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Last Night: Beckham, Vodka, Stat Boy, Etc

I'm ashamed to admit, I woke up this morning with a red rubber band around my wrist.

Ashamed because such a development symbolizes my long slow decline from a marginally serious newspaper reporter to a no-talent celebrity-obsessed blogger who shows no hesitation in attending MLS after-parties at downtown clubs featuring large men wearing ear pieces?

No, silly. Ashamed because I never managed to get a white rubber band, which is what all the cool people were wearing. Also, because it appears I forfeited a chance to hang out with Becks and his buddies while they drank vodka.

But first, the game. Well, if you care about it, you probably watched it. The Screaming Eagles had eight kegs of beer and four killer kegs of alcohol and were calling in emergency raw meat reinforcements when I visited them about three hours before gametime. The Barra Brava had like 3,000 people, or something. The parking lots had jerseys from every country imaginable. The alley leading to the player entrance was chock-full of teenage girls. The Galaxy bus had tinted windows, which kind of ruined that plan.

But then the United players couldn't pull into the lot because of all the police cars; Emilio, Greg Vanney, Rod Dyachenko and others were stacked up behind the bus. Emilio got out of his car and raised his hands in the air, the international symbol for "I can't believe we're no longer even permitted to attend our own games." Finally, Will Chang, part of the team's ownership group, showed up and began yelling at the security. Or talking sternly, anyhow. Not that it made much difference.

The signs were fun. Everyone focused on the "Egypt Loves Becks" banner, for good reason. Also the "Where Is the Olsen Cam?" banner. Also the Screaming Eagles' "We Sing Better Than Your Wife" banner, which was officially okayed by club management before making its appearance. I assured Lead Screaming Eaglet Paul Sotoudeh that that sign would receive heavy play on national sports highlight shows.

"I'm hoping it gets on E! so my girlfriend will see it," he said. (Not sure about E!, but FanHouse's Eric McErlain liked it.)

Other signs included, of course, "Time to Take Out the Euro-Trash" and "Bend Over Beckham" and about 437 people asking for Beckham's jersey. But Ben Olsen wound up with it, and he didn't even make a sign.

But enough about Becks; if you really cared, you were there and have probably already blogged about it yourself, or posted many photos of the night on your blog, or written a long and brilliant poem about it, or something.

Me, I left at halftime when it started raining, after making sure we got enough "WHO IS BECK-HAM?" chants from the Barra Brava for Washington Post Live tonight. I figured the nine other Washington Post employees had things covered. (Yeah, nine.)

On to the after-party, which should be in the Style section tomorrow: Well, the attendees at Lima included glowing drinks, many professional soccer players (I idly counted at least 13, but there were surely more), friendly security men who told you when you were allowed to enter the restroom and relieve yourself in a trough containing glowing Faberge eggs, Lindsay Czarniak (who heard a rumor that Becks was at another club, Play), Michael Jenkins (wearing flip-flops), Tony Reali, many young ladies with an aversion to excessive fabric, many young gentlemen wearing tight v-necked t-shirts that sparkled, many people offering to buy me drinks, Bobby Boswell wearing a white blazer, Thaddeus Byron Aloysius Dopenhopper (I think), Shawn Kuykendall, paparazzi (seriously, people with cameras shouting out to entering guests), and at least one confused blogger carrying a notebook, in which were repeatedly written the words, "What is this?????"

Really, what was that?

Also, Devon McTavish, celebrating his birthday, a day late.

Also, because no weird D.C. athlete party would be complete without Vitamin Water sponsorship, there were some PR people from Vitamin Water and Smart Water. "We're a huge sponsor," one of them said. I was supposed to mention their names. "Meg & Shireen" were their names. There.

But no ice sculptures.

Like I said, I never made it up to the cool-person level, not that I tried very hard, but where I was standing the biggest stars of the night were Lindsay Czarniak and Tony Reali.

Young lady to Tony Reali, obviously recognizing him: "Who are you?"

Tony Reali: "Nobody. My name's Tony."

Security guard to Lindsay Czarniak: "You've got a pretty smile."

Blogger to security guard: "I've got a pretty smile too."

Security guard to blogger: "No, you don't."

The drinks, from what I gathered, cost $10.25 per, and there didn't seem to be any salty snacks,so I left, trusting that more intrepid reporters than I (Lindsay Czarniak and Michael Jenkins) would discover whether Becks was indeed at Play. "Nah," I figured. "No way." Then I got this e-mail in the wee hours from intrepid reporter Michael Jenkins, who was still working whilst my red bracelet and I were sleeping the sleep of the damned.

We ran into Beckham tonight upstairs at "Play" on Connecticut Ave. He was in the VIP area with Cobi Jones and [checking]. Becks and his crew were drinking Christiania Vodka. Never heard of it, but I believe it's from Norway.

And Style's Marissa N. Newhall, who was at Play for the Beckham arrival and will be writing this for tomorrow's paper, reports there was lots of drunken text messaging.

So I'm pretty glad I left, because really, who hasn't seen David Beckham and Cobi Jones hanging out in a downtown D.C. club at 2:30 in the morning while drinking Norwegian vodka?

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 10, 2007; 10:57 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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