Domestic beers flowed freely a full hour and a half before Friday’s 10 a.m. kick-off of the United States’ match against Slovenia. Special correspondent C.T. Schwink reports (live blogging!) from Molly Malone’s along Barracks Row on Capitol Hill, where anyone not wearing red, white and blue sorely sticks out amid all the U.S. jerseys, flags, scarfs, and bandanas:
Pregame-The local American Outlaws supporters group just sang one of their songs for a Fox 5 news crew. Soon a guy at the bar in a Jozy Altidore jersey and a pitcher of beer in front of him performs his best rendition of “The Lion King” opening theme. He has a tough time with whatever African language the lyrics are in, and thus butchers it. “You even know where Slovenia is?” one fan asks his buddy. “It’s not in America,” his pal replies. “That’s all I know.” Then someone blows into one of those controversial vuvuzelas and people start booing.
1st minute of play-A chant of “U.S.A. ain’t nuthin’ ta fuck wit” starts up. Apologies to Wu-Tang Clan.
14th minute-Goool! Slovenia. The wind is sucked out of this place.
18th minute-Outlaws start another chant to try and get everyone going again. They’re mildly successful.
21st minute-Fans don’t like a foul called against the U.S. A couple of guys yell, “I’m blind, I’m deaf, I wanna be a ref!”
35th minute-The pace of drinking has slowed considerably. Everyone is tensely focused on the game.
41st minute-U.S. gets a pair of scoring chances and some excitement is pumped back into the crowd. A lot of angst ever since that Slovenia goal.
42nd minute-This place had nearly exploded when the U.S. almost scored. Almost. And in the span of just a minute, it’s deafly silent. Slovenia scores again, 2-0.
Halftime-One guy at the bar lets out an anguished, “Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!” Some of the Outlaws each take a shot of Jameson. “Here’s to three goals and three points in the second half!” one says. The drinking is picking up. Shots and cans of PBR offer at least some level of comfort to my fellow patriots.
48th minute-Real American hero Landon Donovan about decapitates the Slovenia goalkeeper with that strike. This place erupts! U.S. responds, 2-1!
58th minute-The Wu-Tang chant has started again. “U.S.A. ain’t nuthin’ ta fuck wit!”
82nd minute-Was it the Jameson shots that did it? Michael Bradley! U.S. draws even, 2-2.
89th minute-This place is now a zoo. People on tables, throwing beers, swinging from the suspended air ducts. An apparent go-ahead goal for the U.S. is waived off. One guy gripes, “I’m not normally one to complain about the refs but that was a horrible fucking call.”
Final whistle-U.S. got robbed. But still alive! Half-hearted applause in the bar as the match ends, followed by chants of “fuck you, ref,” and a few boos. The word “hosed” used in heavy rotation.
Logo courtesy of the D.C. American Outlaws