>> Sunday

One of the hallmarks of a great rivalry is not only rooting for your team, but taking perhaps excessive amounts of satisfaction out of watching your rivals crash on their faces.

As many of you know, I hate the New England Revolution. As many of you probably didn't know, today they were playing in their fourth MLS Cup Final in six years. (If you didn't know, that's OK, as long as you're not a redneck asshole like Jim Armstrong.)

And yea, part of me felt bad for the Revs when they lost the 2002 MLS Cup to the LA Galaxy in overtime in their own stadium in front of 60k+ fans.

And it was kind of bad luck when they lost the 2005 MLS Cup to Los Angeles AGAIN, in overtime AGAIN.

And I really started to enjoy it when they lost to Houston Dynamo last year in the Final after going ahead in OT only to be tied 71 seconds later while they were still celebrating and then lost on penalty kicks.

Today, however, pure joy. It was the stuff of legends. I really wished Pagliacci (at the one-minute mark) was playing over the public address at RFK over the last few minutes of this one. In front of 40,000 fans on East Capitol Street, New England took a 1-0 lead at the 20 minute mark, but Houston came back in the second half, knotting the game at 1 on the hour. Shortly thereafter, New England's Bermudan international Avery John attempted to pull a Zidane and headbutted Houston's Craig Waibel. He was MERCIFULLY shown only a yellow. At that point though, you could tell. It was Houston's Final to lose. New England had lost their focus. The looks on their faces all read "here we go again."

Minutes later Canadian International and MLS Cup MVP Dwayne DeRosario sent a screaming header into the back of the Revolution net. I jumped off my couch and cheered, and when they cut to a New England player and fan with their heads in their hands, I couldn't help but smile. I pointed and laughed when they showed a close-up shot of Taylor Twellman on the verge of tears in the closing minutes as the orange-clad Dynamo fans celebrated.

Damn right, here we go again yeh cheap-shotting, ugly-soccer-playing, ref-whining, tea-dumping, Kennedy-electing fucks. Cry some more, Twellman. It's not going to get you a Cup-winner's medal or a permanent spot on the national team.

As much as I would have loved to have seen my Chicago Fire lifting that silver.....thing , this was the second-best result. Watching the elite of MLS continue to deny New England their first league title, and to play Lucy to the Revs' Charlie Brown.


Danny 11:04 PM  

60k plus??? When I went to school in Massachusetts, we went to a few Revs games at the old Foxboro...There were maybe 10k there, most of whom were Mexicans waving their flag and singing Mexican national songs despite the fact that the Mexican national team was not playing, and I don't believe the Revs had any Mexicans on the team... Highly, Highly entertaining.

I guess it does show how far the MLS has come, though. Back then (96-97), they didn't even take the Patriots' signage down from the stadium, but rather just plopped a soccer field on top.

Mike 11:34 PM  

This season, the Revs averaged 16,787. Take out the 35k+ they brought in for the LA Galaxy game, and they still averaged 15,457.

That 2002 MLS Cup Final in Foxboro still stands as the MLS Cup attendance record, but the 40k in Washington today looked pretty impressive on TV.

Danny 11:37 PM  

Who leads the league in regular season attendance?

Mike 8:32 AM  

This past season...
LA Galaxy 24,252
DC United 20,967
Toronto FC 20,130
New Eng. 16,787
New York 16,530
Chicago 16,490
Salt Lake 15,960
Houston 15,883
Columbus 15,230
FC Dallas 15,145
Colorado 14,749
Chivas USA 14,305
K.C. 11,586

Danny 9:26 AM  

Those figures are actually not too bad. Any reason why the Galaxy is outdrawing the Chivas team by so much?

Oh wait. Beckham. Answered my own question.

Mike 10:47 AM  

Not really, the Galaxy have been drawing crowds like that for several years now.

That, and Chivas is a team suffering from an identity problem. Chivas of Guadalajara (their sister club) has a policy of only signing Mexicans, whereas the Chivas USA side is very...pasty.

Also, the team's association with Chivas de Guadalajara immediately tapped into 100 years of hatred for the Mexican fans in LA who don't support Chivas. They drew their first sellout for a non-Galaxy game this year when the Fire came out with former Chivas enemigo Cuauhtemoc Blanco. The Fire enjoyed great away support in that game despite lack of an organized Section 8 road trip thanks to fans of Blanco's former side, Club America. They all came out to root against Chivas.

Long story short, Chivas fans don't support Chivas USA because they're not as good/racially pure as "the real Chivas" and non-Chivas fans don't support them because they're Chivas. Kind of a paradox.

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