“You’ll need two beers.” My friend, Johner, told me last Sunday. We were at a DC United game. My first. I’ve begun to try and experiment with the different experiences that living in a city has to offer. DC isn’t the biggest city, but it has attractions on top of attractions. You could spend most of your time trying to taste every thing, see everything and do everything. Or you can just be patient and taste/see/do what you want in a moderate, responsible fashion. That’s me, now. I’m responsible.
“You down this first beer,” Johner said. “But you leave a little bit at the bottom.”
“What’s the second beer for?” I asked.
“To drink it?” He said back, a bit confused at why I asked. Why did I have an almost empty cup of beer? I’ll get to that.
RFK stadium is big and old. Getting to my seat, I looked down and saw that was no seat. That was fine because I couldn’t see anything unless I stood. The crowd was that wild. We were sitting in the “Barra Brava” section. These were the true fans, the hard core. Drumming. Chanting. Screaming. Jumping up and down. A constant explosion of movement and motion that you become engulfed in. When I got there, I barely knew the rules of Soccer. Twenty minutes later, I was the world’s biggest DC United fan with an extreme hatred towards our Sunday rivals, Philadelphia Union.
“HIT I-95 NORTH, YOU SONS OF BITCHES!” I screamed. Where did that come from? I’ve never even been to Philly. Hmm? What? What was the almost empty cup of beer for?
“When we score,” Johner told me. “Toss it into the air.”
That’s right. When DC United scores, the fans toss their near empty cups of beer and water and whatever into the air and go absolutely insane. I’ve never seen such a spectacle of alcohol abuse and rivalry. It was glorious. And when DC United finally scored, the cups went flying. I lifted my arms up in celebration, letting the beer rain down on me. I high-fived people I never saw before. I wanted to make love to someone. Anyone. We scored! We scored a goal against a team I never heard of in a sporting event I barely cared about.
It’s strange. The Washington Nationals are amazing this year. I went to a futbol game? I’ve never cared for sports, and I still don’t. I don’t keep up with players, stats, numbers, goals, none of that crap. But, take me to a live game and I’m the greatest fan in history. I think it transcends sports. The longer I live here, the more I want the city I live in to be a good city. I want our sports teams to be amazing. I want to crush our enemies. I guess that’s the definition of being a fan.