Thousands of fans from the Maryland/D.C. area — and millions more around the country — watched on television as the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins both hosted a playoff game on Sunday.
But for Roy Snyder of Jessup, watching the two contests on television just didn’t live up to the magnitude of the first time in NFL history that one state has hosted two Wild Card round playoff games on the same day.
He wanted to experience both games in person.
Snyder — a season ticket holder for both teams — figured the chance may never come around again so he set out on an adventure to travel from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore to FedEx Field in Landover.
“To my knowledge, this is the first time any fan has had the opportunity to see virtually all of two NFL playoff games in the same day,” Snyder said. “I did some research. On December 27, 1981 the NY Jets hosted the Buffalo Bills at noon in Shea Stadium. At 3:30 pm, the Philadelphia Eagles hosted the NY Giants at Veterans Stadium. It’s a two-hour drive between the two.”
In theory, a fan could have watched the entire Jets game which would end at about 3:00 p.m. and driven two hours to possibly catch most of the second half of the Eagles game. However, it would have been impossible to see the majority of both games — unless said fan had access to a helicopter or jet pack.
Without documentation of anyone flying a helicopter to complete the doubleheader, Snyder became the first fan on record in NFL history to catch the majority of two playoff games in the same day.
But it wasn’t an easy task. The two stadiums are approximately 33 miles apart, which translates to about a 40-minute ride down the Baltimore-Washington parkway assuming there isn’t much traffic. And with the Ravens game starting at 1 p.m., it didn’t leave much time to make the kickoff of the Redskins game that began at 4:30 p.m.
Snyder left his Jessup home at 11:30 a.m. and drove the 16 miles to Parking Lot H at M&T Bank Stadium. He met his daughter Adrienne at the stadium and they got to their seats in Section 117 at 12:35, in time to see future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis do his trademark dance during pregame introductions.
With the game in hand as the Ravens held a 24-9 lead with 2:10 left on the clock, Snyder rushed to his car back in Lot H to make his way to Landover.
Snyder left his parking spot at 4:22 p.m. but had to make a quick stop on his way to FedEx Field.
“I met my wife, Janet, at the Comfort Inn on Rt. 1 right off of Rt. 32. She quickly jumped into the car,” Snyder said.
The two traveled the rest of the way to Landover via the BW Parkway and I-495. They arrived at his reserved parking spot (Row 2, Spot 63) in the Platinum Lot at FedEx Field at approximately 5 p.m.
He arrived at his club level seats in Section 301 with the Redskins already leading 7-0 with 4:41 left in the first quarter, just in time to see the Redskins score their second touchdown at the 2:26 mark.
Snyder stayed to watch the rest of the game, a disappointing 24-14 Redskins loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
After sitting in a postgame traffic jam, the 61-year old father of two finally arrived home nine hours and two NFL games later at 8:45 pm.
“I love NFL football and there is nothing like the playoffs,” Snyder said. “The atmosphere is a little more electric and there is a lot more energy in the air. This was a golden opportunity to experience it twice in one day.
“I thought it was kind of novel in and of itself and that always intrigued me to potentially be the first to do something like this but more importantly, it was interesting to see two NFL playoff games in one day.”
This was a dream come true for Snyder, but there is still one dream left that he is awaiting an opportunity to do.
“I’ve always wanted to attend a Skins game at 1 p.m., a Ravens game at 4:30 and an 8’clock game up in Philly,” Snyder said. “But the schedule has never allowed it.”