See other templatesSee other templates

Welcome!

Thanks for joining us! We write about sports, food, life and anything else interesting here in Ashburn and Loudoun County, all while cramming as many features into the site as possible.

Our changes are ongoing, as we'd like DullesDistrict.Com to have the feel of a community. Want to know more? Click on the icon below:

About Us

Since It's The Opening Sunday For The NFL, I'll Say It Again...

This is a story I seem to tell every year on the opening Sunday of the NFL season. And I’m going to tell it again, because it’s a great story and one I’ll never tire of either telling or hearing.

If you’re a college football player and you got released in the last wave of NFL cuts, today’s probably not your day. After playing football every day of your life, you’re sitting at home watching. And you’re wondering if your football days are over.

Which takes to me to the subject of a Virginia Tech player named Nick Sorensen.

I worked at Rowe Furniture back in 2001 up here in Northern Virginia. My office was right around the corner from that of Nick’s Dad, and as any proud papa would, we talked about Nick a lot. Nick had signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins and stayed with the team right up to the last cut. Then he got the call that he was released.

Nick had no idea what his future would hold. But at least for this football season, he decided he was going to stay ready. He worked out every day at a local high school. He’d come by the office and see his Dad some times and I’d ask him what he was going to do. He had no specific reason to be optimistic, but he just knew if the phone ever did ring, he had to be in shape and he had to be ready.

He worked out every day as if the phone WOULD ring.

2
Continue reading

When No One Wants To Sponsor The Defending Champion...

I have been slowly watching NASCAR die over the last few years, but today served notice as to just how bad things have gotten. Furniture Row Racing – the team that with driver Martin Truex Jr. won the championship in the highest-level series in the sport last year – will shut its doors at the end of the year.

The story here isn’t just a team shutting down. Truex, his crew chief and most of those employed will end up with other teams and probably be just fine next year. No, the story is WHY they are shutting down, and how the lifeblood of the sport is in serious jeopardy.

I’m not your typical racing fan. I’m not a car guy, was raised in Norfolk – technically in the south but because of the Navy base, we had a lot of Yankee influence – and I just didn’t see the point to 500 or more left turns on a hot summer day.

But the newspaper business introduced me to it. I worked at a place in Roanoke and our racing writer happened to be the son of my physics teacher at Lake Taylor High School. His name was Steve Waid and he not only loved the sport, he was a bit of a rock star on the circuit because of the way he covered it. I became intrigued.

A few years later, I became the sports editor of the newspaper in Martinsville. The owner was a character named Clay Earles and the PR director was one of the best on the planet named Dick Thompson. Clay, Dick and Steve all taught me the sport, introduced me to the right people and in a short period of time, I fell in love with it.

For me it had nothing to do with cars. It was the personalities of the drivers and the cult-like loyalty of the fans. Waid had gotten me a couple of tickets when I was working in Roanoke, so a friend and I headed to Martinsville to see a race live. We hadn’t even gotten out of the car for more than a minute and a couple of good ol’ boys were throwing haymakers at each other as if one had insulted the other’s mother.

2
Continue reading

I Believe They Call These "A Blessing In Disguise"

Admit it. Something bad you don’t expect occurs, and you immediately think, “why did this have to happen?

This week, it happened twice to me. And the answer was “to prevent you from something even bigger happening in the future."

It started last Sunday. My daughter was visiting and realized when she came home late Saturday night that one of her headlights had burned out. That’s something you have to fix, or when you’re driving home from work the next night you run the risk of getting a ticket for not having two working headlights. And Sunday isn’t the best time to be getting repair work done.

I suggested she call our normal repair shop in the neighborhood and see if they were open. They were, from noon to 5, and were able to fix it, although for a not-so-cheap $350.

“Why did this have to happen?” may have been heard somewhere in the house.

It got worse. While fixing the light, the technician said the water pump was leaking. That’s a major repair of over $1,000, and for a millennial walking the tightrope of making ends meet, getting hit with thousands of dollars of auto repairs can be a source of significant stress. The technician did suggest that it might be covered by warranty, so call the dealer.

7
Continue reading

In The Spirit Of Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of Happiness...

On this 4th of July, I want to share a story with you about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The pursuit of happiness actually found me. And it involves the deep satisfaction I’ve been finding just trying to help people.

 It all started back in March. I’d decided I’d had enough with the working world. I checked my financials, and believed my wife and I had enough for a comfortable (although not exotic) existence the rest of our days. She was going to work for the next few years anyway, and I had been seeing far too many people I knew encounter serious health problems within days or weeks of them reaching retirement age.

So I called it quits and retired at a relatively young age.

Not too long after, I got a phone call from a young friend. She was frustrated with her job, had been sending out letters and resumes for months and not getting any calls back. Would I be willing to help?

I mean, who could say no to that?

9
Continue reading

You Know, You Could Actually Help Someone On Social Media

I have long followed people on social media I’ve never met and probably never will. If you have similar values, or are funny, or just live in my general area, I’ll follow you.

What tends to happen is they follow back, and over the years we get to know each other’s families even though we probably wouldn’t recognize each other if we passed down the same aisle at the grocery store. Similar pictures at holidays, pics of our kids growing up, comments on how a Washington sports team let us down (except for this month)…we find out we are more the same than different.

It’s the cool part of social media. Conversely, there are times like the last few days on Twitter (and it’s now starting to bleed into Facebook) where we’re back to the “I’m going to shout out a declarative sentence that oversimplifies a complex issue and makes you look like a monster” phase.

It’s what I call the “impulse control” days of Twitter and Facebook. React to such statements from a friend and you won’t change their mind; you’ll just lose them as a friend. Debate a stranger and you’ll get dragged into an ugly circle of name-calling and snark that you swore to yourself you’d never stoop to.

1
Continue reading

Hey Wheaties, Do I Have An Idea For You...

Dear Wheaties: I have a suggestion for you. A great one. Really, I do.

Yesterday, the sports fans of Washington D.C. had the perfect day. There were close to half a million fans Rockin’ The Red throughout the city, finishing up a four-day celebration bender on behalf of the Washington Capitals. It was beyond our wildest dreams, everything went incredibly well, and now that we have to return to reality, there is something on everyone’s minds.

Spending money.

We want anything that reminds us of the euphoric feeling of the last four days. We’re buying up newspapers, magazines, overpriced T-shirts, overpriced hats, bobbleheads that won’t ship until this area has another solar eclipse…anything we can glance up and look at that puts a smile on our face and reminds us of that time Ovi and the boys dove in fountains, drank enough to drown, and made us feel like we were part of the fraternity party they were participating in.

Which brings us to Wheaties. Back in 1987 when Doug Williams led the Washington Redskins to 35 points in the second quarter of the Super Bowl with Denver and brought home a trophy to the most powerful city in the world, you put Doug on the front of your cereal box. We all bought them, and even though it’s been 31 years, the box is still sitting on a shelf in my library. Along with countless other pieces of memorabilia, it is firmly entrenched next to the Sonny Jurgensen autographed helmet, the Darrell Green bobblehead, and a host of miniature helmets representing every different one the Redskins have played with in the last 5 decades.

The taste, the number of vitamins, the percentage of nutrients and minerals…none of that matters. You could fill these boxes with shredded paper and nobody around here would care. That Wheaties box is pure nostalgia to us with Doug Williams on the box front. So now you need to do another one with our boys in the band from the Capitals.

Put Alex Ovehckin on the front holding the Stanley Cup Trophy over his head like he’s done several thousand times in the last four days and you won’t have a box left on any shelves in the DMV. Put the pic of the Caps on stage at the celebratory rally, looking out into a sea of red much like all the performers at Woodstock had to face when they went on stage in 1969, and you will get similar results.

This is what they call in the business “low-hanging fruit.” We here in the surrounding areas of the Nation’s Capital have been famished for a title for a long time and we’ve just been served. Now we’re craving something else…not necessarily your whole grain flakes, but a pretty package these good sources of B vitamins and fiber come in. Give us a Caps box, and we’ll give you some sales figures that will have you dancing like Ovi on the roof of Café Milano late at night.

As you can see, I’ve included mock-ups of both. So come on, General Mills. Don’t go looking to re-invent the wheel with ideas like those wizards who came up with the International House of Burgers. Do the right thing. Get the Washington Capitals on the front of your cereal box.

We’re hungry for it. And we’re ready to eat…

1
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Guest — ChrisG

Huge Crowd

Was it larger than Trump's inauguration??
Wednesday, 13 June 2018 11:27
Dave Scarangella

Depends on who you ask :)

I do know there were zero incidents or arrests, unlike a particular Super Bowl Celebration a few hours north of here back in Febru... Read More
Wednesday, 13 June 2018 11:35

After A 31-Year Wait, Cowne Gets His Super Bowl Ring

If you are over at C.S. Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg these days and want to see a Super Bowl ring, go find resource teacher John Cowne.

Lost in the media crush of the Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup parade Tuesday was the fact that the replacement players who participated in three games during the Washington Redskins' 1987 Super Bowl season finally got their rings. They weren’t originally going to, but a 30 for 30 special on ESPN recently bought a spotlight to the fact they didn’t get rings, and the organization responded.

Cowne, who is also an assistant to Head Coach Mike Skinner at Woodgrove here in Loudoun County, played collegiately at Virginia Tech. He was on the teams of Bill Dooley from 1980 to 1983, primarily as a long snapper on teams that had a combined record of 31-14 and played in a bowl game. Cowne made an attempt at the NFL in 1987, playing for the San Diego Chargers before being waived at the end of the exhibition season.

The Brentsville District High School standout then got a call from Charlie Casserly, who was responsible for putting a replacement team together. On the night of Sept. 22, 1987, Cowne joined his new teammates at the Dulles Airport Marriott and ended up playing in all three games, including the Monday night October 19th 13-7 win over Dallas.

But just like in the movie “The Replacements”, the next day it was over and players were told to clean out their lockers. Cowne, the first and only player in the history of Brentsville District High School to play Division I football (and now get a Super Bowl ring), returned to teaching high school and coaching, where his stops have included positions at Loudoun Valley and Broad Run here in Ashburn.

Thanks to Will Montgomery’s Twitter feed (a fellow Hokie and Redskin) I was even able to grab a picture of Montgomery and Cowne (Cowne is on the right) and a picture of that newly minted Super Bowl ring.

This of course raises another question I will have to investigate: how many high school football coaches in Loudoun County have Super Bowl rings?

I now know there’s at least one….

2
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Guest — chrisG

It's about time--very cool

and thanks for sharing the County connection---I guess you'll have to go to Academies of Loudoun to see it in the Fall!
Wednesday, 13 June 2018 11:25
Dave Scarangella

I was at the ground-breaking f...

Will be interesting to see how all the plans came together...
Wednesday, 13 June 2018 11:39

Ovechkin May End Up Being Snyder's Worst Nightmare

If you have followed the antics of Alex Ovechkin, his teammates and the Stanley Cup since they all landed at Dulles Friday, you’d have to think this group is Dan Snyder’s worst nightmare.

I’m not saying everyone is now going to stop following pro football and embrace hockey. The fanbase for that franchise is deep and isn’t going anywhere immediately.

But that fanbase is old. It’s my generation that has a closet filled with Redskins jerseys and will follow them until they die. The younger generation that has just gotten out of college does not have that loyalty. They don’t seem to be going to live sporting events as evidenced by more and more empty seats around the country. The value for high-priced tickets to any team’s games, much less one that isn’t all that much fun to follow come playoff time, just doesn’t seem to be there.

Then these guys come along. Watching Ovi and company is like watching a bunch of modern-day Beatles remaking “A Hard Day’s Night.” Heck, as hard as these guys are going at it, they could call it “A Hard Day’s WEEK.”

They are becoming folk heroes in front of our very eyes. First, they win the Stanley Cup. Then they take the Cup all over Las Vegas like a group of guys who are maniacs on a mission. They make the movie “The Hangover” look tame, and I figured no one can go at that pace two days in a row. They’ll calm down when they get home, logic dictated.

1
Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS: Cheap Man Pays Full Retail For Caps Stuff

Today I was out and about just like half of Northern Virginia, shopping for Caps Stanley Cup merchandise.

It was painful. I haven’t paid full retail in 27 years. But there is a certain competitiveness after a team wins a championship, and while everyone can order online and have stuff Monday, I needed something yesterday. Even if it meant paying through the nose. 

I actually did find something yesterday when my wife was out shopping with my daughter. She brought home a shirt that was the price of four large pizzas from Papa Johns, and while it looked nice, it didn’t fit right. So we went back today to return it and discovered there were new and better things to max out your credit card on.

You have to be quick. I started off with the Tervis mug you see in the picture to the right. It says it will keep things cool for 8 hours, but I think having that mug with  the “Stanley Cup Champions” and Washington Capitals logo on it is going to be cool for 8 years or longer.

They also had shirts that said “Our Year”, which is exactly what my sentiment is. The Caps won the title Thursday night and throughout the playoffs have been incorporating the Nationals into a lot of their celebrations like older brothers showing their younger brethren the ropes. I think that’s going to pay off in the fall, as a number of players are going to remember this and dig deep to be able to experience all of this for themselves and their teammates.

Plus, it was the only one left in my “jumbo petite” size. Seconds after I grabbed the shirt, I turned to the table that had “Stanley Cup Champions” hats on it only a minute before for my next purchase. The table was empty. More will be coming in soon, I was told. You snooze, you lose is now the law of the Stanley Cup merchandise jungle.

Still, two out of three wasn’t bad. I went home, filled the tumbler full of ice, and poured my beverage of choice – iced tea – into it. Probably the millionth glass of iced tea I’ve had in my life.

But easily, after a Stanley Cup title I've waited 40 years for, the sweetest. :)

1
Continue reading
broken clouds

43.3°F

Ashburn

Broken Clouds

Humidity: 42%

Wind: 20.8 m/h

Thu

sky is clear

34/46°F

Fri

overcast clouds

31/49°F

Sat

sky is clear

28/41°F

They Finally Did It...

They Did It

After a long and bumpy road, The Washington Nationals finally won the World Series. And made an old man in Ashburn cry...

Never Grow Old...

Never Grow Old

A trip to Spring Training reminded me we're all still kids at heart, and no matter how old, you keep playing until they get you out.

Gone But Never Forgotten...

Doodle

My faithful dogs probably rode shotgun on hundreds of stories I've written since 2003. This one is for you, Doodle & Schnoodle.

Go to top