The Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals are set to do battle in London in a few weeks, so Redskins Salute thought they'd get the ball rolling a bit by hosting the British Embassy on Monday evening at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.
The guests got a chance to sit in the main auditorium of the facility and get an in-depth history lesson via video and the "Voice of the Redskins," Larry Michael, and Super Bowl champion and former "Hog," Rick "Doc" Walker.
Michael and Walker dazzled the crowd with their knowledge of Redskins history, and Walker's breakdown of the game of American football had the guests on the edge of their seat.
Following the history/Q&A session, the guests took a tour of the Redskins' indoor practice facility, the training room and the weight room. The event concluded in the team dining room, where dinner was served and prizes were raffled off.
Walker's roots in the military run deep. Walker was born at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, and his father served in the United States Marine Corps, so as Walker says, the military is in his "blood," making this event one he had to take part in.
"I love everything that I can do to support our men and women that wear the uniform," Walker said. "I think Dallas is represented well, San Diego is represented well, but I think we're right up there in terms of having military personnel that live in our region, and we're really proud of that."
One of the distinguished guests in attendance was Col. Stewart McConnell, who's with the Joint Forces Attaché at the British Embassy. McConnell is a die-hard Redskins fan who's been to 15 Redskins games, and is looking forward to having his favorite team in London in a few weeks.
"It is good to see them grow, particularly on the throwing and catching to get the points," McConnell said. "It's great to see them develop that way, and hopefully the winning will carry on."
McConnell had a great time chatting with Michael and Walker both during and after the session in the auditorium. McConnell gained a lot of knowledge about his favorite team that he's sure to share with his friends and family.
"It's a great honor to be invited, especially after such a good win over the weekend; 16-10 [over the Baltimore Ravens]," McConnell said. "Delighted to be here, especially before we go to London in a couple weeks, that's great. I think it's nearly a sellout already, and my family will be there."
McConnell also got to meet Redskins president Bruce Allen, who came in the team dining room and addressed the crowd as they were about to eat.
Once Allen saw how large the contingent was, and how much fun they were having, he had no choice but to join in on the fun, so Allen moved around the room and shook hands and talked with as many people as he could to thank them for coming out to the event.
"Our love for the Redskins Salute program has really become more than national, it's become global," Allen said. "We have so many fans across the world who are part of our proud Armed Forces, and to work with the British Embassy is quite exciting for us. It's a new venture, and hopefully it's going to grow."