As a United fan, I suppose there are a few things that are expected of me. Casual bravado, historical arrogance, antipathy for the teams from Los Angeles and New York (er, New Jersey, nevermind, make that York, no, check that, Jersey). And the fastest way for me to lose whatever rep I have with United fans is to give our traditional punching bags from the north credit for anything, especially if it isn't entirely deserved. So when I say the following, I realize that some might look on it as a betrayal of my team. Okay, here goes: "I am a bit worried about the home opener." There, I said it.
It's not that the New York Red Bulls have impressed with their preseason acumen so far. Aside for a decent draft, their early friendlies have been, from what I can tell, sub-par. Yet part of me still remembers that the last time the Alexi and Mo show came to RFK, United was on the short end of that stick. Which means I can't write my traditional "Why are these fools even considered our rivals?" post. The last time we faced each other, with DC trying to secure the top seed in the East, it was the Northern team that finished on top.
See, right now the Metros remind me of a middle-aged man who has lived his entire life in a cubicle duly filling crappy orders from upper management (John C. Riley). He wears his suits in a dutiful rotation, brown on Monday, Navy on Tuesday, Gray on Wednesday... Suddenly, an old college acquaintenance shows up, a guy with spikey hair, a brown leather jacket, and a reputation for wildness (Joaquin Phoenix). He's accompanied by a silent type who occasionally for fun punches his fist through a wall and has an unspecified criminal past (Clive Owen). Suddenly, our middle-aged account rep is partying all hours, talking to girls for the first time, using powdery substances (Diego Maradonna) from plastic bags, and generally making a mess of things (Guy Ritchie). You know it will end badly (Layer Cake). Yet, before it does, at some point our man is going to go bat-shit psycho on someone (Philip Seymour Hoffman), perhaps his boss (David Warner), perhaps his entire office (the Mormon Tabernacle Choir), while his two bad friends cheer him on over a cell phone (Motorola). Yes, in the end it will fall apart, but you don't want to be around when he finally snaps, do you? Me neither. So that's why I'm a bit worried about the opener. RBNY has little to lose, and this might be the one game where they go psycho. I get nervous around psychos. It's a thing with me.