Look, last night's DCU U.S. Open Cup game against Columbus was a shambles. Benny Olsen put out the best lineup he could, under the circumstances. The referee was a sham of a mockery of a travesty of a fraud, and I'm not whinging about this in the usual way. Columbus got cheated first, victimized by a dreadful penalty call followed immediately by a fantasy offsides call. That drove the ref to up the ante until he had completely lost control of the game and red-carded a guy who had just been kidney-punched, while letting the offender off scot-free and merely booking the instigator. Of course, Goff, who is an idiot, does his level best to mill up his readers about this, making me doubt that it all ever happened.
But I apologize. That was an awful lot of whining for what is really a tangent. At the end of this crushing game, which the Crew equalized in the 89th minute on a deflected shot, Bill Hamid (utterly devoid of blame in the night's events, if a bit adventurous at times) crouched on the ground, head buried in his arms, unmoving as otherwise purposeless teammate Adam Cristman came to comfort him. Benny milled about the field fulfilling his social responsibilities. Some players came over to acknowledge the crowd, some didn't, and the field cleared fairly quickly, except for Hamid and Olsen.
Hamid finally gathered himself as Barra chanted his name. He trotted over, exchanged hugs, handed his game jersey to Troy (a Barra leader), and received in return Troy's black chimney sweep hat, with the ace of spades tucked into the band, and the hugs of an adoring mob. He then leaped into the stands and got smothered in love, signing autographs and making rounds of fans for a few minutes. It was one of the finest, sweetest, most legendary moments I've ever seen.
Perhaps this would be a good time for me to point out that Bill Hamid is 19 years old.
Elsewhere on the field--which was, as I noted, otherwise cleared--Benny stood, alone, forlorn, near midfield as the 12th Man healed what ailed his boy keeper. He dwaddled* over toward us in his little permanently crippled Benny walk, and applauded us, as he almost always does, for a lingering moment as we turned our attention to him. He turned and limped toward the dugout, slowly, no one else on the field, the calm settling over the still-stunned stadium. It was...perfect. Sad, forlorn, gut-wrenching. But perfect.
There are those beloved to me who have their own mechanisms for dealing with the heartbreak of United, the same mechanisms they use for managing the heartbreak of Obama and of pigs and of faithless fellow travellers. I snapped at him as we departed the parking lot, for which I was almost immediately sorry; he's just mourning too, in his way, and I was frustrated because I was still shaken by the legend I had just seen formed. Yeah, the graveyard whistling is getting old, especially on this topic. But everyone gets to mourn in his own way. Even if his way is bringing me the fuck down. But now I shut up, before I suddenly and inadvertently transplant my soul with that of some New Age crystaline California freakazoid.
Actually, I don't, not quite yet. I have one more thing to say. Why the fucking fuck am I the one being kind about all this? That's unnatural and not a little bit scary, I'm thinking.
My inclination now, the season dead, our favorite player (now coach) being emotionally destroyed by his inability to cope with the burning house falling down around him as he goodsoldiers on for masters who have gone over to some Dark Side that we can't comprehend because we don't know their reference points, our other icon actively not giving a shit, that shitlessness aggravated by the FO rewarding him for being the greatest goalscorer in MLS history by having those same masters take a dump on his chest?**
Withdraw into the bosom of the faithful. Preach calm and mellow in the face of overwhelming helplessness. Enjoy what there is to enjoy, and make the most of the few more acts of communion we'll share in this now-flamed-out season. That's all I got. There's nothing to bitch about, nothing to control, nothing to do but show up. So I will.
* You're welcome.
**You will pry my right to run-on sentences from my cold, dead fingers.