- Go team! (Photo: YouTube/horeyezun)
To be a sports fan you have to shout, wave your arms, and cheer. It's practically a prerequisite for attending a truly superlative athletic competition. A real sports fan feels the importance of a game, and that passion carries on well after a match happens. Losses hurt; wins make the day. These life-or-death, soul-deep reactions cut across the range of sports, from football to baseball, from basketball to soccer. That raucous celebration showed up on our Metro trains last Saturday night — a testament to how such sporting emotions coincide with a city's transit.
In D.C., we see the outpouring of fans and passion frequently enough as people pack the trains for the Metro whenever there's a major professional sports event. In my college town, I remember how blocks upon blocks would virtually shut down as hundreds of cars lined the road during game days. Big games become traffic events, and in the District, such traffic plays out on the Metro, as fans ride decked out in all the regalia, from shirts to face-paint. Even Metro employees guide people when a big game comes, as I've noticed at L'Enfant Plaza.
But what's most intriguing to me? What happens after the game, when attendees are still high from all the soaring emotion. One Metro rider captured the jubilant enthusiasm that carried onto the Metro trains after last Saturday's friendly match between D.C. United and Everton at RFK Stadium. The Everton Football Club is a professional team from England's Premier League and based out of Liverpool. Before we get to the video of Metro-train emotion, watch first this preview from D.C. United of what the soccer match was expected to bring:
The game happened Saturday night, and Everton ultimately won, 3-to-1. See the highlights here. But when the game ended, sports fans turned into Metro riders. What had been game enthusiasm turned into yelling and screaming aboard the cars.
Let's see for ourselves how a few of the game's enthusiasts behaved on the Metro ride after the game. One rider captured video on his Android smartphone, allowing us to glimpse what's likely a recurrent post-game sense of revelry. The energy, at least for these individuals, never lets up.
Hear those yells? Everton folks are shouting "Everton" and banging the roof of the Metro car as they jump and clap. I love the reactions from the Metro riders in this video. A couple of them seem rather overwhelmed, such as the nice woman up front in the pink, who attempts a few nervous smiles as she keeps glancing back. One tall woman seems to whip at the Everton boys with a white shirt. Cursing is audible.
Energy like this seems inevitable after big sporting nights. Have you observed similar displays? Fun enough, I suppose, though some of the same concerns about Metro "entertainment" apply here — is such screaming and clapping really fair to people just trying to Metro somewhere in a calm, collected fashion?
I worry less in this case because we're talking about Saturday night. Who in their right mind would ever imagine a calm night on the Metro trains then? The Saturday-evening train cars are bound to carry their share of drunk Washingtonians on rides that would, for reasons of weekend ritual, hardly ever be tranquil. Sports fans may be right at home in the lively environment. Go team?