Roger Bennett, better known as ‘Rog', one half of the commentary/comedy/life coaching/philosophy duo of Rog and Davo of the NBCSN TV show and podcast ‘Men in Blazers', is a wonderful bloke. Enjoy this GFOP (Great Friend of the Pod) email I wrote him the other day, which almost certainly won't be picked from the stack to be read on air.
Often these GFOP letters begin with a complicated and emotional appeal by an American to help us find a BPL team to support. This letter is different. Here I write a plea to you to support a team right here, in the U. S. of A.
I believe the time has come, as an American, a patriot, an Evertonian, and a soccer fan, for you to select an MLS soccer team. And I believe that team should be the Colorado Rapids.
Firstly, you have on more than one occasion bemoaned the dearth of Jewish footballers in your native United Kingdom, save the Welshman Joe Jacobsen of League 2's Wycombe Wanderers. The Colorado Rapids have not one, but two gentlemen of the Hebrew persuasion on the roster: goalkeeper Zac MacMath and midfielder Zac Pfeffer. Far be it for me to attempt to persuade a broad thinking Universalist such as yourself on merely tribal grounds. But what is support for a team if not tribalism? Here, you can pay fealty to two tribes, religious and sporting, at once. Not only that, but the Rapids chief rival is Real Salt Lake, whose key player, Kyle Beckerman, is also Jewish. Our other chief rival, Sporting Kansas City, is lead by Benny Feilhaber. So you might see three Yiddish-Americans on the pitch at once here in Colorado.
Second, your beloved Everton has now blessed our Rapids by selling on American Hero and Secretary of Defense Tim Howard to Colorado. Wouldn't it feel natural to support the Rapids, seeing as you'll only need to learn 10 new players names, instead of 11? Plus, supporting Tim is both an act of a great American and a great Evertonian at the same time. You ought not change that pattern just because Howard isn't actually with Everton any longer.
Third, the Rapids have always been a bastion of bald-positive sentiment. The Rapids greatest hero this decade is the bald and beautiful Conor Casey. The signing of Tim Howard continues that tradition. Colorado is a hair-optional team. Plus, at this altitude, a person's follicles are destined to dry out into a stringy mess anyhow. To be bald in Colorado is actually of great social advantage.
Fourth, Dave-o has chosen NYCFC. It would be all-too-convenient for you to select a natural rival team like the New York Red Bulls. Don't be gauche. March to your own drum. Pick a team that screams ‘I am my own person'. I mean, as long as that's ok with you, Dave-o.
And finally, fifth, the Rapids are generally a terrible soccer club. If the US had relegation, we might very well be in the 3rd tier after the past two seasons. It would be all too convenient for you to join the throngs of fans bedecked in the Sounders Rave Green, or to cozy up with the A-list celebrities that are converging around LAFC. However, as a fan of Everton, it would be illogical and likely oddly discomforting for you to start rooting for a popular team, or a good team. No, no, you want a mediocre team, perhaps even a crap team. It's more familiar.
Never mind that, with regards to primary kit colors, you are a ‘blue' and our primary color is ‘burgundy'. Our alternate kits are always blue or yellow. So you could stay a blue while also indulging your dark side of wearing a deep shade of red as well.
The stadium, unfortunately, does not sell pies, but the local beers on tap at Dick's Sporting Goods Park are quite good. And I promise to host a tailgate with my bubbie's kosher brisket and matzo ball soup if it will seal the deal.
Rabbi Mark Asher Goodman
@rapidsrabbi on twitter