This past weekend, my beloved NYCFC won the 2021 MLS Cup in a hard fought game that went to penalty kicks against the favorite, Portland Timbers.
Let me break it down, so it doesn’t feel like it’s coming out of nowhere. As a soccer fan originally from New York, NYCFC became my team back when they were founded in 2015. Mainly because they were located closer to my home than the incumbent New York Red Bulls (who actually play in New Jersey, yuck). Plus, they had stars like David Villa, Pirlo and even homegrown talents like Tommy McNamara. So with a new, local, exciting team, my family and I became season ticket holders that inaugural year and we were all in, from the start. I guess that’s why I feel a particular affinity, like I’ve been along for the journey of this championship winning squad.
So although it’s just the MLS Cup, which I know isn’t huge… but as a passionate NYCFC fan, excited for my team who just won the league, I don’t know how to best celebrate. Remember, as a NY sports fan, I haven’t experienced the sweet sweet nectar of being a fan of a championship winning team since the Giants won in 2011. (My even more beloved New York Rangers lost in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2014 and that brought me to tears. Hell, I damn near had an aneurysm during that playoff run). It’s all so new to me. It felt so great in the moment, watching a team I’ve been following for years finally reach the pinnacle of their league. But now, I don’t know what the hell to do.
How do I celebrate? Luckily I drank heavily on game day, so I checked that box. The ticker tape parade is tomorrow, and unfortunately as I am not in New York, I will not be able to make it (bummer, I’ve always wanted to go to oner of those). Do I wear championship gear? All the “champs” apparel looks ugly, plus while I’m a winner, a classy winner. No need to gloat. (I’ll also be the first to admit we may have gotten a little lucky this season and had no real business being in the championship, but hey, that’s sports). I guess I’m so used to not winning, I really don’t know how to do it right. As a loyal fan, I feel like it’s my duty to celebrate this win as much as I can. Hmm, maybe I gotta get some Boston fans on the phone.