which everyone would get more than the minimum and less than the maximum?
Some legislators, though, hold principle above all else, and so it was with the plan's biggest roadblock: Brian Kimmer.
"I told them, 'I'm not going to make that deal. Unless I'm the last one to take my hand off, I'm not going to make that deal,' " he told me later. "I wanted to win. That's what I went there for. I didn't mind splitting up the tickets, but I came there to win."
Awesome. Initially, Daniel Bowers also wanted to hold out, and the other three weren't about to be punked, so they held on, too. Brian figured his age and experience would give him an advantage in the trivia tiebreaker, so he was perfectly willing to try his luck there. The hours ticked away. The judges came and went.
And at 7 a.m., Bowers agreed to the Compromise of 2008. The other contestants de-handed themselves, and after five seconds of solo handling, Brian did as well, as the winner of Redskins Up All Night. Then he went home and went to sleep.
Brian ended up getting three sets of tickets, plus a bonus fourth in order to go down on the field and be honored in the home opener. He said he made four new friends out of the deal (more, if you count the judges), he said going down on the field was "kind of a dream come true" even though he would have preferred that field have been RFK, and he seemed proud of his accomplishment.
"We're pretty big fans to even come out and do that," he said. "Standing up for 24 hours straight at Union Station? I mean, I'm glad I did it, it was definitely an experience, but that's crazy, man."
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