More D.C. United Roommate Tales
Having recorded the tales of five D.C. United rookies in one house (2007) and Ben Olsen being Zach Wells's landlord (2008), I could hardly ignore the fact that Rodney Wallace and Chris Pontius, starters for this year's squad, are also roommates. They live in a two-bedroom place near Kalorama/Dupont, and while it's now fully stocked with actual nice furniture, it wasn't on their first night.
"The first night we actually slept on a blowup mattress," Wallace told me last week.
"We put the blowup mattress sideways, and then [arranged] the big Adidas bags we travel with," Pontius explained. "Our heads and upper torso were on the blowup mattress, and then our feet were on the Adidas bags, and then we had a huge blanket."
"Best night of sleep ever," Wallace said.
I remember well my first night in D.C., in my empty Capitol Hill apartment. I slept on a blowup mattress, too. Luckily, I wasn't sharing it with my roommate. Or my duffel bags. Anyhow, I give them two gold stars for living in the city. As I've often noted, Donald Brashear is the only local pro athlete I know of (not on United) who lives in the city, whereas at least a third of the Black and Red have D.C. addresses, from rookies to established stars.
"I just like the energy of the city," OIsen said, of his neighborhood choice. "I like being able to walk to restaurants and markets and shops and just be among the energy of the city."
Sadly, the city doesn't like you. Thanks, D.C. politicians. Anyhow, Pontius and Wallace said much the same about their choice.
"We're young, never really lived in the city, so we're trying to do something new," Wallace said.
"I mean, I've never really lived in a city, in an actual city," Pontius agreed. "We kind of went around and checked out some places outside the city and inside the city, and we thought it would be best if we lived inside the city."
Their only complaint, they said, is the traffic driving to RFK. Benning Road does get pretty brutal, and driving over it feels like being on a ride at Six Flags. I asked who drives.
"My driver, Chris," Wallace said. "Sometimes he gets tired, though, so I drive sometimes."
"Sometimes?" Pontius interjected. "Once."
Their furniture came from Furniture For Less. They're both pretty clean. Their squabbles are limited to things like leaving beverages out of the fridge--"he gets mad because I take out like the orange juice or water and then I won't put it back, because I just keep refilling," Wallace said. The walls are pretty bare, but they're shopping for some artwork. I suggested Man U. posters.
"I don't know if we're going to do Man U. posters," Pontius said.
"He might get like a Cristiano Ronaldo poster in his room," Wallace said. "Why not? You like him? Do you not like him?"
I also figured they might get sick of each other, working and living together, but they said their status as co-workers hasn't yet ruined things. Their lives sounded pretty much like any of ours when we were 20 or 21.
"We go to practice, come home, watch movies, take a nap, wake up, eat, watch another movie, play FIFA and call it a night," Wallace summarized.
Thus, the glamorous life of the city-dwelling pro athlete.
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