19 March 2007

Monday's Black

First post of the week will be a little scatter-shot, but there's some interesting reading out there:

SELF-LOATHING: First, I defy anyone to read this article over at the Metrologist and not conclude that the hatred for DC in New York is much more about New York than it is about DC. Key graf:

those who have been around a while may easily remember that (early titles or not) Metro and DC were more or less equal in crowd numbers through the first half of MLS's existence, and the Metro diehard core was always a little more...how do we say this nicely...."credible" than the weird assortment of fake Mods, knife-toting Salvadorans, and margarita-mix buying, tailgate-ticketing elements that constitutes your average DC crowd. That is, until the bulk of the Metro faithful was beat into a fine powder by shit results, shit management, and a shitty gameday experience, and drifted away on the winds.
Now, you don't have to agree with the basis of that statement (and I don't) but you can still see that the one of things that infuriates RBNY followers is that DC is a consistent example of "What it Could Have Been Like" to them. It would be one thing if DC had just been a dynasty for 11 years, but to humiliate the fans in New York even more we had to suck for a good three years before coming back to prominence. New York has never managed such a rebound, and we even had to prove it was possible. The fact is, DC has been very, very fortunate in the type of leadership we have received. It's worth remembering, and it also explains some of the abject hate we get from the hardcore supporters of other teams, especially when those teams have consistently underperformed (Columbus, New York...)

LATE REPORTS: DCist and Off-wing have recaps of last week's game which are worth reading. For those who care about the behind the scenes stuff, generally I try to get everyone into Debrief before noon, but I'll try and link up other reports as they become available.

¿CUÁNTO MÁS NEGRO PODRÍA SER? THE ANSWER IS NONE MORE BLACK: Yes Mexico, you have your own Spinal Tap.

ROTATION: John Haydon expands on Tommy Soehn's philosophy of using more reserves in the Times This is interesting because we know that Soehn called out DeRoux and Moose in during the Screaming Eagles meeting as people he wanted to see play more, and now we have Carroll the Younger to add to that mix. I should also note that Soehn did not mention Domenic Mediate, which was probably a sign.

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17 Comments:

At 19 March, 2007 10:15, Blogger I-66 said...

Q: Why was there a star on the Metros old logo?

A: Because they'd never be able to wear one above it


That whole article stinks of "DC sucks because we suck." Give me a break.

 
At 19 March, 2007 10:20, Blogger D said...

That's exactly my point. I'd mock him, but to be honest, it's so honest as to make me feel sad for them. Really.

 
At 19 March, 2007 11:56, Blogger Ray said...

"Leadership" was not just in the front office. The leaders of the DC supporters provided vision and focus for activities, and a core group of dedicated volunteers transformed the fan experience.

My point is that the NY supporters have always been self-defeatest. Certainly, the team and its various managements have been a problem; but the supporters must first look to themselves and recognize their issues.

 
At 19 March, 2007 16:25, Anonymous Matt Y said...

i was going to leave a comment. however, i feel sorry for the guy so it's hard to call him an idiot who babbles nonsense.

Being from Seattle...I never realized how pathetic NY/NJ fans are...I'm sure there are a few ok ones, but the only ones posting are blind with jealousy....

At least they stole fatboy and his band of merry men to turn around the franchise. guess they finally got smart and figured the only way to be successful was to steal ex-DC people....

 
At 20 March, 2007 06:31, Anonymous matt w said...

Two thoughts:

1. Too bad we don't have relegation.

2. Looking forward to an expansion team in Philly so we can finally have a regional rivalry.

 
At 21 March, 2007 16:22, Anonymous Haig said...

I don't think you realize quite how much damage has been done to a fan base that was developing for about five or six years at basically the same rate as DC's, but with much, much better songs, and for a far, far worse team.

The Metro fans who mocked you, and who were themselves mocked by you, are not there anymore. We don't go to games; for a lot of differing reasons, we decided that supporting an organization that clearly doesn't give a damn about us, and didn't even MINIMALLY entertain its fans, was a low priority compared with kids, work, etc. Some of us feel a gnawing misery when we think about what could have been, but we know that supporting the Metro/RBNY has been nothing but a one-way street.

The main point that the Metrologist makes is that it would take "8 to 10 years" to get RBNY to where DC is now. I think that's a good estimate-- assuming the upward trend started TODAY. The DCenters argument that it took DC's three years of relative crapness to underscore that DC is capable of running itself well, as opposed to being stacked from the start, is bang on. And it might tend to promote a reader to infer that RBNY can right its dirigible after, say, three years (as DC did). But RBNY, who did a lot to establish its credibility early by throwing money at promoting the team and building the stadium, has evidently decided it's not worth trying for the time being. So on the timeline, really, Metro/RBNY is at NEGATIVE five years or so, and the meter isn't moving.

So all there is left to do for good folks like me is to hope you get absolutely stuffed every single time you play, and to occasionally read the demented chest-puffing and self-congratulations, as if DC actually has played that well in the CONCACAF tournament, or as if by being a DC fan, you live in the bosom of God.

Chivas, 5-0. I'll take the high road and not root for an injury.

 
At 21 March, 2007 16:40, Blogger D said...

Haig: That was quite eloquent. Wrong on almost every assertion, but you get style points. Here's a few things I'd want you to consider.
1 - The main point of the article was that DC United fans should consider themselves fortunate, as in luck, that things played out as they did. That was almost pure happenstance of us getting Kevin Payne and New York getting the people it's gotten (culminating in MdG).
2 - What I can't understand is why you'd hold onto animosity to DC just to spite the mismanagement in NY. Makes no sense. Give it up, you don't need the stress.
3 - You never had better songs.
4 - I give The Metrologist much credit for his candor. The only reason you hate us as much as you do is because we're what you hoped for your own team, and somehow you feel we're not worthy of that. I'm going to write that off to regional snobbery. I still think it's so totally irrational at this point. Find a team you can support, even if they're not local. Unless you're such a slave to a New York Uber Alles mentality you can't conceive of rooting for another team in another locality. In which case that is completely your problem.
5 - 98 Champions Cup, 01 Giants Cup, 99 Interamericas Cup. I would assume that counts for something in terms of CONCACAF success.
6 - Yes, we're a smug bunch. But we're not entirely without reason. And not without some honest self reflection. We recognize that we somehow won an important lottery early in this league, and recently as well, when it comes to who runs us. So go ahead and resent our occasional crowing. Fine. But at the same time, I will say that DC fans work just as hard as any fans in MLS, if not harder, to support the team and do as much as we can to make the team and the game experience everything we can. We're lucky that this effort is appreciated, but we also earn the right not to lose that respect we get from our front office and our players every game.

 
At 21 March, 2007 16:45, Anonymous Haig said...

"or as if by being a DC fan, you live in the bosom of God"

Like this douchebag:

"Leadership" was not just in the front office. The leaders of the DC supporters provided vision and focus for activities, and a core group of dedicated volunteers transformed the fan experience.

My point is that the NY supporters have always been self-defeatest. Certainly, the team and its various managements have been a problem; but the supporters must first look to themselves and recognize their issues.


You don't have the slightest idea of what you're talking about. Go find anyone who was a "leader" of DC's supporters clubs from the very beginning-- like Matt-- and they'll let you know about the effort and dedication of guys like Kevin M. and Ron F. (and there are a lot more names).

These people were driven out by frustration with a poor team, but more importantly by active obstruction by Metrostars' front office (such as the support the team gave to ESC splinter groups like La 12-- free tickets and even cash payments-- to curry favor with fan groups that wouldn't question the piss-poor management of the club), and passive "moves like hiring the idiot Jim Leahy from the New Jersey Red Dogs of arena football, a man who went on the record as saying "the only way you could get me out to a soccer game is if my kids were to drag me out," yet who was hired to run the team's marketing operations and work with supporters clubs.

To give a comprehensive account of the failures of this team, and the effect on its supporters, would literally take a long book. But it seems clear to me that it has been one of the greatest team-level failures in professional sports management, defying every single trend and nearly salting the once-fertile soil for MLS in New York.

To ascribe it to the greatness of DC's fans and the lowliness of New York's is EXACTLY why I want to see your team lose horribly, and why some of you loudmouths give DC such a reputation as the pinnacle of arrogance.

 
At 21 March, 2007 17:07, Anonymous Haig said...

"You never had better songs."

I remember when the Guardian had one of our anti-DC songs in their "best football songs" article-- reading DC fans' efforts to out-do the ESC and bombard an English newspaper with their tepid efforts. How embarrassing for them. How funny for us.


Have a look for yourself.

 
At 21 March, 2007 17:07, Blogger D said...

Haig haig haig... you're really taking this much too personally. You see one comment ascribing the problem in New York to the New York Supporters, and you're off on a rant. First, the original post above never once mentioned the supporters as a cause... we know how the ESC was treated and it's a damn shame.

That being said, it's not like people like Oscar, Matt, and K didn't do a hell of a lot of work in the early years (and to this day). So give them some credit. They did work hard, maybe not harder than others, but they worked damn hard for this team.

I do not for a moment dispute that New York fans were hard done by an inept front office. But to somehow extend that into a reason to continue hating D.C. United is a stupid chain of reasoning. And to complain that DC fans take pride in their team, and their supporters' accomplishments, because New York could have done the same if given the opportunity is just as stupid. We have every right to feel as we do. Some of us (myself included) transitioned from soft supporter to hard-core supporter not during the great cup wins, but during the 2000-2003 period (more 2003 in my particular case). I became a fan partially because of the dedication I saw from my fellow fans. Does that say anything, positive or negative, about New York? No. But it does say something about DC fans.

Read the original post again, and you'll see that I almost agree with your original comments here:

Now, you don't have to agree with the basis of that statement (and I don't) but you can still see that the one of things that infuriates RBNY followers is that DC is a consistent example of "What it Could Have Been Like" to them. It would be one thing if DC had just been a dynasty for 11 years, but to humiliate the fans in New York even more we had to suck for a good three years before coming back to prominence. New York has never managed such a rebound, and we even had to prove it was possible. The fact is, DC has been very, very fortunate in the type of leadership we have received. It's worth remembering, and it also explains some of the abject hate we get from the hardcore supporters of other teams, especially when those teams have consistently underperformed.

I know you got screwed. But don't try and make me feel bad that we didn't. I also know that we were, to some degree, lucky that it wasn't us. There but for the grace of God, and his bosom, go I. Except, of course, I'm an atheist.

 
At 21 March, 2007 17:10, Anonymous Haig said...

Link not working: cut and paste.

http://football.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,9753,613995,00.html

 
At 21 March, 2007 17:20, Anonymous Haig said...

Oh I totally agree with your point that you're hated for your success. But you're also hated because of the conviction, expressed so utterly, that you're successful because you're all just such damn GOOD supporters. I mean, a lot of RFK games have great atmosphere, and that's a credit to DC fans, but it's also predicated on a whole series of events that kept the aggregate set of DC United supporters from being discouraged beyond redemption. And it wasn't being great fans that kept you going through a few tough years-- it was not being royally FUCKED like Metro fans were.

The idea that I would find another MLS team to support, after I went to almost every home game for seven and a half years, makes me wonder what sort of fan you are. Through all this, I'm still nominally an NY fan, but they give me absolutely nothing to look forward to. It's a lot more joyful-- who said "stress" anyhow?-- to watch DC lose. There's a lot of transcendence to be found in negation. Read St John of the Cross or Novalis, you athiestic DC-supporting slime mold.

 
At 21 March, 2007 17:21, Anonymous haig said...

Dadgummit, post #11 link didn't work. More cut-and-pastery:

http://football.guardian.co.uk/

comment/story/0,9753,613995,00.html

 
At 21 March, 2007 17:35, Blogger D said...

Haig: Are we disagreeing at all beyond the namecalling? Read the post, my entire point was that our front office encouraged the supporter culture to flourish, and didn't dick us around. The original point was that our front office deserves credit for that, it wasn't created by DC Supporters out of nothing. You see that, right? I have no doubt that if we'd been as screwed as New York was, there wouldn't be the same kind of culture. But we weren't, and we should feel fortunate for that.

Now, as to "What sort of fan I am..." Let me explain something al (can I call you Al? Haig sounds much too formal.) I do not support a team unconditionally. A team must earn my support. DCU has, and continues to do so. It's clear to me, and to you, that RBNY does not deserve your support. So find a team that does.

If DC United had dicked around its fans, if the franchise and the organization was crap, then you know something? I'd drop them. I do not support this team because my father did, or because of where I live (though that's a start.) I support this team because they've earned it. RBNY hasn't, so why hold on to anything? Make a break of it. Find someone, or something, that will be rewarding. You have a wife and kids, would expect them to stay with you if you disrespected them all the time? No, of course not. And they shouldn't. Love is fine, but love has limits, and love must be, must be consistently earned and reciprocated.

Through all this, I'm still nominally an NY fan

WHY? That organization has given you nothing! I'm not talking about results on the scoreboard, I'm talking about decent respect for you as a fan. I can understand people being lifelong fans of teams that lose, as long as they know that the organization they root for still respects them and feels the losses just as much as they do. But once they start treating you as disposable, well, they deserve the same.

As for pleasure in negation, I find it best expressed by Keats. I do not need resolution, and can live with ambiguity and mystery, but I also like to be rewarded now and again. But only a sadist, or a masochist, finds joy primarily through suffering.

 
At 21 March, 2007 17:41, Blogger D said...

PS: Here's the link you want posted. That should work fine.

 
At 22 March, 2007 00:18, Blogger tucksider said...

that song's not even that good.

 
At 03 April, 2007 02:51, Anonymous HAGI said...

It's not very good, no-- I'd give it a C. But DC fans have yet to see the sunlight through the murky depth of their one or two songs. A "C" would be a great many fathoms better. And the best on the Guardian list might be "B" quality. As far as I know, the only A grade ever goes to Sheffield United's take on "Annie's Song":

You fill up my senses
Like a gallon of Magnet
Like a packet of Woodbines
Like a good pinch of snuff
Like a night out in Sheffield


But as for MLS: "We've got an uncontrollable Serb," into "Are we not men? We are Metro," in the Sasa Curcic era comes close.

 

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