I'm not sure how I talked my buddy Roger into coming down into the city during the biggest thunderstorm of the year to watch D.C. United host the Houston Dynamo. We were both in grad school, and it was summer break, so that probably made it easier. In the end, ziplock bags and a Metro station manager who let us jump the turnstiles during an hours-long post game delay at Metro Center were the heroes. Normally I would pick out the players on the field for "hero" status in a story like this. But, of course, no soccer that counted happened that night.
It really was a ridiculous storm. Deluge almost doesn't do it justice. The field at RFK Stadium was so saturated and flooded in spots that I was reminded of the stories of the old Roman Coliseum, which, according to legend, could be filled with water so that the people could watch naval battles. I actually contemplated how the HMS Black Rock might make its way into the building for its inevitable exhibition.
I guess, technically, there was soccer that evening. Not that I could see much of it through the downpour. What I did see included slide tackles that went for a dozen yards, and the you'll-never-get-used-to-it sight of a quickly moving ball coming to a dead stop in a puddle you couldn't have seen from the stands. And then the ref called the game. Those of us in the supporters sections (read: everyone left in the stadium not being paid to be there) just kept rocking in the rain until we were told in no uncertain terms that dear god we had to leave what was wrong with us. The teams would reconvene the next night, when the guests would run out 2-0 winners, pretty standard result between these teams during that period.
Aside from the supporters bringing it, everything else about that night stands in contrast to what we should expect tomorrow. That was a Tuesday, tomorrow is Saturday. Epic rain storm vs. 80 and sunshine. The ever-constant Dynamo at the top of the West while an overhauled D.C. sits outside the Eastern Conference playoff spots, and basically the reverse of that.
Basically, it should be a lot easier to talk your friends into joining you this weekend than it should have been for me back in 2008. See you at RFK.