MLS Cup: Over the falls

TO DALLAS:
You poor bastards. Figures you couldn't just lose in the final - you had to lose in the worst way ever. I seriously went through every MLS Cup in my head just now, and I really think even Revolution fans should feel sympathy for you. Three MLS Cups Dallas has been involved in hosting or playing, and, from the Dallas point of view, Satan has won each time. I can tell you when the ship finally does come in, it'll be worth it, but I also know how freaking empty that sounds right now. And New England fans can chime in to the effect of, what if the ship NEVER comes in? I'll let Revolution fans offer the hugs, because I'm afraid I'd get punched in the stomach - but in the name of every fan outside Denver, please accept our heartfelt, worthless sympathy.

TO COLORADO:
Sincere congratulations. I got no problem with you, the Rapids fan. This was always how you were going to win a title, and we all knew it. It might be better to be loved than hated, but it's better to be hated than ignored.

Besides, what were you supposed to do? Not show up? Quit, because you weren't as popular? Screw that, right? Since exactly zero other teams would refuse MLS Cup under any circumstances, you, Rapids fan, have nothing to apologize for.

Conor Casey does, sure, but he won't.

Yeah, I can sit here and say that Casey fouled both Ihemelu and Benitez, and therefore the correct call would have been yellow cards for all three, and a penalty kick for no one. Yeah, I can sit here and say that Casey's actual goal should never have counted, because the correct call should have been dangerous play and a free kick for Dallas. Yeah, I can sit here and say Casey should never have seen the end of the game.

Conor Casey sucks. Where was I?

But Dallas started Hospital Harris, so complaints about ugly, physical play from the forward position ring extremely hollow. If Casey should have seen the trophy presentation from the locker room, so should Daniel Hernandez, whose act with Wells Thompson was just embarrassing. Baldomoro Toledo saw the lineup, and decided to take the night off. I don't blame him.

And in any case Jair Benitez and Jackson (before his injury) were pretty terrible. George John will take way, way too much blame, but it was Benitez who was truly torched by Kandji, and exactly how is that justifiable? (EDIT - from the Dallas point of view. There's talk that Kandji fouled Benitez, but, Benitez wasn't exactly a delicate flower out there, and if you must be fouled by a Rapids forward, Kandji is the soft option by far. Colorado earned that goal, even if John took the unfair portion of blame.)

While I'm no doctor, and while I admit that I sort of sympathized with Ihemelu and Hartman immediately after the goal...Mac REALLY sold that injury. I mean, REALLY REALLY sold it. Colorado really did finish the game with ten men, and Dallas couldn't equalize. As they tried to tell Princess Di, them's the brakes.

The Rapids went a goal down, after believing they were robbed on a certain penalty. A lot of teams would have pouted their way to a disgraceful loss in those circumstances. Colorado didn't. Wear your MLS Cup Champions shirts with pride.

Also, you're probably irritated with Ian Darke calling your burgundy color "claret," since that's what Salt Lake calls their shade of red. In Darke's defense, you do look a little West Ham/Aston Villaish. Might I resuggest the idea I put forward when you first changed to your current colors, and bill them as "blood and bruise"? You know it fits your image.

TO EVERYONE ELSE:
Just...walk away. Just take a deep breath. Don't post angry. Let the Rapids have their title. No one deserved it more this year. And saying someone did deserve it more is just going to make you look bitter, silly, or both.

Yes, yes, I saw it too. I saw every minute. Every horrible minute.

Okay, sure. That Chavez to Ferreira goal was probably the prettiest goal in MLS Cup history. Other than that, the only interesting parts were when body parts were flying in random directions.

This was never going to be your picture postcard Cup final. The Galaxy played plenty ugly during the year, Salt Lake was starless everywhere except over the chest logo, and the Eastern Conference teams weren't going to look any better than the team that, you know, actually beat them. Nobody in the league was going to look good lifting the trophy this year, so at least two teams that really cared and really wanted it were competing for it. There's no way in hell LA and New York would have put on a better show, and deep inside you know it. Everything is as it should be in this best of all possible worlds. It's just that the possibilities all sucked this year.

So go easy on elaborate plans for playoff reform. There's a reason Don Garber didn't announce anything earth-shattering, and that's because you don't make decisions in the heat of pain, rage, or despair. In a week or so, Colorado won't seem any less of a champion than, say, the teams which won in 1996, 2005, and 2009. Unlike Omar Cummings, this too shall pass.

You want the number one seed overall to host the final? Brilliant. You know who does that? WPS. They're also two-for-two in having number one seeds fold before the next season. Maybe the problem with hosting the final in Toronto was the witch of November came stealin'. Canadian singer reference.

Or maybe it's just a matter of forcing local team's season ticket holders to attend the game before they are eliminated. If a little cold scares Toronto fans so much, then why the hell do they live in Toronto? So your team didn't show. Don't talk about boycotting a championship game because good teams show up instead of yours. It's supposed to be BMO Field, not EMO Field.

Thank you. But I can't take credit for it. My wife came up with that one. And you know, I should have just e-mailed it to Bill, he'd have made that line hurt. Oh, well. I guess I was just greedy.