With this week being the first Hate DC Week of 2015, we here at Once a Metro thought it was time to think back to times gone by and discover it was exactly when we started hating D.C. United. It's only natural for all New York Red Bull fans to have a moment of realization, but we each have our own journey to being hateful of the scum.
If you want to share your stories with Once a Metro, e-mail us at email@example.com or let us know in the comments (keep it clean please). We'll post the best stories on Sunday leading up to the first home match of 2015.
I've been going to DC since 2005 to watch Mets games there because they are cheaper and you get to see the Giant Pandas at the zoo after. The crowds in DC always sucked because until they got relatively good no one in DC cared about baseball. So it is July 4th weekend in 2010 and my family decides to take a road trip to see the Mets play the Nats and because Stephen Strasburg is playing for the Nats. Strasburg is in his rookie year and we wanted to see him before he blew out his elbow (he did eventually).
So the Mets, who are bad but don't realize they are bad yet, play a great game for 8 ⅓ innings. They foul off a ton of Strasburg pitches to knock him out of the game early, plus RA Dickey was continuing his first of three great season for the Mets. In the 9th inning in totally typical fashion where Francisco Rodriguez gives up 3 runs in excruciating fashion in the bottom of the ninth to steal defeat from the jaws of victory. While my family was trying to exit the stadium I got a large sarcastic ovation for being a Mets fan and was told that my team was awful (they were 9 games over .500 at the time) and the Nationals were the best (the Nationals lost 93 games that year).
To this day I've been to around 20 Nationals games and that was the only time I've seen that stadium full. The Mets have gone in an absolute free fall and yeah the fans have stayed away, mostly because inhaling fumes from a tire fire is absolutely AWFUL for your health, but it was in that moment where I was being derided I realized how awful the DC sports scene is. I'd rank them even below Philadelphia. At least fans in Philly realize how awful they are and are glad to throw snowballs at santa claus. DC doesn't deserve a team with 4 MLS Cups, the talent of Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg, and a slightly above-average hockey team. Sorry Capitals fans the Rangers aren't your rivals no matter how hard you try. I hate DC so much. Also you ruined John Wall denying the rest of the country of seeing him do well in the playoffs on a national stage, so thank you for that I hope you all are happy.
Oh man I realized I never even got into [Washington Football Team Name] fans. Theres just too much to say here. The awful owner, the fans defending that name, how they ruined RGII, and also being generally awful. There is not enough room here for me to go in on those fans. But they exist. They just pile on the DC hate.
The moment I realized I hated D.C. United was in the 2012 playoffs. There was absolutely no way the Red Bulls were going to win even though they got a crucial away goal in the first leg of the playoffs. There wasn't even a moment that sparked the hatred. Just watching the New York Red Bulls lose predictably 1-0 at home in the playoffs when a 0-0 draw would have seen them through made it click for me that DC United is the worst and they are going to do this to us 9 times out of 10. Luyindula's goal in the RFK leg of the 2014 playoffs made me scream for so much joy its not even funny. I wish nothing but poor success on a soccer pitch for DC United every day of my life. My hatred for DC makes me forget Philadelphia and the Bronx have MLS teams playing in those locations.
The moment that I realized that I hated D.C. United was in April of 2006, about a month after Red Bull had bought the MetroStars. After scoring against the newly dubbed Red Bulls, Eskandarian caught a can of Red Bull and did a spit take. Not that I have any particular fondness for the Red Bull brand, but it bothered me nonetheless. According to Eskandarian, Ben Olsen played a role in coming up with the prank, so it didn't help that he became (and still is) D.C.'s coach. The playoff losing streak made things worse, as did D.C.'s dominance in the regular season.
My first experience with the rivalry was in April 2011, when the Red Bulls spanked DC 4-0 in D.C. You might remember that game from the Juan Agudelo goal in 2nd half stoppage time. Where I truly learned to hate D.C. was in the 2012 playoffs. The Red Bulls were the lower seed in the first round match up, but Hurricane Sandy swept through the area leaving a path of destruction in the NY/NJ area. I was personally on vacation (and my area didn't really get hit anyway) so I didn't have to experience what a lot of people did. Because of the conditions, MLS swapped who hosted the first leg of the series, to a lot of complaining from D.C. United fans.
These D.C. fans didn't know how lucky they had it. Sandy had turned up the east coast, but didn't get close enough to hit D.C. In NJ, most of mass transit was out for the week of the playoff series. Electricity was out and a lot of people were without heat. Red Bull Arena was in no state to host leg 1 of the series. In D.C., own goals by both sides made it 1-1 heading back to NJ. On Wednesday night, when the game was supposed to be played, there was a small snow storm that came through the area. While it wasn't too bad, it was coming down enough that the unprepared grounds crew needed help from RBNY supporters in an effort to clear the field that was ultimately wasted.
Yes, D.C. fans had to come back the next day, but their trials were still trivial in respect to most fans around Red Bull Arena. While the travelling support brought a decent number back, the Red Bulls didn't have a full (or nearly full) house deserved of a playoff game against D.C. D.C. fans weren't the only ones who trivialized the situation (I rebutted a quickly deleted Simon Borg tweet), but the general attitude and sense of entitlement from D.C. fans fueled my hate. Their whining made me feel bad about hoping they got out of the falling mess they call RFK. I had no sympathy for those fans who had to make the trip twice and complained, it was their choice to come back the next day.
That match showed me that D.C. fans didn't deserve our respect, as they couldn't respect the situation a lot of people were in, and not by choice. I've come to soften my stance on the team's fans, but that game, and the way D.C. fans reacted to it, will always make me wish D.C. loses every game ever, friendly, MLS, US Open Cup, or CONCACAF; even if it would hurt the Red Bulls.
Maybe it was the never ending playoff losses, anything that was said on Big Soccer, or their trash talking fans at RFK or Giants Stadium. Losing those playoff series sucked. Really, really sucked.
You're asking me to elaborate on hatred, but hatred is not typically verbose. It's a deep, animalistic emotion that's more likely to elicit a grunt or a swear word than prose.
I didn't get the soccer bug for real until I attended the World Cup in Cape Town in 2010. So I've been a supporter of RBNY since I got back. My season tickets were in section 130, so it was on the corner flag, adjacent to the South Ward. I noticed that the DC games had a little more nastiness to it then the other games I attended. I always hated DC by association, but I didn't feel it myself until 2012.
In the first round of the playoffs, RBNY hosted DC after the game was rescheduled due to a snowstorm. So once the game actually happened, RBA was empty. I was so pissed that I could hear DC's supporters from the opposite side of the stadium louder than I could hear the South Ward. The game was still tied 0-0 late. RBNY earned a penalty kick. Kenny Cooper stepped up and made it, but the ref called the shot back due to encroachment by Roy Miller. So after that rollercoaster of emotions, Cooper's second shot was saved. I couldn't believe it. Then it made matters one million times worse when DC took the rebound down field and scored. Just watching the DC supporters go crazy in an empty stadium made me feel physically sick. I root harder against DC than any other team. I never want to feel like that again.