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Burgundy Wave LongForm: A Trip to New York City

Todd from the Flakoglost Podcast tells us about his trip to NYC

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

It began as a vacation.

I'd been flying for just under a half-hour when the Captain introduced himself, baptizing us with news that a frenetic turbulence had laid an egg over the Great Lakes. Mother Superior, I assumed. I started humming the Beatles song, Happiness is a Warm Gun, because well...

"Mother Superior jump the gun..."

Our flight path would eventually intersect with Superior's electricity and high energy. It was unavoidable we were told. I'd better skip the coffee this time, I thought.

"Mother Superior jump the gun..."

New York City was my destination - the ramshackle and damn near derelict, La Guardia International Airport.

"Mother Superior jump the gun..."

With the nose of the plane getting her first whiff of the nation's breadbasket (yuuummmm), our United Airlines flight honored the lives tragically lost 14 years prior with a moment of silence. Curious, I turned to the German couple next to me. Their affection for each other was already in progress. Hands pressed together as one, and some sort of humming or cooing emanating from the missus. The woman had her head rested on the broad shoulder of her partner. His posture was no more stoic than Eric Cantona's furrowed brow. Problem was, his whistling nose was composing it's own rendition of, Radetzky's March.

Across the isle, a man dressed in true American Sheik - cargo shorts and Hawaiian shirt - thumbed through his phone. From what I could tell, most within earshot were still waking up to the day, and/or coming to the realization that it wasn't just any old day. It was September 11th.

The Captain called back in, said something prophetic and then, "Thanks for flying with United today. We'll have you on the ground in about three and a half hours. Sit tight."

Most of my weekdays I earn a living wage spending time with people who have proverbially chased after the dragon. That's probably a tad insensitive, but I'm on vacation and that's a good enough excuse to let my hair down.

As far as profession goes - I work in an outpatient substance abuse clinic as an addictions counselor. When I'm not at work, I'm thinking about soccer. At work too, if I'm being honest. Obsessed only covers a modicum of how I feel about the beautiful game. Soccer is life, which is why I'm flying to New York to experience the changing landscape of the New York soccer scene, even if that means going over the river to Harrison, NJ. Last time I was there, several years ago for a Red Bulls/Rapids game, the announcer welcomed me and thousands of others to the World's city - Harrison! This year alone I have been fortunate enough to travel to matches domestic and international. From Seattle (Sounders/Rapids) to Manchester (City) then off to meet my old friend London (Crystal Palace, Millwall, Chelsea) but not before a little late night rendezvous with Barcelona, where I sipped Sangria and watched a Champions League match. All places showed a fervor for the sport that only furthered my very lopsided belief that soccer truly is the Worlds' game and NO other sport will ever come close to surpassing it, even lacrosse. It should also be noted that none of the cities I traveled to over the course of the year had tagged themselves as the World's City.

Full disclosure, I'm a Colorado Rapids supporter and have been a season ticket holder over the past five years (Cease with the eye rolling Salt Lake and Seattle. We do have a few supporters thank you very much!). I've dumped a lot of money into the Rapids, home and away. I don't regret most of it. Unfortunately, some of my friends have moved on from the Rapids, though that number likely does not surpass how many Rapids' season ticket representatives I've been assigned to over the years. I'm afraid that more of my friends and acquaintances not renewing their season tickets will become a growing trend no matter how many times the Colorado Rapids team President, Tim Hinchey tells us that season ticket sales are increasing yearly. For the record, I believe him. But I also believe in promotion/relegation and wouldn't be bothered with the Rapids having to throw the kitchen sink at teams, clawing and kicking out at the long-locked Alan Gordon just to climb their way above the relegation line. Initially I thought of slotting Steve Zakuani into this example but instead decided on Alan Gordon, as I didn't want to ruffle the tail feathers of Seattle supporters, or lose them so early on in this piece. Plus, Brian Mullan's probably outside with his kids right now, doing domestic things, like pushing them on swings or flipping burgers. Neither Steve nor Brian needs to have a shitty day. I'll also assume that most Seattle supporters will have no problem with Alan Gordon being the goat in this example. To appease the contrarians in the wetter parts of the Pacific Northwest, I'll be the first to admit that I should have probably chosen someone more villainous. Say FC Dallas's Blas Perez?

It's been a thorny relationship trying to support a franchise that seemingly feels like its sole purpose in MLS's single entity is to be the cellar dwelling cacophony to the league's symphonies, L.A. Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, and New York - red and now sky blue. That being said, RSL, you can be the best Steely Dan song you can come up with.

What's that RSL? Can't think of any?

"Mother Superior jump the gun..."

With the exception of 2010 when the Rapids pulled off their improbable MLS Cup run that included the misplaced crown as Eastern Conference Champions - which surprisingly Rapids supporters have yet to turn this well-known fact into a song - at least to my knowledge anyway - we've typically been a sub-par to at best .500 team that has moved away from youthful players prone to ear infections.

I'll just quickly squib kick this adorable Mr. hot potato head coach onto you Mr. Hinchey. Further nudging, prompting, molding and grooming are required. Don't forget to stick the mustache into the proper hole!

Brooklyn's noon bells had just been put down for a quick nap when I stepped out of the cab. First impressions of Brooklyn were favorable. Sedate. For some reason the word quaint kept coming to mind, but that didn't quite fit the bill. Everything was moving. Moving! That was definitely it. As a vacationer it felt great to look upon a city with lost eyes. I felt fresh as a hardboiled egg about to be pickled.

My friend Will and his lady were gracious enough to put me up for a few nights. They said they had a stain free couch.

"Consider it soiled!" I told them.

In truth I would have settled for a simple bed sheet and a pillow that wasn't too yellow. And a bearskin rug if they had one lying around, preferably one that Devon Sandoval hadn't tarnished with his creams and hair oils, and well, that ratty mane of his.

"Mate. Just so you know," Will starts to laugh opening his home to me. I'm barely three steps into his place. "I haven't been to a Metro Stars game since the last time you were in town!"

He's still Funny! Still got that Midas touch!

Will's well aware that they're called the Red Bulls now.

"Harrison! The World's City! You remember that?"

I shook my head up and then down.

Will is as knowledgeable about soccer as anyone I know, even compared to those well-informed soccer fanatics in the Pacific Northwest who would like you to know that they're so well-informed that they'd be willing to answer any question you might have about MLS, NASL, US Soccer, teams in Europe, hell even teams in Russia!

Writer: I got one! I got one! Seattle Sounders or CSKA Moscow?

12th man: Of all the questions, you've narrowed it down to this?

Writer: We have. I mean, I have.

12th man: All right. That's an easy one. Seattle Sounders 2 - CSKA Moscow 1. Dempsey and Oba on the score sheet.

Timber Joey: HA! Please! I pack a Chainsaw! I'll skin your ass raw! And if my day keeps goin' this way, I just might break somethin' tonight! I pack a Chainsaw!

Writer: Hmmmm. Okay then. Just one more question 12th man, and no Joey, nobody will be skinning anybody's ass raw...What if, for Sepp Blatter's retirement/testimonial match he has the American referee Daniel Radford officiate a game between CSKA and the Sounders...and the game will be played in Crimea.

12th man: Formidable foes in a foreign land? Sounders 2 - CSKA 2. Three ejections. Alonso, Dempsey, and Frei. Sigi fills in for goalie, stands on his head, writes home about it. Greatest win in franchise history.

Christian Techera: Shit, no pun intended, but Sigi couldn't stop me! I'm like the thinnest shit passing through a bound up Belgian!

Will supports West Ham United and Köln FC, and carries an indistinguishable accent. He's English and American and German and some other brand of alien. If MLS hasn't sunk its teeth into Will's gluteus by now, I don't think it ever will.

"Mother Superior jump the gun..."

Michael J. Clarke was the first name to really appear while visiting the 9/11 Ground Zero Memorial. Mr. Michael J. Clarke. Surely Michael and I would've had something in common, I think to myself. Something we could have laughed at - an inside joke or maybe the passing of hot flatulence the morning after we tied a humdinger of a night together with the boys. Or maybe I was just projecting?

There was a profound sadness everywhere. I could feel it. Given my current profession two thoughts came to mind.

How many people have relapsed today?

And how many people haven't stopped using/drinking since 2001?

In Mindfulness practice and in Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) we talk about focusing our attention to the present moment, continuing to bring our little monkey mind back to the cushion even after we notice that the little fucker is throwing bananas and/or boxes of Rice Carolina at the guests. With ACT too - Be willing. Be open. Do what matters. As an aside, when someone describes you as cerebral, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing, or that you are in fact - open or willing.

We've all heard the sayings as we've slogged through our own existential muck. The minutia.

"Earth to Tom?"


"Pablo! Stop over thinking this shit?!"


"Pablo! Stop quoting from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul!"


"Are you reelin' in the yearsss...stowin' away the tiiiime..."

Roses were universally placed around both memorials, so were the people, all peering into the profound depth. Without the running water the memorial would have been cerebral at best. Water was the lifeblood of the memorial.

Do what matters I remember thinking. Breathe. Let things linger. Listen.

And then, that was it. It was time to move on to the next thing.

I would recommend staying there longer. Good people watching.

The (PATH) train angled its way out to New Jersey when I asked Mr. Will why he hadn't been to a Red Bulls game in the three to four years since I last visited?

"Good question!" He kind of gargled off while searching over the lay of the locomotive, looking left then right, then left, then right, then left, then down. What was he looking for? Andrew Wiebe? Surely Andrew was off somewhere near The Standard Hotel practicing his lines to bull-legged pigeons in preparation for his next MLS Now video montage. Or maybe he searched for Simon Borg? Surely Borg would be at the next stop playing a piccolo for those passing by. That or Borg was up to no good again, trying to unwrap the saltiest piece of salt-water taffy.

"I guess I just haven't had time mate."

If you think Will's retort appeared to fall on the perfunctory side of the day's dealings, it most certainly was.

"Don Garber still has some work to do in New York." I say.

For Rapids fans we gripe at the ten-mile drive from downtown Denver to Dick's Sporting Goods Park located on Victory Way in Commerce City. You read that right. Victory Way. On a good day, this commute via a supporters bus, with beer in hand takes 20 to 30 minutes. Not terrible, but if we're going to complain, it's not quite urban enough. For me it's like being at the train station in Glasgow after having attended a Celtic match and having to go potty, but not wanting to pay the minor tariff to use the public restroom. Instead bargaining that you can wait it out for the lavatory on the train. Once you're on the train however, you realize that every other asshole has the same fucking idea. So there you are, standing in line, waiting for the cows to come home, when finally you're able to burst inside the lavatory and post up for the most righteous piss ever. It's at this exact moment you really begin to appreciate that you're hometown team isn't playing inside a baseball stadium. Or a football stadium (NFL). Let's also add playing on dewless turf.

From Ground Zero to Red Bull Arena it took us under an hour to cover 10 miles by train. A horse apiece really.

The only bar we could find within an RPG's launch of Red Bull Arena was Catas Ultra Lounge. Indeed it was an odd name for a soccer pub, which we later found out wasn't a soccer pub. Not much seemed to be happening in Harrison two hours before kick-off.

Drinks were in order.

A parking attendant pointed us in the general direction of pre-game drinks. Her hand and official looking vest directed us westward. Of course, I thought, go west young man.

Will asked the attendant if we should bring her back a roadie. He told her she looked thirsty.

"We can put a lid on it for you!"

Her hand and arm and nose kept pointing west, indicating that we should put a lid on it. And then for whatever reason, a reason no more sound than the saltwater taffy lounging in between Simon Borg's ruddy fingers, I started humming the Head East song, Never Been Any Reason.

Danceable shoulder shrugs and wretched singing ensued.

"Save my life I'm going down for the last time..."

Will pointed back to the attendant

"Woman with the sweet lovin'...Better than a white line..."

Eventually we found, and then followed a line of red ants marching to their beer spot. Finally we would be able to wet our whistle.

Inside the ultra lounge the crowd wasn't exactly sparse, but it wasn't banging down the door either. The supporters were passionate, singing loudly, all kitted out in red, all that I had hoped for. I bellied up to the bar, finagled the bar keeps' attention, then came back with more than two pints, "Drinks and drinks and drinks and drinks!"

"Prost!" Our stein's clanged together emitting a sound so acute that a dog trying to retrieve a shit sandwich wading in the Passaic River thought better of it and turned around. Yeungling wetted the floor and we thanked our lucky stars that neither of us had fallen into the Passaic.

"Pretty sure I saw a shit sandwich floating to safety back there."

I missed Will's humor. His quick wit.

"The one with the pigeon surfing on top?"

"Nailed it!"

"Fuck that's good." I said wiping beer suds clear of my kisser.

Tomorrow, Will and I would brave the two-hour commute that would take us behind Long Island's Iron Curtain (no relation to Jim Curtain), infiltrating Nassau County where we would find NASL's, New York Cosmos.

To steal from the satirical newspaper, The Onion, the New York Cosmos were at one point MLS's - Romantic gesture too expensive to waste on current girlfriend. Yet the Cosmos weren't too expensive, nor had ever been MLS's girlfriend. The Cosmos were the girl from the movie, Clerks that had successfully put her mouth around and sucked off 37 dicks. Squeaky-clean MLS didn't want to end up being the guy that took the girl with the DSL's home to mom. In truth MLS batted an eye at her one or three times from across the room while sipping on a vodka tonic at one of those young professional events where nobody has herpes, hosted by the good people at Tinder. In the end the Cosmos just weren't the horse that MLS wanted to bet on. I'm sure philosophy had something to do with it. And just to be clear, I'm fully aware that the Cosmos have more history than most MLS clubs, one that has many twists and turns. Twists that include a few hedonistic nights at the famed, Studio 54. I should also state that I don't think Cosmos players or the Cosmos ownership are a malevolent claque of sluts.

Will and I found out the next day that our commute, which started out on the L Train to Atlantic Avenue where we then transferred onto the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) only to later switch to a different LIRR train in Jamaica, which then took us to our final stop, Mineola, where an a idling school bus provided by the Cosmos waited to take us to the stadium. Still another 15/20 minutes away (I think I got our route right? - probably should have spent the $75 on an Uber). Definitely not a horse apiece here Rapids fans. Quit your bitching.

Some readers, (though I doubt very many, as you are surely speeding through this gibber-gabber) might be surprised to learn that the New York Cosmos do not play in Major League Soccer. Yes, unaware readers the NASL or the North American Soccer League, is a league sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation as a second division league. The NASL would love to expand and grow but feel they've hit a glass ceiling. Again there is no promotion for stellar play. Conversely there is no relegation for less than stellar play.

Imagine this if you will. The footballer Raul, who at one time had been Real Madrid's all-time leading scorer, that was until Cristiano Ronaldo recently passed him, in about half as many games by the way; the aged Raul now plays for the New York Cosmos. That should make the rooster crow, shouldn't it? I'm not sure the salary of Raul but in theory there is no limit to what the Cosmos could pay him. The NASL doesn't have a salary cap, while the MLS does. The writer won't go down that vole hole as there are nuances that only Don Garber could vaguely skirt around. Rather the writer would like to paint a different picture that I believe SUMS up our current domestic predicament. On one side of the glass ceiling, Colorado Rapids' player, Bobby Burling, he has his bare white ass firmly planted, smudging up the glass. While unfortunately for Raul, who's on the other side of the glass ceiling looking upwards, he swears to God he just caught a whiff of Burling's breadbasket. Seems kind of cruel, doesn't it?

Again sincerest apologies to the reader, but the writer needed to go there.

Several days later I walked the entirety of Manhattan to meet up with Will for a midweek NYCFC game. NYCFC were hosting Sebastian Giovinco and Toronto FC. Being the blissfully ignorant blonde that I am, I decided to strut my shit through Harlem, with every intention of making it to the Bronx on-time, to the cathedral they call Yankee Stadium.

As some readers might have hoped for, I did not get mugged or harassed (Suck it RSL). Instead my stroll was a leisured one, and at no point did I actually strut like Caleb Porter (A cock in a hen house). It was during this walkabout that I decided for myself that New York City truly was the greatest city in the World! Not Harrison. The debate in my mind was solved.

And so, just as there are two sides to every buffalo pie, my perfect day would be challenged as the Steinbrenner family decided to sit me next to the biggest loudmouth sonofabitch in Section 130. This guy really wanted to talk. Guy, as I innocuously referred to him as, had his right arm stretched over the vacant seat between us. I kept an eye on Guy's dawdling fingers, hoping that his creepy-crawly phalanges wouldn't tickle me Elmo.

Trying to fall back on the principles of Mindfulness, my monkey mind was having none of it. Little shit was having a picnic, munching wildly on a plate of freshly baked Play-Doh cookies. When life gives you lemons, suck the shit out of em'! I thought.

Below is a snippet of Guy's conversation with Will and I, albeit a loose adaptation. Very loose.

Side note: I sucked the shit out of four tall Heineken's over the course of two halves. Will did too.

"With all the walking I did today," I say between sips to Will. "I don't know where in God's green Earth NYCFC would even be able to find the land to build their own stadium?"

Will agreed.

"Mate, they ain't goin' nowhere anytime soon."

While Yankee Stadium was not ideal for soccer, playing games in the Bronx over the next few years seemed like it would be ideal for drumming up business. Seed sowing and cultivating a fan base from scratch wasn't a job that just happened overnight (i.e. Colorado). That said, the support at Yankee Stadium appeared to be up for the challenge. I was surprised to see so many passionate supporters on a Wednesday night (Some NYCFC supporters even staged a thought provoking protest before the match outside the stadium, their call to action - ‘We're Supporters, Not Criminals!' They had beef with Steinbrenner security amongst a litany of other items on their agenda).

I would end up leaving Yankee Stadium impressed with the supporters section. As Will and I saw over the weekend, attendances seemed to struggle when the destination was either in Harrison or beyond the Iron Curtain. While the Bronx felt a tad north to this domestic foreigner, in reality it wasn't. To locals Yankee Stadium was the epicenter. 

"That security guard right there? You see him?" Guy next to me was feeling lonely. "Right there. You see him?"

I did.

"Fucking guy tells us to sit down all the time."


"I'm a season ticket holder for NYC, the Yankees too, they never make us sit down during Yankees games."

"Damn Hal and Hank Steinbrenner!" I say trying to be as off-handedly cordial as possible. Though I was ready to call a Passaic River bullshit sandwich on Guy but thought better of it. Of all the major sports in America, I was of the opinion that baseball was the quintessential sport for taking a mid-summer nap, and any thought of interrupting mom's nap was purely forbidden. Treasonous!

But Guy's tirade didn't end there.

"I got a theory." Guy says, his phalanges slapping my shoulder. "Yeah? Wanna hear it?"

Fuck. Well great, I thought, a new theory. Instead of responding in a respectful manner I just kind of waited it out passive-aggressively.

"So yeah," Guy says fixing his Yankees ball cap. "It's that Sheikh that's requesting everyone to sit down during the games."

Guy's New Yorker accent was starting to show its hand.

"The guy sitting in Abu Dhabi right now? That Sheikh?" I say chugging my beer.

"Is that where he lives," Guy asks. "In Abu Dhabi or wherever that is?"

Will leaned in to Guy, "Mate you should know that! This IS your team after all."

Burn! Nice one Will.

The Sheikh that Guy was referring to - Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, or in short, Sheikh Mansour (Not the Iron Sheikh unfortunately, but I'm sure someone's called him that- I wonder if they're still alive?). I bet Mansour's squire greatly appreciates the abbreviated version too! Sheikh Mansour was not only the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (Country) but also the head honcho of the holding company - City Football Group or CFG (Business worth Zillions upon Zillions). Besides Manchester City in England, Melbourne City in Australia, and owning a minority stake in the Japanese club, Yokohama FC - all of which are soccer teams, CFG also owns 80% of NYCFC, the Yankees own the other 20% - which at this juncture oblige NYCFC and it's heathen supporters the opportunity to tear up the field making current Yankee, Mark Teixeira a very unhappy first baseman.

Mom by the way just woke up and she loves watching Mark bend over! She probably calls Mark something cute like Hot Buns from her recliner.

"Gooooo Maaaaaark!"

All right mom! That's enough.

Guy, our resident conspiracy theorist invited us to join him further down his vole hole.

"I heard that the Sheikh wants the fans to respect the team and have respect for him by sitting down."

Will snorted into his beer.

"We can move man," He nudged my shoulder. "We don't have to put up with this shit."

I was fine I tell Will. Always it felt like I was running into folks that needed another tightening of the screw. Karma, I thought.

"No Poku in the starting lineup? What? For Christ's Sake, Chris!"

Guy pronounced Coach Kreis's last name - Chris.

"Lampard has been a big waste of money!"

The game had kicked off at this point. The Third Rail and other supporters groups had filled into their section. As I had expected, the supporters were a wall of sound. Their volume resonated off the walls of the dugouts and over the pitching mound.

As for Frank Lampard. While I couldn't necessarily disagree with Guy, I was of the opinion that a healthy Frank Lampard still had a few thundering runs left in him. There were facet's of Frank's game that could definitely contribute to an MLS side. Frank would eventually score his first goal for the team in this game. Guy stood up when Frank scored, spilling his beer, rejoicing like a yak in heat. It appeared that Guy could find forgiveness in his heart for Frank. Later Guy was asked to sit down by security, let's just say that it didn't go over well.

Will and I left for another beer in the heat of their argument. With NYCFC up early and halftime quickly approaching, now was the time to loiter around the stadium. As a West Ham fan, Will reminded me that Frank Lampard's father, who was a legend at West Ham, was three times the man Frank would ever be.

"That's cool." I said.

NYCFC would eventually go onto win this game.

Days prior and back in Harrison, NJ.

By the time Will and I reached our seats the sweet smells of Red Bull stadium stiffly greeted us. Notes of anticipation sailed through the air like deranged pigeons that found a new set of flappers. Beer sloshed around in our mildewed tummies with a resting heart rate ready for football.

The night's contest between the Chicago Fire and the New York Red Bulls started off slowly. I started to think of the parallels between the 2015 Chicago Fire and the 2015 Colorado Rapids, most notably that they were both losing sides. Another parallel, both sets of supporters were frustrated with the current ownership and leadership.

Let's take a step back for a second. Yes the writer wants to go down one more cotton pickin' tangent. DABDA. Yes DABDA. No not Gobbledygook. DABDA. In other words - Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. Hey look! There's that word again. Acceptance! These are the five emotional stages experienced when death and dying are part of our living picture. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss psychiatrist introduced this model in her book, On Death and Dying. Worth a read in my opinion. Kubler-Ross spent years working with the terminally ill and later became faculty at the University of Chicago medical school. Just as love is wont to do, irony too will find a way, even in places like Chicago.


While I couldn't possibly speak to the stage of grief that Rapids supporters as a whole might wiggle into, just thinking about that gives me the scared-straight shivers, I know where I fall - somewhere between the Depression and "I just want some good God Damn nachos at a soccer game" stage. In my opinion, over the past few years the atmosphere at Dick's has disintegrated a smidge. The terraces included in this assessment.

You're wondering about my Nacho dig?

Well, some dickhead in food management out on Victory Way decided that the kick-ass nachos in the Cantina were only for winners. That depresses me a lot.

Hey look! We got contact in the box! The ref just pointed to the spot. Chicago Fire 1 - New York Red Bulls 0. Jeff "the ginger ninja" Larentowicz just scored!

I debate with my dog quite often. One of our carousel rides this year has been debating which team is the worst in MLS.

Chicago or Colorado? Felt like a horse apiece at the moment.

New York Red? Definitely not part of this conversation.

New York Sky Blue? Bad record but it didn't feel like they were.

New York Green? Different league. Hopefully you find a closer stadium someday!

Colorado or Chicago? Hmmmm.

This may sting a little bit Colorado. But I feel like it might be us? (Burling's bare ass was my not so subtle attempt at foreshadowing)

I made this harmless quip a little while back and it got a few chuckles among friends, so I'll throw myself under the bus.

It went like this.

- Wanna know the difference between Section 8 and Centennial 38?

- Okay?

- While Section 8 boycotted their last home game, leaving their section vacant, C38 on the other hand can't even decide which end of their stadium they want to sit in!

I know. Not very funny. To clarify - C38 voted on whether they would leave the supporters terrace or move to the south stands. The needed vote among supporters to move didn't pass. The terrace remains.

I also contend, to salvage not being yelled at, I've met some of the most passionate soccer supporters in the World right here in Colorado.

"Mother Superior jump the gun..."

I'd like to see better days for the Rapids but am too depressed to yell at E. Stan Kroenke's mustache about it. Stan will never sell the Rapids. I must remind the one remaining reader who is a newbie to MLS that single-entity is like being a guest at the Hotel California (You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave).

I've accepted that supporting the Rapids will be no more tasty than eating a hot potato without condiments for every meal, at least for the foreseeable future. Sounds like acceptance doesn't it? Maybe I fit in both stages at the same time? Depression and Acceptance? This feels like another one of life's salty salt-water taffy pulls.

Chicago Fire 2 - New York Red Bulls 0. WTF? David Accam just sprinted like the horniest gazelle you'll ever see past Conor Lade.

Hope for Chicago? Therein hope for Colorado?! (Will was amused with Lade's last name and the fact that Lade was on a team that had Red in the name. Will started singing Chris De Burgh's song, Lady in Red - and then we all kind of did...Lady in Red!)

Speaking of south stands, the Southward - the Red Bulls conglomerated supporters section just lost their minds.

Chicago Fire 2 - New York Red Bulls 1. Bradley Wright-Philips scored a beauty.

"Mother Superior jump the gun..."

And then moments later.

Chicago Fire 2 - New York Red Bulls 2. Mike Grella gets crafty.

"Mother Superior jump the gun..."

The second half saw one goal.

Chicago Fire 2 - New York Red Bulls 3. Sacha Kljestan scores from the spot.

End of the game.

Then I started to think, maybe Chicago was worse off?

Then I started to wonder if the Rapids would Do What Mattered next year?

What began as a vacation, ended as my first report.