By Jake Coburn
As far as supporters groups go, Barra Brava is one of the oldest groups and has been credited as the first real supporters group to bring in chants and different tifo to Major League Soccer.
When we entered the Barra Brava tailgate, it looked more like a summer beach party than people getting ready for a soccer match. People were throwing water balloons, chasing each other around with squirt guns and a few people even turned the bed of a red Toyota Tacoma into a pool.
A group of supporters from Richmond, Va. brought a pig to roast and some crab for everyone while making sure the table was always full of food for people to eat.
What was apparent when we looked around the Barra Brava tailgate was that everyone there was a part of a big family. Despite the large number of people, everyone still knew each other and interacted as if they were all brothers and sisters.
One guy who has been a part of Barra Brava for over ten years has affectionately been given the name “pops” and brings a rather unique addition to the Brava tailgate. He brings his own blender to make margaritas and walks around handling them out to other Barra Brava members.
He says it is just something he started doing and now people bring him ice and different drinks to make, which is helpful since he goes through about 70 pounds of ice each game.
As game time approaches, everyone cleans up and gets ready for a long march from the parking lot into the stadium.
Once everyone reached the supporters section, the cheering and chants began. People began to jump up and down as the iconic bleachers at RFK stadium appeared to bounce underneath them.
As the game continued, the chants got louder and the flags continued to fly in hopes that D.C. United would score a goal, and finally their wish came true.
When D.C. scored, the stands erupted and beer went flying through the air as people cheered and waved the flags as high as they could to support their club. The chants continued well past the whistle of the game as D.C. United took the win over Montreal.
Barra Brava has been around for a while and they have continued their tradition of bringing support and a strong crowd to all of the D.C. United games. While other supporters groups may have outgrown them, the history and pride will always remain with Barra Brava.
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