City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily: DC United Faces Another David?

D.C. United's pride, but little else, is on the line again in a U.S. Open Cup match tonight at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Fresh off vanquishing the amateur Ocean City (N.J.) Barons, otherwise known as "the Real Madrid of Ocean City (N.J.)," United now has to take on the Harrisburg City Islanders, known around their hometown as, you know it: "the Real Madrid of Harrisburg."

Again, no matter how old this U.S. Open Cup tournament is, and United's crack PR staff keeps telling everybody it's really, really old, all these games against no-name teams in the suburbs ain't good for the brand.

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The Washington Times' Thom Loverro tells the story of gangster John Dillinger's flair on the baseball diamond before he went bad, and gives some ink to a latter-day John Dillinger who stuck with baseball but probably would have made more money if he'd taken up crime.

Johnny Depp's only going to play one of 'em in "Public Enemies," a megamillion dollar feature film that explains the timing of Loverro's piece.

But revisiting the tale of the first John Dillinger is worthy: It reminds all DC fans that Austin Kearns, he of the $8 million 2009 salary and sub-Mendoza batting average, isn't the first guy to use baseball as a path to robbery.

AFTER THE JUMP: Venus, the star, is aligned for tonight? How do you sign up for trapeze school? Just one more crystal meth bust and we've got a story?

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Kearns wasn't in the lineup, but his teammates picked up where he left off on the non-hitting front, getting blanked, 1-0, by the Colorado Rockies late last night. Shut out in Denver?

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Nicole Bobek, the post-Tonya Harding "bad girl" of the prissy rink set who won some titles in the mid-1990s, has just been charged with meth amphetamine distribution in New Jersey. Bobek's bust comes in the midst of NASCAR's Jeremy Mayfield's court battle to get reinstated after his suspension for having meth in his pee pee after a race in Richmond this spring. Guess Sudafed won't be sponsoring Mayfield's #41 Toyota when he gets back on track.

One more of these arrests, and look for a heap of trend stories on high-profile athletes who threw it all away for this brand new wonder drug.

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The Washington Kastles say Venus Williams, just three days from losing to her sister in the Wimbledon final, will indeed live up to her contractual obligation and appear with the Philadelphia Freedoms tonight in a team tennis match at the old Convention Center site. Last year, Serena lost to Venus in the finals, and made the same three-day turnaround to appear at a clinic with the Kastles during the day and play with the squad here that night. Their lives aren't really theirs.

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The Kastles aren't the only ones playing with a net downtown. The tennis team is sharing the big parking lot this year with a trapeze school.

The Trapeze School of New York moved its flying trapeze rig and relocated its teaching staff from Baltimore several weeks ago.

Beth Manning, spokesperson for the school, says things have been swinging along quite well since the grand opening here in early June.

"The president of the company had to come down from New York yesterday to teach because we're so busy in D.C. now," Manning says.

A lot of local businesses are using the school for corporate team building exercises, Manning says. "There's a lot of trust involved in trapeze," she says.

Just what this town's craving: Today's classes, like most days lately, are all sold out, Manning says.

"But I've got an opening tomorrow for one person at 9:30 [a.m.] and one at 12:30 p.m.," Manning says.

For information, phone 410-459-6839 or email dcinfo@trapezeschool.com.

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Story tips? Wanna Play the Feud? Tube amps for sale? Send to: cheapseats@washingtoncitypaper.com.

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