Friday, December 11, 2015

If I had the wings of an eagle... #NewDCU ready to go!

(A NEW ERA IN D.C. UNITED HISTORY IS BEGINNING! And we have a #Brand #Narrative video with "in a world" style voiceover to go with it!! DAMN I AM PUMPED UP! IS IT MARCH YET?!)

Last night was the big unveiling party for the new D.C. United logo and though ever so slightly butthurt at not getting to attend, it did give me a chance to reflect on a few things:

1) I cannot wait until March when games start back up again.

2) I'm pretty sure I need this sweatshirt featuring the new logo.

3) It's been three months after my switch flipped from casual supporter to D.C. United superfan.

A librarian by profession, obviously it's my duty to learn as much as possible about anything I take an interest in. To that end, I've been binging on podcasts and deep cuts from D.C. United youtube channel (have I mentioned how much I love the Unmarked series, hosted by the hilariously robotic Molly Bruh who looks and sounds like she's never seen a camera before; my favorite is the Esky mic'd up episode which is just him busting everybody's balls for about 6 minutes) and have assembled a pretty massive reading list, which I've been diligently working my way through. I'm currently deep in the weeds of The Ball is Round, a global history of soccer written by English author David Goldblatt, and it's absolutely fascinating reading. I mean, I had no idea the extent to which global soccer is still warped by both British imperialism and class. There's a reason why India plays cricket and America plays American football and both have to do with our history as British colonies, as well as the lack of unity among the working class, which is where soccer really established itself. (Did the epic victory of Calcutta's Mohun Bagan AC over the English East Yorkshire side in 1911 have anything to do with the British moving the capital to Delhi later that year?? Did the Great Depression kill off American soccer and Providence Clam Diggers??)

American soccer fandom to be the most globally minded of all the American fandoms I've ever participated in. Perhaps because soccer really is a global sport. It's been wonderful seeing the integration of players in MLS from all over the world. A real melting pot. And because there's no history of American exceptionalism, it's refreshing seeing the United States positioned--correctly--as just one more country on the North American continent, rather than AMERICA and some other unimportant countries filled with scary brown people.

I'm also currently halfway through Beau Dure's informative history of Major League Soccer, which a pretty good grounding in the quirks of MLS, such as it's unending obsession with pushing teams in major media markets New York and Los Angeles.

D.C. United fandom is rather small but extremely passionate. Hopefully I'll find a place for myself there, the spiritual equivalent of the low brass section which is my natural home.

Fair warning, though, that I have bought a season ticket for 2016, which I am extremely excited about. And because I must write, I am thinking of blogging my experience through the season. I haven't seen anything similar online so hopefully people will find it interesting. If I can, perhaps I'll even try interviewing different people involved in the fandom and supporters groups. I am curious. The fandom landscape is a complicated one because it is so small and I've tried to be careful not to step on anybody's toes, although with my low tolerance for both overly pampered children and nepotism I couldn't resist subtweeting a certain ex-D.C. United CEO's daughter's hilariously butthurt tweets about the team's re-branding. (Did the logo change mean Daddy's backstage access stopped working? You don't get special treatment anymore, dear? Boo fucking hoo. You had BETTER not be passing on that negative attitude to your boyfriend or there's going to be hell to pay... oh yes.)

ALL THAT SAID, dipping a toe into soccer fandom certainly doesn't mean I'm not writing about anything else, so check in from time to time as you will. I'm hoping the break will give me a chance to catch up on some films and reading and writing.

The view from my seat!

Sitting in the press room on my tour of RFK!

My favorite picture from last year, parking lot party following what turned out to be Chris "Party Boy" Pontius's D.C. United swan song. Our victory over New England in the knock-out round. God speed, Party Boy. I'll be cheering for you in Philly... except when you play DC.

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