‘Sports | DC United’ Posts(2)

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We Love D.C.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

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Well, it’s been exactly one year since we moved to D.C. proper, after a combined 20 years of living around the periphery (well, I did 2 years in Glover Park, but that hardly counts). so, in the spirit of the new(ish) local blog We Love DC, the lady sparkler and I spent a walk through the neighborhood recounting why we love this place.

National Zoo
Denizens of Mount Pleasant refer to the Zoo as their “backyard” and in a lot of ways it is. I know more about the Prairie Dogs than I do some of my friends. Free summer concerts on lion hill, winter solace because the tourists stay away, spring babies, and the best fall foliage in the city.

Free Stuff
It’s easy to take this for granted, but we are reminded everytime we leave the city … everything in D.C. is free. From concerts, to movies on the mall, to museums, to monuments. The first time the lady sparkler and I went to NYC together, we just couldn’t shut up about the $18, $25, $30 tickets to see anything of culture. No wonder they are so grumpy up there.

Kennedy Center
Truely the greatest “monument” in D.C., the Kennedy Center presents an amazing array of theatre, music and culture to the city. Sure, we should give a shout out to the Woolly Mammoth, Arena, Signature and Shakespeare Theatres too, but the top class productions in D.C. are good enough to rival those of other major cities around the world.

Food
A decade ago, “food” would certainly not make an area top list, but D.C. is now home to quite a few decent restaurants. Maybe they aren’t the most daring menus on the planet, but the food is top-shelf and the service is legitimately okay. Going out, we have had as many great meals as we do mediocre, and that’s a step in the right direction.

Urban Parks
It’s hard to believe in a city, but we really have trees and parks all over the place. Rock Creek is enormous, and just about every intersection of the big avenues has a park of some kind. Large and small, these parks are one of the reasons DC-ites are out and about so much.

RFK Stadium
While a source of scorn for a lot of people who just don’t get it (D.C. United’s owners to name a few), RFK Stadium is the last great municipal stadium in use in the country, and one of the truest places to watch a ballgame in the country. No doubt: we will cry if it ever gets torn down.

Meridian Hill / Malcolm X Park
Parisian fountains in the middle of the District … who can argue with that? Almost by definition, spring starts in the city when the park’s fountains are turned on, and it plays host to everything from picnics to drum circles. The best news, is that ten years ago it wasn’t save to think about entering the park. Now? Oasis in the city.

Mount Pleasant
I loved Mount Pleasant before I even knew what it was. I got lost here in the late 90s and again in 2005, both times thinking it was the most beautiful neighborhood in the world. I’m here for the amazing. She is here for the farmer’s market. It’s a win, win.

Now, the one reason we hate this place: no one stays here … in the last 4 months, we’ve lost a handful of our closest friends to Seattle, Boston and now Mississippi. Mississippi?!? When you start losing people to the deep south, you have to wonder how great your city actually is … but why we hate D.C. (politics, interns) is a posting for another day.

when the lights go down in the city

Saturday, 12 July 2008

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half of d.c. united’s stadium (rfk) lost power tonight, during a match against CD Guadalajara. the outage stopped play for 19 minutes, and freaked us out imagining the chaos if *all* the lights had gone out. united, who is trying to move to a new home that isn’t 47-years old, announced over the p.a. that this was “yet another reason we need a new stadium” … hmmm.

david, i love you!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

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[Photo]
ECPA20080629_1532, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
oh, my … where to begin.

you’d think in washington, d.c. the hotest ticket in town would be some kind of political event, or maybe that tiger woods golf tourney happening out in bethesda next weekend.

but with approval ratings in the toilet (congress is at 19%, the president at 29%) and tiger on his back with a bum knee … the hottest ticket in the district this summer (hands down) is the visit of super-fantastic-megariffic-star david “bend it like” beckham to our small corner of the footballing world.

his trip to d.c. last year was a circus … and one which the lady sparkler and i opted to watch on the telly instead of braving the soccer-mom driven mania. this year was sure to be no different and — through a couple of tickets t.l.s. scored from work — we got to see it up close and personal.

i’m not exactly a stranger to the beguiling charm of the english flavour of football (or “footy” as the lady sparkler has taken to calling it…) but the national obsession with the chiseled greatness that is mr. beckham has me more than a little puzzled.

sure, i can understand 12 year-old girls screaming … and MAYBE we can extend that to their 40 year-old moms. but, the place was packed with 25-35 year old men with mint-edition beckham branded l.a. galaxy unis … shouting out adulation, and snapping pics. and remember, this is d.c. — it’s not exactly a home game for a team from los angeles.

i’m a 25-35 year old male and, while i am not so ego-tastic to speak for a whole decade of humans, i must say that i remember far more lows in “the david’s” career (thrown out of 1998 World Cup, lackluster showing in 2002 and 2006 Cups, flipping off fans at Euro 2000, benchings by two of the greatest coaches of this age) than i remember his highs.

so while i respect david for his 100+ appearances for the national team, and for his collection of early club championships — that’s enough for me to hope he does well in the States, but not enough to drop $70 on an spanking new beckham jersey and scream at him like a little girl.

speaking of which, the funniest moment of the day was shortly after we arrived with some of the lady sparkler’s co-workers … we were poking fun of the whole scene, when someone from two rows back, right behind out heads, shouted “DAVID, I LOVE YOU!”

unfortunately, we just *lost* it.

oh, right. the game. d.c. crushed them. beckham looked miserable (as a proper brit should, playing footy .. during the summer .. in 98-degree weather .. in an american swamp).

taylor twellman is a twit

Sunday, 18 November 2007

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[Photo]
1118071406, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
the championship match of major league soccer returned to D.C.’s RFK Stadium again this year. unfortunately, after having the best record during the regular season, D.C. United flamed out in the first round of the playoffs and blew the chance to play for the cup on their home turf.

instead, we watched the lady sparkler’s hometown team (the houston dynamo) hand the new england revolution (employer of the twit mentioned above) their fourth cup defeat in the last six years. you can guess our allegiances (have i mentioned he’s a twit?) and i can safely say that we were in a small, small minority of people cheering for houston as they sent the revolution to the bad side of the record books.

now, not everybody cares about fĂștbol/soccer, but focus for a moment on the futility factor here: 4 championship appearances, no wins. only two professional teams share this dubious honor (the buffalo bills and the minnesota vikings, both of the NFL, both 0-4 in the superbowl). hockey has only one team that comes close (st. louis blues, 0-3) and basketball/baseball can only muster a few 0-2 teams (utah jazz, phoenix suns, new jersey nets, san diego padres).

the amazing thing is that major league soccer is just a decade old. imagine what their futility mark could be like with another 30 years of championships to lose. how would you like to be part of a franchise like that? i meant to ask some of the 30,000+ Revolution fans as they were leaving the stadium grounds, but …

back to the twit. i’m normally not one to shower the hate on people, but it’s even worse that i can’t figure out why i loathe him so. part of it could his gawd awful kick medic commercials i have to watch every weekend on fox soccer channel. part of it could be that no matter how good he is for his club (83 goals in 145 appearances, or 57%) he is equally bad for his country (6 goals in 28 appearances, or 21%). or it could just be because he wears his shirts two sizes too small.

regardless, houston won their second straight (the only team other than D.C. to do that) and twinkle-toed twellman and the revs lost … all is right with the world.

Explore the Photo Set:
MLS Cup 2007, Washington, D.C.