Beer, Peanuts, and everything else about the Stadium Experience. Except the game.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


  • Firpo: 1
  • United: 1
  • Sold: Not enough to justify the time spent.
Another mistake tonight: skipping the Orioles to work a Tuesday night non-MLS D.C. United game. I was suckered in by the siren song of the phrase "El Salvador" humming in my ears, but working at an El Salvadorean national team game at RFK* is plenty different than working a small fill-in club out of the city of Usulutan. I had fooled myself into imagining throngs but this was wrong -- I only poured two cases before surrendering beer and then failing on water. Even the Barra Brava was only half-full.

The latino fans come out of the woodwork for these obscure club teams, and 'Luis Angel Firpo' (the club's full name) is about as off the path as they come. They're a Salvadoran soccer club named after an Argentinian boxer who became a hero after knocking Jack Dempsey out of the ring [see picture]. And then lost. In the 2nd round. By knockout. 63 years later, he's still got a soccer team named after him. To put this in an American context, this would be like the Detroit Pistons being named the Detroit George Chuvalo.

While we're on the subject of Canada, I'll mention that the book "100 Greatest Canadian Sports Moments" has listed at #17: "Big Ben [Johnson] Gallops to Gold in Seoul" and at #18: "Montreal Expos Win Division Title" (italics mine). Number 76 celebrates an Olympic gold in curling, and over half of the entries deal with ice-based events. This should tell you what you need to know about Canada's place in the sporting world.

* Proof of El Salvador's sizable population in the greater Washington, DC area can be found at these national team games, when they fill the stands all the way to the upper deck. One international match against the island nation of Anguilla drew about 22,000 people overall, almost all of whom -- let's estimate an even 20,000 -- were supporters of El Salvador. This is more than the entire nation of Anguilla, which possesses an estimated population of 14,436. Or to put it another way, Anguilla's population is equivalent to only about 50 times the number of ticketless Salvadorans who, late in that same game, overwhelmed a security guard and forced open a no-admission portal. So about 2% of the island of Anguilla, in the form of 300 gate-crashing Salvadorans, were represented as non-paying audience that suddenly crowded the main seating area aisle and made it impossible for a vendor to get through.

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