I’m Dustin “El Jefe” Christmann and I am an FC Dallas fanatic from Day One of the Dallas Burn. I’m also a hater. I used to yell mean, hateful things from the stands at the Cotton Bowl and Toyota Stadium, but now, I’m sharing my id with you to help guide you, my fellow FCD fans, in your enjoyment of Major League Soccer on TV.
After taking a year off, the Supporters Shield Curse is BACK, baby! And boy, did it come back with a vengeance. Normally, when the best team in the league has a 2-0 lead at halftime at home, you pretty much start opening the boxes of “FC Cincinnati Eastern Conference Champions” t-shirts and start getting them ready to take down to the stadium gift shop.
Two second-half goals and one extra-time goal later, Columbus is playing in the final and FC Cincinnati fans are crying that they were done wrong by the league who blatantly and unjustly punished
their knucklehead central defender the league’s Defender of the Year Matt Miazga for the petty offense of, um, busting into the refs’ locker room after the game to express his displeasure with his second yellow card.
In the Western Conference Final, our old pal Ryan Hollingshead scored the first goal, and therefore the winning goal, in LAFC’s neat and tidy 2-0 win over Little Brother Orange. Thank you for your service, Ryan and the rest of LAFC.
East #3 Columbus Crew vs. West #3 Los Angeles FC (Apple TV+ free game and Fox, 3:00)
Sometimes, being an FCD fan and watching the Crew and SKC win stuff after the Hunts sold them is a bit like being the other kids at the orphanage after Little Orphan Annie got adopted by Daddy Warbucks. (If you got that reference, you might be dead. Me, I’m just dead inside.)
OK, sure, the Crew had that whole unfortunate period of being owned by Anthony Precourt and his almost moving the team to Austin, but thanks to you, the lovely fans of the Columbus Crew, and your direct action to lobby city and state leaders, that effort was unsuccessful and you got a new owner and stadium in the process. Well done!
(A quick shout out to the herbs who came up to Frisco from Austin in 2018 to cheer on what they thought was gonna be their new team. That set a tone for your tone-deafness and cringe once you got an expansion team. But congratulations on your back-to-back Copa Tejas wins.)
But since the Hunts sold the Crew, and since the State of Ohio bullied Anthony Precourt out of the state, not only have they gotten the aforementioned new stadium, they are making their second trip to the MLS Cup final in five years. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting on FCD’s 2nd appearance after 28 full seasons.
Jealous? Me? Hell no.
Why in the hell would I be jealous of a team that scores a lot of goals… in a brand-new stadium… with some difference-maker designated players… with a coach that wasn’t in his first permanent first-team head coaching gig?
And hey, they get to host MLS Cup! That’s great for them too! (Let me pause for a moment while I cease gritting my teeth over having to travel to Toronto on short notice 13 years ago.)
If I were a believer in karma, I’d almost believe that this is karmic payback to all of us OG MLS fans who made all those “Cowlumbus” wisecracks over the years.
Fun fact: The only team that existed before the turn of the century who has even APPEARED in the MLS Cup final since 2014 is… the Columbus Crew, who appeared in the 2015 final (and lost to Portland), won in 2020, and are back this weekend.
The other nine teams? Nothing. As a fan of one of those other nine teams, I am frankly disgusted. How can this team from a cowtown in the sticks where Applebee’s qualifies as fine dining keep outdoing teams from New York (sort of), LA (sort of), Chicago (usually), Dallas (sort of), Boston (sort of), Denver (sort of), Kansas City (sort of), Washington, and Silicon Valley?
Normally, this is the sort of shit that is catnip to a hater like me. They have so much and we FCD fans have so little. But… I just can’t hate little ole Columbus. I just can’t.
So although I have fond memories and nothing but love for Kellyn Acosta and Ryan Hollingshead, they got their rings last year. They and their teammates can feel free to eat shit on Saturday afternoon.