When I went to the Houston Dynamo opening game against D.C. United in 2012, they played the Phillip Phillips song "Home" at the end of the game, and for as much as I despise songs by those who cut their teeth on reality television, there was a bit of truth to the sentiment, past what goes on in the four minutes and change.
It may not be absolute, and there are still some things to hash out regarding land from Akridge, but the simple fact of the matter is that today's vote which approved of a soccer stadium within the city is big. The team has managed two playoff appearances in the last three seasons despite having a payroll in the bottom half (or worse) of Major League Soccer, despite bleeding revenue like a sucking chest wound. Viscerally there is something more to it.
In a town where cynicism is commonplace to the point where can be bought on the corner store, having Washington D.C. have a permanent home for its soccer team serves not only as a home for a club where the fans have waited. And waited. But moreover, it does serve to a degree that the chance for optimism would help to buoy an already exceptional level of devotion to a club that has quietly earned it. But it's more than that.
Witness the Washington Capitals' regular season run of 2009 & 2010 and the current run with the Washington Wizards now. Witness the success of the soon to be hopeful neighbors down the road in the Washington Nationals. To borrow from the latter and in a film that people have tied that sport to, people will come. Though the case could be said that people will come BACK for D.C. United. But it's more than that.
There is a reason why former D.C. residents and current Major League Soccer players like Ethan White and Rodney Wallace express their happiness that their hometown team, one that they grew up hoping to play for and were traded away from, or guys like Andy Najar. There's approximately 5,000 miles between Wallace in Portland and Najar in Belgium, but they all share the same thing. There are roots from both in D.C. And a lot has happened here. Charlie Davies' tribute and re-emergence started here. Guys decided to play their first game here (and We Also Sing Better Than Their Wife.) Championships. Championships. And a crapton of tifo.
But past the optimism, past the admittedly tantalizing reasons why D.C. United having a real home is a source of pleasure and joy past what's in front of us now, it's that the very real sense of having a home feels damn good. After waiting and waiting and waiting some more, sometimes with the end crossing one bridge in Virginia or another into Maryland, having home be where it should be, well few things are like it. It's great for so many reasons.
It's great for Marco.
It's great for Jaime.
It's great for no more power outages
It's great for the Charlie Davies tribute.
It's always great for MPF.
It's great if you have a heart of a lion.
It's great for Will, who's hung around much longer than he planned, to make sure this happened.
It's great because it's home.
Screw the new version, I'm watching the Motley Crue version of Home. And digging a hole in the ground in D.C. with no lights on it right, because it can't be real until it actually happens, right?