Barra Brava vs. Screaming Eagles
If you've been to a D.C. United game at RFK, you know of the Barra Brava and the Screaming Eagles, the rival supporters groups that exist literally in each others' shadows. Depending on where the sun is, I guess. The groups cooperate on many events, and are rivals in others.
Never will that horrific sentence be more true than on Sunday, when the clubs will meet in a men's-women's doubleheader at George Mason University, in front of several members of United, during the First Annual D.C. United Supporters' Charity Shield Match, where the number of words in the event's name will almost certainly exceed the number of goals scored.
All of the proceeds benefit the Wounded Warriors Project and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The event is also part of Nadine Namoff's woman of the year campaign, which is why Nadine told me her husband, defender Bryan Namoff, will be in the stands, with a painted face, beating on a drum.
"If she says that I'm gonna be painting my face, then odds are I might have it done," he said today. "I'm not gonna self-paint my face, but if someone wants to do it, so be it."
Not having seen the rosters, it's unclear to me which team would be favored. Even on the skills I've most commonly seen them perform (creating banners, drinking alcohol), I'd have trouble naming a favorite. But I've definitely never seen them play soccer, so I solicited some preview-style opinions.
"Yeah, that'll be interesting," Santino Quaranta said. "I'd probably go with the Screaming Eagles, man. They're probably a fitter bunch than the Barra Brava, you know?"
"I think Barra Brava's probably a little bit more violent," Ben Olsen said. "I don't know, I guess it would be kind of a pretty violent, passionate squad on the Barra side, and more of an intelligent, defensive chess game from the Screaming Eagles, but still passionate."
These guys were joking, incidentally. As was Namoff, when I asked for the projected winner.
"I don't know who's gonna win, I just hope the game doesn't end in an all-out brawl," he said.
"I wouldn't want to be the referee for that game," Olsen added. "It could get ugly."
Namoff does indeed plan to recruit teammates to sit in the stands and bang drums and the whole bit.
"I want to have the role reversal," he explained. "I'm gonna try to get some of the guys to come out and support the fan base, and just root and try to sing their songs they sing to us."
Which means he knows all the words, right? Well, no. He kind of blocks out those specifics while playing.
"I can hum them," he offered.
The games are at 1 (women's) and 3 (men's) at Mason's Robinson Field this Sunday.
The "ticket-price" donation is $10.
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