WASHINGTON - James Washburn, D.C. United fan and secretary of the Screaming Eagles, admitted that somehow he has stayed around long enough in his supporters group to become reviled as the establishment by fans at his own club.
"I don't know when it happened, but somehow I went from being the punk rock guy that knew people in the hardcore scene and got them into soccer to being the guy who was essentially 'the man'," stated Washburn to The Nutmeg News on Wednesday.
"When we started this whole thing 20 years ago we were all so young, but now kids are attending matches that were born after I already had kids. Now they look at me like I'm the old fogey that is getting in the way of enjoying their matches and for all I know.... they are right."
While Washburn is starting to come to terms with his own mortality and the difficulty of spearheading a group of fans in the right direction without turning into the thing everyone under the age of 30 hates, he also is struggling with the idea of how to file taxes on his second property that he hopes to retire to when his retirement comes in 20 years.
"I guess it comes with the territory, but some people now hate me almost more than they care about the team," stated Washburn. "All I ever did was try to serve like I wanted other people to serve, but to be fair... I've become the establishment now. I don't think it's humanly possible to not become the establishment when you have been around longer than some people knew the team existed. Also, I'm nearly a baby-boomer to these young millennials. They don't care about the 80's and 90's and they never knew a time when soccer wasn't a thing you did. They all know about Juventus, Galatasary, Besiktas, Partizan, flares, ultras, tifo, choreo and everything that it took underground zines, a friend from Poland that was into that stuff who recently moved to your town and a scrambled feed of Setanta Sports to get into 20 or 30 years ago. It's impossible to be at the head of something for 20 years and not have people resent you for your experiences."
The Nutmeg News will have more on this as Mr Washburn attempts to figure out how to gracefully leave the organization without sounding condescending to all the 20 year old kids born in 1996 who want to take his place.