The legend of the D.C. Defenders beer snake

February 3, 2023 / By Brayden Nazarian

A story about new beginnings, passionate fans and a whole lot of beer.

It all started in the year 2020. The XFL comes back for a second stint after failing the first time in 2001. Football fans are ecstatic to have something to watch in the wake of the NFL season.

In the nation's capital, where the words 'success' and 'football' are rarely put together in a sentence, the excitement begins to boil over. The crowd at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. becomes one. Beer drinkers of all different backgrounds come together, offering their empty cups as salvation for their indulgences. Together, they create a work of art, a masterpiece -- the beer snake is born.

A passion and tradition like no other

The beer snake, in all its greatness, was brought to life by the passionate fan base of the D.C. Defenders. I was lucky enough to attend the home opener back in February 2020 and I still have yet to experience anything like it. No one really knew what was going on; most of the spectators were there just because it was something different from the NFL. It's not like Cardale Jones and Donnel Pumphrey were drawing a crowd of 20,000 people. But that's what made it so great. Most people were there because they just loved the game of football (and wanted to drink lots and lots of beer).

From the start of that week one game, the energy levels from the fans were off the chart. Since it was the first official game, the concessions were a little out of wack, so most fans didn't get plastic cups. I remember sipping on a couple Foster's tallboys because that's pretty much all they had. I doubt they expected a packed house every week, but eventually they caught on and expanded their food and drink options.

Game after game, more and more fans were able to contribute to the beer snake. In its infant stages, it was probably about 10-15 feet long, but by week five, the beer snake spanned at least 75 feet. That's when the national media began covering it like crazy and it became what we know it as today: a legendary tradition.

The future of the beer snake

We'll have to wait and see how the legend of the beer snake unfolds. I recently purchased season tickets to the Defenders' home games, so I know I'll be contributing as much as I can. I'm hopeful they'll be more prepared for opening day this year considering how it all went last time. Plus, if The Rock is known for anything in his career, it's providing one hell of an experience. I imagine the gameday experience at Audi Field -- and the beer snake -- will be just as good, if not better than the last time I saw the Defenders play. 

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images