Tomorrow I am going to the thing I have nicknamed my “20th high school reunion,” because DC United is going to be celebrating its 20th year at RFK, also my senior year at Clements and thus, my introduction to soccer when I dated Meag, the much-lauded goalie for the Rangers. I am going by myself, because I realized that if I invited someone, I would be interested in whether they were having a good time, and talking instead of observing. In this case, I just can’t care. This is a story that needs to be written, and I will write in my head the entire time. I might even take my iPad and Bluetooth keyboard so that I can jot notes that won’t get lost and crumpled in the bottom of my backpack. For not knowing a lot about sports, I actually am a decent sports writer, because I focus on little details that others don’t pick up. For instance, the last time I wrote about soccer, it was seeing Canada shut out China in a friendly at PGE park in Portland. I wrote about the discipline of the warm-up, and how different they were. Canada was all over the place, and China was rigid rows of windmills the entire time. In high school, it was my dream to see Meag play for Canada, because that was her dream as well. She was tapped for the Olympic development program, but a combination of a bad coach that treated her like crap her freshman year of college and a right good case of Osgood-Slaughter’s disease (eight surgeries on her knees before she was out of grade 12) grounded her. I could never remember “Osgood-Slaughter,” so I always told her she had “Oscar Schindler’s disease.” But I was a rabid Rangers fan, even cutting school (like most of us) to go to regionals in Katy. There was only one time that I absolutely lost my shit at one of her games, and that was because a forward kicked her, HARD, after she’d caught the ball and the whistle had blown. I ran down the stairs of the stadium and jumped over the rail onto the sideline as she laid there in pain. This was when we weren’t “out” as a couple, and I am sure that I confused the hell out of a lot of people, including her mother, as to why I was so broken in that moment. I also remember that she was thumbing through her yearbook and saw a photo of herself on the pitch in front of the net, and she said something about how the placement of her foot was going to shoot the ball in the wrong direction and I was AMAZED that she could tell the direction of the ball just based on the way her leg looked. It gave me a lifelong passion for the game, and 1996 was a banner year, especially for the two teams I’m seeing tomorrow. We’re playing the New England Revolution, home of whom I call “the original flying tomato,” Alexi Lalas. If any of the players from that year are at the game, you’ll be able to hear me screaming from wherever you are. I PROMISE. I seriously picked this game over the others because I don’t care who wins. Although since the tickets are cheap, I may look at the schedule and see if either the Dynamo or the Timbers are a home game. In that case, I will stick out in either my Houston scarf or Portland scarf and Timbers jersey ensemble.
Plus, since I am a first-time ticket buyer, I am getting a tour of the stadium before the game, even getting to go out onto the pitch. I seriously can’t wait, and it’s going to be a long day just because of it.
The man that called me about the pre-game tour, Ryan, told me to send the piece to him once I was finished, so it’s possible it might get legs on their blog as well. I’ll keep you “posted.”
Tomorrow is just for kicks.
See what I did there?