I know this sounds over the top, but don't laugh. Everyone who has followed American football remembers how the Dallas Cowboys, back in the '70s, was annointed "America's Team." It had to do with how they branded their name and as a result, they created a mystique. Whether it was Tom Landry, the striking blue/silver uniforms, the Doomsday Defense, etc., many fans throughout the country bought into the mystique. Obviously, Redskins fans and others will pooh-pooh this, but this goes beyond just mere wins and losses. Other teams could characterize themselves as "blue-collar," "hard-working," etc., but for many years the Cowboys were able to cultivate a following based on being "America's Team." (Now please, Redskins fans, don't puke, this did happen to a certain extent). The dynamics surrounding DC United are entirely different of course. Nevertheless, I've had a feeling from MLS's inception, that there was always a buzz about United. Getting off to the multi-championship beginning when Bruce Arena was coach (already a near legend based on his accomplishments at UVa) certainly helped to springboard this team into fans' consciousness. But there were other important elements to go along with the championships. The style of play has always emphasized attractive, skillful soccer, even if every player was not necessarily capable of pulling it off. And of course there are the marquee players who helped implement the United style: Diaz Arce, Moreno, and above all, Etcheverry. But as the Revs-United game has demonstrated, from Day 1 there has been something qualitatively different about the United fans. Barra Brava and the Screaming Eagles have established an emotional bond with the team that is simply unmatched anywhere else. This is in no way is meant to disparage or diminish the wonderful support that other teams get from their fans, but I gotta say it just ain't the same. The passion, commitment, and loyalty is inspiring. Even during some of the down seasons the fans hung tough. And I always got the feeling that it was just a matter of time before United would be back. And win or lose, there is no doubt, UNITED IS BACK!!!