“So, they lost another game, huh?”
“You know what, Bob! I don’t want to hear it today”
I imagine that many of you have had conversations like this at some point. Maybe the most recent one was this week, and maybe you’ve just had it with the antagonizers and sympathizers and you’re all out of excuses and explanations. And even if it kind of makes sense, Petke’s “I’m proud of the guys…” reminds you of three months of losses that ended with Cassar saying, “I’m proud of the guys…” MLS and RSL reporting on yet another Rimando PK save (this time against Dempsey) doesn’t help much because you know Bob is confused and wants to know what all casual fans around the water cooler want to know—why do we keep losing?
Although Real Salt Lake never (in my opinion) got the credit the team deserved for being consistently good, (before anyone says trophies earn that credit, I agree, but nobody except LA won those damn things for years and everyone still got more credit than we did) I never had to explain why I supported RSL to co-workers. I mean, the writing was on the wall—this is Utah’s team, and they’re pretty good. Constant contenders doomed by the fact that we’re a small market team, but still trying to turn some heads. Not quite the Cinderella story we love, but pretty damn close to the Little Engine That Could. Until now.
We’re consistent losers now. In the last five months of competitive play, we have lost 13 and won 3. That just isn’t like the RSL we used to know and brag about around the office. It isn’t like the RSL Bob has heard all of us go on and on about for the last few years, and even though a lot of more of us have faith that I didn’t see under Cassar, it would be nice to see us win more consistently. My advice to the casual fans and readers is this—don’t ask us the hard questions. We don’t know why the team isn’t better. Of course we hope we will win more. No, we don’t want to do lunch later.
Let us sulk. To the die-hards, I offer one suggestion—keep attending matches, keep ensuring your voices of support and criticism are heard. Keep showing up, because even though the results are hard to swallow, they’re a whole lot easier to swallow with friends.