The end of last week was an emotional one in this, the land of the free and the home of the brave. On Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that people being able to pay for their medical expenses was a pretty sweet idea. For a Friday encore, it decided that despite Kanye West teaching us that “love is cursed by monogamy” two people who find each other to be reasonably pleasant should be able to get married if they feel like it. The afternoon wrapped with President Barack Obama ascending above the racial and political turmoil currently rattling America’s spiritual cage to deliver a speech we’ll remember for decades.
Concluding these landscape-altering days for our country was the truly monumental Major League Soccer’s Rivalry Week. Excuse me: Heineken Rivalry Week.
Political and social divisions, be damned! The real test of American fortitude and togetherness happened as our nation was torn apart at its domestic soccer seams. All of Texas was engulfed in flames of passion as FC Dallas chose to be good this week and put a 32 ounce steak of a whoopin’ on the Houston Dynamo. California was split in half, not by the inevitable earthquake that jettisons it from the mainland to become part of the Hawaiian archipelago, but by the San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy kicking each other like congressional rivals.
These were drama-filled days. All could have been lost, but we pulled through. We survived. That’s what Americans do. In our most difficult times, we always rally from an early 1-0 deficit and beat New York City FC in Yankee Stadium. At least that’s what Red Bull New York did yesterday, which leads us to the two rivalry (“rivalry”?) games that matter most to our great nation: the derbies Hudson River and Cascadia.
The Red Bulls proved again that the Big Apple could never be blue (because blue apples don’t make any sense) and ended NYCFC’s three-game league winning streak . Later in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland Timbers handed the best-team-in-MLS-a-month-ago Seattle Sounders its fourth consecutive league loss, because MLS is funny that way.
Scores and league standings are important, but as Americans, we heal by transforming sadness and conflict into mockery and celebration. Having a deep understanding of that discourse cycle, Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga and Timbers striker
Fernando Fanendo Adi took it upon themselves to celebrate their goals against their clubs’ sworn enemies in proper American (Adi isn’t American, but shut up) over-the-top fashion. Heroes, both.
Matt Miazga — with the help of Felipe Martins — celebrated his 73rd minute goal that all but ended the game for the Red Bulls by running to the dirt of the Yankee Stadium infield and simulated knocking a home run into the 1600-fan deep away supporters section. Why? Because Yankee Stadium is a stupid place to play soccer and it’s a point that should be driven home at all times.
Fernando Fanendo Adi opted for power tools in his celebration. In a move usually reserved for team mascot and Executive Vice President, Timber Joey, Adi ran over to the Timbers Army, and had some fun with a chainsaw. He most likely didn’t turn the chainsaw on, as it would probably violate some kind of local lumberjack labor union law, and could cause an injury that would seriously damage his next contract negotiation.
Obviously, Miazga and Adi are both heroes, delivering to America exactly what it needed in this time of civil unrest. The question that remains isn’t whether or not our country is a better place to live in after this incredible week, but who has done more for America. As our land is governed by righteous democracy, we’ll leave it for you to decide.