Fans' View

Fans’ View: The little things

Photo: Earl Gardner

This Tilt-A-Whirl of a season has led me through a lot of feelings, mostly anger, stress, and defeat. More recently, there’s been some really nice feelings of joy, not-doom, and confounded bliss. More than anything, it’s made me forget the big picture and think small.

At first, this was done out of a personal necessity to maintain some level of interest and excitement about the team. But now it’s more out of a recognition of what those little things have created: some moderately-sized things.

Some of the things that have kept me breathing:

  • Jim Curtin’s candid way with the media. Especially when things were rough, he never balked. One of the most refreshing approaches in major sports.
  • Ray Gaddis’ humbleness. A guy that just wants to work and earn his spot.
  • Chaco’s flashes. At least once every game he does something that makes you scratch your head, and I mean in a good way. Even better are the games when the flashes are more like floodlights. Keep them coming.
  • The rebirth of Sheanon Williams. After a tough season last year, many thought Williams was through with the team. Pressed into service, Sheanon responded and played some of the better soccer of his career while also playing a really important role in turning the season around (writer’s note: I am a HUGE SW fan).
  • The rebirth of Brian Carroll. See above.
  • The calm of Vincent Nogueira and Maurice Edu. While I don’t think the two can share the midfield as originally envisioned, their calm consistency has been one of the hallmarks of the team’s resurgence. Vincent has been often the best player in our XI and sometimes on the field. Mo has done the work — not that he was brought here to do, but that the team requires. I don’t think he gets enough credit for that.
  • CJ Sapong. A revelation. Left for dead (can you believe we got him for a draft pick?) and now quietly going about having an ace season. A true target forward with excellent speed and strength, Sapong is having an immeasurable effect on the team’s ability up front.
  • The Disney movie rise of Richie Marquez. From DIII to D-star, Marquez has been an absolute revelation. Has he been perfect? Not at all. Have he and Edu become a solid pair, and in short, pressing order? Yes.
  • Fabinho. I won’t even call it a rebirth, it’s more like the ugly duckling. Sometimes the light bulb just GOES ON. And with him it has.
  • Wenger scored a goal!

I had to throw that last one in there. But seriously, these tiny things have helped keep me on this side of Mount Doom, even if, sometimes, just barely.

As these little things have begun to bear fruit, I’m reminded of something John Wooden once said: “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

Well, John, here’s hoping.

6 Comments

  1. This perfectly sums-up how my season’s been going, as well. I was actually GLAD (?!?!) that i had to miss a couple of home games (5/17 and 6/03- first games i’ve missed in years!) and by the time i made it back to PPL Park for the NYCFC game on June 6th, i was DYING to get back in to it all. Some of the matches i’ve been to since then have been unforgettable in so many ways, culminating in the first tailgate for me this season this past weekend and followed by fireworks both on and off the field! I’m trying not to be TOO optimistic going forward but i’m such a sucker for this team, it’s hard not to be 🙂

    • Seth Finck says:

      Joseph- DITTO. I get suckered in every time something positive happens. It’s hard not to be when you truly care about a team. That’s the best part of being a fan in my opinion, the hope you can constantly talk yourself into.

  2. I’m in too!
    I dont know how or why it happened, but the team has really seemed to bounce back from the disastrous beginning to the season.
    I dont care that Portland brought their B-team. A few months ago they might still have won, but Curtin & Co. did what they were supposed to do and made them pay for their mistake.
    Doop!

  3. Seth – good stuff. I can’t argue a single one of those points. I’m also a big fan of SW. Curtin boxing himself in with the Gaddis is our starting RB line a while back was a huge mistake. Williams should be that guy, based on what he adds to an offense lacking effective flank play for much of the season.

    • Seth Finck says:

      Scott,

      I couldn’t agree more. With our wingers being absent, SW’s play was monumental in getting the offense on track. Simply his existence as an offensive threat helped shift things a bit. I’m so glad he’s found form again, sad it may be wasted on the bench.

  4. Not to bust up the Shannon William’s fan club, but it was Curtin’s decision to name Gaddis the RB that lit a fire under his ass. Most of last year and early this year I thought he looked both out of shape and out of form. Harsh criticism only because I think he’s capable of more, as does Curtin.
    On the whole love the article, Go the U!

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