A rivalry is a beautiful thing.It shows its splendor on Saturday afternoons in the fall when grown men root (scream vulgarities) against 19 year-old boys in pads and helmets that play for the “other” school.
It highlights its integrity whenever a man, woman, or child confesses to being a fan of “whoever is playing (insert enemy here)”.
It oozes its highest form when a line of empty seats and stadium security stand between two supporters groups in a dichotomous display of passion and loyalty.
The flame of sports is fueled by rivalry, by a common, despised foe. It is Cowboys-Redskins, Lakers-Celtics, Yankees-Red Sox, and Aggies-Longhorns.
One day soon, San Antonio could very well have an MLS side. There are, in fact, still multiple avenues that are on the table to bringing the dream home, not least of which is the San Antonio Scorpions, whose 2012 performance on and off the field has made them a national expansion/relocation talking point.
Perhaps, then, you can understand my horror when I see fellow Crocketteers openly rooting for Texas-based MLS squads. Friends, we must get beyond our folksy Texas friendliness and consider the ramifications of being distant fans of our future rivals.
Consider FC Dallas with me. First, any support they get as fellow Texans should be eliminated due to the fact that they built their stadium in the southern Kansas ‘burb of Frisco. That’s roughly equivalent to if San Antonio had built the AT&T Center in Abilene.
Next, they’re terrible.
And the Advocare logo on their shirt took what was once an iconic MLS kit and reduced it to a poor attempt to be red-headed step-child to LA Galaxy’s Herbalife empire. Advocare? Really? I thought half of the Fortune 500 had moved to the Dallas suburbs recently. Nothing screams legitimacy like a second-tier pyramid-scheme.
Finally, it’s Dallas, the antithesis of San Antonio. We have authentic culture. They have 5 Pottery Barns. We are the Alamo, the shrine of Texas liberty. They are “Toddlers in Tiaras”. We have only one major league team while Dallas has four…yet, in the last 15 years, San Antonio has twice as many world championships.
Shall we move on to Houston?
While Houston has done many things right with respect to the Dynamo (namely the size, quality, and location of their stadium), it is still Houston.
The Dynamo fans are spoiled and they don’t even know it. Those two stars above the crest on their jersey that represent league titles were not fought and won over decades of struggle, anguish, and eventual triumph. They walked into championships when they inherited a quality side that was primed for success.
It’s like the difference between an old man who labored for 50 years as a miner or steelworker finally hanging up his hard hat so as to retire with enough money to see him through his waning years and whatever brash young internet weasel started Friendster selling it for tens of millions of dollars right before everyone found out his site was crappy. They both retire. It would seem, however, that one sort of “earned it” more and will truly appreciate it. Houston, you created Friendster.
Next, have you ever been to Houston? It was thought to be meteorologically impossible for relative humidity to be above 100%, but then Houston happened and we all learned what it was like to walk through a junkyard dog’s steaming mouth…only if that dog drank oil and belched diesel fumes. It’s so uncomfortable that I once took a trip to Houston for business and worked out a way to drive all the way there and back without stepping foot in the city. Rolled my window down to collect some urgent documents from a consulate and sped out of town. And no one was surprised when they heard the story.
Finally, there is that Houston way of thinking. You know the one. Houstonians act as if by not living there you’re missing out on something. Like chain restaurants, highway tolls, and endless traffic? Or like undeserved league titles in sports? In addition to the gifted Dynamo titles, consider that the Oilers/Texans haven’t ever won anything, that the Astros are the picture of baseball futility, and that the Rockets only snuck in two “clutch” championships because Michael Jordan got bored and played baseball for a bit in between winning two sets of three-peats. I saw a shirt once that said “Virginia is for Lovers”. Ok – I propose we make similar shirts declaring that “Houston is for Losers”. Don’t be a loser.
Crocketteers, I beg you. Stand with me on this. If we are to one day be a respectable member of the MLS community, we have to stop the long-distance love affairs with our future rivals now. They are not your team, they don’t represent your city, and they would probably punch your mother if they got the chance. Now is the time to walk away from those tiara-wearing, Friendster-creating, championship-stealing, pyramid-scheming, culture-sapping prigs in Houston and Dallas. Just walk away.