Hopefully, you too have come to the realization, as I have the past few games, that the 2015 edition of the Colorado Rapids is pretty much a lost cause. There won’t be a playoffs in our future. I mean, it’s not impossible, but it would take miracles. I’m a rabbi. I’m familiar with miracles. Moses splitting the Red Sea I can believe. Rapids winning 10 of the next 14 games? Ha ha ha, nooooooo!
But hey, you’re a fan of the hearty and true variety. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be on the hidden gem of a website that is Burgundy Wave. So you’ll keep watching. But what? How? Here is your guide to watching the Rapids the rest of the way in a way that might transcend their ability to win or lose.
1) Pick a favorite player on our opponent’s team
My first in-person MLS match was July 2013, Rapids vs. Revolution. And as much as watching the Rapids win (really!) was a lot of fun, and my family had a great time, the most mesmerizing player on the pitch that day was a top-knotted Asian dude who always had the ball at his feet, and always seemed to flick the ball effortlessly and with great precision to the best available player. It was a great feeling, like being at Nirvana's first show in March of 1987. I mean, I imagine.
Walking away from a game like that and feeling like I knew a secret, that Lee Nguyen was going to be a star, was a great feeling. That’s fun. It’s not traitorous: I’m not rooting for New England, I’m just reveling in the glory that is a great player.
2) Enjoy Clint Irwin
If teams are going to be ushered through the midfield on the way to goal like Scarlet Johanssen at the Oscars, we’re gonna see shots on goal galore. Watching Clint when he’s on is a joy. If we had a lesser GK protecting the net, this season would be comically bad.
So get the seats in the South Stand, and watch a master craftsmen do his thing.
3) Celebrate the pageantry and the experience of a Rapids game.
A Rapids game is much more than the 90 minutes a little white ball of synthetic leather and glue getting booted about. There’s the singing! The tailgating! The imbibing of local microbrews! The arguing about the best microbrewery in Colorado! The arguing about whether New Belgium can be considered a microbrewery! The arguing at the tailgate over a microbrew about what the hell is wrong with the Rapids!
At this point of the year, you should really find alternatives to the field experience in order to enjoy the Rapids. You could also title this the 'Colorado Rockies Fan Method', since the Rox haven't been relevant in the NL West since 2007. But they do have a lovely view of the mountains and (I'm noticing a theme, rabbi) microbrews on tap.
4) Play the Blame Game
Over the past 30 games there’s been spectacular twitter debate about who’s responsible for the poor performance of our boys from Commerce City. Fire Pablo! No, fire Hinchey! Fire Bravo! It’s KSE, they don’t invest in the team! No, it’s the youth system: why didn’t we develop Perry Kitchen and Gyasi Zardes? Blame Arsenal! I, personally, don’t really enjoy this debate. It makes me revert to needing to revisit item #3. ‘Celebrate the pageantry’ is a euphemism for drinking lots of microbrews.
5) Imagine we’re battling against relegation
I’m not really a strong pro/rel advocate: I get that soccer is still in the nascent stage here in America, and relegation would dissuade owners from investing in the sport, right now. I think MLS will eventually expand to 40 teams; an upper division with 24 and a lower with 16. But not yet.
But relegation is something that keeps fans of bottom-dwelling teams engaged when the Supporters Shield chase and Cup chase are long gone. So lets imagine that we’re locked in a battle to the death with Montreal, NYCFC, and Chicago: the worst team (currently, us) gets dropped to USL, or even worse, NASL. That suddenly makes those boring ties we’ve been enduring really important! We’re a point below Chicago in the table! We need to tie this week! Although it requires some fantasy, at this point in the season, thats pretty much all we’ve got to go on.