You know those rivalry Cups that fans of MLS mock? The ones the marketing people foist on fans and then pretend matter? The ones that try and validate rivalries that simply never or barely existed? Well there was interesting news last night as a Dallas outlet reported that Sporting Kansas City, FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids fans have launched 'our' very own version of the Cascadia Cup.
Ladies and Gents, the Midwestia Championship has been born.
Let that sink in.
You can laugh at Cascadia’s soccer hipsters and their trophy as much as you want but the Cascadia Cup was created by supporters in 2004. It is kind of a thing, there is a history to it. It gained enough traction that MLS (rather disturbingly) attempted to trademark the name themselves. Three fan bases and MLS thought it was worth fighting over its ownership. People actually like it.
It is in the opposite in Kansas City.
The gut reaction from everybody seems to be to distance themselves from it. The Kansas City Cauldron, the main Supporter Group in Kansas City followed suit:
The only things we want to win are MLS Cup, Supporters Shield, US Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League. Anything else is noise.— The Cauldron (@KCCauldron) June 30, 2015
Why might this be?
For starters Sporting do not have real rivalries. We might want to but we don’t. We have rivals that come and go with time depending on what happens on the field. For a while it was DC United, then the Chicago Fire, then Houston, Seattle, and who knows, it is probably Salt Lake now.
When you talk to the Sporting Kansas City fan base and poll people to see who they believe their biggest rivals are it is always a split decision. Until St Louis get into MLS this is just going to be the way this cookie crumbles.
In their wake we have had MLS and the Sporting Kansas City front office try and create rivalries for us. Primarily with the Chicago Fire, an opponent so woefully below the standards in Kansas City that it’s almost pathetic and sickening watching them ... there is potential there but Chicago are barely viable as a franchise let alone worthy rivals. Sporting have had some more organic moments with Houston which were genuine fun but that is probably about as good as it has been in recent times.
What Sporting fans haven’t had to endure though is their own Brimstone Cup - the name given to the Chicago Fire vs FC Dallas games. Why Brimstone? Because FC Dallas used to be Dallas Burn, and well ... Fire ... and ... Burn .. Brimstone!! Clever!! Marketing!!! How can this ever not catch on!!!
It never caught on.
We somehow dodged inclusion in the Lamar Hunt Pioneer Cup. There are no Heritage Cups here, no Trillium, and it has been a blessing. Why? Because on the whole they are embarrassing for the teams involved and the league, most of the time because some crusty old man decided it was a good idea and nobody was confident enough to say no.
Somehow, while suffering though the ignominy of being the Wiz and Wizards, playing at CAB and being a laughing stock around the league we managed to not be involved in one of the hokiest, cheesiest, crappiest things in MLS. We dodged this bullet.
A small group of fans have injected this red headed step child into our almost perfect Stepford Soccer Fan world and it doesn’t fit because believe it or not, we win real trophies in Kansas City. We don't need this, and while five trophies in twenty years isn’t nearly enough to satisfy the appetite, it is more than enough for most of us to reject things like this wholeheartedly when they come alone.
Midwestia guys …. come on. You could have done better. With the geography if not the name.