“Gloom, despair, and agony on me;
Deep dark depression, excessive misery!
If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.
Gloom, despair, and agony on me!”
—From the show Hee Haw! (1970-1992)
The Colorado Rapids did not have that New York state of mind (to also quote Billy Joel) in their recent 4-0 drubbing at the hands of New York City FC. Yeah, that happened. The Rapids have always had trouble at NYCFC—over the last three matches, they have been outscored 10-1. New York City is a quality side, for sure, and destined to make some noise in the postseason should they stay true to form. But clearly, the performance on a number of levels, combined now with a five-game losing streak, is once again setting the Rapids faithful on edge with little relief in sight.
As a result, and thanks to the beauty of social media, Rapids supporters have found a release of their angst in the form of hashtags. This is nothing new—from #KeepFighting in 2016 to #KSEOut most every other year—hashtags have a way of not only expressing the feels, but also connecting with a community of fans who feel the same way.
How do Rapids supporters feel? The Rapids are now last in the Western Conference with a mere eight points after 10 games. Last year at this juncture? Seven points. The expectations Rapids supporters had in the change of philosophy and the change of players has obviously not been met. And yes, we come back to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park four out of the next five games, but those won’t be cakewalks: Portland (5/26), Vancouver (6/1), at Houston Dynamo (6/9), Chicago Fire (6/13), and Minnesota United (6/23). Unless some changes are made ... somewhere ... somehow ... we will be running out of adjectives here at the Wave to describe what’s happening.
Now, about those hashtags.
#FreeAigner / #FreeSerna /#FreeAxel
This has as much to do with Stefan Aigner, Dillon Serna, and Axel Sjoberg as it does with the curious lineup selections. The 3-5-2 formation is of as much comfort level for Hudson, it seems, as the 4-2-3-1 was for Pablo Mastroeni until he finally switched to the 4-4-2 soon before his ouster.
The curious part of this is that, over the five-game losing streak, the change in lineups have been meager. What has Dillon Serna done to not receive a chance? With the backline the way it is in their defense, why hasn’t Sjoberg seen time? Heck, with the struggles that Tim Howard has had in goal, would it be good for him to sit one week that wasn’t red-card related and put Zac MacMath in?
As a result of some questionable decisions, this unfortunate hashtag emerged...
The inauspicious start of Anthony Hudson as manager of our Colorado Rapids has brought about this, in my opinion, premature hashtag. We’re ten games in, but still, the frustration of the start to this 2018 season has brought about some humorous tweets.
Here’s the winner from Justin Hein:
Well, humor is one way to cope. And hopefully, when Marlon Hairston returns to the wing, Johan Blomberg returns to midfield with his passes that land on a dime, Gashi returns from injury, and the rift with Aigner subsides—the Burgundy Boys will still have a chance.
Humor, hashtags, and hope. There’s a lot of the first two, but we’re running out of the latter.