You love to hate him, KC. So... what will it take to change your mind?
When Sporting KC announced the trade for Brad Davis in exchange for draft picks the next two years, all sorts of weird stuff was happening inside of me. The guy is quite literally a legend in Houston. His talent is undeniable. But he is quite literally hated here.
The reactions ranged from pictures of Gollum from Lord of the Rings all the way up to almost positive, "I don't hate this move."
This one perhaps best symbolizes the situation:
Simply playing for Houston the last few years is enough to get on the bad side of a lot of people in this city, but the dislike from Davis comes from a little bit more than that.
There was the really scrappy game in July culminating with Brad and Roger nose to nose and Roger punching/pushing Brad's face away. Espinoza eventually got suspended for it, but I must admit I said out loud, "It's okay. Who doesn't want to punch Brad Davis?"
And in slow(er)-mo, FWIW. pic.twitter.com/su67k1dLyt— Andy Edwards (@AndyEdMLS) July 22, 2015
And this came after Brad Davis scored a goal at Sporting Park in 2014 and celebrated by flipping off the Cauldron. This situation is a tricky one and I've watched it be debated online quite a bit. Yes, there is a give and take. He is a human that was being berated by the angry mob behind the goal, and had been for several years. So on a human to human level, responding by flipping the bird shouldn't really surprise anybody.
However, I do think professional sports are different. The point of yelling at opposing players is to get a rise out of them, get them to respond. It is a mini victory if you can get a player to do that and show that bit of weakness. In any sport I'm watching, if a player gets angry at fans and responds, I can't help but think they may be lacking some professionalism or will power. Heckling is just part of the game and part of the deal of getting paid to play a game. Some sports will fine players for such acts.
So yes, I must say that I looked down on it. It played into my feelings towards the professional athlete since then. However, I didn't take it personal. Cauldron dished it out, and got it back.
The question then, is how long until he will be embraced by the Cauldron? What does he have to do to get his own song from the Cauldron?
Well, he is off to a helluva start. If you were waiting for an apology (you shouldn't have been, IMO) Davis has tried doing just that. From the Cauldron Facebook Page:
Although I do not think this was necessary by any means, it shows he is a stand up guy and obviously has no real hatred towards the fan base.
The 34 year old is by no means done yet. He CHOSE to come to KC. He wants to win. We know very well the competitive spirit he brings to the table, as well as a seasoned MLS veteran presence among the team. Davis is still perhaps one of the most dangerous set piece and corner kick takers in the entire league. He is not here to sit on the bench. He's going to be a big part of this team and those of you holding a grudge will struggle to do so.
It is not going to take long for KC to come around. The first time he drops a dime on Dom's head, everyone is going to forget about his days in Houston. With Krisztian Nemeth suspended for the first game, don't be surprised if this happens on Day 1 in Seattle.
So are you still mad? Do you want a personal apology? How many assists will it take to win you over? When will he cease to be Gollum and become Smeagol?