The Women's United Soccer Association's inaugural game Saturday promised to be an exciting matchup between two of its biggest stars - Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain.
Television commercials featured Hamm and Chastain staring each other down. Posters showing Hamm and Chastain's game faces lined Independence Avenue in Washington D.C. all the way to RFK Stadium - where the game between Hamm's Washington Freedom and Chastain's Bay Area CyberRays was held.
Young girls from all over the country traveled to see their athletic idols do what no female soccer player in the world has ever done before - play in a professional game.
Some of those 34,148 fans made my 45-minute trip from my home in Fairfax, Va., feel like a walk across the street. Families came from as far as Dallas to see the WUSA kick off its season. The girls sitting in the seats behind me were from Raleigh and spent Easter weekend in D.C. just for Saturday's game.
The first thought that went through my mind was "Didn't they know there is a game in Chapel Hill next weekend?"
But many girls just couldn't wait.
And rightly so. History was made. A bald eagle flew into the stadium before the kickoff. Michelle Akers, the godmother of women's soccer, kicked out the first ball. D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams declared Saturday "Washington Freedom Day."
I just hope those girls weren't expecting to see an exciting soccer match. Because even with all the excitement surrounding Saturday's festivities, the actual game was a bore.
The Freedom didn't get a single shot off in the first half. In 90 minutes of play, only one goal was scored. And it was the result of a penalty kick.