So at 8:30 this morning I got a call from a well-placed source (who lives in Nick Rimando's basement) with an update on the Nick Rimando Most Dangerous (Water Gun) Game. "Two people are already outside our house," the source said. "One guy is in our front lawn. He waved as I left. He's wearing headphones and he just gave me a little wave as I went down the stairs." Freaky.
(Btw, what are the chances that the RMcIntosh who posted here is actually United GK Ryan McIntosh? Ryan, is that you? Any advice?)
Anyhow, based on a tip, I went to the Wizards game last night looking for Nicky (who is officially off-limits as a target until 3 p.m. today). Sure enough, he wandered in about 20 minutes late, cruised down the stairs behind the East backboard and sat in the front row, in the seats closest to the Wizards bench, with a security detail featuring Ben Olsen, award-winning PR person Doug Hicks and head athletic trainer Brian Goodstein. From which vantage point he stood and joined the crowd in its plaintive pleas for those free Chipotle burritos the marketing people pass out during Wiz games.
(There were also rumors that Carlos Rogers and/or Jason Campbell were in the building, but I wasn't able to confirm. Of course, you could toss a burrito to Carlos Rogers, and he would [insert your stone-hands joke here].)
Anyhow, apparently, the remaining Water Wars contestants received text messages that Nicky would be at a local hoops game last night. Also, that he would be going somewhere after the game that would require high-class attire. I asked Nick about this part, and he seemed genuinely confused.
"Not me, dude," he said.
"Nicky never dresses nice, man," Goodstein agreed.
Regardless, I know at least one liquid sniper was inside the VC last night. My partner. But he didn't bring binoculars, and he was sitting in the cheap seats. Couldn't see so good. I'm starting to not feel so great about my partner.
Nick, meanwhile, has made a bet with DC101's Roche that he'll remain water-free until at least Thursday afternoon. But his master plan didn't sound very impressive. I asked if he had any super-secret elusive tricks.
"Not at all," he said," he said. "I'm going to do my own thing, and hopefully I can be slick. I'll go about my day. Maybe I can outrun them in my car or something. But I hear these guys are good, so we'll see."
Nick's wife thinks it's all just great; she wanted to hang out with Nick all day today so she could watch him being followed. And he already met one of his stalkers yesterday; "I got home and there were people there, just chilling," he said. This one guy came up and introduced himself, and said he just wanted Nick to know that he was going to win. Nicky warned him about his dogs (currently a Rottweiler, a Pit Bull and a Rott/Setter mix), and the guy said he already knew their names.
"It was a little weird, for sure," Nick said. "These people are professionals. They're already all over the Internet checking me out."
Olsen, meantime, told me that Bobby Boswell actually chose Nick for this honor. Ben said Boz is pals with Roach, and he suggested Roche choose Nick. Boz even called Ben yesterday and told him he had narrowly been spared from being the target himself. Ben also said at least two would-be snipers had been kicked off RFK grounds yesterday as they stalked Nick. I asked Ben whether Nick would be a tricky target.
"No, I don't think so," Ben said. "I think he's gonna wind up with a wet head somehow. I just hope I'm there when they get him."
If not, Ben, you can probably read the play-by-play here. My partner should be on the trail by this point. I'm supposed to meet up with him soon. I'll bring the binoculars.