Friday, November 5, 2010
The "Weight" Continues . . .
Didn't have a single drink, but I woke up with a mean fuckin' hangover this morning.
I freely admit, that from the moment Rafa Marquez put pen to paper, I jumped on the "Championship or Bust" bandwagon, and even helped steer that motherfucker a few times. That roster, that coach, that stadium, those other 14 years . . .how could we not take the Cup this season?
With the entire American soccer audience watching. In a packed Red Bull Arena. On a cold, rainy night that promised more drama than a Tyler Perry flick . . .the bandwagon crashed. Right into the Passaic River. Killing 25,000. There's no poetic way to say it, it sucked. Hard. It wasn't just a rare occasion when NY fans had to watch a truly promising season die. It was also the unexpected and sudden farewell to Mike Petke and Juan Pablo Angel. They weren't supposed to go out like this.
But oddly enough, now that the shock of last night's game has passed, now that I've accepted that the game actually did happen...I find myself thinking more about what was, rather than what could have been. This season has been amazing and unlike any other. From the time I stepped into a half-finished Red Bull Arena last October to pick out my spot for season tickets, until the final whistle blew last night, it was a hell of a ride.
This was the year that the Tri-State's professional soccer team mattered. It was the year we stopped paying rent to live in that shitbox in the swamp. It was the year Manhattan finally realized that we existed. It was the year "same ol' Metro" became "the new Red Bulls". It was the year of the "is this really ours" moment when we first walked into Red Bull Arena for the Santos game. It was the year that ESC made a home at El Pastor. It was the year that we introduced ourselves to Philly at the Draft. It was the year when opposing teams didn't pencil a W on their sheets when they saw NY on the schedule. It was the year of the PATH. It was the year of Juan Pablo Angel's game-winner against Houston. It was the year of superstars. It was the year that "who the fuck is Joel Lindpere" became "he better be the captain in 2011". It was the year of the Baby Bulls' Open Cup Run. It was the year I finally made it to RFK. It was the year when rookies became starters, then became stars. It was the year we waved goodbye to Stammler...to Woly...to Cleetus...to Petke...to Juan Pablo. It was the year of the first road trip to Philadelphia. It was the year we finally got a Saturday game at Toronto. It was the year we sent Juventus fans home in disgust. It was the year of Hans Backe press conferences, "in a way". It was the year of the march over the bridge. It was the year of Bouna Time. It was the year we watch all of our rivals fail miserably. It was the year we celebrated clinching the East. It was the year that we rightfully had expectations of greatness, and more memories than I could ever recall to list here.
...above all else, it was the year of this.
So we didn't get it done. It hurts. For now.
Familiar faces are gone. New heroes are emerging. The saga continues.
Luckily, in time, I'm almost certain I'll be able to look back on the 2010 season with a smile.