Friday, July 8, 2011

Let's Stomp the Scum

Etcheverry: Early Figure of DC Hate
I hate DC.  It has nothing to do with politics.  My hatred started in 1996, and I can pinpoint it to a precise moment on October 2, 1996.  The four regular season games were intense, and a rivalry had begun to emerge.  The joy of shootout victory, courtesy of eleventh-shooter Peter Vermes (DC protested he shot out of sequence) will always remain a most cherished memory, when victory there seemed our rightful legacy, carried over from a decade’s absence of soccer at the Swamp.  DC were nothing to worry about.  They were just the Dipshits rebranded with fascist iconography. 
With less than two minutes to play in the away leg of the playoff, Rob Johnson knocked Marco Etcheverry at the edge of the box, but it was the Devil himself who dove as far as he could inside the box, as if his leg was broken, while his teammates dove on top of him to celebrate.  Diaz Arce’s winning PK past Tony Meola was understood to be a fait accompli.  They celebrated more for the penalty call than the goal.  Right then and there, I despised them. 
And I tend to despise anyone who wears that dirty bird on their chest.  It’s been hard to see players we’ve grown to love be traded to the Scum.  Maybe A.J. Wood didn’t break my heart, but it hurt to see the likes of our two great Mikes, Petke and Ammann, playing for the enemy.  Likewise, it was tough to adjust and cheer for Eddie Pope, Richie Williams and Jaime Moreno.  On a road trip win at Columbus in 2003 (Bob Bradley’s 100th MLS win), I gave a cheer to Jaime after the final whistle as the Metros walked off the cowpatch, but I felt dirty, the gesture too uncomfortable, and was pleased to see him back in black the next year.  I have friends, even family, who support DC and I hate them for it - I really do - their support of the Scum a sign of evil in their hearts that tells me they can never truly be trusted.
So this Saturday’s match at Riverbend revives these animosities.  For the second year in a row, my wife knows our wedding anniversary will be spent at the Arena.  She loves me too much to ask me to miss a match v the Scum.  That, and she hates them, too.  Is there a more vile and contemptible sight in MLS than Ben Olsen’s mug?  What bizarre animal sex rites are performed as initiations into Barra Brava and Screaming Eagles?  How will we delouse the northeast upper deck after this Saturday night? 
While I was sad to see DeRo depart, he wasn’t here long enough for me to lament his adoption of the eagle on his chest, and Dax McCarty wasn’t with them long enough to make his becoming a Bull problematic for me.  Two matches may be too early for a verdict, but this initially puzzling trade may well prove brilliant for our Bulls.  We certainly didn’t need DeRosario up front.  Aside from his first touch as a Bull, he didn’t distribute the ball as we expected and with McCarty in midfield, we now have someone who will battle box-to-box and Henry can tuck back into the trequarista role where he can get the touches in space to make the most of his vision and ability. 
I’ll never get over that 1996 playoff loss, and we’ve yet to enjoy revenge for that last match v the Scum at the Swamp.  Last year’s 0-0 wasn’t anywhere good enough.  Another performance like we enjoyed midweek will send shockwaves through the league that the Bulls are making their run.  Let’s party like we’re in Pamplona and stomp the Scum!

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