An Open Letter To D.C. Sports Fans

Do you support every major local sports franchise? I do.

I am just like you. We have few differences.

Like you, I'm a huge fan of the Washington Redskins, and I have been since birth. Like you, I enter every NFL season with hope, and finish it with despair. Yet like you, that will never stop me from talking trash to my friends who might happen to support other NFC East teams.

I thought the Washington Capitals would go to the Stanley Cup Finals any of the past three seasons, just like you did. I desperately look forward to the day when a local team will win a championship again. And I think it could finally happen rather soon.

Like you, I'm slowly learning to love the Washington Nationals. But more than that love, I feel hatred when Yankees fans or Phillies fans take over Nationals Park and outcheer the home crowd. Maybe its not hatred, actually. Maybe its just jealousy. If only a D.C. based team could have that kind of traveling support.

And maybe we have even both been watching Euro 2012, because we both have respect for the greatest soccer players in the world. And we both readily admit that those European players are more talented on average and overall than the talent pool of MLS. That might matter to some, but not others.

I am just like you. We have only one difference when it comes to our sportsfandom. I fully support D.C. United.

I've supported D.C. United since the team's inception in 1996, but I don't say that with any intent towards exclusion. Because I welcome all local fans to join in the fun that takes place at RFK Stadium on match nights. You too can jump in the stands, and spill beer with no regard for those around you, and sing songs that you may not totally understand. Or you could watch from afar with a smile on your face, if that's more to your liking.

Mr. or Mrs. D.C. Sports Fan, I want you to support United because I want you to be a part of something special. This team is currently leading its conference. This team has a legitimate shot at winning a championship just five months from now, and you could feel the thrills of victory that you haven't felt in 20 years if you just start watching. Just start showing up. Get the eff on the bandwagon.

Are you like me? Were you pissed when Nats Park erupted in applause when the home team got swept by the Yankees this past weekend? That sure wasn't fun. But you know what was fun? It was fun watching PPL Park in Chester, PA erupt when D.C. United scored a late goal to put the visitors on top of the hosting Philadelphia Union on Saturday. Because hundreds of United fans traveled up 95 to see it happen live. Their voices were heard loud and clear.

United is on the road again this Sunday, against another conference rival. They face the second best team in the Eastern Conference - the New York Red Bulls - at 7:00 PM. The game will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network, a channel you know you have because its the channel that you angrily shut off when the Caps lost Game 7 to the Rangers. I know. I did too.

United has avenged the Capitals' loss to New York once already this year. Ben Olsen's team crushed the Red Bulls 4-1 at RFK earlier this season. I look forward to watching that happen again on Sunday.

We have very few differences. I've lived in the D.C. area my entire life, and I support every major local sports franchise. Do you?

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