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Dan Brown Imagines a Skins Home Playoff Game

In his newest novel, Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown "flagrantly [delights] in leading readers on a breathless chase and coaxing them through hoops," the New York Times declared.

One of the first hoops involves the Redskins. In the playoffs. At FedEx Field. On a Sunday night. Since when do the NFL playoffs take place on Sunday nights?

(Notice the way I avoided the cheap joke there?)

(Commenters correctly point out that this could be the NFC championship game. I was thinking of the first two rounds. So fine, I'm wrong, as usual, and props to the Skins for such a deep playoff run. That one was a long time coming.)

"The opening of the new Dan Brown book has a security guard listening to a Redskins' playoff game on the radio ... that's how I knew this offering from Brown really was fiction..." a reader wrote on my weekly chat, not avoiding the cheap joke.

(As an aside, D.C. teams seem to be popular fictional playoff teams. You might recall that John Feinstein's children's mystery, "Change-Up," features a Nats-Red Sox World Series.)

(As another aside, I noted Wednesday morning that the Skins have the fourth-longest home playoff drought in the NFL. Nice to see Brown fictionally ending it.)

Turns out this Skins being in the playoffs thing has been a national cheap joke that I've somehow missed. Like this guy, who wrote: "So far it seems like the biggest mistake Dan Brown made in The Lost Symbol was putting the Redskins in the Playoffs!" Har! The Post has already made a parenthetical joke about this, as has Slate. Esquire left their Skins joke out of parentheses.

Anyhow, early on in the book, a security guard is listening to "the Redskins play-off pregame show," though the author doesn't indicate whether this on Comcast SportsyNet's television show or ESPN 980's official radio show or even The Fan's unauthorized rebel show. Frustrated fans keep getting interrupted in their game-watching by non-sports-fan women and national security crises, but the game marches on.

By Chapter 34, things are going great: "Skins by three....helluva game," reports a security guard, since security guards seem to be the Skins' primary fan base in this world. And by Chapter 54 (these are short chapters), Brown tells readers that a fireball accompanied by dark black smoke "was nowhere near the Redskins' FedEx Field." Because fireballs, you know, regularly shoot out of FedEx Field. Or at least cars that are parked there.

(See our interactive Lost Symbol map here, if you're so inclined.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 30, 2009; 5:50 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Comments

Umm, Dan - the championship round has a game played on Sunday night, starting at 6:30pm ET. And given the early sunsets that time of year, that'd probably qualify as a night game. So Dan Brown was extremely positive about the Redskins chances in the playoffs, apparently.

Posted by: grounder | September 30, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

First....

A theoretical Redskins Sunday night playoff game could only be the NFC Championship. It also would mean that not only did the Skins make the playoffs, but they could also have had homefield throughout

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | September 30, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

eff all the skins haters
go dannny....um i mean go skins!

Posted by: jonthefisherman | October 1, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

First....

A theoretical Redskins Sunday night playoff game could only be the NFC Championship. It also would mean that not only did the Skins make the playoffs, but they could also have had homefield throughout

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | September 30, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Fellas, there are sunday playoff games that start at 4:00 in the opening rounds. Those games typically don't conclude until at least 7:00 p.m., at which time it's dark outside in January. Hence, "night" games.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 1, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Well, not to get too crazy here, but a character said "it's Sunday night" during the pre-game show, so depending on when your definition of night starts, I still think it's a little bit weird. The next scene takes place at 6:50 p.m.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | October 1, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I bought the book the day it came out. Started reading it that night. Literally LOL'd when I read the 'Skins were in the playoffs.

Saw someone on a plane a few days later, who was reading it. Mentioned 'Skins in the playoffs. We both agreed....TOTAL FICTION.

Also...figured out the ending by the 5th(or so) chapter. SO predictable...especially since I'm a true DC Local. But a decent enough read.

GO 'SKINS!

Posted by: Bebunk | October 1, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Well, not to get too crazy here, but a character said "it's Sunday night" during the pre-game show, so depending on when your definition of night starts, I still think it's a little bit weird. The next scene takes place at 6:50 p.m.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | October 1, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I stand corrected. Hadn't read the book obviously, but figured a game could be called a night game if it ended in the dark.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 1, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

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