Just back from RFK after witnessing United's record-breaking 11th draw of the season. Lots of skill on display in the match and, once again, DC lacked an ability to finish good opportunities (with the exception of Luciano's score early in the game, which was waved off for an offside infraction that only the linesman perceived). Most of the crowd was there to see Beckham, but we braved the rain and elements to watch Rodney Wallace take on former teammates A.J. Delagarza and Omar Gonzalez. Each impressed, but, even without Soehn there, questionable tactical adjustments saw Wallace pulled off the left wing and forced to team with Clyde Simms at center defensive mid in the second half until Jacobson came on for Fred late in the game. The three -- Wallace, Delagarza, and Gonzalez -- have continued to play well for their respective sides and I hope that they are catching the eyes of folks at the USMNT and talent scouts overseas.
In the meantime, the glut of DC United matches, Charlton's great start in league play, and the level of television coverage of the sport have made my proverbial sports' cup overflow. I've neglected to renew my Georgetown tickets, would rather watch a replay of the first leg of the Sporting Lisbon - Fiorentina Champions League match than watch the Cubs sink deeper in the standing in Los Angeles, and forgot all about the Bears' second preseason tuneup until I saw someone in a Jay Cutler jersey at RFK. The manifestation of my obsession is a little different than with other sports. There are no real cards to collect (although I own some Charlton Athletic team sets from their recent years in the premiership). Instead, I collect shirts, read books about football (currently finishing Winner's awesome "Brilliant Orange"), buy shares of teams, join supporters' trusts, participate in MyFC, and, now, have begun sponsoring players on teams in the UK and Ireland.
Last season, we sponsored an Ebbsfleet United player (a former Charlton academy product) and contributed to CharltonLife's sponsorship of two of the club's players. This year my obsession has reached ridiculous levels. After going to Dalymount and getting the privilege of seeing Bohemians, we sponsored our favorite player's away kit. The sponsorship helped me keep tabs on the team (which is 8 points clear of Shamrock with 11 matches to go) and, although they crashed out to Salzburg in the Champions League, we were happy to see that our sponsored player performed well.
Since then, the wheels have come off. Using the excuse that it would help with their understanding of the world, we sponsored a Raith Rovers player and a Newry City player in the name of the children of a close family friend. Now we've also sponsored a player at Accrington Stanley and my notional goal, at the moment, is to sponsor XI from leagues throughout the isles.
I remain an idiot; although now in a new and uninteresting way.