The Greatest Redskins Party You'll Never Go To Gary Clark might be there. Joe Gibbs? Probably not.

The Man, the Legends, the Myth: Clark’s super Skins shindig seems to have no basis in reality.
Darrow Montgomery

Former Redskins great Gary Clark has invited you to a Redskins party that is too good to be true.

According to the party announcement, published last week on a Web site dedicated to promoting and selling tickets to the shindig, every Redskin from each of franchise’s three Super Bowl champion teams would be showing up for an all-day affair on Aug. 29 at RFK Stadium, the most hallowed grounds to fans of the burgundy and gold.

There would be an all-day party outside the stadium, billed as the “Ultimate Tailgate.” There would be “coaching clinics” taught by unnamed “NFL legends.”

And Chris Cooley, the current face of the franchise, would host the finals of a massive video-game tournament. A battle of the bands would be held outside the stadium.

A dinner gala, to honor Joe Gibbs and the “Gridiron Warriors” who led the Skins to the three Lombardi Trophies, would follow the tailgate inside the stadium, on the RFK grass where so much gloriousness took place.

Gibbs would be both the featured guest and a speaker at the dinner. Skins owner Dan Snyder would address the bash, also, giving his remarks “on the upcoming Redskins season.” Fans in attendance, which would number 20,000 according to the invite, would get a chance to ask questions of their heroes. The celebration would be capped off with a “Monte Carlo night” program after the dinner, where fans and guests of honor could commingle.

Ticket packages were advertised from $25 to $12,500 for what the invite dubs “the greatest sporting event ever held” in the city.

Proceeds from the fest, according to the Web site, would go to charity.

A diehard Skins fan would think they’d have to die and go to heaven to attend such a soiree. Well, they might be right: At least one of the scheduled attendees named in the invitation on the “Gala Roster of Gridiron Warriors” will be in a better place on Aug. 29.

Ex-Skins linebacker Mel Kaufman died of a heart ailment in February.

Snyder wasn’t planning on attending, either. “We have not been approached regarding this event,” says Redskins spokesperson Karl Swanson.

Aw, darn.

“There is no agreement to hold any such event here,” says Erik Moses, head of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, the quasi-governmental agency that operates RFK Stadium. “For anybody to say there is going to be [a party] here, that would be premature.”

Clark is among the most beloved players in franchise history. He wasn’t the biggest or the fastest, but he was the toughest receiver on the best Redskins squads of all time. He’d take the biggest shots and always get up, making him a perennial contender for the All-Madden teams, and gave the gaudiest touchdown celebrations. He made four Pro Bowls and caught TD passes in Super Bowls in 1988 and 1992, and his backpedaling dance across the end zone after scoring, fingers pointing to the crowd, provided thrills and chills for a generation of fans.

So the name “Gary Clark” still has clout around here. He’s also thrown smaller-scale Redskins reunions before: In February, he produced “Gary Clark’s Super Bowl XXVI Reunion Party!” at Velocity Five, a Falls Church bar. Cathy Porter, who helped Clark promote that bash and others in the past, says Clark went his own way in the Ultimate Tailgate planning.

According to sources with the Sports and Entertainment Commission, when Clark contacted the city agency earlier this year to talk about putting on a party inside and outside his old stomping grounds, folks listened.

But the bash described in Clark’s informal proposal, say the sources, was nothing like the massive, even-the-dead-will-show-up undertaking spelled out in Clark’s invitation.

And, regardless, no Redskins function of any sort was ever approved.

Sources in the agency say officials thought Clark had shelved his party plans until Washington City Paper contacted the commission last week to ask about the party invitation and ticket solicitations.

After the inquiries, the commission contacted Clark, and he started pulling down many pages on the party’s dedicated Web site (which is registered to Clark). Pages that promised speeches by Joe Gibbs and those requesting donations for as much $12,500 were removed.

Yet, as of this column’s deadline, tickets are still being offered on Clark’s web site for $25 to $75 for the party that, according to the folks who run the stadium where the shindig was allegedly going to happen, is not going to happen.

Sponsorships for the video-game tournament are also still being sought on Clark’s site. The ambition Clark has for his gamers gathering, which he’s dubbed the “Gridiron Legend Sports Bar Challenge,” is, like pretty much all of the plans detailed in the gala invitation, either admirable or foolhardy.

Clark describes a tournament where 32 or more unnamed bars around town would each pay $4,000 to sponsor their own three-day Madden NFL competition, each with 32 players, who would each pay $25 to participate. The tournament winner would get to meet Chris Cooley at the Ultimate Tailgate. Not quite as ambitious as the chance to meet Mel Kaufman, but, still.

And, again, the proceeds would go to a good cause. According to the invite, Clark and a group of unnamed “former Redskins” have formed a charity called Athletes Committed to Educational Success—which, by the way, isn’t registered in either D.C. or Virginia, as required by law. The mission statement of ACES, published on the tailgate/gridiron invite:

“This program is designed to provide a platform for our gridiron legends to mentor and train those future gridiron stars of tomorrow. Not only thru physical training, the sharing of game knowledge and trade secrets from true game experiences, but also by providing these future gridiron stars with the necessary educational tools, resources and educational personnel required to allow these special athletes to truly reach that next level of true greatness and completeness.”

Clark did not respond to phone calls or e-mails requesting comment.

Read Cheap Seats Daily every weekday morning at washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk.

Our Readers Say

The "charity" isn't registered with the IRS either. The only charity Gary Clark knows is the Gary Clark charity.
84isaconartist@aol.com

This article is only the tip of the iceberg with Gary Clark. Anyone who invests money or buys tickets to anything he promotes is looking to get ripped off.
Why do you say that you would get ripped off if you deal with this guy? Do you have personal experience Paul? Just curious . . .
Only JMU player to have his jersey number retired. His 2007 prediction that we were going to "kick Detroit's butt" proved true as well.
Chelsea,

Did you read the stories that Mr.McKenna has written? This event is supposedly for charity. As Mr. Mckenna points out the charity ACES doesn't exist. It is not registered with the IRS or in DC or VA.
I happen to know that the gala packages just got much better with the changes that were made and that the gala itself will now most likely have current and former players attending. When this started back in March, I was in the room when Joe himself committed to attending the function that would pay homage to his players and the fans. Gary seems to be an ok guy but Ricky Sanders is the best and will be a blast at the event. In terms of the charity, whoever you are Paul, your an idiot, the chairity is registered.
I happen to know that the gala packages just got much better with the changes that were made and that the gala itself will now most likely have current and former players attending. When this started back in March, I was in the room when Joe himself committed to attending the function that would pay homage to his players and the fans. Gary seems to be an ok guy but Ricky Sanders is the best and will be a blast at the event. In terms of the charity, whoever you are Paul, you're an idiot, the charity is registered.
"And, again, the proceeds would go to a good cause. According to the invite, Clark and a group of unnamed “former Redskins” have formed a charity called Athletes Committed to Educational Success—which, by the way, isn’t registered in either D.C. or Virginia, as required by law. The mission statement of ACES, published on the tailgate/gridiron invite"

TV are you saying the writer of this story has bogus information? The IRS requires ALL charities to register to get a tax exemption. ACES is not registered with the IRS. The only charity registered with the IRS that has the acronym ACES is based in Minnesota, has a website stands for Athletes Committed to Educating Students.

Atlhetes Committed to Educational Success is not registered with the IRS.

TV, I assume you dispute all the information in Mr. McKenna's story. If so, why not contact the writer, go on record and give the correct details?
Yes... I'm saying that... The Charity that will be receiving contributions is not aces???? It's the Quarterback Club Charities... I think they have been around for over 40 years... Not sure if this writer really checked anything out... Give me a break... The guy made fun of Mel Kaufman being dead... What professional writer would do that... Who makes fun of a dead Super Bowl Legend...
TV, call the reporter and go on record with your name and say that he is wrong? Is the commission who runs RFK wrong when they say the stadium has not been contracted? Are the Redskins wrong when they say they have not been contracted?

Gary Clark has been going around town and holding events under the guise of charity and raising funds for ACES. There is no charity called ACES in this area. The only charity Gary Clark knows is Gary Clark.

Gary Clark is a walking lawsuit who hides behinds others. If you are involved in this charade you will be the one who gets screwed.

If this event is so legit, why has the website removed the high end ticket prices?

Gary is a con artist pure and simple.
Gary Clark has sponsored charity events before - i attended one he gave for Katrina relief back in '07. given his demonstrated love for the Redskins and their fans, i find it difficult to believe that whatever interest he has in this event has any deceptional intent. stuff happens though: the economy is not the best right now and i could imagine certain ambitions may have crashed hard against uncertain accounting. the event has not happened and some of the gaudier website promise pages have been taken down per the article, so no one has yet been "ripped off". the pay page is now password protected - perhaps while a decision is made to scale down or cancel the event, which hopefully will happen soon.
DCDogg,

Nobody is doubting that Gary Clark has put on charity events. The doubt is where does the money raised go?

Someone needs to reconcile the fact that in the past and it appears the future, that Gary has raised money for ACES against the fact that ACES is not a recognized charity.
There is still time for the charity to be registered with the IRS. There is still time for the event to be finalized with RFK and the city. And there is still time for Snyder to be contacted for his participation.

The way I read this article is that the reporter is the one who has severely jumped the gun, not Gary Clark.
The "Redskin Party" looks like a job for the Caped Crusader, AKA "The Haggler"
Always enjoy your columns David.

Paul

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