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FanZoneGate™ Update: Redskins spokesman Karl Swanson says WJFK, a new sportsradio station and rival to Dan Snyder’s WTEM, had no business selling passes to the FanZone, a new private parking lot near FedExField that was set to compete with the Snyder-owned lots on Redskins game days.
Folks who bought FanZone parking passes on WJFK’s web site and showed up to Saturday’s preseason game with Pittsburgh found that Snyder had taken over the lot.
Yesterday, a marketing rep for CBS-owned WPGC, a WJFK sister station that was also promoting the parking lot, told me “some situations occurred” that led to Snyder’s takeover.
The marketing rep, however, would not go into detail over how the promotion, which positioned the FanZone lot as cheaper than Snyder’s lots and without the new tailgating restrictions that so many fans are concerned about, fell apart.
Swanson says all the problems come from WJFK selling parking passes before getting the rights to use the land.
“[I]n a nutshell the Redskins, the radio stations and (I think) one other group were in separate negotiations to lease the lot as a parking site,” Swanson tells me via email. “For reasons unbeknownst to us, the radio stations began advertising the lot without a contract and as negotiations were ongoing. We entered terms and leased the lot for game day parking.”
The Redskins did the fans who bought passes a solid for the Pittsburgh game, Swanson says: “[W]e decided to honor all of the passes the radio stations had already sold.”
(AFTER THE JUMP: The sad tale of Bullets gaffer Dick Gibbs? Local rookie Brett Cecil makes his own blooper tape? Best of the decade time…already? AAU teammates Durant and Beasley make different sorts of news? Would only an idiot reference the Tom Boswell Curse?)
The radio stations are now scrambling to find a new parking lot. There’s not much to work with in the area, however.
So, could FanZonegate™ be over?
Gosh, I hope not.
Gibbs was briefly a Washington Bullet in the mid-1970s, but was responsible for one of the most memorable sporting moments of my formative years. Gibbs blew an uncontested, snowbird layup in the closing moments of Game 4 of the NBA Finals with the Bullets down by a point. His choke gave the Golden State Warriors a sweep and what was then regarded as perhaps the biggest upset in championship series history.
The miss made Gibbs a huge goat around here. In pickup games, me and my buddies would yell “Dick Gibbs!” at anybody going in for an uncontested layup, a euphemism for “Choke!” in hopes it would rattle ’em enough to blow the shot, just like Gibbs blew his.
Gibbs didn’t take well to goathood. He tells the Des Moines Register that the gaffe with the Bullets helped ruin his basketball career and his life.
He was traded the next season from the Bullets to Buffalo, but got the boot from the Braves after running into the stands to confront and spit in the face of a fan who heckled him about the layup that wasn’t in Washington.
“How I remembered that for 25 years was that I went into the game, I missed a layup with hardly any time left, and I single-handedly cost us an NBA championship,” Gibbs told the Iowa paper. “I took that one and carried it around with me.”
He was living under a bridge for a while, with various addictions and mental breakdowns. Now I feel sorry now for using his name in vain all those years ago.
On behalf of all Bullets fans: We forgive you, Dick Gibbs.
Not to rival Gibbs’s, but DeMatha alum and Toronto Blue Jays rookie pitcher Brett Cecil had his own Brain Lock Moment. Cecil’s getting roasted up North for throwing a ball out of play before calling timeout during a home game against the Red Sox. The gaffe led to a Boston run in what turned into an 8-1 rout for the visitors.
The video is funny, just for the catcher’s panic and the facial expressions on all concerned. But no matter what, if Cecil’s living under a bridge anytime soon, he better not blame this.
Bad news for those just getting over Best of the Century/Millennium Lists: Best of the Decade lists are now coming out.
DCsportsfan.com just broke the crust with a poll of local boys who made good on the gridiron since 2000. The roster has too much Maryland, not enough Virginia, for my liking.
Michael Beasley, who’d make any list of the best basketball players to come from DC in recent years, has reportedly checked into a clinic to treat unspecified drug and emotional issues. Via the Great Dan Steinberg, happier news for Kevin Durant, Beasley’s former AAU teammate from PG County and another sure all-decader: Durant scored 55 points in a Barry Farms showcase.
The Nats lose, if I’m carrying the one correctly, their 9th in 12 games since Tom Boswell returned from vacation. I’m not ready yet to start once again blaming all the losing on him or the Tom Boswell Curse. But I might in a loss or two…
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