Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thoughts From Lot 8

This winter was one of the worst in recent memory in DC, with record breaking snow falls. But this weekend finally brought with it not just long-desired spring weather (some would say early summer weather), but a chance to exalt in the hope of a new season and to celebrate those new beginnings with fellow revelers in some quality tailgating.

One problem though was that with all that snow from this winter, it had to be dumped somewhere. DC couln't just plow it normally or the snow banks and piles would have made transportation, in all forms, virtually impossible (as it was it was a disaster anyway). So where else to dump it, lot 8 at RFK Stadium of course.

The snow may have long melted away, but the ravaging effects of the elements took its toll. More than half the lot consisted of gigantic craters, rubble, and dirt. Thankfully the access road was repaired and they even completely re-paved the portion of the lot closest to the tunnel heading to lot 5 and the stadium gates.

Just that little bit of open, available space was enough for the previously mentioned revelry. And the DC United crowd made sure to enjoy the day in large numbers. A crowd of over 20,000 enjoyed the pre-game festivities and continued through the game’s opening whistle, thanks in part due to the reappearance of the El Salvadoran support back in the fold after the acquisition of winger Christian Castillo.

Hoping to forget opening game humiliation at Kansas City, the DC United crowd was vociferous and lively, as they usually are. DC United responded with good possession, but few good chances. Like a tailgater who starts early, enjoys sun and drink, only to peter off and lose momentum as the night wears on, drained from the day’s toll, so too did it seem like United must have been enjoying the early fun in the sun. Their early possession failed to produce the opening goal the team desperately needs, and as the game’s paced slowed to visiting New England’s liking in the second half, the Revolution put away its late chances to steal a road victory.

Is this a portent of the season to come, or a slow start for a team trying to fit together significant new pieces? It’s taken all of two games to dash all of my optimism about the season. DC isn’t as bad as six goals against and nil for, but I can see another year of playoff hopes coming down to the final weekends. I hope I’m wrong. I hope Danny Allsopp gives DC that extra bit of threat up top and that a summer signing can come and provide some midfield creativity and control.

In the meantime, I’ll have to remember to get to lot 8 a little earlier than usual to get one of the available spots. You never know in DC when the weather will turn.

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