This is the twenty-first in a series of Tales from Buzzard Point that explores the rich history and traditions of legendary Buzzard Point – a legacy that the current D.C. United ownership may have set aside in selling naming rights for the new soccer specific stadium but is forever enshrined in the chants, songs, and hearts of Black and Red fandom.
Unlike all other Tales from Buzzard Point, avid researchers have not unearthed this from the sacred soil of Buzzard Point, but this tale is based on the memories of series editor David Rusk, who was present at all events related.
Friday, August 9, 2007 – it was probably D.C. United’s biggest home crowd ever. Some 46,686 people filled RFK Stadium.
Many were there not to see the Black-and-Red’s still-victorious squad led by Christian Gomez, Jaime Moreno, Luciano Emilio and Ben Olsen take on the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy. No. Many came to swoon over English soccer heartthrob David Beckham, announced as making his Major League Soccer debut with the Galaxy that evening.
Delcia and I took our season seats on the Quiet Side just before match time, having heard waves of screams reverberating as we approached RFK from Lot 3.
Beckham was on the Galaxy bench as the match began, but the squeals, shrieks and flashbulbs going off every time Beckham got up in his warm-ups to loosen up behind the Galaxy bench almost exceeded D.C. United fans’ celebration when Luciano Emilio scored the first (and ultimately the match’s only) goal in the 27th minute.
But midway through the second half, after a brief but violent thunderstorm ended right on cue: Oh my God! He’s getting up. HE’S TAKING OFF HIS PRACTICE JERSEY.
The screams were orgasmic. Flashbulbs were so intense and constant that RFK management could have turned off the stadium lights.
Delcia and I were instantly transported back almost 41 years to the day – August 15, 1966. The Beatles concert in the very same venue, what was then called DC Stadium. House packed to the rafters. Probably 99 percent White and 90 percent teenage females. When the Fab Four finally emerged for a half-hour set, the screams drowned out the songs. Night turned to day by the constant flashbulbs — and this was decades before digital photos and iPhone cameras.
Both times: celebrity adulation run amok.
With that celebrity now relocated from California to South Florida, what does Buzzard Point have in store for the Miami Beckhams?
I consulted the Oracle of Buzzard Point, who sits breathing in the sacred steam over simmering pupusas.
“O, Oracle, what will be the fate of David Beckham at Buzzard Point?” I asked. “Will the Miami Beckhams be idolized as at RFK?”
“No! They will be humiliated as false gods, ground into the turf by Hernan’s press.”
“Buzzard Point treats winged foes extra harshly,” the Oracle added, “whether they be loons or pigeons or herons.”
My mind immediately turned to March 2020, when United turned a seeming 2-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory.
“But does the Curse of Buzzard Point always work?” I asked. “I mean, we lost 0-1 to both Orlando City and Philadelphia in our last two home matches.”
“Fan misconduct necessarily negates the Curse. Otherwise, recall both the Buzzard Beater and Rooney’s midfield goal. The Curse is fully in effect against the Purple Lions, but what shamefully happened on their last visit must not recur!
“And Buzzard Point was only at one-third strength against Philadelphia. On June 19th Buzzard Point will be at full strength,” the Oracle intoned. “As ever, the Miami Beckhams are doomed.”
Note from Series Editor David Rusk: “Tales from Buzzard Point” includes historical fiction and should be considered a work of homage or parody.
All members of the B&RU Commentariat are invited to submit manuscripts of their own research into the history and traditions of Buzzard Point to firstname.lastname@example.org. All proposed tales must a) involve Buzzard Point, b) have some relationship to football/soccer, and c) demonstrate that Buzzard Point is hallowed ground for D.C. United and that our MLS opponents are doomed to never come away from Buzzard Point with a result.