My dad has a plethora of phrases that he uses to impart wisdom on those around him. Things like “If the grass is wet then you know it won’t rain” or “The leaves on the trees are upside down. Rain is on the way” or “That wooly caterpillar is really dark! It’s going to be a bad winter!” But the one that comes to mind the most in recent weeks is “In the department store of life sports are just the toy department.”
There is no way to look at the Sporting Kansas City season and have a lot of positive things to say. It is difficult to be optimistic about anything related to the team right now. Although we can say that the summer additions have definitely added to the offensive power and have helped that part of the team look better. Eric Thommy and Willy Agada have helped to bolster the goal scoring that has fallen heavily on the shoulders of Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi all season and last season and even most of the season before that. That’s a difficult task for Russell and Salloi without a consistent striker to work with them.
It is very clear and obvious that this team has some defensive struggles that have to be addressed if the team wants to improve. The return of Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda next season won’t help that much if the team can’t defend a set piece. The suspension of Kortne Ford and the recent injury to Logan Ndenbe have been a serious detriment to the defense this season but those two being consistently available won’t solve all of the defensive woes this team has had this year. There will have to be some personnel changes made in the offseason to get the defense up to where it needs to be to successfully compete in a Major League Soccer world that has added a ton of goal scoring power over the last season or two.
All of that brings me back to my dad’s words of wisdom. In the department store of life sports are just the toy department. In other words, sports are supposed to be fun. Unless your livelihood comes from the world of sports...unless you are an athlete, coach, manager etc., then the success of your favorite team just isn’t that important. Now don’t get me wrong. I want the team to win. I feel all the emotions of the successes and failures of winning and losing and of course I much prefer to support a team that is winning. I’m just saying that with this season pretty much over as far as trophies or playoff opportunities let’s just have some fun!
Instead of spending every game day complaining about the same things over and over again that we are all aware are an issue. Complaining about awful set piece defending or how the team just can’t finish goals. Or harping on how Peter Vermes has got to go. How he doesn’t make enough subs. How this player or that player is just terrible and should never see the pitch again. Or why this player or that player isn’t getting enough playing time. Maybe we can just remember that sports are supposed to be fun!
Let’s just get together on game day and have a drink or two. Raise your scarf proudly. High five your friends or neighbors sitting close by. Cheer for the goals scored and good defensive plays. Yell at the ref every now and then. Sing with the Cauldron and applaud those guys that go out on the pitch week after week, good days and bad, and play a game for us to enjoy and then go home, be grateful for the opportunity to do all of those things and do it all again at the next match.
Then when the offseason comes and moves are made (or not made) we can discuss and complain and cheer and hope. Hope that next season is better. Hope that the team improves. Hope that when 2023 comes you are able to have some fun again. Because at the end of the day sports are just the toy department in the department store of life.