The Foot Faithful were on hand before the gates to legendary Lot 8 were even open, and so were a lot of other football fans. Once we were in we went straight to the spot where so many legendary tailgates have gone down in seasons past. The boys were in fine form for the first party of the new season and the site was set up in no time. One notable addition is the BlackFoot flag, while not new in and of itself, it's new nesting spot (on top of Hammer's car) displayed it in the truly glorious fashion that it deserves, and with the wind, and United, prevailing, it has truly become an RFK icon.
Greetings from the Grill: since yours truly has gone vegetarian I will no longer be able to critique the many meats coming off the grill at the shaky hands of Chef Hammer. Fortunately to recap this Kitchen Encounter I didn't have to. Sausage and Peppers were the order of the day, and apparently ordered by the ground since that is where Chef chose to put it. I throw it on the ground, I won't be a part of your system! Chef, clearly thinking things through, decided to move the grill mid saute' and deftly dumped dinner in the dirt. When asked why no one helped the answer was unanimous: I though you had it dude. Luckily the Chef had plenty of extras to continue cooking, one can only assume that he paid for them. At any rate, dessert took the cake. Cookies provided by Dick Dank seemed to have everyone laughing and smiling, laughing and smiling, laughing and, well . . . . you get the idea.
Perhaps no longer the best kept secret, BlackFoot tailgates continue to attract a lot of attention. It seems we have become the spot to make an appearance at, which I am sure has nothing to do with the fact that we are next to the best pisser in the park, the Anacostia River. People were coming from as far as two cars away to party with the boys. It was amazing to hear the different accents these far away travelers spoke with, mostly hick and various drunk dialects. Cameo appearances were made by: Darth Hangaround, Kenny (who?), two guys, and Todd.
The tailgate went by as quick as Hammer walking by a closely monitored merchandise table and before we knew it we were breaking down the tailgate and getting ready to head in. We almost had the Fray at RFK round two when Hammer and Dick tried to put the cornhole boards away. Score: drunk logic one - ingenuity zero. As our foreign friend put it: "Is like watching monkey fuck football." Sometimes a Czech is better than cash, eh boys? We made the march to the stadium and were all ready to check out our new seats, one row back from the old ones, when the Colonel got held up at the gate. Apparently his ticket was no good. Despite my best efforts to convince security that we have had season tickets for years, and despite the fact that the Colonel was wearing the brand new SEASON TICKET HOLDER scarf, he was denied. I cut my losses and made my way to our seats. Kudos to the brain trust who came up with the new STH marketing strategy that is plastered all over the schwag that came with our season tickets, it is clearly helping to identify real fans and dedicated season ticket holders. Just ask the Colonel. It seems all they have done is make DCU merchandise so hideous that not even Hammer would steal it. All of these mishaps were quickly forgotten once we saw the team on the field and Benji on the bench. The boys came to play. Even though there were some quality chances created in the first half, most notably the long distance effort by newcomer Josh Wolff (two F's in Wolff boys!), the Columbus Boo played us to a stalemate, which in Chess means tie. The second half was a different story. Wolff started it off with a brilliant strike in the early goings of the second half. A PK by the welcomed and almost worshiped Charlie Davies made it 2-0. Then, what everyone was hoping to see happened. Brilliant hustle, control, composure and finishing was displayed by Charlie as he beat the keeper for the third goal of the night and secured his brace. Welcome Charlie, welcome indeed. Great play was displayed by another new comer, Kitchen Counter, and there was also strong play by United veterans like Clyde Simms and Andy Najar. The only stain on the night was a PK that was given up late in the second half to the Crew, who put away what was clearly their best chance of the night. The call was questionable though, which is to say the only thing cheaper than that PK was Hammer's new shirt. 3 goals and 3 points for the Boys in Black. It was a great day for all and I only wish Hammer could have been there to enjoy it. Seriously, that kid disappears more than Clark Kent. The only people who will remember less of that game than him are the two fans in front of us, Mr. Jim Beam and Mrs. Captain Morgan. They each had their own pint, it was like sitting next to a distillery.
Line of the day: came very late and was spoken by Smithy on the drive home as we realized we were right behind Dick and Hammer: "I hope that asshole knows how to tie down his cornhole boards." Classic.
Well, those are the highlights and the low lights of the 2011 season opening tailgate. Stories were told and made, beers were drunk and so were people, and everything was in the black, except the DC United merchandise bottom line, which was in the red. This season looks like it might be fun both in the lot and on the turf. Welcome to the new arrivals and big congratulations to Coach Olsen who gets his first official win of his young managing career. Here's to many more Benji, many more! Get your ass out to a game boys and don't worry about parking, it's free cause Hammer steals it.
Can't wait to tailgate!
Hugh - STH - ligans