Diary of a HogFester

First let me say I am so proud to be a part of HogFest. It isn't about a game, and it isn't about the team, it isn't even about a tailgate. HogFest is about people. People from all over the world, and from all walks of life, getting together at the Mecca for all Redskins fans, Fed-Ex Field.


My journey to HogFest 2003 began on Tuesday the 16th when this angry Isabel decided to ruin my plans to attend HogFest. I don't know what I ever did to her but she sure seemed determined to keep me away from the DC area. A personal battle between myself and Isabel ensued.

Isabel on Tuesday was a class 5 Hurricane and heading right for the east coast. She was scheduled to land early Thursday, my flight was Friday morning. I was as glued to the weather channel as I was during Operation Iraqi Freedom on CNN.

I kept thinking how horrible a person I must be that I was worried about getting to a game and seeing old friends, while others were suffering massive flooding and losing electricity. People were losing their homes and all I could think about was, will my flight be cancelled? As this personal vendetta of Isabel's rolled on into Thursday, I was as close to a heart attack as I have ever been.

The storm fell to a level 2 hurricane but it certainly didn't disappoint as it ripped the North Carolina coast to shreds. The next notice was "ALL FLIGHTS INTO THE BALTIMORE DC AREA ARE CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE". My heart dropped and I told my wife that Isabel has won. There is no chance I will make it to Hog Fest, or is there?

I was determined to beat Isabel, I packed my bags as if I was leaving, set my alarm, woke up and checked the Southwest Air web site to see that my plane wasn't even delayed, and that the airport was once again open. All I could say was jumping geehosifats yeeehaw!!...Ok I ripped that off from a DirecTV commercial, but I was pretty ecstatic..I mean I was now going to HogFest!


My flight certainly did leave on time and some funny things happened on my way into BWI. We had a female barber shop quartet on board, and they sang for the entire first leg of the trip, then the second leg I got the pleasure of sitting next to the mother of one of the Doobie Brothers. She yapped the entire trip, but a very nice lady, with lots of great stories.

I arrived into Baltimore around 7pm and it was obvious that something big had happened there. My plans were to have dinner in Baltimore with some friends, which we did, but the Inner Harbor was flooded pretty badly and most of the restaurants in Fells Point were closed, and having their basements drained. Police and fire crews were everywhere.

Baltimore is to the left and Annapolis to the right. Credit: AP Photos

Saturday, Crab Night

I actually ended up working through the night getting around 6 hours of sleep, then heading to the world famous Dragon Moon Tattoo Shop in Glen Burnie, Maryland for a bit of "punishment". It's no secret I like good ink, and Dragon Moon is one of the best if not the best in the business, actually they are the best, I wouldn't let anyone else touch my skin, these guys wrote the book on infection control. But don't just take my word for it, the Big Banga himself knows where to go when he wants good ink, and I plan on bringing other Skins in who are looking to get marked after the season. Dragon Moon is celebrating 25 years in business this October.

After around 5 hours of "punishment" it was time to head to the Keybridge Mariott to hook up with all the Skinsfans who were gearing up for the 5th annual HogFest, and the crabfeast dinner. I met up with some of my friends from TheInsiders.com network, who raced to get us to Arlington in time for the 8:00 pm Crabfeast dinner reservation. When we got to the Keybrdge, the place was crawling with gorgeous blonde women...more on that later. Although I had been there before, finding the Quarterdeck was like finding a needle in a haystack. It took forever and when we finally arrived someone else had claimed our reservation. Maybe it was me, but the Quarterdeck didn't seem all that enthusiastic about having to seat us.

A big apology to ATLSkin and the other all you can eaters for not doing the all you can eat crabs but I was just worn out and knew I would not eat a lot of crabs so I just went with a good bowl of crab soup and a sandwich. I did eat quite a few crab cakes though!

After leaving the Quarterdeck, we headed back to the Keybridge to close down Pitchers. (The hotel sports bar) Drinks were flowing and we partied til the wee hours. Somehow I ended up with Rat, Mrs. Rat, 101, his fiance, my buddy Joe, and a few others in a room with a bottle of Wild Turkey..I will let your imagination flow with what happened next.. nah just kidding, we had a few drinks and headed back to our rooms to dream of the day to come next..HogFest 2003!

HogFest Sunday

Well it was no sooner that my head hit the pillow that my wake up call came through. I jumped up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head, found my way downstairs to the business center to do my weekly picks. It was time, the day had come and my roommate Doggmatic was heading out to pick up his bud NCRedskinfan at his hotel down the street. I told him to get back in time for the bus. The bus?.. now there is a story..what bus?

All aboard Hogfesters, but wait there is no bus, at least not for the HogFesters. However there was a bus for the women's World Cup Swedish soccer team. That's right the entire Swedish team was also staying at the Keybridge! They were playing USA in our coveted RFK stadium. Now my mind was racing and I had to make a decision, wait for the HogFest bus or stow away on the Swedish soccer team's bus? See the Redskins and all my friends?, or hang out with 30 in-shape blonde women who don't speak good English?

This was a grueling decision but I made up my mind I would wait for the bus to HogFest. As it turns out our bus never showed so NHSkinsfan decided to take it upon himself and hire a new bus to take us, There we were, Redskins fans waiting patiently in the parking lot.

HogFesters were good sports and went with the flow. CPND Webmaster Doggmatic looks on sporting a Jansen retro.

About 45 minutes later we were on the bus and heading to the promised land! We had to take two busses and we were on bus 2, bus 1 is seen in front.

Not sure of everyone's name but we managed to get on the bus and everyone was happy about that.

It was a beautiful day and through the bus window I got a good shot of the Jefferson Memorial.

Finally Fed-EX Field!!

Never mess with a Maryland State Trooper.

The bus dropped us off and NHSkinsfan left his camera and other goodies on the bus, but it was too late the bus had already left.

CPND webmaster Rat Boy gets on his game face.

The stadium and HogFest await right over the hill.


More HogFest!

NHSkinsfan & TomSkinsFan hang the banner. Hanging the banner has become a HogFest tradition.

The banner flies!

Contests have always been a part of HogFest and in 2003 the competition was fierce. There was a hula hoop contest followed by the best dressed fan contest, and the Beer guzzling contest, and then the Hogfest raffles of which I took home the top prize. I heard a lot of "it was fixed" chants coming, but I can assure everyone I was just as surprised, happily surprised of course, as I won a signed Sonny Jurgensen full size helmet!

The best dressed fan contest got ugly as #1 Fan on the left and Rat Boy on the right, put on their best gear. TomSkinsFan went around and told folks to let Rat stew and not vote for him on first pass, but in the end the best dressed fan won. Kudos to Rat Boy and to all of the contestants. The other two contestants that is.

The Beer guzzling contest was also fierce in competition, and all contestants looked ready to win during warm ups.

Reigning champion TheOriginalPhil seen on the far right was more than ready to defend his title, but could he do it with an injury?

In the end Phil could not hold on to his title, and CounterTrey is the 2003 champ. CounterTrey was not available for comment, we think he passed out on his way to the porta potty, but we got a few words from the former champ, TheOriginalPhil. Click here to listen to Phil's interview. Phil's exclusive interview with WarpathInsiders.com

More HogFest Photos

Extremeskins Diehard is seen here with his wife, they flew in from Canada for the event. That is real dedication!

A big thanks to this chef. The food was awesome!

John Keim to the left and me to the right. Your humble hosts on WarpathInsiders.com

I have always been big on charities for events like this, the very first HogFest we worked with Darrell Green and his charity, this year Tom is working with a great charity, fighting Internet Crimes Against Children. Even though HogFest 2003 is over, you can still donate. BlueRidgeThunder.com

And there you have it..The HogFest finale. The group photo. On to the game!

Everyone meet SuperSkins. He is the Redskins own personal Super Hero. He sure did a good job of getting our section rocking. Click here to listen to some serious sounds of the game. Sound of the game in overtime.

Well we all know how the game turned out so I will finish this off by going back to this photo

When we got back to the hotel, I was waiting for the elevator to open and when it did low and behold the entire Swedish World Cup team was in there...I asked if they were going up, and they all nodded yes. I asked if I could join them and they all nodded yes. I asked if they won and they nodded yes. I explained how we lost, and will end my story here for you to use your imagination. ....Unless you are my wife reading this, in which case I went up to my room alone, then joined the others in the bar.

Special Thanks:

-TomSkinsFan: and his lovely wife and family. Tom you do an outstanding job and again I am proud to be a part of this event.

-#1Fan: Larry I really appreciate the Bloody Mary's. They are my favorite drink and I probably drank half that jug. It was appreciated.

-Rat Boy: Thank you for your hard work, dedication and belief in the site. And thank you for the mask. My kids love it.

-Joel from the Phog, Thank you for the rides to and from Baltimore. It meant a lot and I will repay the favor one day.

-NHSkinsfan: Took it upon himself to make sure everyone on the bus got there, thanks to his friend too.

-Doggmatic: Thank you for your hard work and dedication, and it was great meeting you.

-Smoot and the DTC: It was great meeting you guys and I hope you enjoy your DVD. Sorry it took so long.

- And a Hogmonster thanks to all the Hogfesters!!

See you all in 2004!

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