I know that title sounds a tad ominous, but if you've followed the Revs for, oh, the past six seasons, you've cried in your beer and bitten your Revolution scarf during four of those years. I don't have to say it, but I will - the Revolution are perennial bridesmaids. Those darn Dynamo and Galaxy - they've worn white twice at the expense of the Revolution. Whores.
Of course, a shot at MLS Cup is better than reserving tee times at local links for November, which is probably what Landon Donovan and his buddies are doing right now. Timing is key, and while the Gals play entertaining, if not defensively deficient, football, style points have not been factored into the MLS table as of yet.
So it was mixed feelings that I read the press release that the Revs had clinched a playoff berth for the seventh consecutive season. Yes, it affords all of us more Revolution football into the heart of autumn and, hopefully, a shiny trophy to finally talk about around the dinner table at Thanksgiving.*
(*Seriously, you know how many times my relatives have come over for Turkey Day and asked "how'd the Revs do last Sunday?" Really? Don't you get the newspaper? Or have access to the internets? You know how they did - why are you tormenting me? Do you actually WANT me to sabotage your cranberry sauce next year?)
But, we know how this formula plays out: (LA + Houston)*2 + Revolution = New England heartache. Not that I profess to know for sure that Houston will reach MLS Cup anymore than I know that the Revs will reach it as well. In fact, I've already made the gross assumption that the Revs will simply advance through the semis and EC final on pure principle. This is wrong on many levels, none of which I feel obligated to expand upon at the moment.
The recently-unveiled "I Want the Cup" mantra should read "I Would Kill for the Cup" because it is that pressing of an issue. Of course, you can't have the latter - after all, what kind of example would that set for little Timmy? But if given the choice, I'm sure many of the Reis, Heaps, Joseph, Twellman and Ralston crew would opt with the latter, privately at least. The urgency behind this quest is higher than its ever been. Yes, they all do want this one - especially Twellman, who's post-MLS Cup emotions* often sum up the sentiment for the entire Revolution Nation.
(*Perhaps the best was last season, when he stood near the Dynamo net and stoically gazed upon the sea of creamsicle orange that converged upon the other side of the pitch. He looked like he was gonna have a Joe Biden moment. Heck, I was there, and I almost did.)
I said it last year, and I'll say it again: this may be the final chance for this group to finally touch the MLS Cup. I think it would be a horrible injustice if Rally ends his incredible career without winning it. DeRo's won it four times. LandyCakes won it thrice. Cobi won it twice.**
(**Shout out to brilliant reader David, who caught my mistake when I inadvertently listed DeRo and Landy as having won two apiece. Can't chalk this one up to lack of coffee - I was on the third java of the day after I published this one.)
Poor Rally's witnessed four defeats. Can we agree that the man is MLS? There since Day 1, played with Valderamma and the defunct Mutiny, came to New England, and to his credit, became even better after he arrived. He's been instrumental, for lack of a better term, during this recent seven-year run of success the Revs currently enjoy. Given that, instead of "I Want the Cup," I suggest a different mantra:
"Do it for Rally."*
(*And Reis, Twellman, Joseph, Heaps, and even Nicol.)