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Posted at 02:47 PM ET, 12/19/2006

A D.C. United Christmas Part I: Judah Claus

So, after our groundbreaking coverage of the Wizards Party Bus Christmas Tour, it was only natural that the Bog would be invited to D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton's 16th Annual Christmas Party for kids, featuring D.C. United. Promised attendees included Ben Olsen, U.S. national team training camp member Bobby Boswell and Domenic Mediate.

What I didn't know, though, was that D.C. United would also be providing Santa Claus. One nominee, Bobby Boswell, declined the costume. So shortly after 11 a.m. this morning, a large, dark-skinned, enormously pot-bellied Santa rolls out from a back corridor of the Cannon House Office Building. It was Judah Cooks, former MLS defender and special projects coordinator for DCU's community relations arm. Ben Olsen was highly pleased.

"This is priceless," he said, before requesting a hug from Judah Claus. "I love it."

Judah Claus roamed the caucus room, greeting the hundreds of kids who flocked to him. He accepted crayon drawings. He said things like, "What's your name, young man?" He had elves wipe the sweat off his brow.

"That made my day," Bobby said after Judah Claus's first trip through the forest of children. "It really did, that made my day."

"He's a great Santa," Olsen said. "He was born to do Santa."

Santa disappeared for a while, and Judah Cooks came back into the caucus room, but then the gift-giving part of the event commenced, and Santa was apparently required to take virtually every kid on his lap for a bit of one-on-one time and a gift of a soccer ball and other stuff. The elves were wiping his brow again. I asked Judah Claus whether he was a better soccer player or Santa.

"Ho ho ho," he said. "Ho ho ho ho ho hey."

"Is that a no comment?" I asked.

"No comment on that one, my son," he said. "If you're a good boy, next year we'll talk about it."

By  |  02:47 PM ET, 12/19/2006

Categories:  D.C. United

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