August 1, 2013
MY TWO CENTS
Of hopes, wishes and dreams
Will Smith is a long-time Red Bulls fan who lives in Brooklyn
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
By Will Smith
Special to BigAppleSoccer.com
Fandom is an inherently painful experience. Rooting hard for a team is no guarantee of success. Lots of Mets, Jets, Rangers, Knicks and Red Bulls fans can attest to that. Even the most successful sports franchise in the U.S., the Yankees, are a miserable failure if you study the numbers. They've won 27 world championships, which sounds great until you realize that they've played 113 seasons. That's an awful lot of trophyless years.
Basically, fandom leaves you with two things far more often than the thrill of victory ... (1) the misery of defeat and (2) fantasies of success. Those fantasies can be broken down into three categories:
Hopes are things that you want to happen that HAVE happened before and can realistically occur. For example, "I hope the Giants win the Super Bowl." The Giants have a good organization, are always a contender and have won four Super Bowls. This is a realistic scenario for a New York sports fan to imagine.
Wishes are things that are less likely to happen, but still within the realm of possibility. For example, "I wish the U.S. would win the World Cup" or "I wish the Mets would win the World Series." These things are unlikely, but not impossible with good planning, hard work and some good breaks.
Dreams are completely unrealistic fantasies that have no chance of occurring any time soon or, probably, ever. For example, "I dream that the Dodgers would move back to Brooklyn" or "I dream of seeing Carl Hubbell pitch at the Polo Grounds" or, if you're a New York soccer fan of a certain age, "I dream of seeing the New York Cosmos back on the field!"
Therein lies the beauty of the Cosmos taking the field on for their Fall season opener on Sunday. It's something so seemingly impossible that it could only be a dream; something beyond the wildest imagination, something that really is something else. If the Cosmos can come back, you can win the lottery, drive sports cars and date models. You might even get to own your own private jet.
It will be a very emotional, dreamlike experience to see those long lost jerseys on the field Saturday night. It will be a dream come true for many, in fact. The idea of it is so far-fetched (sports teams just don't come back from the dead) that winning the lottery seems almost realistic.
Now, even in the throes of this dream, I'm a realist. I realize that this is division two soccer being played on a college field and that this is a far cry from the 1977-1982 glory years of big stars playing before a packed Giants Stadium. I also realize that the granting of the NY2 expansion franchise to the evil conglomerate that is NYC FC means the Cosmos are either (a) doomed to toil in the second division forever (b) doomed to fail or (c) doomed to have their "brand" bought by NYC FC once the Manchesrer City Yankees figure out what a terrible name NYC FC is.
Finally, I realize that, aside from those at the match, few will care about the Cosmos return. I, in fact, am recording the RBNY-KC first-place showdown and will watch it as soon as I get home. RBNY remains my primary team and I vigorously support MLS.
Nonetheless, I bought Cosmos season tickets. I wanted to be part of the dream.
The Cosmos are a little like that girl from your past you daydream about while you're at a red light, knowing you'll never run into her again; only now you have and you so want to see her.
On Saturday night, a dream will come true. Not exactly as we recall it, but wonderful nonetheless. The New York Cosmos will be playing a league match for the first time since 1984.
Now, let's see what we can do about getting Dodgers back to Brooklyn.
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